Thursday, September 4, 2014

Prison Ministry, Media Ministry and Upcoming Furlough

During our last newsletter, we wanted to emphasize our main ministry, Kingdom Families, throughout the newsletter. But we actually had more that we wanted to share! It has always been on our heart to do discipleship and storytelling through our ministry here and we've had wonderful opportunity to be doing both over the last few months.

Youth Prison Ministry
Brandon: Back in June, we had one of our teams here from Vanguard University and a missionary friend of ours approached us about an opportunity for the team to serve with him at the youth prison here in Moshi. They did it two consecutive Saturdays and the second of which, the interpreter fell through so I ended up sticking around and interpreting the devotional into Swahili. While I was there, I really connected with the young people that were in the facility. Shortly thereafter, I asked my missionary friend that's been leading it, if he was looking for someone to partner with him as I was interested. He was excited that I asked, especially as he was coming up on a four month furlough in the states and had no one to fill in. I was glad to join alongside him.

So since July now, I've been taking a team of students from Fountain of Hope Christian Secondary School and we go over to the prison for a couple hours on Saturdays. We do games with them and then I teach out of Mark's Gospel account. It has been such a blessing. There are normally between 8-12 youth at the facility (only one of which is a girl) and they are eager to learn from God's word and pray. We all look forward to our time together and I can really tell that some of the students are having good roots put down. One of the young men, Kelvin, has even taken on the nickname "pastor" from the others at the facility.

When we first returned to Tanzania back in January, we had planned on a starting discipleship ministry in Kilimanjaro among college students. With us jumping right back into orphan care and taking on Kingdom Families, those plans have had to be shelved, but I'm really loving this different form of discipleship. Anytime you have an opportunity to minister to Jesus like in Matthew 25, you've got to take it! Several of the youth at the prison have only come to faith in Christ recently through this ministry, so being able to encourage them with the word every week has been fulfilling to my own soul and something that I hope to continue in after we return from our furlough.

Photo taken from outside the youth detention facility (I don't take photos inside)
Media Ministry
One of the exciting things about being in Kilimanjaro is the wonderful missionary community that we get to be a part of. Each of has our own projects that we work on, but it's a blessing to be able to get behind what other people are doing as well. We've recently had the opportunity to do media for friends that are doing great work here and help them share the story that God's writing in their lives and through their ministry.

Kimbilio Girls Home
A few weeks ago, we traveled out to the village of Mtakuja where Global-Effect is developing land and we shot a promo video for our good friend, Vickie Hemman. Vickie is establishing a home for girls rescued out of prostitution and abusive situations. Her home is nearly finished with the construction stage and will be prepared to start taking girls in early 2015. Melissa did all the facility shots at Kimbilio Girls Home and Brandon did the direction and production for the video. Check it out below.

Kimbilio Girls Home from Build This Kingdom Productions on Vimeo.

House of Victory
Some friends approached us about having Melissa come out to their ministry in a small village outside Moshi to do some photos for a fundraising campaign that they're doing. House of Victory is a very new ministry that has been spearheaded by the church, International Christian Center and a few local missionaries with whom we're friends. The ladies that are at House of Victory have been rescued from prostitution on the streets of Moshi. There are currently nine women at the home, several of which have children as well. Our friends are doing fundraising for the project through crowd funding and needed nice shots of the ladies. The caveat is that the women's photos could not include their face as the home is a safe haven and certain people from their past life can't find out where they are. Melissa had her work cut out for her and came up with some amazing shots. Her inspiration was from John 8 when Jesus rescued the woman caught in adultery and her accusers dropped their stones. Instead of the stones being meant for shame and death, Jesus gives these women new stones of truth; beloved, beautiful, cherished. We included a few shots below.

Furlough in California
We are happy to report that we've secured our dates and flights for our baby boy furlough in California. We'll be landing at LAX on October 15th and will be returning to Kilimanjaro on February 25th. We hope to see you during this time! We are believing that this baby boy and this furlough are coming right at the perfect time and we'll be especially blessed to spend the holidays with our family. It'll be two months till his birth and two months afterwards we'll come home to Tanzania. 

We'll be spending time on the central coast and in southern California. We have begun taking dates for speaking and would love to hear from you and speak at your church, small group or other community gathering. We'll be on the central coast initially for a few weeks and then in southern California for over two weeks in mid-November. We'll be back on the central coast over the holidays and when our little man-cub is born just before Christmas. We're preferring to schedule speaking engagements before he arrives so hit us up about October and November! You can contact us at

Check Out Our Blogs!
Aside from our newsletters and what you see on Facebook, staying up on our blogs is a great way to hear our thoughts and stay up with our family and ministry. Melissa has been a consistent blogger and you can find her blogging at The Beauty of Becoming. Brandon has started writing again on his site, Build This Kingdom, and just recently posted a two-part series on orphan care, comparing the orphanage system with what we do at Kingdom Families. 

We look forward to seeing you soon starting next month. Please do contact us as we'll only be in California for a little over four months and want to make sure we spend time with each of our friends and supporters. 

Brandon, Melissa, Promise, Baby #2, Dodger and Puppy #2

That's right, we got a new puppy, still figuring out a name for her


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