Posts in "Personal Updates"

What Will You Do Now?

Greetings from summer in South Africa!

You read that right! December and January in South Africa are the height of summer. The kids finish the school year and have a six-week summer holiday. Both the boys did excellent in school and will begin grades 3 and 2 in mid January.

The theme of our recent lives has been leadership.

By: BK

You are all aware that South Africa and the world lost one of its greatest leaders with the passing of Nelson Mandela. It was amazing to be here as the country embarked on a journey of mourning, celebration, and remembrance for what Madiba fought for and accomplished. I have never seen such a world-wide outpouring for any one individual.

The world is asking South Africa, “What will you do now?”

Our hope and prayer is that this nation embraces the values of Mandela even more in the coming years.

On a much lesser scale, both Lindsey and Chris have embarked on some leadership changes recently.

Due to the continued growth of the ministry, we have begun to restructure our leadership team. This change has allowed Lindsey to pass off many of the things she was overseeing. This is a good change. What started as a position able to be filled in a part-time role, grew to the job of 3-4 individuals. This change will be complete by March 1st.

photo 4Chris has also been able to pass off his responsibilities in the Biblical Studies team. In late November, we had a handover to the new leader, Nick from Zimbabwe. It was a wonderful time of celebration, remembering the past, and anticipating even greater growth in the future.

As news of these changes breaks, the very first thing on people’s lips is, “What will you do now?”

The answer is simple. The same things we were doing, only more of it! Instead sitting in endless meetings and logistical gatherings, we will embark on even more teaching, leadership development, coaching, counseling, and mentoring.

These changes will actually serve to make us more effective in using our gifts and abilities to serve in South Africa. One thing both of us are excited about is the ability to engage even more with local churches and ministries, rather than solely Youth With a Mission. We see this as an expansion of our ministry and effectiveness.

One final update is that of our pursuit of a house.

As many know this has been a long journey, filled with ups and downs. What will we do now regarding a house?

We feel that in the course of the next two years the time is right for us to buy. We’ve grown and learned things through the trials and past attempts. We were protected from a bad decision or two. But we feel now is the time. Twenty plus years of paying rent on a missionaries income has become wearisome 🙂 We have some set aside (including all past gifts) for a down payment. We are trusting for either the full amount, or a way to gain a small loan from an individual or institution in the US (since we cannot finance in South Africa) to make up the difference. (approx. $50,000)

Please pray with us in these next few months and years to see this happen. Thank you so much for all your prayers and support during the past year. Great things have happened in South Africa!

Merry Christmas!

The Lautsbaugh’s – Chris, Lindsey, Garett, and Thabo


Spring is in the Air

As many of you are ending your summer, we are ending our winter in the Southern Hemisphere.  Winter for us is a time of re-grouping and preparing for the coming 12 months.  Some highlights of what we have been doing and what is ahead:

– We have been doing a massive renovation to the inside of our main campus building.  Old carpet is out, wood floors are in, all the walls are repainted, leaks are fixed, the kitchen is re-done… you get the idea!

– Our paperwork and buildings are almost ready for inspection with the government so we can become a registered University.

– We have our annual Staff Gathering at the end of September.  Around 200 staff come together to re-connect, get refreshed and hear from God together.

– At the end of this month we will be receiving over 100 new students on to our campus to grow in God together.

– Chris is teaching in the USA, Togo (West Africa), and South Africa this coming term.

– Our boys enter their last term of 1st and 2nd grade… they have had a successful school year thus far!

– We just moved in to a new rental and are feeling settled and grateful for a new place to call home.

– We celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary in just a few days.

family_elephant copy

Thank you for your continued support of Project Grace, we feel so grateful.  God is on the move in South Africa and beyond and we hope you realize how much of a difference you are making.

A New Look

Yes, it is true.


It has been some time since we posted an update on This is largely due to the fact we have been meaning to do an Extreme makeover on the site.


Well, it’s in progress. Stay tuned for a new look and more new content!

Thanks for your patience!

July Newsletter

We just recently sent out a newsletter to all those on our mailing list.  If you didn’t get it then click here to download it for yourself!  It has lots of exciting updates and pictures on how life and ministry is going here in South Africa. It takes about 3 minutes to read, so download and have a look!


Four by 4!

