Half-time report: back to Africa in 43 days

Exactly half-way into our 3 month home assignment we thought would be a good time to send a quick update of what we’ve done and where we’re at. While the first half of our trip was filled with seeing all our dear friends and sending church in northern Virginia, the second half of our trip is full of family and doctor’s appointments and shopping for the next 2 years’ worth of socks and deodorant and taco seasoning and everything that America has to offer that is hard to find or expensive in Kenya. While the first half of our trip was filled with some reverse culture shock (everything from the color of our money to the variety of food in grocery stores), the second half of our trip is starting to fill with a building excitement for our return to what feels like our home, Kenya. We’re starting to really miss our dear friends there, just as we’ve missed so many of you here. We’re starting to think about our upcoming move across Nairobi, about the start of a new school year in a new school, and Lesa’s return to full time teaching. Quick Stats 43 days into our furlough 43 days remaining 3000 miles driven so far 2000 miles to go . Foods to partake: Fountain Coke (check) McDonalds (check) Chipotle (check) Moe’s (check) Pizza Hut (check) Beau Joe’s Papa Johns’ Sonic . 25 lbs gained [cumulative] 25 lbs to go? Financial update THANKS to some very generous gifts, some new supporters, and our faithful supporters from the past two years, we are right on track for returning...

Mombasa

We went to Mombasa last weekend, in partial fulfillment of our orientation requirements, and in partial fulfillment of ourselves and getting away from the busyness our lives are in right now. We stayed with some new friends of ours, Justin and Shannon Brown, in Mombasa’s Old Town which was built in the 1500’s. It was the closest we’ve been as a family to life in an islamic culture since Lesa, Sydney and I went to North Africa 3 years ago. Waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of the call to prayer in 12-part dissonant harmony from the dozen mosques in the vicinity, sweating it out in the oppressive heat and humidity even at 4 in the morning, reminded us alot of where we were when we experienced that original confirmation/call into missions. The drive to Mombasa from Nairobi is like this: 2 hours of the worst roads followed by 6 hours of the best roads in all of Africa. We left around lunch time on Friday, stopping along the way to treat ourselves with snacks and sodas and a sit-down Kenyan-style meal, and arrived at the Brown’s around 10pm. We didn’t sleep too well, though, as it was all we could to do stop thinking about the heat as we lay sweating on top of our beds, under the mosquito nets, with fans blowing on us. The next morning we did a little grocery shopping, ate lunch out, and spent the afternoon teaching at AIC Tudor, a large church in the Tudor area of Mombasa Island. Lesa and I had been invited to give...

What I did last weekend

Lesa led worship for a women’s retreat this past weekend.  In attendance were nearly 70 women – over half of whom were traditional Masai women.  Also there were other Kenyans, Sudanese women, and a group from the US who helped to run the retreat.

Conference rundown

We had a great time at the AIM conference this week. On Thursday and Friday night last week we led worship and it was like being back in the saddle again. Something we enjoy so much, and really felt we were able to use our gifts like we used to. It was well received also: Andy and Lesa, please know how very much I appreciate your worship leading at conference. A number of people have shared with me how they valued the way both of you led and the songs you chose. Thank you for your prayerful preparation for those two evenings. We also taught a workshop on Friday morning about leading worship from guitar and piano, we’ll post the handouts here on this site for anyone interested. On Monday, we taught a workshop on “maximizing the internet as a communication tool” and it was very well received also. We showed the class the things we’re doing with email newsletters and blogging and video podcasting and how to use all these tools to stay in touch. I’ll also post the handouts to that on our site soon as well. Finally, they showed the OFM’s Psalm 40 video at one of the big sessions, as a reflective, closing element for worship. We had no idea when we made this video that it could serve that purpose, but it really tied in nicely with the conference’s theme of trusting God and knowing we don’t accomplish things by our own...

Brown Family Update – November 2007

Greetings Greetings once again from the city of cold water (that’s what Nairobi means in Kikuyu)! At least 4 days of the week that is true, the other 3 days it is the city of “hakuna maji”, or no water. Which is why we have 2 giant tanks in our back yard to store up water to get us through the dry days. Which means no laundry and few showers during half the week, making up for it on the other end. Not that things are dry here, quite the opposite in fact. The short rains (one of two rainy seasons here) have started this week and everything is muddy and wet. It’s even cold, which helps us remember that back home people are getting their turkeys and raking leaves and thinking about Christmas. It’s going to be a weird Christmas for us here, the start of summer and probably the 1st time we’ll have been hot since we left the US at the end of June. On Field Media The last time we wrote an update I (Andy) was just starting my job with the new On Field Media team. Mike and Ted and I have had a great time the past couple months pulling together our first video project and building our website to host all our content. Our 1st video, Psalm 40, is a worship video. Ted and I shot all the footage, in Kibera slums at a literacy class, in another slum at a health clinic, in Machakos at Scott Theological College, and in Korr, Kenya, in the remote desert northern frontier. After weeks of...
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