Season 5

Episode 49: Mafia Mania

The Real Story

This episode is based on a true story.  The run-in with the Mafia happened to a young couple, Philip and Avia McMillan who were visiting Tanzania to find the place God wanted them to serve. We have changed their names to protect their identity.

phillip-and-aviaWe have changed the names of Philip and Avia to protect their ministry.

Avia’s account of the event began like this: “I caught a glimpse of myself a few days ago. The person I am; the person I aspire to be. And I saw my husband blazingly alive, more than usual, radiant in anointing, fearlessly wielding the gifts God gave him. What happened, you might ask. What grand thing brought about this change? Well, to put it simply… we were kidnapped.”

A well-dressed man named Sampson (name changed) helped the couple find a taxi and then shared the ride with them.  Philip became nervous when the car turned down a side street.  The car stopped and a second African man got into the car.  After riding a little further, Philip suspected they were in trouble and attempted to open his door.  At that point the two men started yelling and swearing, demanding the couple surrender their valuables.

Take a drive down the streets of Arusha, Tanzania. This is similar to what Philip and Avia saw when they were trapped in the taxi.

 In response, Philip prayed out loud.  “Lord, convict these men right now! We are under your authority! You rule over all things! We ask for your justice!!”  After a few moments, Sampson stopped him and said, “Okay okay okay! Maybe God answers prayers. Maybe God has heard your prayer today. Now we must let you go.”

When the two men requested prayer, Philip asked God to help the men use their gifts for Him, and also for God to give them courage to change. Philip then told the two men that following God means radical obedience and they should start by giving the money back.  The men, who had been threatening and yelling just minutes before, became nervous and fidgety.  They told Philip and Avia they couldn’t return the money because of the other Mafia members.  As the couple left the vehicle, Sampson gave them some money for a taxi ride.   He also asked them to find him on Facebook, to keep praying for him, and to come back to Tanzania some time and visit him.  

A typical meal in Tanzania

Today Philip and Avia are serving in an undisclosed county. If you would like to write  them, send the email through our contact page, and we will forward it to them.

Making it work:

When we write a story we always start with a synopsis sometimes called a logline.  This helps guide the writing process and keeps us on track.  In the ‘Making it Work’ section we will begin by sharing the logline and related theme.  Then some of the other story elements will be explained.

Also, the fictional Brinkman family is based on the Bultman family whose children play the Brinkman children.  Some events heard in Brinkman Adventures represent real life events in the Bultman home.  The Brinkman parents are played by actors.  When referring to story elements based on real events experienced by the Bultman family we will use their Brinkman names for the sake of clarity.

mount_kilimanjaro_gfdl-1-2-muhammad-mahdi-karimMount Kilimanjaro from the air. Photo credit: GFDL 1.2 Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Logline:  Anthony’s carefully laid plans for a safe honeymoon are disrupted when he and Michelle are kidnapped by the most dangerous men in the city.

Theme: Sometimes we need to get out from behind the glass (our safety zone) to experience the life God has for us.  (Safety & Missions)

Our team read about this account in a blog written by Avia.  (Portions of Michelle’s narration at the end of the episode were taken directly from that blog.)  Our first goal was to tell Philip & Avia’s story and communicate the lesson they learned: namely that fear and worry can sometimes distract us in our service to God.

We created a number of fictional elements to accomplish this.  First, we told the story through the characters of Michelle and Anthony.  Anthony took the role of hero (our name for the character that drives the story forward).  He demonstrated fear in his refusing to engage in anything that could risk the safety of his new bride.  The safari trip revealed this fear and show him ‘hiding behind the glass’.  

Foreshadowing is a literary device where the writer gives an advance hint at something that is coming later in the story.  The ice-cream snatching monkey and camera stealing giraffe served to foreshadow the coming kidnappers.

baboonA baboon just before he snatched a tourist’s water bottle

We created the part where Anthony zip-tied Junior (name changed) to the steering wheel and the chase scene at the end to add some excitement and drama.

