A new adventure

Dear friends and family, We wanted to write to you to give an update on our lives here in Colorado Springs. God has been so faithful to us – He has brought us into a “spacious place” (Psalm 118:5) and we are amazed by His goodness and His sovereignty in our lives. Since we last updated you, Andy has started a new job and the rest of us are settling into a new routine of life here, making friends and getting into activities (more on those things below). Life is slowly starting to feel more “normal” for us and we are truly spending everyday in awe and thankfulness to our God who has been with us every step of this journey. The biggest news of the year is after months of searching and many rounds of interviews, Andy landed a job with Compassion International as Communications Manager for Global Advocacy. And there was much rejoicing in Colorado Springs at our house. Compassion, one of the largest Christian NGOs in the US, is best known for its excellent child sponsorship program which serves 1.5 million children in the developing world through holistic child development. Global Advocacy is the newest strategy for Compassion, working in areas where Compassion has not been able to reach and in creative ways outside of the traditional donor-beneficiary support model. Andy is starting the first communications position in this strategy, working with local media producers and churches around the world to raise the flag of advocacy for holistic child development. The next few months will find Andy in Myanmar and South Africa on video productions. It’s a...

twothousandfourteen

Dear Friends and Family, As we sit here in our cozy new home in Colorado Springs, with a gorgeous view of Pikes Peak out the windows and a warm fire going next to us, we are blown away by God’s goodness and faithfulness to us. We have a home we can call our own and furniture to sit on! Our kids are in excellent schools with teachers that care! We have found an amazing church to attend and hopefully plug into with our gifts! We are sitting here in this moment, applying for jobs, praying like crazy and reminding ourselves to take deep breaths. Putting one foot in front of the other. To be honest, sometimes we feel a bit like Israel in the wilderness – waffling between being grateful and being fearful. We know we’re on a journey towards something good (because that is what He has promised!) but we really don’t know what it is and we are really struggling sometimes to believe its actually going to happen. Each day we have new ideas, new dreams, new fears and still renewed hope in the Lord, whose gifts and calling are irrevocable, who makes all things new, who has plans for us and who will be faithful to complete the good work He began in us. Healing In the past few months, we have gone through intensive counseling for missionaries, we have sold most of our belongings in Kenya and packed up the rest, we have rented a home in Colorado Springs and we have gotten “settled in” to a new life here. Each of us has undergone...

Mlango ni wazi

Mlango ni wazi (“the door is open” in kiswahili) is a short film highlighting the incredible opportunity and open door for ministry that the classroom presents, especially in Africa where 42% is under the age of 15.   I directed this short film, and used one of Lesa’s former students, Carter Harrell, for the...

7 years

Dear friends, It’s hard to believe our 3rd term in Africa is coming to a close. In a little under 2 months, Andy leaves Kenya, followed shortly by the rest of the family, for home assignment. Home assignment is a funny term. It used to be called furlough, which infers a time of rest, but as any missionary will tell you, it is not really a vacation but a temporary ministry re-assignment. To home. And what is home? For the past 84 months, Africa has been our home. Having spent only 5 months in the US in those past 84 months, and 2 years since our last visit, the feelings of being “home” are a bit akin to Marty McFly stepping into a future version of his future life/city/culture in which he has missed the progression. 2 years since we’ve watched a commercial. 2 years since we’ve driven on the right side of the road. 2 years since we’ve been a place where we could blend in and be anonymous. And so, with great excitement and a little nervousness, we will re-enter life, briefly, in the US this summer. Our time will be filled with grandparents doting on our kids, catching up friends, family, supporters, churches , and traveling between DC and Denver and most spots in-between… 4400 miles. We’d love to see as many of you as possible during this time… contact us and let us know how we can get together! Below is our basic travel itinerary. May 17: Andy: Kenya to Chicago May 28: Andy in Northern Virginia at DCC June 9: Lesa and kids arrive...

on Post-production

Shortly after completing principle photography in December, and after taking a well-deserved and much-needed break from work, I started to think about the workflow for post-production. Having never edited something so large, I had no idea what to expect, or even if we had the right tools for the job. I started scouring the internet for ideas and expectations for editing a feature-length film with Final Cut Pro X (fcpx). I didn’t see many people doing that, so in the same spirit as my lengthy post on directing my first feature in Africa, I offer you my nerdy narrative on our post-production process. Maybe it can come in useful to others who are considering FCPX as an editing platform. Why Final Cut X? Over a year ago, I directed our first project that we edited in FCPX. We had been undecided up until that point whether we would jump ship (from Final Cut Studio) to Adobe Premiere, but figured the free trial for FCPX was worth giving it a chance. We were blown away by how quickly we were able to take 6 hours of unlogged footage and assemble it into a finished video package. Normally this process would have taken 2 weeks for the logging alone. FCPX and its range-based keywording and scrubbable event library allowed us to do this in a day. The trackless, magnetic timeline, with auditions and compound clips helped us to very quickly assemble a rough-cut. It did take us a few weeks to really learn the ins-and-outs of using FCPX efficiently, but by the end we understood the unconventional but clever choices Apple...

A Banner Year

In many ways, 2013 was the highlight of not only our 6+ years of ministry in Africa, but of our lives. Every year is better than the last, and we can’t imagine what could be in store for 2014 in God’s kingdom work and our small part to play in it. Come, take a short walk with us through the past year of ministry, movies, maasai, and mobilizing the African church. January began with a party to celebrate the completion of production (filming) of Andy’s directorial debut movie, The Distant Boat.  47 days of filming across a good swath of Kenya produced 80 hours of footage that would now need to be edited into a 2 hour movie. Lesa also led a group of 20 high school students on the annual CFS (Cultural Field Studies) trip to Olepishet, our Maasai village where we partner with the local church to do community development. We can’t remember what happened in February. Our family photo album contains photos of legos and deformed faces so apparently the kids weren’t getting enough homework. Andy helped lead worship at a conference for workers in creative access nations. During our first 6 months in Kenya (2007) we lived through the harrowing experience of a deadly and violent election, which saw a thousand people killed and a quarter of a million people displaced. Our home at the time was on the border of Kibera slum, and riots, gunshots, tear gas were sometimes literally a block away. This March was the first presidential elections since 2007, and in preparation for an uncertain time we stockpiled food, fuel, water,...

The Distant Boat has arrived!

It’s been an epic journey, and as one chapter ends with the final public release of the film, the next chapter begins as the African church takes this tool and uses it to mobilize the next generation of African missionaries. 2 years in the making 223 cast and crew and extras 80 thousand dollars raised 47 days of production 82 hours of footage 10 months of post-production 54 minutes of original music 300 pastors and church leaders now starting a movement to reach a continent with a missions tool like no other The past month has been filled with 3 premieres for different audiences, TV interviews, and a big missions conference where we officially handed off the movie to about 300 African pastors and church leaders. The response has been incredible. Pastors weeping. Theatres packed. And a strong sense of God’s sovereign hand who used a bunch of nobodies and did something amazing for His glory. You’re probably wondering where and when you’ll be able to see this. Well, it’s today. Right here. Here’s what you need to do… Go to https://vimeo.com/ondemand/distantboat. For $5 you can download the film, which we will use the money to buy more DVDs and resource materials for rural pastors. Invite your friends, pastors, mission committee over to your house to watch it. Watch it, laugh and cry at all the appropriate parts, feel deeply moved at the end to sell all you have and move to Africa. Pray about how you can use this message at your church to raise the bar for missions involvement and support. Support a missionary. Build a relationship with...
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