Hello everyone! We wanted to update you on some of the things which are happening in our lives. Here are four recent highlights:

Capricorn – a number of our staff have been ministering into an underprivileged local community. One of the amazing stories is of a whole household turning to God, receiving healing for high blood pressure and headache.! After living together for 12 years, this family is committed to getting married. Lives are being changed!

Bridge For Hope – a  branch of ministry family here in South Africa is offering job and life skills training. While giving practical and computer skills, they also deal with the whole person; addressing issues such as trust, forgiveness, and identity. A number of these participants have moved on to the Bible training program.

Growth – our campus is in a prolonged season of growth in training programs and ministries reaching into Cape Town. As members of the leadership team, we have needed to spend a significant amount of time looking at how to facilitate this. Growth is a good “problem” to have and we are excited about what God is a doing.

Australia – Lindsey recently returned from some international meetings held in Perth, Australia. Leaders of the 40 biggest Youth With A Mission campuses as well as representatives from each of the Faculties within our University were present. This was a profitable time for moving forward in the future. She was able to see some kangaroos as well!


Here are four more things coming our way in the near future:

No Superheroes – Chris’ blog continues to grow and we are being featured in a series of posts at Life Overseas, a blog by Laura Parker. Have a look! We are blessed to hear more and more stories of the impact his book is having.

Moving – there has been no movement on the sale of our house, so for now we are still in it. We know that moving is only a matter of time. Pray for the right house to rent, or should God (and the banks) allow it, the right place to buy.

Teaching – we continue to teach frequently in South Africa and abroad with opportunities coming in South Africa, USA, Madagascar, and within Asia.

School of Government – we are proud to be hosting the first such school in YWAM Africa.  It will teach Biblical principles on government which we feel is a key to transformation within this continent.

Thank you for all your partnership in prayers and support. Lives are being changed!{jcomments on}

Home Sweet Home Final Update

{jcomments on}We have been sending out regular updates regarding our campaign to purchase a home of our very own, here in South Africa.  It has been an amazing journey to see God provide the finances needed for the home.  We were so blessed by all who donated, prayed and wrote us notes of encouragement!

Unfortunately, in seeking to obtain financing for the remaining amount here in South Africa, we have been turned down. At this point we will not be able to purchase. We have gone to multiple banks and appealed multiple decisions to executive leadership.  This has been sad for us as every thing else came together so well with sufficient funds for a large down payment.  We have contacted all those who donated towards this designated project to let them know of their options with their donation.

Thank you again to all who prayed!  We trust that the door will still open in the future and that His timing is perfect for our family.  Please continue to pray for us as we begin to look for a new rental.

In the midst of this… life continues to move forward!

  • We welcomed 40 new students from South Africa and around the world!
  • Five outreach teams are currently working into South Africa from our campus.
  • Chris leaves this week for a 3-week trip to the States.  He will be speaking at YWAM Salem, YWAM Montana as well as two churches.
  • Chris has been blogging regularly and if haven’t checked it out you should!  Find it here.
  • This month, Garett turned 7 as well as started 1st Grade and Thabo started Kindergarten! 

We hope you have had a great start to the New Year, great things are ahead.

(Family photo at the top of a mountain hike, while camping over Christmas)

Death of the Modern SuperHero

Some of you may have seen via Facebook that I have launched my book!

superhero_coverDeath of the Modern Superhero : How Grace Breaks our Rules debuted last week in Lakeside Montana. The base threw a Book Launch party complete with music, book signings, with a superhero theme. Pictures will be available soon here on our website and Facebook.

Also there is a link below to the message I gave that night prior to the Launch. 

After 10 years of work, really hard work in the last two, a life long dream of mine has been fulfilled. Below I have pasted a write up on the book to whet your appetite:

Have you ever felt like you were just not good enough for God?

We are told we must be a good Christian, a loving spouse, a caring and involved parent, active in your community, and so much more. Can we ever make it? When are we good enough? Do we feel like we cannot succeed in this life unless we are a superhero with superpowers?

Grace takes these expectations of culture and society and turns them upside down. God gives us gifts at salvation that tell us we do measure up to God’s standard. We are pleasing to Him. No longer do we strive and work to prove ourselves, only to collapse in frustration and failure. Now we can live in grace, brining a new life of confidence and peace 

Death of the Modern Superhero explores these dilemmas and gives practical solutions to change our thinking to line up with the reality of God’s Truth. If you enjoy authors such as Philip Yancey, Jerry Bridges, and Brennan Manning; you will enjoy this book.

