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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Ministry Update for 2016

It's been both an extremely difficult as well as an amazing year where God's goodness has reigned. Here is the condensed version of our ministry video from this year. We are grateful to everyone who came to visit, who ministered beside us, who supported us financially and emotionally, and who prayed for us. God is good!


African Outreach Ministries Report for 2016 from Lisa Harris on Vimeo.

Merry Christmas!

Lisa Harris

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop #20


Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all 31 stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 3 grand prizes!

  • The hunt BEGINS with Stop #1 at Lisa Bergren’s site.
  • Hunt through our loop using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer). 
  • There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt—you have all weekend (until Sunday, 11/6)! So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books.
  • Submit your entry for the grand prizes by collecting the clue on each author’s scavenger hunt post and submitting your answer in the Rafflecopter form at Stop #31. Many authors are offering additional prizes along the way!
I'm so excited to introduce to you Carrie Stuart Parks. Not only does Carrie write Suspense, but she's actually an internationally known forensic artist. To a suspense writer like me, that is incredibly cool! Here's a short summary of her latest book, When Death Draws Near.


Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before Gwen can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others.

Gwen suspects a connection between the rapist and the accidental” deaths that are happening around town, but the local sheriff has little interest in her theories. When her digitally-obsessed teenage daughter joins her, Gwen turns her attention to a second assignment: going undercover in a serpent-handling church. She could get a handsome reward for uncovering illegal activity—a reward she desperately needs, as it seems her breast cancer has returned. But snakes aren’t the only ones ready to kill. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?

In a thrilling race against time, When Death Draws Near plunges us into cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects.

Book Ideas
by Carrie Stuart Parks

It’s not uncommon for authors to be asked where we come up with our ideas. I currently have a job shadow—a high school girl—that believes we spend a great deal of time fighting writer’s block for lack of ideas.

No so with me. My husband, Rick, starts with a location he wants to visit. He gets to do some of the initial research. Once I go through telling him "no, we’re not going to put the next book on a river cruise up the Reine River or in Iceland," he settles down with a reasonable place. Step two is to figure out how a forensic artist will end up in such a place—what’s the crime? Third is the cast of possible characters and ending. Yeah, I figure out the ending early on. I don’t want to leave my heroine dangling by her ankles by a rope over a vast bed of alligators. Fourth, I need interesting real events—past or present—to weave into the story. Finally, I need a lesson or a theme tying the whole thing together.

You’ll find all of these features in my latest book, When Death Draws Near.

There you have it!

CARRIE STUART PARKS is a Christy finalist as well as an Inspy and  Carol award-winning author. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic, award-winning watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho. She was awarded a Signature Member of the Idaho Watercolor Society.

Mentored by New York Times best-selling author, Frank Peretti, Carrie began writing fiction while battling stage II breast cancer. Now in remission, she continues to encourage other women struggling through the effects of cancer. You can visit her on Facebook at Carrie Stuart Parks, Author.

Here’s the Stop #20 Skinny:

  • Clue to Write Down: to come. . .

BUT WAIT! Before you go, I’m offering a prize as well! A cool zebra mug as well as some yummy handmade chocolates from South Africa. All you have to do is sign up to get my e-newsletter (top left of this blog, yellow box) then let me know in a comment on this post that you have subscribed. If you're already a subscriber, no problem. Just leave a comment as well and let me know, and I'll include you as I draw from the comments below on November 7th.

Happy Hunting! 


Lisa Harris

Friday, August 19, 2016

English Camp: Video #3

I finally found time to finish the last of three videos from this year's English camp. It was a whirlwind of activity for me (I was the gopher) but in the end a great week for both campers and staff.

Enjoy!


English Camp 3 from Lisa Harris on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

English Camp 2016

We're in the middle of our annual English Camp. Here's a video from the first couple days!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Best-selling romantic suspense only $1.99!!!

