Author Archives: thebrownspot4

That happened fast.

Clearly it doesn’t always happen like this. Often times we spend a lifetime praying to hear God answer over and over with a “wait.”

Sometime God even answers a big fat “no” and He transforms us through failure.

Sometimes we don’t even ask for prayer because it feels silly or unnecessary.

And we’ve all found ourselves in the place in life where we begin to doubt prayer itself.

Raise your hand if any or all of these describe your journey with prayer and faith in a God who asks us to offer our requests before him!

(My hand is up)

But then sometimes God answers big and quick. We asked for prayer just a couple days ago because Old World Timber needed God’s favor. Favor not only in order for our Brown family to be able to escape and disconnect for a few days vacation, but we are still in a tough spot as a young company. All four of us Brown siblings are connected to this small yet global enterprise and times are good but still very very difficult.

And in order for us to be able to survive an entire week without focusing on selling God had to do something special. AND JUST TODAY HE DID.

Anyone remember us asking for prayer a few months ago for two huge potential customers? One was Menard’s. After losing Menard’s we have her back on the hook and it looks like it might happen down the road. But today I’m reporting on the other big customer.

A huge customer who our team has been working on for many many months just sent us a purchase order today. This purchase order is literally the biggest one time purchase that OWT has ever received.

I was sitting next to my brother today as we were processing this huge order and I saw what looked like months of pressure and exhaustion and disappointment begin to fall off like scales. He told my sister, “I’m gonna be able to sleep on vacation.”

Nearly makes me want to cry. This order is like God bending down once again and whispering the reminder in our ears, “I’ve got this.”

Thank you for praying. Today God has shown unique favor to OWT and this small little Brown team.

OWT is God’s business. We are trying to steward her well. But at the end of each day she is God’s to give or take away. And we have God’s saints like each of you to thank for pleading on her behalf!

God is good all the time!

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Is this allowed?

Ok, full disclosure. We have come back to the US for about 6 weeks this summer. Jenny worked a full time job all year and gets her summers off from teaching. Old World Timber is continuing to grow, things are good, but still really hard. We have discovered how difficult it is for me to do business from NAfrica. There are many parts of the process that are simply hard from afar.

So, we decided it would be great for me to come back and work with my brother and the team at the OWT warehouse for a few weeks and Jenny and the kids spend time with family. In order for our work to last and us to have the opportunity to do what we are doing long term in NAfrica it calls for things like this.

This being said, there is something coming up that will be a first for us. Family time off from working with family for family vacation. Did you follow that?

Old World Timber has become a family venture. My little sister, Liz, does sales with me. My big sister, Sarah-Marie, takes calls from the 800 number. My sister-in-law, Katy, helps with branding. Of course our brother, Nathan, is CEO. And next week we will all be on vacation together.

Three out of the four sales people at OWT will all be vacationing together. Obviously we are excited to get away. But I’m a little afraid about one thing… can we all “get away?”

I’m not exactly sure if a prayer request like this is allowed to be said out loud. Here it is anyways: I am afraid that with our whole family being so involved with this wood business that it will be hard for us to completely detach. And we need divine help.

We all need our sabbath and we all need time away to decompress. This year will be harder than most. We would appreciate your prayers. We need to have enough faith that God can handle things back at the warehouse without us. We need to have faith that God will bring in sales. We need to have faith that God is ultimately in control. But it isn’t easy.

Lord, OWT is yours. We keep her in your hands and ask for your favor to continue to be upon her. In your powerful name, AMEN!

We love you friends!

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15 dunkings in one weekend!!

Great news for the world to share! Two weeks ago today we got to be apart of something that may have never happened in our NAfrican country, EVER. That might be hyperbole since we don’t have a ton of statistics from 1600 years ago when this used to be a center of faith. It’s likely it used to be common. But it has not been common in this day in age.

When just one new person follows the Son in this way there is reason to celebrate. But according to some who have been here for approximately 20 years, no one can remember when this has happened in recent history… 15 people being dunked in one weekend.

It was personally special for Jenny and I because I was able to participate since one of the guys came to faith through my initial contact through our media follow up. But it was even more special for the entire body because of its encouragement all across the board.

It’s a huge praise that the local established congregation recognized the collaboration that is happening between international workers and local leaders. It’s not often they ask for “outside” participation. But divided lines are being restored and that is a huge answer to prayer.

This is bigger than any of us can process on our own. God continues to work. And we are all witnesses. May all of us share in the celebration.

Praise Him!!

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Guest Writer- Kerry D.

