Hello from Virginia! We’ve officially been in the States now for a little over a week. We landed in Illinois at Andy’s parents’ house and recuperated from jet-lag as best as we could before heading out across the country to see family and friends and visit our supporting churches.
Honestly, we’re all still feeling a bit up-side down, between the jet-lag and becoming acquainted with an up-dated American culture. It’s fun to finally eat at Moe’s again and drink fountain cokes! It’s especially wonderful to see family and friends, many of whom it has been two years since we’ve hugged and caught up with.
Our last few weeks have been busy but good. We had two weekends of The King and I, which went off without a hitch! It was so wonderful to see the students pull together such a large and difficult production and to do it beautifully and with amazing attitudes. We were very proud of them! The experience served to solidify our convictions that working with high school students is exactly the direction that Lesa needs to put her energies into. The production was a great experience for us as a family, too, as we are seeing our children’s interest in the arts grow as they see all the possibilities and how fun it is! Lesa will begin teaching drama classes for all grades and the kids will all three attend school there this coming August. We are so pleased with the school and particularly its vision to “inspire and equip students to develop God-given gifts for Christ-like service in the world community” which fits our family’s purpose perfectly!
Andy finished up some projects before he left the office, as well. One interesting one is an “orientation video” which is designed to inform people who are just beginning the process of becoming missionaries with AIM of what to expect for their next couple of years. The interesting thing about the video is that Andy used our family as the “examples” in the video, since he had already logged so much footage of our own journey to Africa. The idea is to help them feel better about it all since we’re doing so well now! 🙂 We going to be handing/mailing out a DVD of this video, along with a couple other videos to our supporters this summer. Make sure you get one from us!
We’ve had some other interesting things happen the past few weeks. Lesa came down with the shingles opening weekend of the show. Yes, it can be precipitated by stress! But, thankfully, she caught it very early and it ended up being a mild case. Thanks to all of you who prayed for that! Also, Robbie broke his nose (we think) two days before we flew out of Africa. Lots of blood and screaming… and he ended up with quite a shiner! He looks better now and we’re trying to get in to see an ENT soon to make sure we don’t need to do anything about it! Finally, if you remember the Kenyan boy, Brian, whom we have been getting medical care for, you would be interested to know that his hearing has greatly improved over the past few months. We’re happy to tell you that he started school this past week at a school with a speech therapist, thanks to the generosity of one of our supporting families! Our hope is that he’ll be able to grow rapidly in his speech with the therapist’s help over the course of this term. We’ll be excited to see him and his parents when we return to Kenya in August.
We have two goals this summer:
1) We want to see as many of you as possible – and not just SEE you, but actually sit down and visit with you!! PLEASE, contact us about connecting for a meal or whatever for when we are in your area. You can see our schedule below, along with our cell number: 309-582-6254
2) We need to be at 100% financial support before we can return to Kenya. We completely believe that God will accomplish this through individuals and churches who give either one-time gifts or on a monthly basis. You can see from the side bar what rate we are at right now, and you’ll be able to keep up with it throughout the next couple of months on our website. We ask that you would pray for God to raise up new families and churches to support us. If you would like to give, you can go to our website or if you know of a church who could partner with us, please contact us to let us know how to connect with them.
We’re excited to see many of you! Thank you, as always, for all of your prayers, encouragement, and financial support. God has blessed with an amazing team to back us and to make our various ministries in Africa possible!
-Andy, Lesa, Robbie, Avery, Sydney