Guess what? Vendetta, book one in my Nikki Boyd Files, is on sale for a limited time as an ebook. $1.99 at Amazon and Barnes&Noble and only $1.59 at Christianbook.com!

If you haven't jumped into this series yet, now's your chance to give it a try. This book won RT suspense book of the year, plus was nominated for a Christy, so if you love fast-paced suspense with a thread of romance, I think you'll love the beginning to this series. And if you enjoy Vendetta, Missing, book two, is now available as well!



              Amazon                                  Barnes&Noble                                Christianbook.com

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Celebrating Missing's Release day!

It's finally here! I'm so excited to share with you the latest book in my Nikki Boyd Files. Missing releases today! Delve into the deadly world of counterfeit drugs as Nikki races against the clock to save a missing woman. . .and discovers a budding romance as well.
Nikki Boyd isn't usually called in on homicides; her forte is missing persons. But when a case with two murdered and two missing pops up on a quiet suburban street, she's ready to start the investigation and find missing homeowners Mac and Lucy Hudson. When the first clues lead her to the boat of her friend Tyler Grant--and another dead body--Nikki must untangle what ties Tyler to the Hudsons. The clues pull her into a deadly maze of counterfeit drugs and a killer who will stop at nothing to silence anyone who threatens his business--including Nikki. And if you'd like, read a chapter from missing below!


Monday, April 18, 2016

Thank you from the Harris family



Our family would like to express our deepest appreciation to all of you who have prayed for us over the past few weeks. Your words of encouragement have been such a blessing! On top of that, we are extremely grateful for the financial support that will allow us to update our security system and replace some of the stolen items. Here's a short video expressing our thanks. We hope it will be encouraging to you as well!



Huge Thank you from the Harris family and African Outreach Ministires from Lisa Harris on Vimeo.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Diary of a Wimpy Mom


I’ve always loved writing suspense for a number of reasons. I love the fight for justice and the assurance that the good guys will win. I love taking a real world situation, like human trafficking (Dangerous Passage) or an epidemic (Blood Covenant) and then show men and women taking risks to make a difference in the lives of people. In a world where there are not always happy endings, I also love the ability to create that happy ending for my characters.

And yet recently, everything changed on how I feel about writing suspense.

Two weeks ago, after spending almost a week in the hospital for a serious infection, three armed men walked into our house. To make a long story short, they tied us up—gave me two black eyes and a mild concussion in the process—and robbed us, including my wedding ring off my finger. While the black eyes are now almost gone, I’m still dealing with the effects of the trauma we faced. Like today, the first time I’ve had a chance to sit down to write again, I froze. Did I really want to jump back into the middle of writing a hostage situation?

Because as coincidental as this might sound, the day before the robbery, I had decided to write a blog post entitled the Diary of a Wimpy Mom. I was in the middle of writing my current manuscript and thought how ironic it was that while I put my characters through extremely difficult, life and death situations, I have no desire to even get on a rollercoaster!

Right now, I’m working on a book set in the Sahara where my heroine is kidnapped, then rescued by the hero, but soon they both face a race across the desert for their lives. It made me think about my own life. I’ve had several people ask me if I’d ever experienced some of the things I write about in my books. Uh. . .no. Are you kidding me? While a lot of people love an adrenalin rush from extreme sports, amusement parks, and even high-stress jobs, I don’t. At all. Call me a wimp, but I don’t like anything that gets my adrenaline going. And certainly not any of the scenarios I put my characters through. (I almost felt guilty turning in my last Nikki Boyd story to my editor, because the poor girl went through so much!)

Which is why I’ve had to go back and remind myself why I write what I write. I’ve shared my reasons before in various interviews and blogs in the past. About God calling ordinary people and using them to make a difference in the world. About our response to that call. And about how He, then, is the one who will give us the strength to do extraordinary things for Him.
           