(After our straight edge hair cut)

It’s been a great joy to visit with the Browns. I’ve been able to tag along with Stevie as he’s met with seekers, new believers, and other workers. I truly feel like I’m peering into the book of Acts. I’ve gotten to see with my own eyes how the Lord is adding to his church daily. I’ve also gained some additional perspective on how the church is being challenged, and how we can pray. There is a sense in the atmosphere that God is on the move!

I love this family, and they host me like a prince. Jenny and Stevie and Ella and Max are living out their love for Jesus in a very real way, and real disciples are being multiplied.

Another plus is that Stevie didn’t get me into any significant trouble while I was here! At least not any that we can talk about.

From Browns:

We want to thank Kerry for loving on us, encouraging us, pouring into us and representing our greater family back home.

It’s always a huge blessing to have him visit.

Love you Kerry,

The Browns

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Update on Menard’s and more.

Let me get right to it. We did not get the Menard’s contract. Thank you beyond words for your prayers. We still sense the Lord’s favor, but we didn’t get this big customer we had hoped for. So we move on to the next door.

Abe called me back and we plan to meet soon. He has more life in his voice now then I have ever noticed before. PTL.

Mehdi is really low right now, but I am blown away at this young man’s determination. He continues to move forward. He opened his house once again for our small group (in spite of his own personal crisis). We had a good showing. The most encouraging thing about last night after everyone had a chance to go around and share updates and prayers, Mehdi asked me to pray, and then after I prayed Mehdi continued praying. He went around praying for each person one by one. This season has definitely taught him more how to pray. I sat there, tears welling up in my eyes, as I listened to this man who is battling discouragement, depression and despair go on to pray from deep within his heart for all the men in his house. It was powerful. The road ahead is long and hard, but God has this, of that I am confident.

Mehdi and another guy in the group also bought three new Rottweiler puppies for a project. Max happened to come with me so he got to enjoy these little guys. See below.

God hears your prayers.

God is answering your prayers.

Continue to pray for the likes of Mehdi, Abe, wood sales and the many other men and women here who need our prayers.

Thank you and may God also show you favor in this season of your life.

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Really good. Really bad.

Howdy ho friends. Hope you are all well. Actually, I’m sure plenty of you are having a great season in life and I’m sure others of you are in a very rough season (maybe even in a crisis) and others in between. This world is simply that way. So much good and so much bad all in a cocktail. Heaven really will be so great!! But this world is really that depraved.

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Either way we shout and proclaim “blessed be His Name.”

In this same regard we have some really good news and some really bad news. (Before that just a footnote- we have not yet heard about Menard’s or the other customer. Still waiting. But thanks for pleading for favor on our behalf).

Let me begin with the bad/discouraging news. My best local friend, Mehdi, the guy who taught me language, the guy who really helped me make this country my home, the guy who I’ve been doing small group with for over 3 years, the guy who got married at our house last summer and opened his house up for small group is about to go through a divorce. Nothing is final but it doesn’t look good. The complications run deep, they always do. The pain and disfunction on both sides go back a long time. They are both first generation believers, but his wife, Imen, is a very weak believer, maybe never actually encountered The Son in a real way. She is not healthy at all. He has his issues. Apart from a true miraculous touch of healing from The One Who Heals this situation doesn’t look good.

I don’t know much else but to plead for prayer for these two (Mehdi and Imen). Imagine the difficulty of marriage without access to faith based counseling, without therapy, without a healthy body around you. Please please lift these two up and ask the Lord to heal!

There is good news. It’s hard for me to move on to good news when the pain of my best friend marinates in my heart. But good news I must share and want to share.

Many of you may remember a post I wrote last year almost at this exact time about a new contact that I named Abe. His dad is a leader in the mosque, his family is a disaster, he comes from a difficult neighborhood. Abe is the name we gave him. Who remembers Abe?

Well, I have continued to meet with him throughout this past year. Mostly it has been one small, slow, discouraging step after another. The guy is simply not strong in character. Around January he came to the national gathering with me on a Saturday for the first time (he lives over an hour away). He began to know other local believers. Then he met us a few times in the middle of the week.

Then finally last week me and two of my local partners were able to drive to his neighborhood for only the second time since I’ve met him. We had coffee, chatted, read some of the Word. Then one of my partners sensed Abe was ready to truly pray to receive the Son. Abe indeed prayed then after hugged all three of us. He then took us to meet his brother, we all ate together, then departed to retune home. When we arrived back home Abe called me and had me talk to his mother, the first time that has happened. He just called me yesterday to check in and see when we will meet again.

