Season 7

 


 

Episode 61: Campground Caper

This story was created to show the importance of honesty in our lives, and is based on an event that happened to the Bultman’s several years ago.

Just like you hear in the episode one of the Bultman kids thought it would be funny to take a $50 bill they found sitting on their parents’ dresser. The bill was placed there earlier by an older sibling who was repaying Mrs. Bultman for some money she borrowed. When the older sibling heard that Mrs. Bultman didn’t receive the money, the search began.

The prankster hid the money behind the mirror in the bathroom.

 

Eventually one of the kids came up with the money and said they found it hidden behind the bathroom mirror. What began as a joke turned serious when all the kids were questioned. The prankster was surprised and scared by how serious everyone was taking the joke, and because of this they were ashamed and didn’t want to tell anyone what they had done. As the older siblings began to think through who had been in the bedroom when the money disappeared,  the interrogation began and the guilty prankster kept quiet. Later that night, the one who claimed to have found the money behind the mirror confessed they had actually just taken the money as a the joke and planned to return it. The parents decided not to tell the other siblings who did the deed. Instead, they explained it was just an innocent, although misguided prank. The incident was painful for everyone and the Bultmans all learned a valuable lesson about how little lies can ruin trust and break unity within relationships. When the prankster was older, they confessed to the other siblings and everyone had a good laugh over it. For the record, Joey, the character who plays Charlie in the show, was not the one who took the money.

 

We combined this story with some of the crazy events that occurred while the Bultman’s were traveling from state to state exhibiting at homeschool conferences and living in their RV. They actually call their RV “RD”.

 Ian Bultman driving “RD” on one of their summer adventures.

 

Ian (Jack) really did have to take apart the RV dashboard after Jude had put coins in the CD slot and it stopped working. Ian spent most of the day trying to remove it and it happened to be on Father’s Day.

 

Jude also flushed wet wipes down the toilet in the RV. Just like you hear in the episode, Ian had the idea to carefully suck them out with a small oreck vacuum. Unfortunately, in their determination to retrieve every wipe, they shoved the vacuum hose too far into the hole. It sucked up some of the contents left on the bottom of the tank and promptly blew this all over the bed. The Bultmans decided to leave the rest of the wipes down there. The tank sensors haven’t worked since.

 

If you want to know how to suck up water properly watch this video:

Episode 62: Sunrises Setback

This story is based on a true event that happened while the Eubanks were in Mosul, Iraq. A few minor changes were made but for the most part, we told this story just as it happened.

The Eubank family in Mosul, Iraq

 

It was the day before Easter when the Free Burma Rangers were asked to help a ministry on the other side of the Tigris River in Mosul, Iraq. This was near the conflict area with ISIS and therefore any type of travel was risky with many obstacles. At the beginning of this story,  you hear the Eubank family pray and ask God if they should go on this day trip. Most of us wouldn’t necessarily pray about taking a day trip, but the Eubanks know that decisions in a war zone could mean life or death. They also believe that God will direct them to the best route, even if it involves danger. While the Eubank kids were eager to ride the new horse that came into camp, they all felt that God wanted them to go.

After the trip Sue finally is able to ride the horse

Throughout this story, Dave and his team faced several roadblocks. These setbacks eventually resulted in them missing the Easter Sunrise Service where they were supposed to be the main speakers. Throughout the trip Dave thanked God when something went wrong. As Dave prayed and thanked God, it not only changed the team’s perspective, but it also opened doors. When stopped at the Kurdish border, his prayer opened a conversation about Christianity which led to the guard allowing them pass. Dave’s thanking the Lord in tough situations also resulted in deepening Muhammad’s interest in Christianity. He saw how Christians love their enemies as he witnessed them caring for the wounded ISIS fighters.The next day when the team shared what Jesus meant to them as they stood around the fire early Easter morning, Mohammad began to understand the profound difference Jesus can make in one’s life. Just like you hear in the episode, Easter Sunday Mohammad decided to follow Jesus.

Dave baptizing a new believer in the Tigris river in front of a destroyed bridge.

