#29 – Shaped by the Word, ft. Bryan Born

 In

Shaped by the Word

 

CBC President, Bryan Born, shares his journey with Christ and how God has used family, church and the people of Botswana to shape his life and his leadership.

 

 

“There are a few things that have just been really critical for me, and one of the key ones is how I start my day, that time where you just say, okay Lord Jesus, what’s going to happen in this day? How do I walk with you? Spending time in the word, spending time in prayer.” – Bryan Born

 

Topics Covered Include

  • Capernwray Experience
  • Ministry in Botswana
  • Life and Disciple Making
  • Challenges at CBC in Covid
  • Bryan’s personal joys
  • Being a Missionary

 

Show Notes

 

 

BCMB Pastor to Pastor
BCMB Pastor to Pastor
#29 - Shaped by the Word, ft. Bryan Born
/

 

Transcription

BCMB 029 - Shaped By the Word.mp3 transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

BCMB 029 - Shaped By the Word.mp3 was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Bryan Born:
It is really sad that our camps are not able to function the way they normally would this summer for a variety of reasons, obviously just serving the younger kids. I also look at it from the Bible college perspective here. So many of our students, especially some of our best students and our best student leaders. Right?

Bryan Born:
Their discipleship experiences have been through camp. There are a few things that have just been really critical for me. And one of the key ones is how I start my day, that time where you just say, Okay Lord Jesus, what is, what, what's going to happen in this day? How, how do I walk with you? Spending time in the word, spending time in prayer.

Welcome to the BCMB podcast, Pastor to Pastor. This is a podcast by the British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. We want to help equip and encourage pastors, churches and anyone else who wants to listen in and be more effective in their ministry.

This is Episode 29, shaped by the Word with Bryan Born.

Rob Thiessen:
All right, hey, everyone, Rob Thiessen here, this is the BCMB pastor to pastor podcast and really welcome you to, to our, our show today, our program, our conversation. Super happy to welcome Bryan Born, who is the president of Columbia Bible College, our college,and, to the conversation today. Bryan's going to share a bit of his story, going to get to know him. And I think we're going to be pointed to God's faithfulness through the conversation and encouraged. So. Bryan, welcome. Thank you, Rob. Yeah, it's great we're sitting here in the office, it's a Covid podcast, we couldn't get, get into our usual spot down at the Northview bunker, as I call it. They're their broadcast bunker. But this will do and hopefully, hopefully it won't hinder our conversation here. We're sitting in my office on a rainy. A rainy day, I won't say when, because I don't know always when these podcasts are put out. But that's OK. Yeah. So the first question I asked this of guests often is to tell us a little bit about the community that shaped your faith. And, you know, we ask that because it's not just our story. It's the story of the community that God has put us in and how he has expressed his grace. So tell us about that. Tell us your story a little bit.

Bryan Born:
Well Rob, you know, like you, in a lot of ways, I grew up in a strong Mennonite Brethren family and, you know, farming background, Matsqui, people know where that is, Mount Lehman not far out of Abbotsford here. We went to church regularly and you know that back in the day was Sunday morning, Sunday evenings, midweek, Sunday nights.

Rob Thiessen:
Yeah, we used to miss Walt Disney for Sunday, and it was torture.

Bryan Born:
Totally. So we had all of these kind of things.

Bryan Born:
And I have to admit, at points, it was like, I would volunteer to do extra chores so maybe I could get out of going to a service, these kind of things. But, you know, great parents, great relatives in terms of, I had a grandfather who was a pastor and an aunt and uncle who served in Brazil for well over 35 years with M.B Mission, now Multiply, you know, another one of my uncles and aunts, they were, pastored a couple of MB churches and stuff. And so, you know, a lot of really positive Christian influences in my life. But to be frank, I did rebel against that upbringing during my teenage years. And, you know, for me it was Christianity is about do's and don'ts. And I tended to kind of move towards the don'ts. Loved basketball. I mean, I've often said to students here at Columbia, there were kind of three really important things for me in high school, basketball, fast cars and girls and girls tended to be lower on the list. But that, that was just the way I went through things. But right after high school, I did a year of college in what's now the University of the Fraser Valley. And, and because I liked fast cars, I drove too fast and had a couple of car accidents. And after the second one, which I really should have been pretty seriously injured in, but I walked away from it and I was sitting on my bed at home and a verse that I had learned from Sunday school came back to me. And it's Proverbs 14:12 that says, there's a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death. And I was sitting there on my bed and going, yeah, that's the road you're on, Bryan. And you want to stay on that road or you want to go in a different direction. And it was at that point, I had a lot of my friends right after high school had gone to bible schools, and I was like. Why don't I go to bible school? And, and not really knowing what, I hadn't really given my life to Christ, I would say at that point, but it was just like, I'm not happy with the way things are going.

