12/2/13

a little (africa) announcement


In March, I’m going to Africa.

(When thinking about how to start this post, I decided to go the dramatic route. How did it work for you?)

But before I explain how I’m going to Africa in March, let me explain what happened when I went to Indiana in September.

I spent a September weekend at the Influence Conference in Indianapolis. It was a span of days that felt like a months’ worth of content. Even now, I feel like I’m still processing everything. 

Two things that I have continually processed:  one—Sole Hope, an incredible non-profit and two—my ability to do much of the talents I have been given. 

Sole Hope was started by Asher Collie to provide shoes for those in Africa who suffer from the chigoe flea, or jigger. The jigger is a nasty little bug that burrows into feet and creates painful sores, and can lead to complications—especially when they aren’t taken care of properly. 

Anywhere else, this wouldn’t be a problem, but many kids don’t have closed toe shoes to prevent jiggers and if they do get a jigger infection, they often don’t have access to health care. 

Sole Hope not only provides shoes and treatment for those affected by jiggers, but also provides jobs in the region. In Jinje, they have a small workspace where the shoes are constructed by Ugandans, who are paid a living wage for what they do. 

So why should this matter to me? I live in Seattle, where I have access to healthcare, clean water, higher education, great jobs, and there are lots of shoes in my closet. Africa is a world away in so many senses of the word. 

But I couldn’t help but thinking that “to whom much was given, of them much will be required.” When a tweet popped up in my timeline, asking for bloggers to go on a trip with Sole Hope, a little something told me to sign up. 

I don’t have a lot to offer; I've never done something like this before. But I am a story-teller, a (barely) decent photographer and Sole Hope was asking for people to come—bloggers—to tell the story of what they do in Africa. I thought, this is something I can do. I get paid to do this in my day job, I do this on my blog—I can write and share and help Sole Hope make an even bigger impact. 

I had long talks with the husband. And lots of prayer time and then I said yes

And now I’m going! I’m going to Africa. And I’m scared out of mind and unprepared and I am just praying that God does His work through me, because if it’s up to just me, I know I will fail. 

I need to raise money—turns out going to Africa from Seattle (!!) is expensive. I will host a fundraiser so if you want (no pressure) you can help out. 

For now—I’m not asking too much of you. I just wanted to share my crazy, awesome, cannot-believe-it- news and ask for your prayers and support.

And if you’re looking for a more tangible way to help—I would love any donations of items for a fundraiser auction. (you can email/tweet me about that, too.)

But even easier than those two options, is Sole Hope’s partnership with Cultivate Wine.

 Cultivate Wines is giving $1 for every Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook post of their image and following a few guidelines up to $100,000.

It's simple-- just include the image below, and the tags #CultivateGives and #SoleHope. 






There's a number of us going on this trip -- go say hi!





11 comments

  1. Go, Erika!
    Excited for you and the trip. Praying you are blessed just as much as the little one you hope to bless.

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  2. Erika! I am so excited for you (I read this in the middle of the night while I was up feeding the bebe and then I couldn't sleep when I went back to bed out of excitement for you!) I'm gonna start thinking about how I can help :)

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  3. What a wonderful opportuity! I wish you lots of luck Erika :)

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  4. Erika that is so AMAZING! I'm so exciting for you, what a life changing opportunity.

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  5. Very wonderful! I think this will be extremely life changing in a very positive way. May you have a good time and enjoy spending time with the people there and helping many gain access to the things that we have!
    +Victoria+

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  6. That is so exciting Erika! Yay, good for you for taking this leap of faith. It is going to be life-changing for sure.

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  7. I've been so excited every time I see your name on stuff for our trip & I love that god drew you in with a willing heart to use the gifts he gave you for his good! Can't wait!!!

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  8. Awesome! What a fantastic charity, and I'm so glad you're going, and are going to be able to make a difference. Go you!

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  9. I want to go. When we had the shoe cutting party at the conference it messed me up in a wonderful way. My family just had a shoe cutting party on Thanksgiving, and I really hope to go to Africa one day.

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  10. This is so exciting!!!! I will think on auction items I may be able to donate. Are you thinking in-person or blogging style?

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oh that's so nice of you to say hi :)
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