Here are some excerpts from Dave’s letter about that special day:

“We got back to the bridge after dark only to find that it too had been swept away by the same flood that took out the first bridge. Now, we were stuck and our plans seemed stymied. We prayed and scouted for how to cross and made plans to make a raft to cross the next morning. We called our team back on the east side and asked for some of them to bring another Land Cruiser as we would have to leave ours on the east side after we crossed. We needed a boat but could not find one so planned to build a raft in order to move our team and gear, but the process would be very slow. There would be no way to be back to our base in time to do the planned Easter program. We all curled up on the cold floor of a little hut by the river and tried to sleep. With no blankets it was very cold and we passed a long night with no sleep and the roar of the flooding river nearby. The next morning was Easter Sunday and so even though we wanted to get right on finding a way across the river, we went down to the edge of the river to thank God for Jesus first and celebrate Easter. We sang, “He lives” in English and Karen and shared what Easter meant to each of us. It all came down to Jesus being alive in our hearts and filling our hearts with such overflowing love that it makes us want to cry sometimes. The forgiveness, acceptance, fellowship, and pure love of Jesus fills our hearts in a way none other does. We are humbled that while we are sinners and often small minded and mean to God and people, God still loves us and sent His Son to live and die for us, and to live on with us. His resurrection on Easter is the action that ignites our faith. Jesus rising again gives us assurance, hope, joy, and power to live for Him.

In our closing prayer we thanked God for His gift of Jesus and I also asked, “… and God, in our Easter basket can we also have a boat?”

Walking along the Tigris looking for a way to cross.

As we finished praying, suddenly a boat crossed the river. We all said, “Thank you Lord and lets go Rangers .” As the river was still very swift and treacherous, the boat could only land a kilometer downstream with us so we hurried down to it.

At the river we made friends with the boat driver named Sultan and offered to pay him to take us across. He agreed and we did our best to keep the boat from flipping in the fast and muddy current. The engine quit once but then started again and we made it across. We thanked and paid Sultan and linked up with some of our team who had come down the west side with materials to build a raft and extract us…”

Finally in a boat the Eubanks cross the swollen river.

At the end of his letter Dave wrote:

“Throughout the time we were moving from our position to the meeting and back, the verse; “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord,” was on my mind. But I had to choose to believe it and to praise God even when things looked bleak and did not go our way. In the end, God redeemed all of it and His way was far better than ours. As the sun set after the Good Life Club program, the kids and I took turns galloping and running alongside the stallion five miles back from our position to where we had borrowed it. Our new friend was there beaming with pleasure as Sue and horse came prancing in with us running behind.

 

The Eubank’s race borrowed horses (and a donkey) on a grassy plain outside Mosul, Iraq

 

It was now dark but our hearts were full of light and joy.

Thank you for being with us in the mission here, we love you!

God bless you, Dave, family and teams

(P.S. As I typed this Muhammad came up to me and said, “I have decided to follow Jesus and He is in my heart.”)”

Bringing joy and the good news of Jesus to kids whose lives are in danger from ISIS fighters Making it work.

 

Making it work.

In the real story the second bridge washed out before the Eubanks arrived to that location. We thought it would be more exciting if we could hear it break and therefore had it occur as they watched. The night in the cabin might be difficult for many kids, but the Eubanks are used to dealing with uncomfortable and difficult situations. In that particular scene we created some fictional dialog to show what some of them may have been dealing with quietly, namely wondering why things were going wrong, even though they were doing what they felt God wanted them to do.

One fun note regarding the sound design for this episode. Because a portion of the story took place while the Eubanks traveled in their Land Cruiser, our sound designers, Josh & David used a real Land Cruiser to record the truck sounds. They placed four microphones in various locations in the truck. Then they wore headphones and listened to a rough copy of the episode while driving around ‘‘acting’ the scenes out with the truck.

 

Episode 63: Operation Mosul

Brinkman Adventures introduced the Eubank family in 2017. Season 6 featured two stories about Dave & the Free Burma Rangers. While we were producing these episodes Dave was working in Iraq. God used him and some of the rangers in extraordinary ways, and we realized we needed to tell these new stories in our next release. Operation Mosul is our dramatization of what happened June 2 & 3, 2017. We made some minor changes necessary for the story to work as a Brinkman Adventure radio drama and these changes will be noted at the end of this section.

 

The best people to describe the actual events are those involved in the story. So below are three emails we received from Dave in June of 2017.  * Warning: This report contains some descriptions that might be disturbing.

2 June 2017
West Mosul, Iraq

The little girl gets care in CCP after being rescued.

Dear all,

Earlier today I sent out a prayer request for people trapped by ISIS in West Mosul. With God’s help, and Iraqi Army and police, and U.S. military, we were able to do the rescue. We saw over 50 shot dead by ISIS yesterday and today, and helped 30 shot people who managed to escape.

