Going home!

Sitting in our hotel room in Michigan, having just celebrated Andy’s grandma’s 84th birthday on Wednesday, and Tim Lang‘s wedding last night, we realize we have a lot to be thankful for… our family, our friends, our Christian heritage. This past summer has been an amazing time of reconnecting, and seeing God continue to provide for us financially in ways that remind us we’re on His mission, not ours! We are very pleased to report that we’ve received our financial clearance to return to Kenya, which is tonight! Praise God! Please pray for our family (plus Katie Lang) flying tonight (Saturday) and tomorrow, that our bags would all arrive safely, that we’d quickly get over jet lag with school starting Thursday! Praise God! -Andy, Lesa, Robbie, Avery, and...

16 days, $500/month to go

The stats: 16 days until we leave for Africa 15 days to raise $500/month in support 21 days before school starts in Kenya 50 days until shooting starts on Andy’s feature-length directorial debut We’ve had an amazing time in America, seeing family and friends and supporters, but our time is finally winding down. Honestly, we’re more than ready to go back. We’re torn between the people we love here and the work God has lined up for us to do. We are anxious to begin our next term and see what God has planned. IMMEDIATE NEED Our organization, AIM, requires us to be 100% supported before allowing us to return to Africa. We started our furlough in June with $1100/month shortfall. We’re extremely grateful to have been blessed with $600/month of new support since then. This leaves us still $500/month short of being able to return to Kenya, with our round-trip tickets already set and school and a movie production we’re involved in all waiting on our return! We are praying for 5 or 10 families that can partner with us financially. The average amount our supporters pledge is $100 a month,  Please pray about being one of those families, and joining us in God’s amazing work on the African continent! Email us right away if you are one of those families, we need to show evidence of our 100% support by the end of the month! THE MOVIE Andy’s team is making a $100,000 feature-length movie this year, with filming scheduled to start middle of September and Andy as the director. Please pray for the funding to come in by...

What would you risk for a stranger?

Africa Inland Mission’s On-Field Media team is making a full-length movie! This is a first on many levels: It is our first feature-length project, our first true drama, and our first piece created with the African church as the intended audience. This is a missions film, challenging the African church to a greater role in the Great Commission – a core message that resonates with AIM’s vision to see Christ-centered churches established among all of Africa’s peoples. The OFM team has spent much of the last year in preparation for this production, and we’re nearly ready to start shooting. However, because of the scope of the project, AIM’s normal budget for OFM cannot cover the expenses related to the film. So, we have been actively trusting God as we are giving others the opportunity to partner with us to make this film a reality. We’ve already received financial contributions from individuals and organizations (such as Wycliffe), but we still need more help. With less than 30 days to go before we need our production budget in place (a delay now will push the project to next year due to furlough schedules), we are asking the AIM family to join us in the effort. By utilizing our collective networks, we believe that God can not only inspire many with the film’s vision, we believe He can work through many partners who may share this vision to provide the remaining needed funds. The approach we are using taps into the social networks that so many of us already have in place (via email campaigns, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) The idea is to...

Stories from Egypt and Iraq

In May I had the opportunity to travel to Egypt and Iraq with International Christian Concern, an organizing dedicated to advocacy for the persecuted church. I was tagging along with a friend of mine, Aidan Clay, who is the North Africa/Middle East regional manager for the organization. My task was to capture photography and videography of the stories from persecuted Christians in both these countries. The Arab Spring brought some freedom and democracy to North Africa and the Middle East. However, the western view of “democracy” with a separation of church and state doesn’t work as well in these highly religious countries. While the west hoped secular governments would arise to rule these countries in the void left by dictators, in every case an Islamist party was elected. Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, and now Syria looks fall the same direction Most of these countries have an ancient Christian population. Sizable populations (10 million Coptic Christians in Egypt for example), but still a minority. In Baghdad, Iraq, before the 2003 war, there were 60 churches. Today there are only 6. A dictator was removed, yes, but the situation on the ground got much worse for Christians under democracy. Many Christians fled the country completely, if they had the means, or fled to Northern Iraq where the Kurdish government allows some religious freedom and more importantly, some protection. I talked to pastors there from Mosul and Kirkuk, cities that were too dangerous for us to visit as high-value-target-westerners, who told stories of car bombings and threats and terrible persecution in their community. Pastors who had patiently endured without fleeing like most of their...