The fictional closing scene on the mountain afforded Anthony the opportunity to share with Michelle what he learned; much of which was also from the original blog.  Even though some things in life can be scary, the reward of being used by God is a far greater than always living in a controlled, ‘safe’ environment.  

We brought back Yosef and Matilda along with their connection to Buck Becker for a fun surprise.  Both Yosef and Matilda were played by the gifted on air personality Phil (Gardner) Reaser.  Before becoming a Christian Phil won a Billboard Magazine award for one of the top disc jockeys in the country.  He lived a wild life of partying, and then Jesus saved and transformed him.   The radio show ‘Unshackled’ featured Phil’s amazing story.  After attending Wheaton college, he attended and then instructed at Alaska Bible Institute where he taught Jack Brinkman’s missions class.  Phil eventually moved to Fort Wayne Indiana to co-host WBCL’s morning show.  Taylor University operates this station.  You can listen to Phil live in the mornings here:

The Bultman’s friend Denny Stapleton (the inspiration for Mr. Staplerun) played Buck Becker.


Episode 50: Lying Dinos

The Real Story

This episode is based on the true story of the Bultman’s trip to the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum in Montana in August of 2015.  The digging all took place in one day and was split into two trips – a morning dig and an afternoon dig.

family-picOn the way to the dig site

In the morning the entire family accompanied museum founder Otis Kline into the Montana Badlands.  Tommy and Martha Lohman from Answers in Genesis and an intern named Noah were waiting for the family at the dig site.  They, along with Otis, helped the family dig for fossils while little Peter served up dino steaks from his make-believe dinosaur restaurant.  Everyone except Jack unearthed beautiful specimens that had been buried several thousand years earlier during Noah’s flood.  Just before lunch Jack discovered a piece of triceratops rib.

diggingLearning to dig for dinosaur bones

In the afternoon the hosts from Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum took the older kids to a different dig site where the museum was working on a triceratops skull.  Noah and Otis discovered a long rib bone and right before leaving, Jack found the top of a second large rib.

girls-workingWorking on the triceratops skull

The next day Otis gave the family a personal tour of the museum that took about three hours.  Each of the children (and both parents) were captivated by the displays and by the information shared.  They also heard the story of how Otis started as a businessman and became a dinosaur digger and museum creator later in his life.  They saw how the museum strengthens the faith of thousands of people each year and even leads some to Christ.  

The museum has many full dinosaurs on display.

At the end of the tour, Otis showed the family his favorite exhibit, the Bible room.  Inside they found an incredible display of old Bibles and documents that help prove the historical accuracy of the Bible, something important if one is to trust what it says about creation and the flood.  By the end of the tour, the family agreed that these two days had been the highlight of the summer.

bible-roomThe Bible Room showing many ancient Bibles

As they headed back to their campsite, they did not know that a violent storm was closing in on them.  Several hours later the family found themselves desperately trying to take down their tent in the middle of a tempest!  The sixty mile per hour winds ended up leveling their tent, knocking Susan off her feet, and spreading their gear around the campground.  

campsiteThe campsite before the storm

In their haste they shoved the sleeping bags and as much other gear as possible into the van and then wiggled into the remaining space.  Some were laughing, others were worried as they drove to the museum to take refuge.  Surrounded by recently discovered bones and paleontology equipment, they ended up riding out the rest of the storm in the lab.  Later that night Otis graciously offered them space in the museum’s movie theater where they slept for the night.  What started out as a disaster became an exciting adventure and the Bultman family experienced their own ‘night in the museum’, sleeping beneath dinosaur bones!

A little video of the dino dig. We thought it would be fun to use the music from the episode. See if you can figure out what scene the music is from! (and sorry for the shaky video taken from Jack’s phone.)

Are you interested in going on a dinosaur dig? 
If so click here:

Making it work:

Logline:  Ian Brinkman had been interested in dinosaurs his whole life and decided he was going to be a paleontologist at age 7. Now years later Jack has arranged the trip of a lifetime to participate in a real dinosaur experience.  However, Ian’s interest in bones has all but become extinct.  Will he be truthful or pretend to be something he is not?

