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...

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...

Movie update: 2 weeks, 25%, exhausted and exhilarated

Since last Tuesday, our first day of filming, we’ve completed filming on about 25% of our movie, the Distant Boat. It’s exhausting work, requiring 12+ hour days (or nights) on our feet, loading in/out dozens of cases of equipment, a dolly, crane, and coordinating a cast of crew of around 15. Tomorrow, we film our climax scene, to take place in a church in Nairobi, with a couple hundred extras on set. I’m very thankful, as the director, to have a highly¬†competent Assistant Director and Production Manager, who manages the logistics so I can focus on the acting and the creative aspects of such a large shoot. I wanted to take a quick moment to share some prayer requests and some behind-the-scenes videos and photos with you all. Please pray for the health and endurance of our crew, particularly, and our families who sacrifice a lot when we are this busy. Pray for Lesa and her grad school thesis completion, and her play which is coming up. Pray for more funding to come in, as things are constantly popping up that need addressed and we can’t account for in our limited budget. And pray for this film, that in the acting, the filming, the editing, the entire production would bear much fruit to God’s glory, and mobilize a new generation of African...

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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