All last night people came crawling across the highway near the hospital near the first bridge. Early this morning we saw that at least four people were still alive including children, but ISIS controlled all access and swept the area by sniper, machine gun, mortar, and RPG fire. There was no way to help them even though they were only 150 yards away.

Survivors told us there are over 100 shot and over 100 more hiding behind a destroyed Pepsi factory. The man and girl were hiding among these bodies and as of 3 June 2017, 50 more are dead.

We prayed and talked with Iraqi forces about how to do a rescue. We prayed more and called our American military friends who coordinated smoke for us, while the Iraqis provided a tank from the Special Police Unit ERD, and we ran behind the tank down the street. Humvees could not go down the road due to all the obstacles and concerns that ISIS would knock them out.

ISIS fire was intense as we approached the huddled group of three survivors. They were in and amongst over 50 dead bodies spread out along the street – dead babies, mothers, and people of every age – and had been like this for two days in the blazing sun and ISIS shooting.

We asked for more smoke and the Americans sent it right on target, helping to obscure us as the tank fired its main gun and machine gun back at ISIS. I prayed on when to make the dash from behind the tank to the people. I saw a little girl come out from under her dead mother’s hijab and we called to her and two men who were wounded and still alive yet unable to come.

As the smoke dissipated ISIS fire intensified. We called for more smoke and the Americans sent it right away again. I prayed and felt now or never and that if I died my family would understand that it was to save a little girl. I ran as fast as I could, snatched up the little girl from her mother and the pile of dead bodies, and made it back to the tank. ISIS was shooting all the time but so was the Iraqi tank.

On the next run, Sky and Ephraim ran to help get two wounded who we could see were still alive. We made it back to the tank and our team – Sky, Ephraim, Mahmood, Monkey, and I – pulled the two men behind the tank as it rolled backwards. One of the wounded was lost on the way and Ephraim was shot in the leg. It was a through and through in his calf and he could keep running.

ISIS maneuvered and fired on us all the way back as we carried the people and ran behind the tank but the Iraqi tank saved us by its armor and fire, and American smoke was right on target. At the end of the highway our Humvee with Eliya and Bernard came and picked us up.

The man at the CCP after being rescued.

We evacuated Ephraim, the wounded man we had drug back, and the girl to 9th Division Iraqi Army CCP. All are doing well. The little girl will not talk but has smiled and is eating and drinking for the first time in two days. Ephraim is fine but will go to Irbil for more care, as will the man as he was seriously wounded and out in the sun for two days.

Karen and kids will stay with the little girl in the CCP while I and rest of team will go back now to see if we can save one of the men who was still alive and to see if there are any more survivors.

We thank God for American and Iraqi forces. A miracle and I thank Jesus.

Thank you for praying,

Dave

In the Humvee with the girl after the rescue.

 

June 3 Dave participated in the 2nd rescue dramatized in Operation Mosul. Below is a portion of Dave’s email describing the event.

22 June 2017
West Mosul, Iraq

A member of the Iraqi Police carries a civilian to safety.

 

Dear friends,

Following the rescue of the little girl and man on 2 June 2017, we went back into ISIS territory and brought out five more people – two children, two women who had been shot, and a man, all of whom had been trapped for three days by ISIS snipers. Over 70 others they were with – men, women, children, babies, old men in wheelchairs, and old women who could not walk – had been shot to death by ISIS. This time the team included myself, Sky, Zau Seng, Toh Win, an Iraqi policeman, Zuhair, and three other Iraqi Police ERD along with 12 other Free Burma Rangers in support…

…To get to the next group of living civilians, we had to cross an ISIS-controlled street and the Iraqi Army vehicle in front of us was destroyed by an ISIS rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) and 23mm cannon. Our Humvee was hit multiple times but kept going. We thanked Jesus and kept driving through the ISIS fire.

Previously, we had received help from the U.S. military, who had coordinated with Iraqi forces for smoke, to rescue the first two. The U.S. support for freedom and help here is a wonderful blessing and the U.S. forces give life-saving help every day. For this mission, though, we would have no smoke and no vehicles – we would have to go on foot into the ruined Pepsi factory where the survivors were. ISIS was on three sides of the factory and only 70 meters away in one area. In the rubble we found a little girl, a shot woman, a man, and a crippled boy. Outside on the street I could see over 50 dead in one area alone, including a man shot still in his wheelchair.

Then we heard a cry. There was a woman laying between three dead bodies behind a destroyed car. “Help me,” she cried weakly in Arabic. I could not believe she was alive – shot and with a broken leg, flies swarming around her, no water for three days.