Half-time

30 number of days spent in the US so far 29 days remaining 35 lbs gained collectively 3853 miles driven Half-way through our furlough we are still fund-raising. We’ve picked up some new supporters, and possibly even an additional church partnership, but still find ourselves lacking about $700/month that we need to be able to return to the field at the beginning of August. AIM requires us to be 100% funded before allowing us to return. $6634 amount per month needed to minister and live as missionaries in Kenya 3 number of churches that support us 50 number of individuals that personally support us $100 amount of average monthly individual support $700 amount per month that we are under supported 29 number of days to find $700/month so we can receive financial clearance to return to the field number of months, in the past 5 years in Africa, that we have run out of support: 0 consistency of God’s faithfulness: 100% Please join us in praying for 7 new families that could partner with us financially with $100/month. Please join us in praising our eternally faithful God, who is able to provide, every time, perfectly...

Furlough update… day 15/44

We’ve had a wonderful time in Virginia, seeing our sending church, Dulles Community, and meeting with many friends and supporters who’ve stuck with us and prayed for us during the past 5 years in Africa. A quick update from our prayer requests we shared: The Masai jewelry we brought from Kenya has completely sold, bringing over $600 to the Masai church ladies’ ministry to orphans in the Olepishet community! We’ve picked up a couple new supporters! We are still looking for about 9 new families or churches who could commit to financially supporting us at $100/month. If you’re considering supporting us, could you please send us an email to let us know, as we need to show our organization that we are 100% supported before the end of July. We are now into the “vacation with family” portion of our trip. We’re in North Carolina at the moment, heading to the Smoky Mountains with Andy’s family. Our last week on the east coast and then on to the midwest! Love you all, Andy and Lesa...

Virginia tonight!

After a day in Amsterdam and a few days’ rest in Illinois, we are beginning our epic summer tour roadshow! During the next week+ in Virginia, we’d love to see as many people as we can. If you live in the DC area, please come to one of the following events and hear about Andy’s epic trips to Egypt, Iraq and Madagascar, and the feature-length film he’ll be directing in September. Lesa’s got a lot of great stuff to share as well… Sunday, June 10 at 10:30am leading worship at Dulles Community Church Tuesday, June 12 at 7pm dessert night at Brad and Amy Russell’s house Thursday, June 14 at 7pm dessert night at Bruce and Cindy Lang’s house Sunday, June 17 at 10:30am speaking at Dulles Community Church If you’re not able to make it to one of these events, we’d still love to see you. Please call us on our cell in the next few days so we can find a time to meet. 309-752-8355 We don’t take it lightly that there are nearly 100 people in the US and Canada who sacrifice financially, regularly, for us to serve the church in Africa, and even the church in the middle east occasionally. We are humbled and blown away every month to see who God will use to provide the funds it takes every month for us to live modestly and serve effectively here. Before we start our 3rd term as missionaries in August, we need to raise about $27,000 total (in one-time gifts or monthly pledges) before we’ll be allowed to return to the field. Would you please be praying about joining our support...

May update, and urgent pray requests…

…it’s been a month like no other, and it’s only just begun. Please take a moment to read what God has been doing in and through us, our summer furlough schedule, and how you can partner with us to continue doing this ministry as our 3rd term in Africa starts this summer. The Sound of Music, Lesa’s 9th show at our school, and the first one featuring Sydney in a major role, finished 2 weeks ago. See photos from the show and read more about the 11 weeks of rehearsal, 85 cast, crew, and orchestra, 5 sellout performances, and 1 drama teacher to rule them all. Tonight, Andy heads to Egypt and on Monday, Iraq. He will be serving as a videographer with International Christian Concern, an organization whose mandate is getting the world to notice Christian persecution and to fight on behalf of those who are enduring this persecution. Read more about this trip, and how you can be praying for Andy, and especially for the christians from these countries. 2 days after he returns, Andy starts casting for “A Distant Boat”(working title), the first feature-length film his team has ever taken on, and with Andy as director. Andy’s team will weed through up to 400 actors in 2 days to get down to a cast of about a dozen. Watch a short video about this film project and how you can get involved. A little under two weeks later, and the whole family will be in Amsterdam, riding the canals and checking out the Anne Franke house, on a short 1-day layover on the way to the US...
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