To Bless Africa

How can we make the biggest impact with the most efficiency for the greatest good?

Who

The story began a couple of decades ago…

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Well, not really, that’s just kind of where we joined the story, but for the purposes of this narrative, the story began a couple of decades ago, when my wife – then a little girl – saw the picture of another little girl, this one sponsored by her family in far away Africa, and wondered what life was like through her eyes. What struggles she faced, what the world she lived in was like… and how this girl in far away Canada could relate. Fast forward ten years and – now around twenty, her bags packed – she’s saying goodbye to teary parents on her way to see for herself. The majority of the last 10 years spent in Africa have seen that curiosity grow into a deep love for the friendly, kind, generous people of this great continent – people whom God so loves – and a burning passion to see their lives blessed.

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Lindsay, back then.

 Now let’s go back another 10 years when I, in my early twenties, having just finished an undergrad degree and recently entered the ‘real world’ of work and bills, contemplating grad school; begin feeling a deep unease/unsettling/unhappiness about the way my life’s going, about living just for ‘fun, friends and money’. When i begin wondering what I’m doing with my life that is making any difference in this world in light of eternity. This feeling eventually develops into an intense yearning to do something that matters for the world God loves, and this yearning leads me – in my mid-twenties – to coastal Tanzania, to learn/teach/live/love with one of the poorest people-groups in the country.

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Dan and friends muddying it up back in the day…

Again, fast forward to the present. We met (in Africa!), fell in love (with a proposal on top of Kilimanjaro!), and got married. This is several years and three kids later, with the majority of those years spent in Africa where one of those kids was born and two were at least partly gestated. Between the two of us we’ve now lived in or visited over a dozen African countries, and can at least get by in most of the trade-languages of the continent. Our love and passion for this vast and amazing continent continues to grow, as does our desire to be a blessing and to see it’s people blessed. Yet after having spent almost two decades in the continent between the two of us, we keep coming up against our own limitations – our impact is so limited; and even counting all that’s been done by the organizations we’ve worked with, we can’t help but wonder if there’s a way to do more…

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When we were first married…

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…and now.

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Our older girls in disguise…

And so we decided to start this blog as an avenue to explore possibilities, to connect with people, to spread the vision – to see how we can do more, how we can see our efforts multiply, how we can see fatalism, corruption, poverty, ignorance and disease eradicated from this amazing continent which has in so many ways become our home.

We have ideas – but our exposure, our wisdom, and our knowledge is limited. We would love to connect with and learn from others who are already running systems that work; discuss, hone and improve on our ideas; and through this blog to spread our passion to the greatest number of people who know nothing of Africa so as to see them – even in small ways – begin to care. Our hope, our dream, our prayer is that in our generation we can see this continent transformed and blessing begin to pour out of Africa into the rest of the world. So help us Lord.

It’ll be a long journey. Care to join us?

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“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others”

-African Proverb!

10 thoughts on “Who

  1. What a beautiful story — what a thrilling adventure! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for the introduction! This is a wonderful blessing to meet both of you and your beautiful family! Looking forward to learning more, and being more acquainted with your vision and the dream in your lives. Boundless blessings, Dee

  2. Beautiful intent… just beautiful.

  3. Your passion for Africa is heartwarming. Though not a merchandising endeavour, you may be interested in my friend’s charitable organization, The Equality Effect, which fights for girls’ and women’s human rights in Africa (http://theequalityeffect.org/) – VERY important and inspiring work. My best to you both … keep the faith! 🙂

    • Thanks so much for coming back Andie, I really enjoyed visiting your blog.
      Thanks for the link to The Equality Effect website as well – sounds like a fantastic endeavour. Women in most African contexts that I’ve been in – which would include Kenya, one of Equality’s partner nations – are often the hardest workers, bear the heaviest burdens, and have an insanely disproportionate amount of responsibility in raising and influencing future generations. Despite this, it’s heart-breaking to see the endemic lack of equality in so many cultures. Your friend is doing great work!
      We predict many of our future partnerships will include women’s co-ops – it’s great to know of the Equality Project in case we ever need a hand!

  4. For your awesome and excellent blog – I’ve nominated you for an award, details over here:
    http://kirknicola.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/first-blogging-award-ever/

  5. Hey Dan- what a fantastic initiative! I look forward to learning more.

    Ian

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