I prayed to Jesus for courage and a way to save her. She was about 30 yards from us in an open area swept by ISIS fire. The Iraqi policeman I was with started ripping wire out of the walls and I cut a long length. I tied the wires together and we threw the wire to her. She tied it around her wrist and we dragged her to us. ISIS shot at us but could not get us or her.

Woman who was saved after the team dragged her out of the street.


Dave Eubank and a member of the Iraqi Police carry a civilian to safety.

We gathered up the five people and began the long and difficult carry through the rubble, moving as fast as we could when we had to cover open ground. We got all five to the Humvees and then ran another gauntlet of ISIS fire. Our Humvee was hit again but able to go.

I kept saying, “Thank you, Jesus,” and was full of wonder and joy that God had helped us rescue these people. The fear and rescue were draining but God refilled me and I felt the prayers of all of you – you gave us courage, faith, and, I believe, helped push back the forces of darkness so we could go.

I thank you, God, and our Iraqi friends. More photos are below.
Dave Eubank

The little girl who ran and threw the wire to the woman


Immediately after the 2nd rescue

 

Below is another email from Dave and another Free Burma Ranger nick-named Monkey.

17 July 2017
Mosul, Iraq

Dear friends,

Here is a message from “Monkey,” our Karen cameraman, whose footage of a daring rescue of two civilians in Mosul with his FBR teammates has gone all over the world since it was taken on June 2nd. Monkey is one of FBR’s deputy directors, our chief chaplain and one of our primary videographers. He is married to Hsa Po Gay and has four children. Below, he tells his own version of the story of the rescue that day.

Monkey with camera in hand in Iraq.

 

‘Dear brothers and sisters,

I want to write and share what happened with God and me during our last mission in Iraq.

With every mission, after I get the call from FBR headquarters, especially for an international mission, I pray to God to make sure it is His time for me or not. It’s a very simple prayer: “God, is it your call or not? If so, I will go. If not, please give me some action to stop me.” I have had confidence every time I went – except during this last time in Iraq.

This time, I met very difficult situations, so that deciding to help the people in need was also difficult. I remember the time when we rescued the little girl: we saw many, many dead bodies in the main road and by the road. We also saw that some were still alive among the dead bodies. Some wounded men waved their hand for help and some children were walking, and some were playing among the dead bodies. It made me very sad, but it also made me afraid to help them. I tried to drive away the fear, thinking, ‘what if it is my kids or family.’ I thought of John 15:13 from the Bible, which says, “No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.” But I said in my heart, “Lord, I am not ready for this word.”

I also remembered one of the mottos that all the Free Burma Rangers must follow: “Do not be led by fear or comfort.” This rule also did not encourage me to do the rescue, as I am a person with fear, and lazy. When our leader, Dave, asked me, “Who will go with me?” I said, “Zau Seng,” (another FBR cameraman) instead of myself. I knew many people all around the world were praying for us but still I was weak to make the decision of to go on the rescue.

When we talked about possible ways to do this rescue, we needed two things: One is the Americans to drop a smoke bomb; the other is a tank to go in front of us for our cover and to shell ISIS as well. I thought, if we got smoke and a tank, I might dare take part in the rescue. But I did not want to pray for the smoke and tank because I was not 100% sure I would go even then, and I had ignored answers from God many other times in my life. I could not imagine how we could get the smoke from the US Army, and the local authorities had already refused our request for a tank. But Dave did not give up. He prayed and talked to friends, and our team talked and prayed together.

Then, while we were talking about how we could do the rescue, standing in a building by the main road, a smoke bomb from the air was dropped. We stopped talking and ran down to the corner of the road. A big tank came and turned toward the main road. Dave started running and shouting, “Whoever wants to go, let’s go!” and led in front.

I did not have time to think and make a decision. Only one thing I shouted in my heart, was, “This is God! He is in it.”

Monkey and the team following the tank.

I ran and followed the group. I could not believe that we got the smoke and a tank. The tank was even bigger than I thought. After the rescue, Toh, our medic, and Zau Seng, our other cameraman, and I stood among the Iraqi soldiers. One of them looked into my eye for a while, saying nothing, but his eyes were kind. Then he turned into the building and came back with a hat: it had ‘S.W.A.T.’ on it, and he placed it on my head. “Wow, that is an honor,” said Toh and Zau. I could not think too much. I was re-concentrating my mind.

That night, I reviewed what had happened and what I had done:

1)   We did the rescue.

2)   I refused God’s word: John 15:13.

3)   I refused the Ranger motto.

4)   I refused my leader’s call.