How do you get a copy?

There are several ways…

1. The best way for all authors is to buy their book directly from them. If you know I will be in your area, I will have books! For those in Pennsylvania and Seattle, we will be home this summer for the Worship Center’s Missions Homecoming from June 16-August 10. (I am planning a special Homecoming price!) In the future, direct orders will be available on our website, but not quite yet.

2. The next best way is through my estore.  Click Here to go there.

Should you desire a ebook format for Kindles, Nooks, and others, Click Here for that.  (The formatting is a little bit off in this format) 

3. You can also just buy it directly from

Any additional information can be found at which is the website for the book.

Thank you for being a part of this life dream becoming a reality. If you enjoy the book, tell someone about it or leave a review on

America, America

We have landed in America and the fun has begun!  So far we are enjoying burgers, playing baseball (when the weather allows), eating ice cream and spotting American flags on every drive (the boys are amazed that they are EVERYWHERE).  It is great to be with extended family and also to have a bit of a slower pace as a family.  We look forward to seeing as many people as we can, it’s fun to catch up with old friends.

The boys are also enjoying the big parks, nice side walks for bike riding and seeing all the new things.  For example, Garett is amazed at how many shopping stores there are and he is perplexed as to why Daddy has to pump his own gas (it is done for you in South Africa).  Thabo asked, “Why don’t they have any South African flags?  Don’t they like South Africa?!”.

On another note, Chris preached in a nearby Pennsylvania church last Sunday.  The title of his message was, “Jesus+Anything=Nothing”. Intrigued?  You can listen to it by clicking here. (to Download it right-click and choose “Save target as” or “Save link as”).  

baseballboys{jcomments on}

Falling into Summer

It is the end of October but our summer has begun here in Africa.  Here is a bit of what we’ve been up to!

Teaching, Teaching, Teaching

We have been doing TONS of teaching lately, which we love. Lindsey has taught in our local Discipleship Training School (DTS) on Worldview, a Mom’s group, and our staff leadership conference. Chris taught three straight weeks on the message of grace in DTS’s in Montana, Muizenberg, and Pittsburgh (via skype). He was also able to teach in School of Biblical Studies locally and in Egypt as well as doing staff training in several of those locations. There is no shortage of opportunity in Africa!

Coming Home
We will be home again for the holidays. We made the decision with the expectation that Thabo’s paperwork would be ready for his citizenship. But it seems that we overestimated the speed that these documents can be produced. So, that will not be happening on this trip. Instead we will be able to have our first Christmas with both sides of the family. Chris’ sister has recently moved to the Seattle area, so both sides of the family will celebrate a West coast Christmas.

Publishing Projects
It’s finally time to let the cat out of the bag. I (Chris) have been writing a book and have been approached for another book_stack_02project. The book has been nearly ten years in the making. I have always wanted to have something to complement my teaching on grace. Two years ago, after hearing of some of the attacks on the message of grace in the church today, I felt compelled that I needed to add my voice to the defense of this part of the Gospel. The rough text is done, and now it is the hard business of editing, getting a cover design and deciding on a publisher. I hope to have the book in print  in 2011.
The other project dropped out of the sky. A co-workers father works for a major publishing house. While he was visiting South Africa, I showed him my book. That led to a conversation about a study bible project he is working on. He asked me to come up with a list of topics that could develop into devotionals to place in the discipleship Bible. He liked the list and told me to write a few. When he gave the samples to his boss, they offered me a contract to contribute to the Bible! So I am writing 24 devotional articles on discipleship to be place in the Bible. Oh yeah, the Bible is a Spanish language Bible. So I wont be able to read my own work, but I will see my name in the credits!

images-11University Dean’s Committee
Lindsey has added a new responsibility to her list. She has been asked to be on the Dean’s Committee for the College of Christian Ministries within the University of the Nations. This college oversees many of the worldwide training programs that YWAM has to offer. She also attended a “Think Tank” in Switzerland for a time of brain storming and strategizing for the future of the University. We consider it a privilege to have input in the mission in this capacity.