Farewell, America

Well, it’s nearly midnight, the night before we leave for Africa and we still can’t believe we’re actually doing this. Sitting here at our mission’s headquarters, having said all our goodbyes, signing our paperwork, and reflecting back on the short 6 months it has been since we were first here, considering moving to Africa. Wow… we are utterly blown away by what God has accomplished, what he has helped us accomplish, and that he would call us to serve. Blown away by all our family and friends who answered God’s call and sacrificed a lot for us to be here right now.  Packing to move 6 times in 3 months: We can honestly say right now we will be glad to have this done with. We’ve moved from our townhouse to mission housing, drove a 270 cubic foot shipment to NY that is now on a boat for Africa, moved from the mission housing to our mini-van at the end of May,  re-packed everything  this week into the 14 suitcases which are now in front of me. Our lives are strewn about all over the place, and it will be a couple months before it all comes together again. 2500 miles to say goodbye: The past month has been a blur – we’ve driven across the country to see as many friends and family as we could and had bittersweet goodbyes all the way. We will miss all of you dearly, and will count the days until summer 2009 when we will return to see you all. Thank you so much, to every one of you who have been...

Purged!

Wow… what a weekend we just had. We spent all last week getting ready for the largest garage sale we will ever have (considering all the stuff we’ve accumulated over the past 10 years of marriage!) and sold most of it on Saturday morning (the Boy Scouts got what was left). It’s quite a freeing feeling to be done with it all. Not just because it was a lot of work to get ready for (we filled a UHaul and a couple cars!) but to have lightened the load so dramatically. The money we made at the garage sale ($1100! thanks in large part to an awesome family that donated some good stuff for us to sell) is going to purchase a portable sound system for us to use for worship leading on the field. We saw the need for this last year when we led worship in Mombasa… how much use a good sound system could be put to! Next big project: packing for the big move. By the end of this month we’ll be on our way, and travelling light for the month of June (everything has to fit in a minivan- including us). We’re going to take a big load up to NYC (our mission’s HQ) and leave stuff there we’ll be shipping via ocean freight, and stuff we’ll be flying with at the end of June but don’t want to haul around in a van all month. We are feeling extremely blessed and encouraged right now… knowing that God is in control, not...

Rocky Mountain High

Last week we had an incredible trip to Denver. A really really refreshing time of catching up with friends, leading worship at the church we used to be on staff at, enjoying the view, eating Colorado style pizza, playing stand-by roullette at DIA. We were blessed by so many friends and family there, and came away feeling incredibly encouraged and commissioned to the work God has called us to. A quick update for this week: * Our monthly support pledges now stand at 77%, props to our God! * We have 4 weeks to raise the final 23% (about $1100/month) in pledges. If you, your church, or someone you know would like to join our support team, just fill out this card, and email it back to us at andy (at) brownfamily (dot) ws. * Our home church interviewed someone for our job last weekend, a really talented worship leader from Texas. Please pray with us that God would call someone to our position and that the transition would be smooth for our congregation here. * We have a huge load of things to sell in the community garage sale this weekend. So much, in fact, that I’ve rented a U-Haul to get it all there (way more stuff than the space we’ve been alotted will hold!). Please pray for good weather and that we would sell as much as we can. We’re counting on the proceeds from this to help us set up our home in Nairobi. * We’re not even unpacked from our move 2 weeks ago (to temporary missionary housing) and we’re busy re-packing our things...

lost and found in Sudan

It’s hard to comprehend what kind of things we’ll be seeing and doing in Africa, but if you’re interested, here is an excellent idea, a day-in-the-life of one of our Media teammates. Panther Bior tugged at my elbow. “How many more miles?” he asked. I looked at the GPS, turned back toward him and shouted above the roar of the airplane engine, “Fifteen.” “Fifteen,” he said and paused thoughtfully, “that is good.” He looked down out the passenger window, transfixed on the barren, tortured terrain of Southern Sudan, and recognized it. Driven from this place as a child some twenty years ago, he never thought he would lay eyes on it again. But Panther’s story in interlaced in the bigger picture of a sovereign God. He is somewhat like the Biblical Joseph, lost and left for dead, yet one who God did not forget. And like Joseph, he would have a day of revelation, when it would all come around full circle and there would be tears, and God’s hand would be seen and understood. As the airplane descended, and his home finally came into view, he hoped today would be that day. Home is a concept difficult for Panther to frame. He is one of Sudan’s “Lost Boys” – children separated from their parents or orphaned in the onslaught of Sudan’s civil war. These children fled their villages in small groups and eventually converged into an exodus of thousands. They ran for more than a decade, grew up in the bush as refugees, and were witness and victim to every kind of horror imaginable. Their story is both...

Update

I realize I’m not doing a very good job at keeping up with the weekly posting commitment we made, so today I’m going to quickly bring everything up to speed on where we’re at: We sold our house this week. That’s right, we are no longer home owners, and have made our last mortgage payment for a long time! It’s actually a very liberating feeling, although there is this pit in our stomach that we have done something irreversible and drastic! We’ll be moving (within South Riding). Our good friends, and missionaries, who are currently on the field have offered to let us stay in their house until we leave the area, rent free. Our fundraising is coming along. We’ve very nearly raised all of our outgoing expenses, and are about 44% there on our monthly pledges. To get involved, click here. Thank you to everyone who is praying for us and supporting us financially! All in all, we are totally blown away by God’s hand in all of this. We are completely assured that we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing, and that he will continue to work all things together for his glory, getting us on the field in his perfect...
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