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...

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...

The hills are alive…

11 weeks of rehearsal 85 cast, crew, and orchestra 5 sellout performances 1 drama teacher to rule them all… Our high school’s production of “The Sound of Music” took place recently over 2 weekends. It was the biggest show Lesa’s done since “The King and I“, in terms of length, numbers of students involved, size of the set, and the size of the undertaking. The show was a smashing success, and for our family was a particularly memorable experience. With Lesa as the director, Robbie playing in the orchestra, Sydney as Gretyl (the youngest Von Trap child), Avery running projection in the tech booth, and Andy running spotlight (and as technical director), it’s been an exhausting but rewarding couple of weeks leading up to opening night. The opening night was a smashing success, in everything from set to costumes to singing and acting.  This past weekend has been a rough one, though. Friday night’s second act was nearly drowned out by a thunderous rainstorm. Sydney woke up Saturday morning with a 103 degree fever, and we quickly arranged for the other Gretyl (Lesa double cast the children’s roles for situations like this). Then, minutes before Saturday’s matinee was about to start, the piano player suffered a grand mal seizure. The cast and crew were pretty shaken and scared, and the performance had to be cancelled before it started (while Andy was desperately trying to prepare to sight-read the piano score for a 3 hour long show). The show will resume on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday this week, with a new piano player (not Andy… someone who actually has time to...

School update

The semester has started off with a bang this year. The students who were freshman my first year of teaching are now seniors, I can hardly believe it! Our high school production this semester is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which takes place the last weekend of October. We have invited several local Kenyan schools to a special matinee outreach performance, which is a first for us. After the performance we will hold discussions about the gospel message found in Lewis’ story. I’m teaching “Introduction to Theatre” for the fourth time, so I’m finally getting the hang of it! We’ve started a drama ministry team for chapel, as well, which gives the students a chance to see how effective drama can be in ministry. My grad school studies have helped me become a better teacher/director all the way around, so this past year has been full of many improvements to the program. I’ve also begun directing the high school choir. This has been a true joy for me, getting back into conducting again. Our first concert (combined with the middle school choirs) is November 17th! My third area of focus at school is Worship. I teach a Worship class both semesters (this semester is “Worship 2”) and also direct the bands which lead worship each week for chapel. Those of you who know me well know that I am in heaven, doing all the things I love: choir, theatre, and worship music with high school students! It has been amazing to see the growth of my students in leadership, character, and in their artistic abilities throughout each...
Page 1 of 3123