Theme:  Finding your calling can be a lifelong adventure.

We had a couple goals in writing this adventure.  Not only did we want to highlight the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum and the work of Otis Kline, but we also wanted to touch on the topic of career paths.  Some people seem to know early on what they will do for a career.  Others start down one career path and end on another.  Ian Brinkman wanted to be a paleontologist when he was little and now favors electronics.  We used Ian’s life as an example of how interests can change and how sometimes we can struggle to find our career or calling. The twists and turns God takes us on can be surprising and this process is OK.  The fictional RD and the Penningtons returned for dramatic fun.  We omitted Tommy and Martha Lohman and Noah to simplify the story.


Episode 51: Tale of Two Teams

The Real Story

Tale of Two Teams is a fictional story that includes a number of true accounts of mistakes either observed or made by missionaries.  This story also features some real people, interesting cultural traditions, and some of the fun Alaskan experiences we’ve gathered along the way.

kit-and-jonJonathan and Kitri Walker

Jonathan Walker (Uncle Jonathan) is married to Jack’s sister Kitri and they have four children, the oldest being Caleb, who we meet in this episode.  Jonathan served as lead pastor at Church on the Rock in Homer Alaska for a number of years.  Later Jonathan was called to serve as lead pastor at Church on the Rock in Wasilla.  This church continues to host a large mission conference every year.

Last year’s missions conference at Church on the Rock
Want to know a secret? One of the missionaries on stage will be featured in season 6!

Caleb and Kate are the same age and both were born in the same hospital in Homer. Alaska.  The two always seemed to get in trouble together when younger.  After graduating from high school, Caleb attended YWAM mission school in Hawaii and at the time of this writing lives in Wasilla helping out at Church on the Rock.  He also loves a good adventure such as climbing Hatchers Pass.  At the end of the episode he points to some old shacks, remnants of a gold mine on the side of the mountain. The original script had Caleb suggesting he and Kate explore the mine.  Shannon (one of our writing team who also plays Susan Brinkman) pointed out that exploring gold mines might not be a good thing to encourage in Brinkman Adventures.  So we omitted the reference to the gold mine.

calebCaleb at Hatchers Pass

This episode introduces listeners to some interesting Alaskan native culture.  While in Alaska Ian discovered a dish called ‘stinkhead’. Some claim it can actually aid in digestion by providing good bacteria.  Stinkhead can also lead to botulism when buried and wrapped in plastic (more common today)  instead of moss (the original method).

Aunt Sarah once experienced Eskimo ice cream while on a missions trip to an Alaskan village.  She was surprised to learn that it was made with Crisco, wild berries and sugar.  Unlike Nancy she liked it, and asked for a second helping!

1024px-iced_akutaq-matyas-havelFrozen Eskimo Ice Cream called Akutaq. Photo Credit: Matyáš Havel

Another cultural tradition featured in this episode is throat singing, a technique very difficult to master.  Several people groups do versions of this style of singing, mainly in the Northern Hemisphere.  In Alaska, throat singing is done most often by the women of the Inuit culture.  Ashley had previously studied this and introduced it to our writing team during the brainstorming process.

Watch two sisters as they perform throat singing in Anchorage Alaska

Herman shared music from the band Broken Walls with Kate & Kitri.  This band travels around the world sharing the message of restoration, dignity, self-respect, and the Creator’s love toward all cultures.  The Walker family is friends with Bill Pagaran, drummer for Broken Walls, who shared the group’s music with us for use in this episode.

Broken Walls doing a concert

Check out more of their music here:

We love adding fun & humour to our episodes.  In this episode we used something that happened to Jack years ago while he was commercial fishing in a remote area of Alaska.  One day while on a break, Jack and a friend took a skiff to shore to explore.  The two guys were sitting on the edge of a cliff, kicking large rocks off the edge and into the ocean.  Suddenly Jack’s friend told him to turn around slowly.  A fox had snuck up behind them, picked up Jack’s favorite hat from off the ground and was playing with it.  When Jack stood up and yelled at the fox, it dropped the hat, urinated on it, and then ran away!  This finished scene turned out very funny.  However we ended up cutting the potty humor so radio stations wouldn’t have a problem with broadcasting the story.  You may have noticed in a later scene Isaac makes reference to washing the fox stuff out of his hat.   We attempted to change that line, but David’s voice had changed too much so it remains to this day.

