Backstage Pass to Africa

Building relationships, connecting with the culture, living, breathing, and tasting Africa - this is the only way to begin to understand life in Africa.  Senai plans "backstage pass" trips to Africa, taking you off the beaten path, and connecting you with mission and humanitarian projects across the continent.  Each trip is customized for you and your family or business.  Join us on one of our trips "connecting people to purpose."

Senai is an independent non-profit, which works with numerous partners across the globe.  We will bring you alongside amazing works-in-progress, and give you the opportunity to offer capital: intellectual, physical, financial and spiritual support.  We will expose you to culturally appropriate ways to tackle poverty.  We will also provide a platform for you and your family or business to become part of a "legacy of change" that is more far-reaching than you ever imagined.  We will expand your world-view and help you process the complexities of how to come to terms with this cross-cultural experience.

Africa holds some of the most beautiful people, landscapes, and wild animals in the world.  On our global trips we plan safaris, off-the-beaten path excursions, coffee with friends in huts, and a sensory overload of adventures that can't be captured in words, pictures, or video.  Come experience Africa with us, and see where you can make an impact.


“My family and parents went on this trip primarily to visit the 15 kids we are sponsoring at Hanna’s Orphanage Home. Our host and guide was a third generation Ethiopian missionary, Drew Harding of Senai Global. He grew up in Ethiopia, spoke the native tongue of Amharic and we experienced and saw things we never could have experienced without him. “
— V. Birley, Dec 2012
“I thought I knew what to expect, but there’s nothing like meeting the people of a village, or the children of an orphanage to take you to a much deeper level of caring. Meeting the individuals, hearing their stories and knowing that Senai had a part in transforming their lives was heartwarming. Seeing the joy on their faces began to teach me lessons about perspective and values. I would encourage anyone who is interested in supporting Senai’s mission to take a vision trip with Drew. Bring your whole family with you and it will change the way you view the world!”
— G. Barram, Feb 2013

So how do you summarize a trip like this?

I wrote down five key takeaways from my journal shared below.

  1. Push yourself and the people around you to step out in faith to test what you fear and learn what you really have faith in. This trip was a test for each one of us and we all learned more about ourselves through putting ourselves in a situation without the things we find safety and comfort in.

  2. Invest in people. People are created in God’s image and when you invest in them you are giving them the opportunity to be everything God intended for them to be. Investing in them is more than just feeding them. It is about relationship and an ongoing support system that gives respect and builds human dignity.

  3. We are the minority and exception in the world that demands us to consider our stewardship responsibility. We hear this, but going to a country of 93 million people who look different and have an average annual income of $100, hearing becomes believing. I don’t know exactly what stewardship looks like yet, but my perspective is forever changed…from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

  4. The world is convening. Technology is bringing the world together. Alongside donkeys/carts and thatch huts were cranes, cell phones and glass high rises. It was like we were time traveling from BC to 2013 with a blink of the eye. This offers and requires us to think globally about how to allocate our financial, human and spiritual capital. Either we are pioneers discovering new global opportunities or isolationists protecting nostalgia.

  5. We can learn from other cultures. Without the temporal and material concerns relationships become priorities. In our world, relationships seem to take too much time. Authentic relationships are ones where nothing is expected in return other than our time, love and attention.

For those of you who have read or seen “The Hobbit” our oldest son Ben likened our trip to the adventure Bilbo Baggins reluctantly went on. Here is the dialogue that Gandalf, the great wizard, had with Bilbo when Bilbo was asked to go on the great adventure…

Gandalf: You’ll have a tale or two to tell when you come back.
Bilbo Baggins: You can promise that I will come back?
Gandalf: No. And if you do, you will not be the same.

Bilbo Baggins: I can’t just go running off into the blue! I am a Baggins, of Bag End!

Before the trip, we were the Birley’s of East Cobb, GA; today we are the Birleys, a family who had a great adventure and we will not be the same.”
— The Birley Family, Dec 2012