5)   We got what we wanted and needed, even though I personally did not even want to pray for it.

Just think. I was a part of it because of God’s mercy and faithfulness. I realized the honor is His, not mine. I do not deserve it because I refused every thing to do the rescue. Only because of His mercy and faithfulness to all His creation, did I dare go. This is why I want to write and share with you, and give all the glory to Him. He is very merciful and faithful to you, me and all.

I want to thank God for His mercy and faithfulness to all of us. I want to thank people all around the world for being in prayer for us. I want to thank our team for working together as a family. I want to thank our leader for leading us boldly and in love.

God bless you,

Monkey.

 

Making it Work

Our writing team needed to make some changes to the stories for them to fit the format of a Brinkman Adventure audio drama.

  1. First and most obviously, the fictional characters Jack & Ian did not participate in the real event nor did the people who inspire these characters.  
  2. Also, there were more people involved in the 2nd rescue than depicted in the episode. For simplicity’s sake we limited the number.  
  3. Dave told Skye he was scared face to face and then they prayed. In our episode this was done over the radio followed by quoting the 23rd Psalm. While God really did use the 23rd Psalm to encourage Dave, it wasn’t quoted over the radio.

 

The group really did pray for God’s protection, bind the enemy, and then crash through the cans. That ISIS did not hear was truly a miracle. The little girl really did throw the wire to the woman. What Dave didn’t know at the time but learned later, that woman was her mother!  Also, Dave later learned that the little girl was partially responsible for saving everyone. She was the one who found a working cell phone among the bodies and brought it to the woman in the room who then called someone who alerted Dave to the situation.

Free Burma Rangers brings along videographers to document events which are shared with world leaders to help bring about change. Dave’s ranger, Monkey, filmed the first rescue. The 2nd rescue has less video as the ranger in charge of filming was stationed at a security point. However, Dave did capture a portion of the wire rescue on his cell phone. Free Burma Rangers granted us permission to use the audio from both rescue videos. The first is when Dave runs to grab the girl. The 2nd is when Dave and Zuhair pulls the woman with the wire.

Below are links to two videos produced by Free Burma Rangers recapping the rescues and detailing what has happened since the rescues. Be aware that some of the video’s contain images that might be disturbing for some.

Rescued and Restored Video

The Woman Who Wouldn’t Let Go:

 

The major networks reported on these events. Below are links to some of their stories.

Washington Post article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/thousands-of-iraqis-have-fled-mosul-but-this-american-family-moved-in/2017/06/08/f4a62310-4bb6-11e7-987c-42ab5745db2e_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f2940174a77f

Segment from Fox and Friends:

Segment from Happening Now:

Segment from Risk and Reward of Fox Business:

Episode 64: North Dakota Gold

North Dakota gold is the true story of John and Katy Draxton. This couple discovered lasting treasure as they followed God through the difficult and surprising events that came into their lives. We stayed as true to this story as possible. Every event you hear in the episode actually happened.

John and Katy and their 5 beautiful children

John grew up with cattle all around him. His grandfather Enoch Draxton was the son of an immigrant and became a famous cattle rancher in North Dakota. From the time John was a boy, his grandpa instilled in him a love for ranching.

John and Katy’s journey into missions began on their first short-term trip to Haiti before they were married. Just like you hear in the episode, they met Josue, a young man selling chickens in hopes of funding a college education.  

John and Josue meet for the first time and hit it off as they talk about livestock.


While there, John gave Josue some money and encouraged him in his business. Little did John know that this brief act of love would help start an organization that would change thousands of lives in the future.  

Back in North Dakota, John and Katy were married and plunged into the ranching business. John bought many of his first cattle from an auction in South Dakota.

Here is a great video that gives you an interesting glimpse into the world of a cattle auctioneer.

Auctioneer contest:

For a while John was on top of the world, enjoying success as a big time rancher. But then the market took a turned along with his dreams. It was only then that he finally decided to completely surrender his life’s journey to the Lord.  

John loved being a rancher but as he surrendered that dream to the Lord, God brought him on an even greater adventure!

As you hear in the episode, John & Katy launched a very successful company that trucked supplies to the booming North Dakota oil business. The Draxtons did very well in this new endeavour. John and Katy also helped begin a ministry that reached out to the migrant workers descending on Williston to work in the oil business. They would offer food to people sleeping in their cars. They also brought the Gospel message to these people and prayed with them. Many of these people visited John & Katy’s church and some of these people eventually found the Lord.