Making it Work

Original Logline:  When two mission teams endeavor to help a native village and things go bad, Kate Brinkman has a decision to make. Will she risk destroying a lifelong relationship with her cousin, or will his unchecked behavior irrevocably destroy the natives’ trust in Christianity?

Themes:  Mistakes in missions & confront a friend in order to remain faithful to God.

In this story, we wanted to show that it is sometimes necessary (and important) to confront our friends. We also wanted to show that while on mission trips, if we aren’t careful, we can hurt those we are trying to help.

We did this by creating a fictional story where we have the opportunity to observe two teams on a mission trip. One team shows us what we should do, and the other team shows us what NOT to do!  This idea came about as Aunt Sarah was thinking back on all the missions teams she helped host while in Africa.  Some teams had a good and lasting impact on the lives of the villagers. They worked hard, gave joyfully, listened with genuine interest and concern, didn’t complain, and were grateful for the little or even strange things they were offered. Their actions painted a clearer picture of the real Jesus. When these people shared the Gospel, the villagers wanted to listen because they had seen God’s love in action.

mission-teamA Mission team in Zambia Aunt Sarah helped host. This team did an amazing job connecting in the village!

But there were some individuals who were mostly thinking about themselves.  (Like Caleb, Nancy and Isaac in the episode.) They would take pictures of people without asking, or at inappropriate times. They would only do things they thought would be fun, or would make themselves happy. They talked bad about the food or country they were visiting, and they didn’t make an effort to get to know the people. When that team tried to share the gospel, the villagers didn’t care about what they had to say. Instead, they were offended or hurt by the guests.  The long-term missionaries would have to later apologize for the rude behavior. The damage done by pride or selfishness made the missionaries very sad and they would pray that the villagers wouldn’t reject the Gospel because of how they were treated.

We assigned Kate’s character to be the one to confront her cousin Caleb for his poor behavior.  This proved difficult for Kate, but was the right thing to do.  In writing this episode we wrestled internally a bit with the idea of Uncle Jonathan misleading the students in order to make a point.  We suggest youth leaders employ caution in using this technique with their own youth groups.


Episode 52: Bad Leg Part 1 of 2

The Real Story

We kept Elinor’s story as true to life as possible in Bad Legs Part 1 & 2.


Elinor contracted Polio at the age of 5.  At her lowest point when she was near death, her parents surrendered her to God. At that point Elinor realized only God could save her life.  She cried out to Him for help, and then she began to improve. Amazingly and against her doctor’s predictions she not only learned to walk again, but she also learned to walk without her leg braces.

Using the rails her dad made her to practise walking

At a young age Elinor felt God called her to be a missionary.  However she didn’t want to share this because she didn’t want people to think she was foolish for trying something that appeared impossible.  One day a Chinese Christian came and spoke at her little church and said, “If anyone feels called to be a missionary come to the front.” Elinor was the only one who went forward that night.

The church where Elinor grew up

Years later she learned that an older gentleman apologized to the Chinese man for the lack of response and that the only one to come forward was a little crippled girl who would never be able to go.  That Chinese missionary rebuked him and said “Mister! Whom the Lord calls, He uses!” Years later Elinor’s life would prove this statement true!

Elinor about the age when she told her church God called her to be a missionary

After graduating from high school, Elinor struggled between going to Whitworth College  or Prairie Bible College. She didn’t think Prairie Bible College would be fun.  She also feared that people would think she was foolish for trying to become a missionary when she had difficulty walking.  After wrestling with this for some time, she realized she must either completely follow God, or stop pretending she was following Him.

Sparkie, Elinor’s faithful companion

So Elinor applied to Prairie.  The school accepted Elinor, but on a physical probationary basis due to the nasty winters in northern Alberta, Canada.  She survived the weather, graduated four years later and wrote to a mission agency to ask if she could apply to be a missionary. They said “No. We have found that people with disabilities like yours can’t handle that kind of work.”  

