20121221-122708.jpgWe have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas season. Maybe more than any other Christmas our family has had since moving to Africa over 5 years ago. But most of all, we are thankful for a loving and merciful Savior, who left the comforts of heaven to humble himself and live as one of the poorest among us. Not just to be a good teacher or moral role-model, but to live the life we couldn’t live, to pay the debt we couldn’t pay, to die the death we should have had, and to reconcile us to God!

We are also thankful to our God for surviving the perfect storm this semester, including:

The movie:

A week ago we wrapped (finished filming) the biggest film project Andy’s team has ever undertaken. 47 days of shooting: many early mornings, many very late nights, including 2 weeks on location in a remote coastal village. Andy, as director of “The Distant Boat“, was in charge of it all on set, rehearsing and directing the cast of 20 actors, working with Ted (Director of Photography) on lenses and lighting, with Taylor (Production Manager) on locations and contracts and logistics, with Bess (Art Director) on wardrobe and props, with Mike (Script supervisor) on continuity and shot logs and data management, and the rest of the crew of about a dozen.

It’s been an exhausting 3 months of work, one that Andy’s glad to see wrapped, and that has taught the OFM team a lot about the movie production process. And has shown them how God is in control, and could use a bunch of inexperienced missionaries to make something great for His glory.

Ever wonder what it’s like to make a movie? In Africa? On a shoestring budget? With a chicken? Click here for the behind-the-scenes photos and videos from the past 3 months!

You Can't Take it With You_-45Lesa, the Kids and School:

Between track meets, swim meets, soccer tournaments, a play and 2 choir concerts, things have been crazy busy at school. Which was extra challenging this semester with Andy gone so much, but God helped us get through. Click here to read more about what’s been going on at school, including photos and videos.

The thesis:

20121013-092532.jpgMany of you know that Lesa has been working on her Master of Arts degree in Theatre Education for the past few years.  On December 14th she graduated, after completing a 120 page thesis in November, about how to use various forms of theatre, particularly interactive theatre, to address specific issues unique to international schools.

Click here to read more about her degree, her thesis, and the past 2.5 years of blood, sweat, and tears!


Year end financial update:

It takes $6634 every single month for us to be able to live modestly and minister effectively here in Africa (click here to see specifics of where this money goes). While that seems like a huge amount to raise every single month, over the past 12 months God has provided (through people like you!) an average of $6629 per month. It’s always amazing to see each month who this is going to come from, and we are continually blessed by you and by our God who knows our needs and is able to provide from his abundance.

Help_48While fully supported per month, we are low on ministry work funds, which allow us to be able to do things like own cameras or laptops or attend mission-related retreats, etc. If you would like to contribute a tax-deductible gift to our ministry, gifts must be postmarked by December 31st to be used in your 2012 tax deductions. Details on how to give are here.

Prayer requests:

  • for our Christmas break, that it would be a time of great rest, recuperation, rebuilding of our family time and relationships after this storm
  • for the movie, “The Distant Boat“, as we are trying to raise additional funds now for the post-production process (music licensing, translations, marketing, distribution), and for Andy as he directs the next 7 months of editing, color grading, and music scoring.
  • for our Masai community, Olepishet, and our ongoing development efforts there, including Lesa leading a group of high school seniors there for a week-long cultural field studies trip in January.
  • for Lesa as she leads worship at our AIM women’s retreat in January, and for Andy as he helps lead worship in February at a conference for workers in muslim contexts.

20121222-111041.jpgWishing you a Merry Christmas from the equator in summer, and serving our great God together with you to see Christ-centered churches among all African peoples,

Andy, Lesa, Robbie, Avery, Sydney

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