On Christmas Eve, Josue called the Draxtons out of the blue and informed them that he was in Miami. He then asked John to come and pick him up. Although they were unsure about Josue’s character and motives, they suggested he purchase a plane ticket to Grand Forks and spend Christmas with them. Josue barely got the flight and entered the plane still holding his shoes from security. At first, he didn’t tell them the reason he had come to visit. Instead, he joined in on their Christmas traditions while observing the family. He wanted to be sure he should invite them to help with IFOSuD. Finally, on day three of his visit, he shared how God had helped him expand his chicken business. He told them how he had earned a degree in agronomy in Haiti and a degree in microfinance in Belgium. He then went on to tell them how he had created a microloan program that was still being used in Africa. Finally, he shared how God spared his life in the earthquake in 2010 and gave him the idea for IFOSuD. When the Draxtons heard Josue’s vision, and how God had equipped him to carry it out, they agreed to join him. John’s grandpa Enoch was the first person to agree to help financially.

John’s first visit to Haiti to observe the work of IFOSuD.

The painful speech John made in college really happened. The actual topic was very funny, but a little too mature for our younger listeners. We highlighted this awkward event to show the ironic twist that happened in John’s life. John never saw himself as a public speaker. He loved the land and animals and the solitude of the wide open range. But after he surrendered his life to God, God took him in an exciting direction that he would never have chosen or expected. John now finds joy as he travels and speaks to groups of people about IFOSuD, explaining how they can become involved in this incredible ministry.

John and Josue share the vision of IFOSuD in a church in North Dakota

Making it work

We added John’s dislike of cats and Katy’s love of cats to add some fun to this story. Snivles, the earless cat, was a fictional character that helped break up scenes that were dialog heavy. Are there real earless cats? Yes!

Earless Cat

Another fictional aspect to this episode was Jack and Michelle’s presence.  We added them to connect the Draxtons and the Brinkman family. If you listen carefully you can hear a younger Michelle making a cameo appearance. This trip would have taken place well before 2010, and at that time Michelle would have been around 13. To make this work we pitched her voice up electronically so she would sound younger. Did you hear her and notice she sounded younger?   Also, in the scene where John and Travis are talking in a restaurant, if you listen closely you can hear a TV in the background playing Jack’s Sunrisen Commercial from Season 1. Our sound designer, Josh, came up with this great idea.

In the real story, John did not check with his mission leader before giving the money to Josue. Also, John and Katie started the parking lot ministry after they reconnected with Josue, not before.

Watch this video about IFOSuD:

 

Maxene, John, and Josue pose with other team members.  It’s beautiful what God can do when people step out together in faith!

Episode 65: What Is IFOSuD?

This story is based on the incredible journey of Josue Cesar as he followed God’s call to start the ministry called IFOSuD. We kept this story as true to life as possible. All the events you hear really happened.

Josue and his wife Imelda and daughter Jomelie

Josue grew up in the town of Jeremie with his seven brothers. Josue loved God from a young age. His mother said that when Josue was young he would get ready for church all by himself, and even when no one else was interested he would beg her to take him to church. When he grew up he wanted to go to college but it was very expensive. So he decided to sell chickens to earn enough money to attend college.

It was during this time that he met John Draxton. John gave Josue $50 to help buy more chickens and later sent him a book that gave him a little more knowledge (and three $100 bills hidden among the pages). This gift further encouraged Josue who, finally, after a lot of hard work, was able to attend a local college. Josue studied agronomy at Faculte d’Agronomie et de Medecine Veterinaire (Faculty of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine.)

Josue earned his agronomy degree at Faculte d’Agronomie et de Medecine Veterinaire in Haiti

When Josue graduated, he was accepted to the University Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, where he earned a master’s degree in microfinance.

While in Belgium, for his thesis assignment he developed a micro-financing system for small-scale farmers. The country of Ghana implemented this plan. When someone in the Canadian government heard about Josue, they contacted him and offered him a job.

A class in session at the University Libre de Bruxelles


Josue was introduced to an entirely different world in Belgium!

As in the episode, God used the earthquake of 2010 to redirect Josue. While in the shower, the water turned off unexpectedly. Josue went outside to investigate the valve next to the house. When he found everything in working order, he turned to go back inside, but a neighbor spotted him and called him over to talk. At that moment, the earthquake struck and completely destroyed his house. If Josue had been in the house at that time he would have most certainly been killed.

The place where Josue’s house once stood.

Through prayer and reflection, Josue soon came to feel that God wanted him to help his own people. He saw all the devastation and the continual struggle of his Haitian countrymen, and he believed God wanted him to use his gifts and training to help them.

