Archive for October 2009
Please allow me to introduce you to a new friend of mine. Everybody calls him Mr. Billy out of respect. That respect is not only given to him because of his age, as he is the oldest resident at the Brother Bryan Mission, but he is also one of the most well liked and thus respected residents at the mission. Mr. Billy has the outward appearance of a strong and tough man as he spent most of his working life as a welder for 38 years in the steel industry here in Birmingham. He never really knew his mother or father as a child. He was adopted and he has had many difficult experiences in life, including one of many accidents at the steel mill were he had his jaw shattered and lost his teeth. But on the inside Mr. Billy is a softhearted, compassionate man. He will tell you that because he was adopted and cared for as a child, he wanted to help other children in the same way, so he adopted two children of his own and raised them.
Whenever you see him, Mr. Billy has a smile on his face, a welcoming attitude and even a hug for those he knows as friends. If you spend any time with Mr. Billy, it is easy to see that he has a close relationship with his Creator and Lord. It is a blessing to hear him pray, which he often does before the evening meal at the mission. Mr. Billy has a regular seat for chapel every evening that is front and center.
As a father figure he cares for the other men at the mission like family. He is looked up to as the patriarch of the Mission by many of the younger men that might not have had a father in their lives. Even though he doesn’t have a job to get to each day, he takes it upon himself to get up before all the other men at the mission so he can be ready to give the wake up call at 5:15am. He will walk through the dormitories and make the call of “rise and shine to get that breakfast right on time” until all the men are up. Then he will faithfully take care of preparing the drinks and keeping the dining room clean for meals.
Mr. Billy has a street vendors license that he uses to sell soft drinks and snacks. He doesn’t do it necessarily for the profit, because he sells not much over cost. He does it to provide the people around the mission with affordable snacks and to keep himself busy.
This is just a glimpse into the life of a seasoned saint. If you live in Birmingham or ever visit, please stop by the Brother Bryan Mission and meet Mr. Billy. Within a few minutes time, you too will have a new friend. Please remember Mr. Billy as he is facing another difficult struggle in life as he recently has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer.
Attention all tweet heads….Brother Bryan has joined in the craze and will now be formally entering the twittering world. Follow us at @BrotherBryan
We have much to give thanks for here at the Brother Bryan Mission. It’s said that the angels rejoice when a sinner comes to repentance. We too join with them in song and praise over two new brothers who have looked to Christ for new life. Recently, Mr. Ron Puckett and Julio Garcia were baptized at the New Georgia Baptist Church. These men have trusted in Christ for salvation and have followed Him faithfully in baptism. We are grateful for the opportunity to walk alongside these men as they continue in their life with God. It is an encouragement for all and brings our God great glory. Please join with us as we pray for these men and for all those who come to Brother Bryan. We are believing that God will fulfill His promise of bringing a people from every nation to join in worship. Here at Brother Bryan we are committed to Jesus’ commission that would have us “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Thank you for your support and prayers as we partner together for the expansion of the kingdom and glory of Christ.
Greetings in Christ Jesus! My name is Brian Keen and God has called me to serve as the new program director at the Brother Bryan Mission. I am humbled and honored to serve in this new capacity. I come to you from a time of service at Samford University where I completed my Masters of Divinity degree at Beeson Divinity School. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from Anderson University. My past experience has included opportunities to serve as a student pastor, inner city short-term mission coordinator, and Samford’s Global Involvement coordinator for the Pacific Rim. I have also been a licensed and ordained minister of the gospel for the six years. It is my earnest prayer that all of these experiences have helped shape and prepare me for the great challenges and opportunities ahead. What a truly exciting time to be in the service of our Lord.
At a time when rampant substance abuse, destruction of traditional home life, and homelessness is on the rise Brother Bryan has continued to stand the test of time as a testament to the life changing power of the gospel. While the needs in the city of Birmingham are immense, we serve a great God. It is my firm conviction that in this most difficult of times Christ is alive and doing a great work here at the Mission.
Our purpose here at the Brother Bryan Mission is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by providing for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of economically, emotionally, and spiritually impoverished men of the Birmingham area. In an effort to fulfill that mission we are prayerfully moving forward with several new programs. We have recently launched a new review process to discern the needs of our residents and create a custom program for each resident. We are also in the process of creating a new computer lab that will allow for vocational rehabilitation opportunities. New bible studies and workshops involving life skills will also be in place in the near future. Finally, we are also in the process of creating a new Advocate Program that will allow strong Christian men an opportunity to invest in the life of a resident.
Finally, please be in prayer for us as we continue to seek the wisdom of God in all areas of ministry. I am praying personally for God’s strength and ask for the prayers and assistance of all who partner with Brother Bryan. Thank you for your continued support in service to the mission financially and in prayer. May God bless you all richly in the name of Jesus Christ.