Elinor graduation from Prairie Bible College

Taking this to be God saying she needed more training, Elinor went back to Spokane and graduated from Whitworth College also. Then she applied to serve as a missionary with an organization named World Team.  The mission board considered Elinor’s application. She would need unanimous approval to be accepted but some felt it unwise to send her to the field due to her disability.   Because of this, the board would normally deny the request.  However, they decided to pray about it for one week along with Elinor. At the end of that week, they all felt she should go to Papua, Indonesia!   So Elinor began an amazing career as a Bible translator for one of the most primitive tribes on earth.

Flying into the village where she would serve.

Siud was a real person and the son of the local Shaman, a pagan spiritual leader. His father wanted to teach him how to deal with the evil spirits. But Siud thought there must be a good spirit, one that loved people.  He prayed, “Good Spirit, help me to find out about you some day.”  God heard Siud and sent missionaries who introduced Siud to Jesus.  Over time his faith grew and he became a spiritual leader among his people.  Not only did he help Elinor translate the Bible into the Kimyal language, he also became pastor to Elinor the missionary!  You can hear the real Siud praying at the end of Bad Legs Part 2 during the Bible dedication in 2010.  Siud recently went home to be with Jesus.

Read Siud’s story at 

Making it work

Logline:  Little Elinor feels called to be a missionary to tribal people, but polio threatens to kill the dream.  

Theme – Whom the Lord calls He uses

‘Saving the cat’ is a literary tool used to quickly endear a character to the audience.  Writers often employ this technique early in the story so the audience will identify with and like the hero.  We thought it would be fun to actually have Elinor save a cat.  While the cat portion is fictional, this scene is based off a true story Elinor relayed to our team.   She once wandered off into the woods causing her father to nearly miss work looking for her.

We created the scene of Siud falling off the waterfall to add some drama, show his growth, and also to show that he continued to reject the angry spirits.


Episode 53: Bad Legs Part 2 of 2


The Real Story

We kept Elinor’s story as true to life as possible in Bad Legs 1 & 2.

Elinor Young

Instead of choosing to live on the coast and work in an easy environment, Elinor felt called to the middle of the jungle. The Kimyal people live deep in the mountains in a spot that is tricky to fly in to. She joined the Klines, and a few years after they left, the Kidds came.  Elinor lived for almost 18 years among the Kimyals.  She worked hard with them to translate the Bible into their language.

papua-indonesia019Elinor working to translate the Bible

Once a little boy helped her learn the word for “might” as she talked with him about how the doctor said she might die of polio. He told her, “But you didn’t die, because God wanted you to come here.”  Elinor noticed the way he changed the ending of the word die to make that word mean ‘might die’ rather than ‘will die.’

Because she had trouble getting around, some Kimyal men made an ‘Elinor carrier’ to take her over the mountain trails.  Once while going to a baptism, her carriers jumped from stone to stone across a raging river.   Another time they ran down the mountain with her, descending 1,000 feet in 11 minutes. 

Elinor in her special carrier

On another occasion a different part of the tribe became angry because they felt a man where Elinor lived hadn’t paid the proper bride price when he married one of their women.  Siud, and other villagers learned of this impending attack and ambushed the war party along the path.  ‘“Stop!” they said.   “We have every right to kill you in self defense!  But we have learned of a better way.  In the name Jesus we relax our bows. We will not kill you”.  In the real story the Kimyals tied up the war party and marched them into the village and had a little fun with them before letting them go. This act averted bloodshed that day.  It also demonstrated a genuine faith on the part of the Kimyals and demonstrated mercy to the opposing group.   Elinor had been struggling to find a word in their language that meant “mercy”. They didn’t have a word for this because in their culture they didn’t commonly show mercy, but rather revenge.

Imagine the amazement of that war party, being shown mercy for the first time!

