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,...

School update

Lesa and the kids have had a busy and productive time at school the past few months. Late last year saw Robbie’s theatre debut, in the middle school portion of a night of student-written one acts Lesa produced. And with a giant Bollywood style ending no less! In January Lesa had the opportunity again to lead a group of high school students to Olepishet, our Maasai village where we’ve been adopted by the community, for a week-long cultural field studies program. It was a great time for her in continuing to build a relationship with this community, helping students to engage with Maasai culture, encourage and support the local church, and provide some basic community health care training. In addition to teaching drama, discipleship, and directing the 4 high school worship teams, Lesa is in production week for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the HS Drama department spring play. Following that, in April, will be a weekend production of a musical revue, spanning 20th century Broadway hits. One of the most important parts of ministry to teens is the discipleship. In all things Lesa sees her most important role as being not just a mentor, but a discipler. Seeing kids develop their full potential in Christ, not just artistically, is very exciting, and what keeps Lesa energized. Check out the portfolio of Sonia Kuguru, and see what caliber of students she gets to work with and develop! And somehow in there she finds time to work in weekly homework assignments for her Master’s in Theatre...

A typical Brown-family Christmas video…

… what happens every time you try to get your kids to sit still for a picture? Merry Christmas! We hope that you all are having a blessed time of celebrating Christ’s birth this week. We’ve been hearing of the cold and snow back in the States and suppose we shouldn’t mention the sunny 90 degree weather we’ve been having!? As we are winding up 2010, we look back and are so amazed at what God has done in our lives. The biggest piece of news we wanted to tell you is that we had an incredible response to our last update about our financial support needs. Thanks to many of you, we are able to stay on the field through the end of this term (May 2011) when we will be returning for our second “home assignment.” We look forward to hopefully seeing each of you in June or July when we visit our churches and families. As you can see in the video, we just got back from a short trip to Olepishet this week. We’ll tell you more about the cool things happening there in our next update! For now, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Love in Christ, Andy, Lesa, Robbie, Avery, and...

10 days with Revdad

This morning I dropped my friend and college roomate Dave Parker and his son off at the airport to return to their home in Galesburg, Il. The past 10 days we’ve had some amazing experiences together, a weekend with our Masai church in Olepishet, a couple days in Amboseli camping with elephants and lions and hippos, a tour through Kibera, and generally sharing our lives with them. It was a great time, and a great encouragement to our family. Today I share with you Dave’s blog from his website about his experiences with the Masai church in Olepishet: This weekend we (Andy, Avery, Will & I) traveled to Olepishet, Kenya which is a tiny village in the heart of Masai Land, southeast of Masai Mara–the great animal preserve. We were about 20 km from the Tanzanian border, 45 minutes from the nearest town, and 2.5 hours from electricity. The community of Olepishet has about 400 people in it, but there are about 4,000 in the surrounding communities–other small villages in the area. The church compound that we stayed on is the only church for 45 minutes (that’s by car–2 hours by foot). the Pastor, Patrick (the tall one in the middle of the picture) is 34, has had some training through YWAM, can speak English, Swahili, and Maa (their native language). There were about 3-4 others that could speak English as well, but translation was needed for communication to the majority of the people. We were welcomed very warmly: always treated like part of the family. Time and again they hoped that we felt like part of their family....
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