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,...

May update, and urgent pray requests…

…it’s been a month like no other, and it’s only just begun. Please take a moment to read what God has been doing in and through us, our summer furlough schedule, and how you can partner with us to continue doing this ministry as our 3rd term in Africa starts this summer. The Sound of Music, Lesa’s 9th show at our school, and the first one featuring Sydney in a major role, finished 2 weeks ago. See photos from the show and read more about the 11 weeks of rehearsal, 85 cast, crew, and orchestra, 5 sellout performances, and 1 drama teacher to rule them all. Tonight, Andy heads to Egypt and on Monday, Iraq. He will be serving as a videographer with International Christian Concern, an organization whose mandate is getting the world to notice Christian persecution and to fight on behalf of those who are enduring this persecution. Read more about this trip, and how you can be praying for Andy, and especially for the christians from these countries. 2 days after he returns, Andy starts casting for “A Distant Boat”(working title), the first feature-length film his team has ever taken on, and with Andy as director. Andy’s team will weed through up to 400 actors in 2 days to get down to a cast of about a dozen. Watch a short video about this film project and how you can get involved. A little under two weeks later, and the whole family will be in Amsterdam, riding the canals and checking out the Anne Franke house, on a short 1-day layover on the way to the US...

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...

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...

Our school

It’s not really that new of a ministry for me at all: the arts and youth have been the main themes of most of my life experiences and opportunities. I get the sense now that all I have done before has pointed towards this. Experiences like tagging along for years to rehearsals/performances when my dad and step-mom were directing shows, starting a youth choir at church and directing a musical when I myself was in high school, participating in countless productions in high school and college, working in the costume shop at Sterling for my on-campus employment, directing all those MADD (music, art, drama, and dance) Camps for youth at Heartland, writing my degree at Sterling so that I could teach any of the fine arts on the mission field, teaching the fine arts at the Denver Street School, helping with and leading youth groups for all of my adult life, directing choirs and dramas at the churches where we’ve served. For some reason, though, it never came together for me before that teaching high school theatre specifically would be a perfect way to combine all of my passions and abilities. But, now the light has finally come on!!! It even goes well with those aspects of my personality which I always felt were negative, like preferring to work on projects rather than on-going responsibilities which never end. All this is to say that, God is AMAZING in how He creates us each to be unique, and then leads us down a path in our life that we may never really know where we will end up, but we...
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