Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I Need Africa - 2.0

There are so many moments of my recent trip to Ethiopia that I haven't shared. The memories have pressed against me, into me. I'm carrying them around and the longer I do, the more I'm sure they're changing me.

On the second full day in Addis, I became suddenly and viciously sick, the kind of sick that leaves you sweating off your pretty while you throw up in Ziploc baggies in front of all your friends, on the bumpiest and longest van ride of your life.

It was everyone's favorite day of the trip. 

I missed all of it. 

And though the mystery illness was over within 12 hours, I had trouble talking about all I missed. It made me weepy. I didn't understand God and I felt sure that he could have at least picked a different day. 

But the truth is, He was there. He made concessions for me. 

The windows of the van were left open and I heard the laughter, the singing, all the raucous joy. It was unmistakable, unrestrained.

This little guy climbed aboard, smiling at me with those eyes. He came to visit a few times and though I know I fall slightly on the side of over-thinking, I knew he was a gift for me, sent straight to where I lay when I just didn't have it in me to rise up. 

God is working through Ethiopia in my heart right now, today, on this chilly morning where the air feels ready to change its tune and my floors need a mopping. He's teaching me about provision.


Do I really believe that I have all I need?
Do I trust enough that in this season of our financial discombobulation, we still have plenty to offer? 

I'm sure it's impossible to travel to a third-world country without taking stock of the disparity existing between what I want and what I need. It's painful to acknowledge what my brothers and sisters in Ethiopia lack, since I know I could be part of the solution. I'd rather ignore those kinds of thoughts and keep making lists of all the things I want.

But sacrifice was never meant to be easy.


The people I met in Africa gave me a glimpse of the freedom that exists in letting go.
They have lost and lacked, and yet they smile and love and cry and try.

They accept what they are given as a gift.
They trust that their needs will be met.

And you and I get to play a part in meeting those needs.

Almost two years ago we funded a well in just a couple of months. We exceeded the goal, beyond anything I could have imagined.

Today, we start something new.

Right here you'll find my spankin' new Mocha Club/FPFG team page.
Our team will work together to raise funds for Women At Risk (WAR). At WAR, women are rescued from a life of prostitution and welcomed into a new life of love, grace, dignity, and economic freedom. 
You can be part of my team for as little as $9 each month. 

Click here to sign up. Then go to Join the Club up in the orange box.

(If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments and I'll do my very best to answer them in the comments today.)

INA 2.0 Products

AND....anyone who joins today will get a free I Need Africa scarf or pocket T!

I mean, SCORE

(I have both products and love them. I'm sporting the T as we speak!)

I've seen first-hand what they say, that I Need Africa more than Africa Needs Me.

I can't help anyone if my heart remains unchanged, and they are a catalyst of change.

What we need is one another.
We need to be released from the lie that we "need" more than what we already have.
We need to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

So Let's do it.



  1. So excited to join your team! Do I enter "FPFG" where it says to create my team or do I have to actually create my own team? Bette

    1. Did you click through my link? If you click through my team link you shouldn't have to do a team name... It will ask you to create a user name and password, you can use whatever for that.

      Thanks for joining with us!

  2. So. You know I read every post and I followed your trip and I'm just right there with you on so many things. Except I don't live in the 'hood. But my sister and her family do so I'm just going to piggy-back on her goodwill for that one. : )

    But I'm right there with you as a kindred. I struggle to navigate well these tensions between providing for ourselves and providing for others. Thanks for always being honest about it. And thanks for the invitation to give. I'm on your team. Yay! And weird, right there on the team page is one of my friends in real life and I didn't even know she was doing this. So that's even more cool.

  3. I'm having the same issue as Bette! It's asking me to put in a team name but I just want to join yours! Help!

    1. Did you click through the link I had in the post? It shouldn't ask you for a team name! (just a username...)

      Sorry about this! Keep me posted on whether you get it figured out.

      Thanks SO much for teaming up!!

    2. Hey Michelle! Let us know if you have any more trouble... and we can always switch you to Shannan's team if you accidentally make your own :) Thnx so much for joining with us!!! marisa@themochaclub.org

    3. It worked this time! Thanks so much! I feel so excited and blessed to be part of this incredible ministry. I've been to Africa and I DID need it!

  4. OH MY! I am in! I had breakfast this morning with a lady I had not seen since she was a little girl....probably like 30 years. She and her family were overnighting in my town. ANYWAY she mentioned this organization because she is on the ground overseas and works with them! I had never heard about them before. NO COINCIDENCE!

    I have to run get dinner on the table but will sign up later tonight! THANKS!

    1. No WAYYYYYYYYYYY! I love stuff like this. :)

    2. Signed up and officially on the team! :-)

  5. Not trying to act like your mother, even though I'm old enough to be your mother, you should tell your Dr. how sick you got while there. I don't know if there's a standard check up when returning home, if not you might want to mention it. You're an inspiration just by being who you are. Thank you for caring and sharing.

  6. I'm in. Love everything about it!

  7. I also joined and will invite friends to do the same. Shannan, I just "discovered" you about a year ago and look forward to every post. You are kind, caring, creative, and cute. (funny too, but that does not start with the hard c sound.....) Thanks for all you do for each of us each day....you make the world a better place to be, and encourage me to walk in your steps as best I can. On another note, because I only found you a year ago, I feel like I missed out on many years of you.....how can I find your very first blog posts and catch up to now?? All my Minnesota nice to you and your lovely fam!

  8. Have you seen "the team"? I love this. Do you have any idea how excited I get every time I get an email saying that there is a new member? Tell me that getting an expensive fancy coffee beverage was ever this exciting. No.Way. Really. No.Way. Thanks for rallying the troops, FPFG.

  9. Agreed Ann! I am so excited about the response this is getting. What a cool opportunity! Way to go FPFG and all the peeps signing up!

  10. I had trouble with the site. It kept saying error. Would love the scarf as well but since I couldn't get it to go through, not sure if that is still an option. Love how your family is loving. It challenges me and encourages me and makes me love the Lord more for the work he is doing in and through your family.