A war party from the Kimyal region

If you could read Ephesians 2:3-5 in the Kimyal Bible it would sound something like this:

“Because God loved us so much, He did the mighty act of relaxing His bow toward us, and with Christ we have been made alive…” (Eph 2:3-5a paraphrased)

A woman named Dayun also helped Elinor translate.  Like most Kimyals, her pigs lived in her house along with the kids and other women.  Why?  The pigs provide warmth and also help guard the house… sort of like a dogs do in America!

Dayun, Elinor’s faithful friend who helped her translate the Bible

Eventually the Kimyals began calling Elinor ‘Yan Meeli Gel’ (Bad Legs Woman) or ‘Yan Meeli’ – (Bad Legs) for short. They told her, “Your bad legs show how much God loves us.”  They knew it was not easy for a person with bad legs to travel. The people in their village with bad legs never went far from home. But God had brought Elinor all the way across the world. And even though it wasn’t easy for her to live there, she DID, and God kept her there to translate His Word for the Kimyal people. Her bad legs were a direct sign to them of how valuable and loved they were by God. Because of this, Elinor loved the name Yan Meeli Gel.   “God used my bad legs for His glory! What could be better than that?”

Elinor catching a ride

Elinor eventually had to leave the Kimyals because she experienced post-polio syndrome which required care in the United States.  This proved very difficult for Elinor.  She struggled to find joy in leaving her home in Irian Jaya (now Papua, Indonesia).  She had spent much of her life helping the Kimyals and they had become her family. But God was asking her once again to trust Him.

Back near Spokane, Elinor met a woman named Sharman, the polio support group leader.  God used Elinor to introduce Sharman to Jesus.  They became best friends and together they ministered to other polio survivors.

When the New Testament was completed in 2010 Elinor was invited to attend the celebration back in Papua Indonesia.  That day there was rejoicing, and weeping and dancing. The Kimyals were overwhelmed that God would entrust His Word to their tribe. They felt the great weight of responsibility in spreading the Gospel to their neighbors.  They also felt the tremendous graciousness of God’s love.

Elinor returning for the celebration

At the end of Bad Legs Part 2 much of what you hear is actual audio from that day along with Elinor’s monolog at the end.  These were taken from video shot during that trip and made into two documentaries ‘Bad Legs’ & ‘Kimyal Bible’ – both courtesy of Dianne Becker. 

Reunited with her “family”

Watch the amazing video of the Kimyal people as they receive the Word of God in their own language.

“To order a DVD of “Bad Legs”, click here. )

Making it work:

Logline:  A young woman crippled by polio is called to be a missionary to one of the most primitive and inaccessible tribes in the world.  But when polio strikes back, will she survive the greatest test of her faith and learn the secret of joy, or will this blow ultimately crush her?

Theme – It is possible to have God’s joy in the midst of something we wouldn’t have chosen.

Elinor and Siud

We added a couple fictional portions to help tell this story.  Siud did not actually write Elinor a letter as you hear in the episode (although the words you hear would accurately represent his sentiments). We added the letter to help show how difficult staying in America was for Elinor and also how she gradually came to accept the Lord’s will for her. Elinor discovered she could experience true joy in her new circumstances.

While she would have loved to, Sharman did not attend the completion ceremony with Elinor.

Do you want to learn how you can help with Bible translation? Click here.



Episode 54: Bookstore Bomber

The Real Story

Bookstore bomber is a combination of the experience of two different men who live and serve Jesus in the same country told through one fictional character and his family.  Because these men and their families remain at risk, we have changed names and location, creating the fictional country ‘Pashmora’.

We changed names and made up a country to protect the people involved.

The first man, who we’ll call ‘John,’ is a native ‘Pashmorian’ who also runs a publishing house that prints Christian books and literature in ‘Pashmora’.  Because his wife is a foreign national, the couple and their daughter could leave the country at any time.  By remaining in Pashmora they expose themselves to continued harassment and persecution by their countrymen.  Children tease and bully their daughter at school.  While they experience persecution for their faith, they also experience fruit for their labors.  Once while John distributed literature in his town square, a religious leader approached and ordered him to leave.  Soon after this, a different man approached John, desperate for a Bible.  These types of experiences remind John and his family of the reason they continue to risk their lives serving in Pashmora.