Watch this video to learn about the causes of earthquakes

Josue knew if he was going to start IFOSuD he couldn’t do it alone, and for some reason, he felt that John was key to its success. Through the years, Josue had attempted unsuccessfully to contact John. He decided to try one more time and felt that John would understand the vision of IFOSuD if he heard about it first hand. Josue didn’t know exactly where John lived, but he figured if he could get to Miami, that would be close enough to connect with John. As you hear in the story, Josue called John on Christmas Eve and asked John to pick him up. John was very surprised, but as you hear on the episode, he told Josue if he could get a ticket to North Dakota he could spend Christmas with them.

Josue quickly bought a ticket and barely made it on the flight from Miami to North Dakota. The whole plane was waiting for him when he ran aboard still carrying his shoes.

After 3 days of visiting, Josue finally told John and Katie why he had come. They were impressed by Josue’s level of training, skill, intentionality, and faith. They were also inspired by the fact that he would give up a good job in Canada to help his fellow Haitians.

Many Haitians live in houses similar to this one.


Josue giving out loans in the form of goats. Can you spot Josue?

When Josue began IFOSuD, he had just one financial gift from John and Enoch in North Dakota. He returned to Haiti, gathered a group of qualified volunteers, and began to implement IFOSuD.

IFOSuD conducts hands-on training.

Here are some interesting elements that make IFOSuD work so well:

  1. They find a local man of influence, known as the ‘man of peace’ who identifies 50 people in his community that have genuine needs and are willing to work.

Learning the importance of selecting quality seeds

  1. They choose both Christians and non-Christian beneficiaries.
  2. As they begin business and agricultural training, they also conduct Bible training. This brings the students into a proper relationship with God, themselves and the land. They are able to see creation differently and recognize their responsibility in regards to their life and the land.

Beneficiaries must faithfully attend classes for the program to continue.

  1. They continue running classes only if all 50 beneficiaries continue to attend. If even one student drops out, the training is over for the entire class. This ensures very good attendance and follow through.
  2. IFOSuD has field monitors assigned to specific families. They form deep connections with the beneficiaries and closely monitor their technical work while encouraging them spiritually.

A field monitor meets with beneficiaries in their home.

  1. IFOSuD does not give loans in the form of money. Loans are always seeds, animals, and other items needed to enhance the beneficiaries businesses.
  2. The farmers repay their loan by giving IFOSuD a certain amount of their earnings. The beneficiaries are also required to give a loan to a neighbor and pass on to them what they have learned.
  3. IFOSuD sees an 87% repayment of loans which is considered very good.

IFOSuD had been in operation for a year when hurricane Matthew struck. As you hear in the episode, the destruction of the papaya trees cost Josue and IFOSuD $60,000 in expected profit.

Haiti and Cuba prepare for the storm in the video below.

 

Have you ever eaten a papaya?
Here are some great ways to enjoy them:

Look at the amazing growth of a papaya tree in only 10 months.

Josue was so discouraged he felt like quitting. But he realized giving up was not the right thing to do.

When the beneficiaries heard about the people on the coast who lost everything, they immediately decided to help them. While Josue was getting supplies for new roofs together, the beneficiaries were packing up their Bibles, bags of seeds and garden tools. They wanted to help the people rebuild their lives by replanting their fields and teaching what they had learned from the IFOSuD classes.

This was an amazing demonstration of the breakthrough in the hearts of the beneficiaries. No longer did they see themselves as strugglers with nothing to give. They realized that even though they didn’t have much, they could offer what they had. And God could use their gifts to bring about MUCH good! This touched John and Josue deeply. God had done a powerful work in the lives of the beneficiaries.

IFOSuD students celebrate at their graduation


John talking with one of the ladies helped by IFOSuD

Episode 66: Saving Wimples

As our writing team thought about the importance of doing everything to the glory of God, the story Saving Wimples took shape. When we follow Jesus, we can serve Him even when we work for our earthly boss. Saving Wimples is a story where Kate demonstrates this important truth at her first job. While much of Saving Wimples is fictional, key portions of the stories are based on real events. Most of these real events happened while Ian Bultman worked as a teenager in the meat department at a local grocery store. While many would recognize the name of this grocery chain, we decided the store would probably appreciate us not mentioning the name.

