Meet A Missionary (and an Author)

On Monday I wrote about giving kids a global outlook. Often when we talk to missionaries, pastors, authors, graphic designers, etc. and ask why they are doing what they do — the answer is that someone inspired them.

So occasionally I will interview someone who is serving the Lord in a unique way, choosing people who might be of particular interest to your kids.

Today I interviewed Deb Brammer. You might have heard of her and/or read some of her writing. Deb and her husband live in New Zealand … and this is her story.

I know you live in New Zealand? Are you from the States or are you from NZ?

I grew up in a pastor’s home in Colorado. At Bible college I met Art Brammer who felt God calling him to be a missionary in Taiwan. The Lord led us together. We served as missionaries in Taiwan for sixteen years. Then the Lord led us to New Zealand where my husband is a missionary pastor. We’ve been here twenty years. (Our town has the world’s most southern Starbucks!)

Taiwan, Kaoshiung
The busy city of Taiwan. Taiwan has 23 million in a an area 1/7th the size of Colorado.

When did you start writing? What motivated you to become a writer?

As a teenager I loved to write and was interested in writing for Christian publications, but I didn’t know where to begin. At Bible college I felt God was leading me to write as well as serve as a missionary. One of my teachers at Bible college showed me how to send in articles to publishers who would use them in their Sunday School take home papers. During most of the forty years I’ve been a missionary, I’ve found some regular time to write. I feel it’s something God wants me to do, so I work at finding time to do it. I also enjoy it. Very often, when God calls or leads us to do something, we find it’s something we enjoy doing and that is true for my writing.

In contrast – the peacefulness of New Zealand. New Zealand has 5 million in area the size of Colorado.

What is your purpose (goal) in writing?

There is a part of me that loves to write and I feel like something is missing when I don’t write. Mainly I write because I believe God has things He wants to say through my writing. I want to write things that will help people in their Christian lives.

zcoverPBF #3.jpgWhat is the story behind the Peanut Butter Friends in a Chop-Suey World?

Peanut Butter Friends in a Chop Suey World, is a fiction (made-up) book about a girl who goes with her parents to live on the mission field of Taiwan. Some readers have asked me if this is like my daughters’ lives, but it’s not. My daughters came to Taiwan as babies and grew up there. It was normal life for them. It’s more like my own life, but on a child’s level. Like Amy in the book, life in Taiwan was new to me when we first went there. I had to learn to speak Taiwanese, a dialect of Chinese. Living in a crowded Chinese city was a lot different that living in Colorado where I grew up. Almost everyone around us was  Chinese except for some missionaries we knew. So I had to make many of the changes Amy had to make, except as an adult.

I also wrote a kids’ book about life in New Zealand. In Two Sides to Everything Josh visits his mom’s uncle on a rural sheep farm in New Zealand and attends a mission church. Both learn about cultural differences in places very different to the home they’re used to. zcover2sides a.jpg

What is something you enjoy doing when you aren’t writing?

So much of my life is writing or ministry. One of my favorite things to do is to go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. Pastor Art and I went there for our twenty-fifth and fortieth anniversary. The tropical fish were gorgeous and I loved swimming right above a sea turtle. As missionaries you find yourself close to interesting places and it allows us to see things that we wouldn’t see if we just lived an average life in America.

To find out more about Deb’s ministry, go to her website.

Hobbiton where the Shire scenes for the Lord of the Rings were shot. The movie makers situated the hobbit houses into the natural rolling hills and farmland of New Zealand.

(Adults – you might be interested in another book Deb wrote: Edges of Truth, the true story of Mary Weaver who was wrong convicted for murder of a child in her care.)

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