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,...

Westgate, terrorism, and a loving God

This past week has been an extremely bizarre and difficult one. The events at Westgate Mall and the unfolding of the story continue to shock and sadden us. It was a place where our family would sometimes go grocery shopping or out to eat. We had a date night there only a couple of weeks ago. We would nearly always take guests there, so those of you who have visited us will remember it most likely. It’s hard to imagine a place where you frequently go becoming a war zone, and now much of it is in a pile of rubble. You see photos and think, “that’s where I walked last week,” “that’s the table where I sat” or “that’s where we often park our car, now it’s destroyed.” It was an upscale place where we couldn’t afford to buy much other than food or a movie, but where we enjoyed some peace and the sense of getting away from everyday life. However, much more important than the minor losses of comfort and familiarity, we are in a city that is in mourning over the loss of many lives. Our school community lost two parents and had two students injured – both families from the middle school. Everyone knows people who were there and most know others outside of our school community who were either killed, injured and traumatized by being there. The miracles and horror stories of last week continue to be brought to light. There were no high school students from our school caught up in it. Most were on a retreat (that Lesa was on). That is...
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