Blessed

We have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas season. Maybe more than any other Christmas our family has had since moving to Africa over 5 years ago. But most of all, we are thankful for a loving and merciful Savior, who left the comforts of heaven to humble himself and live as one of the poorest among us. Not just to be a good teacher or moral role-model, but to live the life we couldn’t live, to pay the debt we couldn’t pay, to die the death we should have had, and to reconcile us to God! We are also thankful to our God for surviving the perfect storm this semester, including: The movie: A week ago we wrapped (finished filming) the biggest film project Andy’s team has ever undertaken. 47 days of shooting: many early mornings, many very late nights, including 2 weeks on location in a remote coastal village. Andy, as director of “The Distant Boat“, was in charge of it all on set, rehearsing and directing the cast of 20 actors, working with Ted (Director of Photography) on lenses and lighting, with Taylor (Production Manager) on locations and contracts and logistics, with Bess (Art Director) on wardrobe and props, with Mike (Script supervisor) on continuity and shot logs and data management, and the rest of the crew of about a dozen. It’s been an exhausting 3 months of work, one that Andy’s glad to see wrapped, and that has taught the OFM team a lot about the movie production process. And has shown them how God is in control, and could use a bunch...

School Update – Fall 2012 edition

Life at school has been exciting and busy for Lesa and the kids. Lesa directed the American classic comedy “You Can’t Take it With You” (click here for photos) with performances at the end of October. This proved extra challenging when Andy was away at the coast for the last two weeks of rehearsals and for the performances. However, God was good (as if we’re surprised about that) and provided abundantly for the family. The kids were on great behavior, Katie Lang (who is living with us this year) was a huge help, friends assisted with meals and childcare and the show went off beautifully. Next semester’s show is already cast: “The Pirates of Penzance”! In addition to directing shows, Lesa continued her other normal duties of teaching classes (Worship 2, Acting, HS choir and Introduction to Theatre), directed the high school worship teams of 25 kids and directed two music concerts. A relatively new element of her job presented itself due to this year’s highly talented senior class. Lesa was heavily involved with about 6 seniors in preparation for college auditions for music and theatre: selecting and rehearsing audition materials, making audition videos (with Andy’s help!), writing references, etc. Of course, every college has different audition requirements and each student is applying to multiple schools! This work will continue through Christmas break on into the second semester. This has been a huge blessing to be able to participate in for both of us, as we want to see these kids continue in their studies at the best possible schools and to continue to use their considerable gifts for...

Mastered

Many of you know that I’ve been working on my Master of Arts degree in Theatre Education for the past few years. This has been through a teacher intensive program at the University of Northern Colorado. I travelled back to the States two summers in a row for three weeks of classes and all the rest of the coursework has been online. The work mainly has consisted of me spending most of every weekend working on homework for the regular classes. My thesis course began last January, though some of it had already been in the works before that. I finished my thesis this November. If you’re interested in what its actually about, its essentially about how to use various forms of theatre, particularly interactive theatre, to address specific issues unique to international schools. These include a need for a sense of community among very diverse people; the constant cultural transition process that internationally mobile families face; and issues specific to the students, who are known as cross-cultural kids, as a result of the many transitions and high mobility that are a normal part of their lives. Everything I wrote about I actually tried and found success in at our school. I’d be happy to send it to you, if you want to read it! 😉 It’s only 120 pages! It’s honestly my hope that I can eventually share these ideas with other schools, as it every school is seeking ways to address these issues using the programs they already have in place. I graduated on December 14th! I am so grateful to be done – to the Lord...

Homestretch

As I write this, Lesa is writing her final closing sentence of her final draft for her master’s thesis that she’s been working on for a year and a half. It’s 100 pages. Finished not a moment too soon… tomorrow morning I head to the coast for 2 weeks with the cast and crew of The Distant Boat as we start the most intensive portion of our production, filming 12-18 hour days, 7 days a week. Right now we’ve filmed roughly 40% of the movie, and will be at 80% by the time we wrap the coastal portion of production by the end of this month. So, we are simultaneously greatly relieved and challenged to make it through the next 2.5 weeks, and would greatly appreciate your prayers. Please pray for Safe travels for Andy and the cast/crew success in filming and staying on schedule strength and endurance for long days and nights Lesa and the kids who will be busy: Finishing the thesis, based on feedback from the editor Directing the HS fall play, “You Can’t Take It With You”, in 2 weeks Managing the house, which in Africa includes lots of power outages, water outages, security, generators, keeping the computer running, etc! Follow “The Distant Boat” on Facebook, Twitter, or on the Distant Boat website. Thank you all for your support and your prayers. We couldn’t be here, doing this, without your partnership. Praising God from whom all blessings flow, Andy, Lesa, Robbie, Avery, Sydney...

Perfect storm… a movie, a thesis, a theatre production

This is it. We’ve seen it from a distance for a long time coming. The perfect storm of a movie production, a thesis completion, and a drama production all before the end of October. All great things that we are privileged to be a part of, and we are trusting strongly in God not giving us more than we are able to handle (through his strength). Yet this is a season like we’ve never had before, and we are asking you to please be lifting our family and these events up in prayer. The movie On Tuesday, Andy’s team begins filming on “the Distant Boat“, the first feature-length drama to be done by his team, and a landmark project for the African church. Last Tuesday, 50 Kenyan church leaders from many denominations gathered to pray over and commission this film. Simultaneously, across town, Andy was gathered with the 13 principle cast members on a 2 day rehearsal retreat. The past year of writing and planning and praying is becoming reality, and we deeply feel the responsibility, privilege, and gravity of what is about to happen. Please pray for: Andy as a first time director, that he would have wisdom and grace and vision to coach the best performance possible from the actors and crew Safety in filming, in the many locations and settings that are required, especially considering the inflammatory environment that has been incited in Kenya and throughout the continent regarding religious film-making. For our family, as filming requires 50 long days and late nights, including a 3 week trip to the coast for filming. The coast-location shoot,...
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