Ian did many of the tasks we hear Kate do at Wimples, such as making sausages. As happened to Kim in Saving Wimples, Ian discovered his bandaid was missing half way through making one hundred pounds of linked sausage. He spent some time searching through the ground meat that he had not yet been stuffed into sausage casings and linked. Just before Ian began cutting open links, he happened to look down and spotted his bandaid on the floor. It had been there the whole time! After this, Ian understood why he was supposed to wear gloves for this job.

Watch your bandaids closely when making sausage!

The lobster mistake also really happened. While working at the unnamed store, Ian remembers the day a truck delivered many boxes of live lobsters. The manager had intended on ordering one box, but somehow multiple boxes arrived. As in the episode, the staff cooked many of the lobsters to keep them from going bad. Ian remembers the management allowing the employees to buy live lobster at a steep discount. His family had a real feast that night! In our story, Kate and the Wimples made lobster bratwursts. Below is a recipe for lobster sausages. If you try this recipe, be sure to write us and let us know how they taste!

https://www.bostonchefs.com/recipe/maine-lobster-sausage/
Recipe for Lobster Sausages

While writing this story we thought it would be fun to use a real lobster company to sell Wimples the lobsters. After searching the internet, we called Sea Salt Lobster, and Sean McEwen answered the phone. He gave us permission to use his company in the story and he also read the script for us over the phone. His acting was so good we used him in the episode as himself!

The Bultmans explore the inner workings of Sea Salt Lobsters with Sean

After Sea Salt Lobster was featured in the episode, the Bultman family decided to visit the company while traveling through Maine. Sean gave the family a tour of the facility along with a delicious meal of New England Chowder. If you ever visit Maine, be sure to stop at Sea Salt Lobster and say ‘hi’ to Sean for us.

https://www.seasaltlobster.com/
Sea Salt Lobster Co

While working at the unnamed grocery store, Ian really did put chocolate icing on a loaf of French bread making it look like a huge long john doughnut. As soon as he slid it into the case among all the little doughnuts, he heard a young voice on the customer’s side of the display say ‘Mom, I want THAT one! Next, Ian heard the mom asking the counter clerk ‘Excuse me, is the big one for sale?’ Ian chuckled as he slipped into the back room. He was a bit of a prankster, and his behavior occasionally got him into trouble.

The final story we used from Ian’s short career at the unnamed grocery store was of the man falling through the ceiling. Just as you hear in the episode, this store had a problem with birds in the produce department. An assistant manager, who was an avid gun collector, volunteered to eliminate the birds with a .22 rifle loaded with birdshot.The other employees were rather shocked when he arrived early Saturday morning during store hours and disappeared into the ceiling to hunt the birds with his rifle. Ian was serving a customer at the meat counter when he heard thumping in the ceiling above him. Suddenly there was a loud crash. The bird hunting manager had slipped off a rafter and landed on the thin ceiling tiles directly above the counter.  Ian and the customer looked up in horror to see legs break through the ceiling and begin kicking wildly through the gaping hole! Plaster and debris showered the meat counter. As the legs disappeared back into the ceiling, the terrified customer turned her shopping cart and bolted from the meat department. Ian never forgot this experience, and our team had a fun time recreating this crazy event.


Man falls through ceiling in a golf shop: Doesn’t get hurt

In reality, Ashley, the person who plays Kate, actually worked at Smith Brothers coffee shop.  Wimples is a fictional store based loosely on Bernie’s Meat Market in Port Washington, Wisconsin. But, unlike Wimples, Bernies is a thriving meat market with sought after sausages and bratwurst.The Brinkman team often visits Bernies for a quick bite to eat.

The idea of the longest lobster bratwurst was fictional, but many “longest bratwursts” have been created. To date the award for longest sausage goes to a group in Romania. Their sausage was 38.99 miles long and weighed an incredible 45 tons!

The longest sausage in the world measured in at 38.99 miles long!

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/longest-sausage

Watch as a local grocery store makes their longest bratwurst ever.

Kate’s character Ashley really did release an album the year before this season came out. We featured a snippet of her song, “Lonely Town” in this episode.

This story is meant to communicate a couple of important truths. First, as Christians, God calls us to be a light wherever we work. Second, sometimes the right thing to do is to stay in a difficult situation and help make things better. In Saving Wimples, Kate stuck it out when things became difficult. She helped Mrs. Wimples get to the bottom of the trouble in the store. When Kate discovered Kim was the source of the problems, she did the hard thing and confronted her. Even when Kate was about to lose her whole album, she showed that she cared more about Kim than she did about saving her work. By this, she demonstrated God’s love and was a light in her workplace. Old Miss Lagatha summed it up at the beginning of the episode,  a job isn’t just a job.