I reminded myself as well that we all struggle. Not necessarily in the same way I make my characters struggle, but in our normal day to day struggle. Working hard, paying bills, dealing with hurts and illness, and loss. . .

Which maybe is the bottom line as to why when I write my stories, I want my readers to never forget that the God who created the universe loves us and wants to be our strength no matter what is happening in the world around us. Jesus came to heal the empty and broken hearted, and those searching for freedom and hope. Psalm 91 says that He is our refuge and fortress. He will cover us with his feathers and under His wings where we will find refuge.

So for now, I’m going to keep writing stories of justice and hope. And, of course, a happy ending.

Be a blessing,

Lisa 


Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The Beauty in Sacrifice

New mother with twins
One of the things the ECHO Project has been doing over the past few years is identifying those who are struggling physically. Often this means a grandmother who is raising her children, or a young mother with twins who can't provide enough milk.

We've also seen the sacrifice a number of women in particular who have taken on additional mouths to feed even out of their own poverty. They bring in the orphaned, those sick with HIV/AID, and the homeless and care for them in their homes.

This is the beauty in sacrifice.

They are not giving not out of their excess, but in spite of their own needs. And in that they show Christ's love.

It reminds me when Jesus was watching people give to the treasury. The rich threw in large amounts, but it was a poor widow who caught Jesus' attention. She put in two very small copper coins that were only worth a few cents. And yet Jesus said she put in more than all the others. They had given out of their wealth. It didn't hurt them to give, or make them uncomfortable financially.

But the poor widow put in everything she had to live on.

Jesus is constantly calling us to be different. Not just to say we were following him, but to truly live each day as a beautiful sacrifice. That is why these are the women who challenge me everyday. They challenge me to get out of my comfort zone and not to just give of myself when it's easy. But when it's uncomfortable, which it hurts, and when I have to sacrifice my own needs to minister to those around me.

Because that is how He calls us to live.

We are grateful for those who have given to help us minister to those we work with. Here are some recent photos of how the money through the ECHO Project is being used. Please pray for us as well as we are in the process of purchasing land and building a Community of Hope for those who are need.

Delivering food packets


Giving formula to the twins

Example of a food packet






Wednesday, January 13, 2016

No Turning Back

Sometime days I think God is trying to tell me something. I clicked on a link on FB today to an article talking about no turning back. That sometimes the cost of following Jesus ends up being more than you thought when you first decided to follow him.

I’ve been thinking about not turning back for several months now. The first time was at church back in the states when the worship leader lead “I have decided to follow, Jesus.”

I remember singing that song hundreds of times as a child growing up. And decided there was going to be no turning back for me. When I felt the call from God to be a missionary, the pull was at times unexplainable, but undeniably. I might have been young, but I was going off to save the world.

Except sometimes the world hasn't turned out to be what I imagined. And as I sat in that pew that Sunday not too long ago, after more than a decade of living in Africa, I wanted to turn back.

I didn’t want to leave my oldest behind to go to university in the states. I didn’t want to drop off my youngest at boarding school. I wanted us to be a family. To have Christmas together in our own home, to celebrate birthdays as a family, and to watch my kids grow up the way you’re supposed to. The way that seems normal, and good, and best.

Because sometimes not turning back is just too hard.

My husband gave what I’m feeling a name. It’s called grief. I’m grieving this stage of life. The part that begins the normal empty next stage, except for us it means that my three kids are living in three different countries. I expected the red tape, power outages, and water shortages, but this is hard, and not what I ever imagined life as a missionary would be like.

Go ahead and fill in the blanks for your own life. Because I know that for each one of us, life doesn’t always go the way we once imagined. Life can be joyous, but it can also be tough. The unplanned losses and dreams are hard to deal with.

But on those days when I don’t want to move forward, when I simply want to walk away, I'm realizing I have no other option but to look to Him. And I take another tentative step forward.

No turning back. No turning back.

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!
A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High.

(Ps. 46:1-4) NTL