Finances

We hate sounding like we’re always on the brink of financial disaster, but one look at the world headlines and you see that we’re not unique. Despite our very best efforts to simplify and save, inflation in Kenya is out of control. Most items have gone up 20-30% in price in the past year, and many commodities have doubled or tripled in price. Our electric bill has doubled (and we don’t even have AC or heat in our home!), groceries have gone up 30% or more, gasoline is at a high for us. That said, we have a huge amount to be thankful for. We are among the wealthy. We don’t have to miss meals because we don’t have food, like the million Somalis in refugee camps here. We don’t have school fees. The dollar is trading very strongly here. We have a huge blessing of a house. We run out of money by the end of each month, but we’re still able to generously give to those who need. And we have not a few people in the US and Canada who are sacrificing financially every month because they want to be a part of God’s kingdom work through us. We are a bit low in our monthly support, though, and having to raise our support rate now to combat inflation. If you or your church would like to participate in our ministry financially, either regularly or with a one-time gift, you can do so here. And prayers are free, so please continue praying for...

Brown Family Update – March 2011

Loving friends and supporters, Life is a test. Of this we can be certain. A test of our heart, our character, our works. The bible speaks many times about God testing us, testing our hearts, trying us, refining us. We should rejoice in these tests (James 1) and stand in God’s strength to endure. Since returning to Kenya after the weddings last summer, we’ve felt tested on multiple fronts. Not the kind of testing you want to run away from, but the kind of testing where you know you have to see it through, to see what God is up to. We’ve been tested financially, to see if we could trust God to provide in the face of an impending support shortage. God answered our prayers with what we needed, through both friends and our supporting churches. Now there’s the test on the other side of the equation, if we can be good stewards, when we have what we need. We’ve been tested in our church leadership. Coming back from this summer with a conviction about church structure and governance, we’ve been a part of transitioning our informal church into a simple, but biblically obedient structure, with Andy being ordained as an elder late last year. We’ve seen God’s hand moving powerfully in our church, as a result, we believe, in taking a step in obedience. We’ve been tested in our ministries, with ever expanding scope and responsibility, and we’re trying to be resourceful and creative and obedient to the opportunities that God has placed in our spheres of influence. Those of you who know us well aren’t suprised...

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...

Please pray…

Today we received our monthly statement from our mission office with the bad news we’ve seen coming for several months now: this is the last month we’ll get our full salary. Since our furlough last summer (2009), we’ve lost about $450 a month in support. We’re not surprised by this or discouraged, we feel this reflects the global economic situation that is evident in everything from our retirement accounts to the cost of corn flour in Kibera. We know that everyone has had to live on less, and in fact, in 2009 during our furlough we prepared for this by lowering our support rate to the minimum, so that we could tighten our belts as far as they would go. However, every month we are under-supported, money gets taken from our work funds, where our excess money is kept, usable only for ministry purposes or to supplement our monthly salary if needed. We started our ministry in Africa over 3 years ago with a healthy amount in this account, but as the time has gone by the support shortage has eaten away at this account. Unless we are able to replenish our work funds, this month will be the last one we get our full salary, as next month there won’t be enough extra left to supplement our shortage in monthly contributions. All this is to say, it is a miracle each and every month that we have to minister here. We serve a God who has all the resources in world! We praise God each month that so much support comes from so many people who are sacrificing...

Brown Family Update – May 2008

Fell off the face of the earth? No, we haven’t, in case you’d wondered. Yes, we know we haven’t sent an email since March 5. No, it’s not because the rainy season knocked out the internet to all of east africa. Yes, it’s because we’re busy and sometimes lazy and forgetful, and often both at once. Consequently, since we skipped a month, we have a TON to tell you about! During the past two months, we have moved to a transitional home on a AIM missionary compound. Also, Lesa had her wrist surgery which ended up being fairly significant and is taking a while to recover fully. Praise the Lord that it is doing better every day! Mom & Dad We began our journey over the past few months with the visit from Andy’s parents over Easter. We had a wonderful time with them, somehow squeezing in trips to Kibera, an overnight ride on the Lunatic Line (go rent “Ghost in the Darkness“), a few days at the beach, a move, visits to the Rift Valley and Kijabe, and a game drive. Read the full story here. On-Field Media The OFM has been PDB (pretty darn busy) serving AIM throughout EA – East Africa (we are an organization that loves abbreviating). Andy’s got a few more stamps in his passport, and some great photos and stories as well. In March, Ted and I (Andy) went on a trip. We met some amazing national believers, some amazing Christian workers there, got spat on, rocks thrown at us, and all kinds of frontier-missionary kinds of stories to tell. Get our photos...
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