Hey gang. Hope all is well with each of you. Things are in a really good rhythm here. Thanks so much for your prayers.
We just sent out an updated list of names of believers and “almost believers” and “not-yet-believers.” You would be blown away by the near number of people God is working in and through.
The list goes out to people who are interested to pray for one, two or many of these local people. It’s never to late to give us your email so you also can get the list and pray by name.
A couple highlights from the list. A home group we have helped breath life into is growing strong. Great things happening in and around this small group of people in our neighborhood.
A few other lone believers have just recently come for the first time with me to the big local gathering downtown and they were blown away by the encouragement.
Basically many lives are being changed and many of those lives are effecting others. It continues to happen.
Again, if you want to help pray for some of these people into the kingdom, just give me your email.
Blessed to be on His team with each of you.
I haven’t written on here in quite sometime. Our daily routine of school life keeps the kids and I on a steady and reliable pace here in Tunis. Which is actually something very hard to attain. A steady pace. Maybe thats because my idea of a “steady pace” has changed drastically in the past ten years!
Heres what my ‘reliable’ day looks like…
Wake up at 5:45. Shower. Sometimes find cockroaches in the bathroom to greet me a friendly hello or maybe the hot water is not working or the shower head only will stay pointed at the wall. Whatever. At least I can shower.
Get lunches made, coffee, kids wake up, coffee, feed everyone breakfast, more coffee. I like this part of my day. I imagine it looks a lot like moms all over the world….yelling at the kids to hurry up and get in the car and stop fighting!
THE DREADED DRIVE TO SCHOOL. This is my most sanctifying time of day. The traffic is too much. How can I describe it to you? Think Jessamine County Demolition Derby with ten thousand of your closest Arab friends. The other day I actually rolled down my window and yelled at a man IN ARABIC. It was simultaneously one of my weakest (why am I yelling mean things at a man I don’t even know?) and finest moments (I yelled my feelings in arabic!). Anyways, lets just say, the traffic struggle is real, not only for me but other expats in this country too. If you think of us you can pray we show His love especially on the roads.
School Day 8am-4pm! During school I am mom AND kindergarten teacher. Last year, I loved this…to pass my kids in the hall, be nearby if they got injured, stop in and have lunch with them whenever I want! This year, Max is actually IN MY CLASS and lets just say we are struggling. Just pray for us both.
Demolition Derby Round Two as we drive home.
Dinner. Homework. Bed.
So, there you have it. A glimpse of our reliable routine, mixed in with some ways you can pray for me.
Listen friends. Have we ever steered you the wrong direction before? 🤔😳😬
Don’t answer that on this blog. Here’s the point. Trust but verify. You can trust I’m not just trying to waste your life. Buuuuuut, verify that last statement as well. 😜
I am attaching to this blog a link to Old World Timber’s blog. Wow. 😮 (how many blogs are we dealing with now?)
Stay with me. One of my new responsibilities at OWT is to help tell our story… “reclaim, redeem and repurpose more than just wood.” One way I am doing that is through Instagram, Facebook and this blog below.
So, copy/paste the above or click HERE! These blogs follow a similar goofiness to them. You might enjoy them. Short. Funny. Goofy. Magic.
While you’re at it follow Old World Timber on Instagrama and Facebook. By engaging on those outlets it wil actually help our work overseas. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. 2017 baby!!
Love you guys.
No matter who you are, where you live, how much you have or don’t have in this life, the human experience is difficult. We reject the idea that we have a harder life than most because we live in NAfrica. We may have different “hard” things, but all of life is met with difficulty whether you live in the east, west or in between.
That being said, I am currently at a “not hard” opportunity to receive some professional development. You may or may not be familiar with one of the fastest growing industries called “life coach.” There are now “coaches” you can hire as a life coach, business coach, team coach, and more.
I have the opportunity this week to be in Amsterdam at an intensive training to be coached and learn how to coach others. It is quite amazing training. No doubt will this training have a direct impact on my “follow up” in NAfrica. But beyond that it will help me in discipleship in general, it will help me in my marriage, raising my kids, and perhaps helping in OWT international in ways not yet realized.
Im super grateful for this opportunity. And it’s the first time I have ever been able to visit Amsterdam. #feelingblessed #stayinginthegreendistrict #sayingnotoweed
So, coming back to N Africa for a third time to re enter the life of our family here, I find myself more at home, more relaxed and embracing the life here… actually I sensed that has happened because I get those vibes from our kids and grands, who have made this land and her people theirs. We need to be with them as much as they need us here and enter their life again. Their language skills, still laughing at the crazy life that is city life, deep friendships that are life giving… and above all to see how the HS winds are blowing through this house of ^^^^^, is most encouraging and exciting….
It’s always amazing how excited the children are about living here, no matter the piles of trash you walk by to get any where….. or the insane traffic on the way to school… the two languages you navigate in any given conversation ( Arabic and French) ?!? It all just seems normal to them, and they love life and they are thriving.
At school the kids don’t notice the high white walls, covered by green vines and a roll of barbed-wire fence and a security guard at the door, all they seem to realize is that they are loved by the staff inside the walls of their school.
We can return home happy. Life is good in Tunis for a kid.
Yaya goes hiking.
Yaya goes site seeing.
Yaya goes to Max’s class.
For those who think I’m drunk texting I want to inform you that first of all I’m not drunk texting. Let’s make that clear. Yayo and Yaya is the Catalan way to say grandpa and grandma. Catalan is the language they speak in Barcelona. Barcelona, Spain is where our family grew up when I was a kid. Therefore all the grandkids in the Ron Brown family call my parents Yayo and Yaya.
A little caveat… Catalunia, the state where Barcelona is found, is currently going through protest and a fight for their own independent from Spain. They want to secede from Spain. It’s from this attitude they mostly refuse to speak Spanish. They choose to speak their own language, Catalan.
This made growing up in Spain uniquely difficult because we were more or less forced to learn both Spanish and Catalan simultaneously.
You could argue that now since I can communicate in French then I speak 5 languages. But this would be mostly deceiving, however, since Catalan only lies within my deep deep subconscious mind. And that’s a scary place in Stevie’s mind. Anyone would strongly recommend you to stay away from there.
That was the absolute longest and most boring way to announce that my parents are here for a most anticipated visit.
They will be our guests writers for the week so you can see our lives through fresh eyes… the eyes of a grandparent.
Here are a few teasers:
We anticipate this to make you smile the way it did us:
Some of you have been praying for a guy named Madou. I like to call him Mad Dog. We have blogged about him before.
He is 45yrs old. Came to faith on his own but has no community. Him and his wife are now separated because of his faith. His little 8yr old boy, however, is also a young believer.
He was wanting to get dunked a few weeks ago. The plans had mostly been set. He was going to bring a young disciple of his whom he led to faith. But then….
But then he went MIA. It is all too common. Guys and gals moving forward in faith and then seemingly always out of nowhere some of them will simply fall off the map.
It is always discouraging.
Madou, however, isn’t a typical young believer. He has a family, a job and a very strong spiritual core. Do his disappearing was a little more surprising.
However, just a few days ago he came back online. He has a new phone number and reactivated his Facebook. I just talked to him last night. He is still bold and strong in faith. But here is what happened.
Some extremists in his neighborhood hacked his facebook. They turned his phone into the police. One of them even went to his work to try to dirty his name. And in general persecution has been turned up to high on this guy. Madou didn’t retaliate. He stayed calm and mostly silent, so he says. He was finally able to get another phone number and he wants to meet this coming Sunday.
So PTL Almighty that he is safe and remains in the faith and has actually become emboldened.
Thank you for your prayers.