December 2008 Brown Family Update

Dear Friends, Merry Christmas! We hope you are all enjoying the cold weather back in the States! We must admit that the warm weather here is quite nice, though we wouldn’t mind bundling up and throwing a few snowballs around every once in a while!  This is the time of year here when the weather gets continually hotter – the hottest time will be January/February.  I guess it helps us remember that Christmas isn’t all about a season, decorations, stockings, and cookies, but is about something much more profound and permanent – a God who loves each individual on earth so passionately that He came to earth personally to bridge the rift between us and Him – to live among us, teach us, touch us, and to eventually lay Himself down for us that we could live.  That is something worth celebrating! Things are slowing down for us a bit.  Andy has returned from his trip and had quite the tropical island experience!  They had some incredible opportunities to film in this creative access country at locations which are usually closed off.  Check our website soon for stories and photos from that trip. His team doesn’t have any more trips planned for the near future, but will settle in to work on several video projects that they have been assigned, including one about their last island trip, an AIM orientation video, an AIM medical ministries video, an RVA (AIM’s boarding school) video, among others. The boys’ school is wrapping up this week with Christmas parties and such.  Robbie’s class gets to take a field trip to an orphanage to...

So We Do Not Lost Heart

Hot off the press… just finished our video about the Rwandan Institute of Evangelical Theology, the reason we went to Rwanda a few weeks ago and have written much about our trip since then. You don’t want to miss this....

Brown Family Update – November 2008

We’re taking a little vacation this weekend. We’ve come back to Eldama Ravine, a town a few hours northwest of Nairobi, where there is a farm called Sunrise Acres, equipped with several self-catering cottages for missionaries to come for a low-budget get-away. We love it here. There is a playground (we haven’t seen much of the boys since we arrived), farm animals, trails, a small “mini-golf course”, ping pong, basketball, board games, books, toys (consisting mainly of old McDonald’s Happy Meal prizes – always a sure hit with our kids), birds chirping, trees swaying in the breeze, and a swimming pool which we have yet to try out. We’ve put a ban on all videos and computer games, except for a family movie at night. Andy and I have already read an entire book each, the boys have already made fast friends with a 10 year old belonging to another family on holiday here, and Sydney has rediscovered the art of playing quietly by herself. Aaahh. (For a short story about our time here at Sunrise Acres, click here). We came here to get away before the big wave of utter busyness hits us in the next couple of months. We decided this would be a great time to send you a short update on our lives. We heard from many of you that you enjoyed our last video update. We’re so glad! Since then, the past two months have been great. Tim Lang has come to stay with us for the year. He is serving as a short-term missionary with Andy’s team, OFM. If you want to check...

Shake Hands with the Devil

In 1994, one million Rwandans were killed in the span of three months. Killed not by a bomb or weapon of mass destruction, but by a million weapons of small destruction, garden tools mostly. Killed not so much by an army, like the genocide of WW2, but neighbor turning against neighbor. This is a hard fact to ignore, even fourteen years after the Rwandan genocide, as you walk the streets of Kigali. You find yourself mentally subtracting fourteen years from the age of each person you meet, thinking of the atrocities they witnessed as a child, or worse, the atrocities they may have committed. For a country with a population of only eight million, the death of one million at the hands of their neighbors means nobody was unaffected. Everybody who survived lost somebody, if not their whole family. Many personally witnessed rape or murder at close range. Most had their lives threatened. And fourteen years later you can still feel the tension and pain people are carrying. One Rwandese youth I visited with after church told me “Nobody trusts each other. They may smile when they meet you, but as soon as you go they stop smiling and consider you their enemy.” He had fled Rwanda as a four year old, grew up in Kenya, and recently returned to Rwanda. He told me how he wished he could go back to Kenya, where people were friendly and he had friends. “I have no friends here. You can’t have friends without trust.” Ethnic and tribal tensions But even Kenya is not exempt from ethnic hatred. Back in January this...

Our 1st Year

The summary of our first year in Africa, what it’s like to pack up and move across the world, orientation, culture shock, what it’s like to live here, and the ministries we are involved...
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