So praise the Lord He continues to transform new lives. But oh how difficult is the journey of transformation. Abe has such a long way to go. And Mehdi has believed now for 10 years and has so much still to allow Him to transform.

Lord, we are desperate for your transformational love to grip us all in a fresh way.

Thanks for your prayers and thanks for your praises. Our Lord hears them all!

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Baseball, bikes and better love!

We have some amazing personal family news to share. To start, let me explain something. Good sporting options here is tough to find. Coaches, organization, transportation, communication… it can all be quite difficult. In addition to all that our youngest child just doesn’t seem to enjoy physical exertion as much as most boys. So Tae Kwon Do πŸ₯‹ was a total fail this year.

Our oldest loves sports, but finding a fit with friends has been tough.

However, we have an American friend here who started a baseball team for all elementary ages and it has been a grand slam for our family (pun definitely intended).

Seriously, both Ella and Max have fallen in love. They both can hit like champions. Catching and grounding the ball is improving. They love practicing at home. It’s a dad’s dream come true.

And practice is Saturday mornings. With the weather feeling more like San Diego right now, it’s such an amazing way to spend the weekend with our kids.

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On top of this, many of you may remember, Sunday mornings are my time to have both kids by myself to leave mom at home, by herself to rejuvenate without the three of us killing her mojo.

So I take the kids to the park to ride bikes or go hiking or do whatever together. It has become one of the greatest blessings to me as a dad.

We’ve been trying to get Max to take his training wheels off for over year. It just hasn’t happened. Then last week his buddy, Henry from his class, came with us to the park. Henry was flying around without training wheels. So Max, on his own, took his training wheels off and said, “I’m gonna do it without them.”

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nd nearly just like that Max is now a smooth bike rider!! πŸ˜πŸ€œπŸ€›βœŠ

Since this combination of baseball and bike riding there has been a noticeable shift in Max's behavior and disposition towards me, his dad. Seriously it's been like a light switch that has come on and instead of 100% having a preference towards his mom he is consistently now desiring to be with me, around me, hugging me, kissing me, having me tuck him in, having me lay next to him at night as he falls asleep. Even at times he gets emotional when I leave perhaps to go to a small group or so forth because he doesn't want to see me go. His love towards me has certainly shifted in a unique way. I couldn't be more happier and flabbergasted at this new transformation.

I think you could say we are experiencing some glorious days. PTL.

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Retreating

Hi friends! I’m thankful Stevie keeps everyone up to date through the blog. Isn’t he grand?! Just wanted to send my own personal thanks for so many prayers!

I had the chance to take a personal 24 hour retreat this weekend with about 15 other worker women in this country. It was amazing. God encouraged me, spoke to me, reminded me to stand firm, prompted me on in deeper prayer for others, and urged me to continue to practice his presence in each moment.

Here’s a few pictures I snapped of the beautiful place we stayed! It’s an old monestary only about 45 minutes from our house.

Would you please pray Ephesians 6:10-19 over us. “That whenever I open my mouth, words may be given to me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.”

More of Him and less of us! Amen

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Nchallah by next week

For those who have ever worked among Arabs to any capacity, you have probably heard the expression nchallah multiple times.

It means “if God wills.” Just like we would say “Lord willing.” In most cases it has one of three meanings. It can mean, “yes”, “no” or “maybe” in the context of trying to get an answer from someone. If you are asking if someone can do something for you and you get a “nchallah” in response, you mostly have to know the person and the context to understand what to expect from the person.

That cultural lesson was free.

In any case, “nchallah” we will know by the end of this coming week if our two big customers from our prayers this last week decide yes. Thank you for your prayers and keep πŸ™πŸ½!

Here are the faces of appreciation for all your love and prayers:

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Update on OWT prayer request.

Friends/family-

Thank you for praying for Old World Timber. It truly means a lot and we know God cares.

As for an update regarding the Menard’s meeting, here is what my brother texted me yesterday:

Just Talked to them-

He said it went as well as he could have ever hoped. He feels great about it. They will notify the winner next Friday.

They thought the price was good and they loved the packaging and the display as well as the

product.

So, like with many deals, we continue to wait. Next Friday we will know if this huge opportunity falls in our favor.

Tomorrow, Thursday, at 10:30am we have another presentation in our own facility with another big possible customer.

We appreciate all the prayers.

In the mean time you gotta CLICK HERE to see what else we’ve been working on. Make sure to read all the way to the bottom!!

God is Good, all the time!

πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½

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