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Brian Finds A ‘Restful Heart’ At The Mission


Brian and his future wife moved up to Oregon after high school. He went to culinary school, they got married, bought a house, and had two little girls. They were very active in their local church; Brian became a small group leader and got involved with student ministry. “I became a part of the leadership at our church,” he said. “My favorite part was being a part of the worship team—setting up, running sound—being a part of that was one of the greatest highlights of my life.”

All appeared to be going well in Brian’s life. But behind the scenes, it was falling apart. “I was still lingering with a foot in both worlds,” he said. “Before going on stage to worship, I would smoke a little weed. It never really became an addiction, but it was lingering in the background. I was living like a hypocrite.”

Brian said he remembers the moment God called him out. “I had my hands up praising God and he said, ‘Really? Is that how you’re going to worship me? You just smoked weed before you came up. You went downstairs and worshipped with the students, and now you want to worship me like that?’ And I remember thinking, ‘Well, everything’s lining up in life, what’s wrong with this, God?’ I kind of challenged him. And then I started losing those things in life that I considered most precious.”

Brian found himself smoking when he was uneasy or nervous. “Whenever I was out of my comfort zone, I’d use it to calm my anxiety,” he said. “I was using that as an excuse. And I was bringing it home also, and into work. My wife just got fed up. She didn’t want it in the house with the kids around. She said ‘I need you all in, or not at all.’ We chose not at all for a moment.”

But a moment turned into forever. In 2012, Brian moved back to California to stay with his father, and a couple months later, he received divorce papers. Within a year, his wife had remarried. After a stint in jail and his father’s passing, Brian was yearning for a change.

“I felt like God had taken away my family in Oregon and my father went to heaven, and I just needed some peace of mind,” he said. “Sometimes it takes those things to make us feel broken, though Christ knows we’re not. He’s going to heal us and fix us.”

Brian said being at the mission has been “a blessed, blessed thing. It’s time out from the hectic world. I’m peaceful and have a restful heart. It’s something I’m going to long for in the future. There’s nowhere in the world like this where a person who wants to and needs to connect with Christ can do that.”

As for the future, Brian said he wants to serve. “It’s going to be almost impossible to go to a normal job,” Brian said. “After seeing this mission and the way it functions—being at the banquet, doing pickups for donors, living in the house with staff—I’ve seen the whole picture. They are accountable to Christ first, and that’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. I don’t want to be accountable to pennies and dollars. The Lord provides beyond that. He has and always will, as long as I’m faithful.”

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