Friday, December 12, 2008

it still rings true

Got my shirt in the mail today from The Mocha Club. The strong conviction I felt earlier this week, still rings true. I most definitely need Africa more than Africa needs me.

I was honored to be able to share with my kids this afternoon what my new shirt means to me. And what better time to have the conversation than during the Christmas Season?

Just looking at the above picture hammers its message home even further for me. Here I am surrounded by all of the modern conveniences I could want, and yet, I still struggle with joy and gratitude. (Just another area where I can allow God to work in my heart.)

I just received my first update from Mocha Club. They included a video of an adorable little boy named Prince who contracted AIDS from his mother. Both of his parents had died from AIDS when the video was made. The little boy was receiving medication for his own disease through Mocha Club. Unfortunately, the medication didn't come soon enough for him, and little Prince is now dead.

There's a part of me that wants to retype that sentence to try to make it more palatable, but the reality isn't pretty. It's tragic and so incredibly sad. $7.00 doesn't go very far in the US, but in Africa it can make a tremendous impact. Please consider signing up today. I would love to see my blog friends sportin' an awesome shirt like mine. :-)

By the way, the organization is Christian. Once you join you'll get access to all kinds of updates, videos, stories and pictures on their website and email newsletters periodically. The Mocha Club is doing AMAZING work in Africa...YOU can be a part of spreading God's love in a tangible way.

Thankful to be LIVING A BLESSED LIFE and learning more and more every single day!

Monday, December 8, 2008

I need Africa more than Africa needs me

This video puts into words what I was desperately trying to verbalize yesterday. Indescribable and unexplainable joy. I'm humbled and inspired all in same breath.

I need Africa more than Africa needs me. Do you?

If so, you can join the Mocha Club I just started (Dancing Upon Injustice). The cost is only $7 a month (with a minimum 3 month commitment).

Together we CAN make a difference. Together we CAN change lives. And boy, giving up a mocha or two sure feels great when you know that you are giving LIFE and FREEDOM to a brother or sister on the other side of the world. (Oh, and by the way, the Mocha Club has a promo running where you can receive one of their cool t-shirts when you join.)

The only thing better than LIVING A BLESSED LIFE is sharing the gift with others in big or small ways.

Sweet blessings,

Sunday, December 7, 2008

we are together

I don't even know where to start. I'd like to say that this documentary is incredible, amazing, and life changing. It is, but unfortunately, I've used those very same words when I've written about other films. Phenomenal? Check. Left me speechless? Yes, I'm beginning to think so.

Let me just say that if I could, I would buy thousands of copies of this film and mail them all over America. In short, this is yet another MUST SEE DVD. If you haven't watched one of my recommendations yet, I strongly suggest you put this one on the top of your list.

Here's a brief description of the film from their website:

"Slindile lives at the Agape orphanage, a loving home for children who have lost their parents situated in the beautiful valley of 1000 hills, South Africa. Singing is a part of everyday life at Agape and the children have formed a much loved choir.

The award winning film WE ARE TOGETHER tells the incredible story of the children of Agape choir. Filmed over three years, it follows the children’s remarkable journey as they overcome hardship and loss and embark on a life changing musical journey."

Honestly, I don't mean to be redundant with my movie recommendations, and maybe it's just me, but I honestly can't watch enough of these documentaries. There's a deep passion in my heart for people worldwide who are struggling.

On any given day, I can struggle, but while Geoff and I watched We Are Together I realized that my kind of struggle is so small compared to true hardships other people outside of the United States experience.

I saw a strength in the children that far exceeds anything I have ever known. They have a joy that I long to experience. Their sense of family commitment is something I have never known. Their compassion for each other left me yearning to be transformed in a deeper way than I have ever imagined.

Oh, and did I mention they have the most beautiful voices I have ever heard? On the top of my Christmas Wish List is a copy of their CD. :-)

(Dawn, while it's probably safe to eat your ice cream while watching this one, I would recommend you enjoy a bowl beforehand. This film is very different than A Walk to Beautiful in that it's not necessarily "hard to stomach." However, the reality of their lives makes all of our everyday luxuries less enjoyable, or at least important. If that makes sense. Don't forget to watch all of the extras on the DVD, especially the interview with Paul Taylor.)

I'm not really sure what else I can say about this movie. We laughed. We cried. We smiled. We sighed. Good movies do that. But when the stories are real and completely unscripted, they have the capacity to impact you in such a deep, deep way.

If you're feeling overwhelmed with all of your responsibilities; if you feel like you are in a rut; if you need a breath of fresh air and long to be inspired, this movie may be just what you need. If you do watch it, please come back and let me know what you thought. :-)

Part of my definition of LIVING A BLESSED LIFE is to embrace the blessings from God in the midst of the challenges life in this world bring. I have a feeling the children at Agape House have a much better understanding of what this means that I do.

I'm so thankful for all they have taught me and feel so humbled by their joy and strength.