The second man we’ll call ‘Paul.’  He runs a Christian bookstore in ‘Pashmora’ that distributes books printed by ‘John’.   He placed a poster above the door of his store with the words from 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter in the Bible.  One day a suicide bomber entered, intent on blowing up the store and everyone inside.  Paul begged the bomber to read the verse on the poster before detonating the bomb.  The terrorist reluctantly obliged.  As he read this verse about love, his phone rang.  He took the call and received orders from his leader to stop the attack.   The terrorist hung up and told the people in the store he would return later to blow up the store.  

Two weeks later the terrorist returned.  He asked those running the  store if they remembered him.   How could they forget him?  
They nodded yes.

“Look, no suicide jacket, no weapons” he said.  “I come as a brother.  Jesus appeared to me in a dream and he told me that He is the Savior and I need to follow him.  So now I follow Issa, Jesus.”  Paul and the others working in the store breathed a deep sigh of relief.  Paul then asked the man if he needed anything.

“Soon my boss will find me and kill me. I just wanted to tell you what you are doing is good.  It is good that you are here”.

With that he left the store, never to be seen again by the bookstore staff.

Open Doors has identified the countries where Christians experience the most persecution.

Watch the video below to learn more

Making it work

Logline:  A hopeful but timid Pashmiren Christian is invited to run a bookshop in the most militant region of Pashmora.  Faced with discrimination and open hatred, he has the choice of shielding his family by moving to a safe country, or of staying and risking everything in an attempt to shine the light of the Gospel.

Theme: The best (not necessarily the safest) place is the center of God’s will.

In this story we combined true events from the lives of ‘John’ and ‘Paul’ and made them the experience of a fictional character we named Ibraham.  Our story took place in the fictional country called Pashmora.   A mission organization in the United States relayed the story of the bookstore bomber to our team. They then connected us with ‘John’ in “Pashmora’ who ran a Christian publishing house that also had several small bookstores around the country.  John told us the story of what happened in one of his stores run by ‘Paul’.

As someone living in ‘Pashmora’ and one who understands the faith of his people, John did his best to help us understand what would motivate a terrorist to strap on a suicide vest and kill himself and others.  A source within the FBI terrorism department added insight and helped us portray the bomber as accurately as possible.

The US embassy in Tanzania which was bombed by al Qaeda in 1998.

All of the actors from ‘Pashmora’ were actually from India.  Brinkmans have an actor friend in that country who played the main role of Ibraham.  He also recorded a number of Indian actors and emailed their auditions to us in the States.  Together we chose the other five actors who would make up the Pashmoran cast.  ‘Ibraham’ then rented a studio and directed the recording session in India.  Normally we end up with a number of takes for each line when we record in America.  Our Indian friends sent us only one take for each line with one exception.  And every take was a keeper.  We had no need to re-enter the studio to redo lines, something that commonly occurs.

The mom and the boy you hear in the bookstore were walk-ins.  The Bultman’s sister Kelly was in town from Atlanta with her son Haven.   We were recording when they visited and we came up with a couple lines to get them into the Brinkmans for fun.

The Canadian customer was another interesting story.  Christopher Green produces a radio drama in Canada called Shadows and Daylight.  

(Check it out here)

Christopher volunteered to do some voice acting for us if we ever needed a Canadian, which we did in this episode.  So he recorded the lines, sent them to us, and they worked out great!

In Bookstore Bomber we started out with the amazing story of Nasir and his dream of Jesus followed by his conversion.  We wanted to tell this story and also deal with the idea of how God’s will for us isn’t always what we would consider ‘safe’.  But God’s will for us is always the best place to be.

We wanted some humor to balance this serious episode and so we made up the fun character ‘Gnish’.  While it is true that some sects hold certain animals as sacred, the idea that Nasir’s sect held goats sacred was something we made up.

Cow eating grass on the street of Indian townCows are sacred in India, but we made up the idea of a sacred goat!