Bryan Born:
So I went go down to Texas and have had a phenomenal experience at the Capenwray Bible School down there. And, and as I've again, I've said this to a lot of students at the college this is my, my hope, my dream, my prayer for every student who comes to Columbia is that four things would happen. One is that you'd figure out that following Jesus, Christianity, it's, it's not about rules and regulations. It's about a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Bryan Born:
And that happened for me. And I'm sure I'd heard that a thousand times growing up. I went to a Central Heights Church, we had Boschman, a phenomenal preacher with great messages.

Bryan Born:
It just didn't hit, until I went to bible school. Second thing that happened was we walked through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. And, you know, I knew lots of the stories. Right? I'd gone to Sunday school, but it was that grand story of what God said. You know, his desires for all of humanity, all of creation are. And that, you know, it gripped me and the Bible gripped my heart and soul ever since. Third thing that happened was I made great friends, you know, and I married one of them.

Bryan Born:
Doesn't happen with everybody who goes the Bible college.

Rob Thiessen:
Did you meet Teresa in Texas?

Bryan Born:
Ya, That's where we met. So, yeah, she was from up north and I was from this area.

Bryan Born:
So but, you know, a lot of a number of other friends, very close friends to this day, were those friendships were forged during those years. And those are the people when I have struggles, when there's challenges, you go to those folks. Right? And then the fourth one is I start to get a sense of call. And for me, part of that happened. We went on a short term mission trip down to Mexico. And, you know, just the opportunity to serve and to see the needs and to see people who are trying to figure out what it means to follow Jesus. All of those things, you know, happened for me and then coming back. And we were I was going to Central Heights at the time. Blaine Gryner, maybe some some of the listeners will know that name. Blaine just pulled me aside and said, here's a grade two boys Sunday school class. I want you to teach the class and you're going to help me with our young adults kind of group that we've got going on here. And I was like, ya, okay Blaine. I just kind of followed him along and, and that was great. You know, we had other awesome pastors, you know, Henry Wiebe, maybe a name people know, super encouraging. I've been so blessed through the years to have had a number of, you know, just men of God who've come alongside, encouraged me, sometimes you know, pointed me in the right direction. I wouldn't say slap me upside the head, but, you know, kind of corrected a little bit along the way. Yeah, I've been I've been really blessed in that way. So, in so many ways,

Rob Thiessen:
That's interesting. Boy you and I have a lot in common in our story. You know, both. I also, I guess I remember a moment like that to thinking this pathway that I'm on, this is, this is going to lead to no good ending. And it, it happened over a period of time. When I was at, post high school, I was up in Grand Prairie working construction with a friend of mine. And I remember there was a fight in the bar that we were in after work. And I saw a guy smack their heads on the tables and just get beat up. And I thought, this is not the place I want to be.

Bryan Born:
Right.

Rob Thiessen:
And it started to gel in my mind that what looked so attractive was really, really maybe I should rethink this. And it took a while. You know, I was you know, you're 19, 18, 19 years old, takes a little while for that. And I did the same thing you did. I came back and I thought, actually it was Ray Harms-Wiebe and me who wasn't Harms-Wiebe at the time. Yeah. But we were like, we should do something different. And we had friends who had come back from Capernwray and we liked what we saw. We thought , they seem to be alive in their faith. And that looked good. And yeah.

Rob Thiessen:
And you also I too, like I grew up going to church and good church. Really good. It totally was discipled and shaped in my life. But you, you know, I think it's part of just spiritual development when you're young, you, you, you think in terms of do's and don'ts, it just that's how, that's how your, your, your mind processes things. And so your Christian faith is like, and that's childlike. And it's like what the what the scripture says. It's the law that leads us, prepares us and then say, you're so. But at some point you have to shift away from being a rules driven person and realize, oh, actually, there's so much more.

Bryan Born:
Well, you know, I've had this conversation with so many students here at the college. And, you know, sometimes I say I'm a bit of a one trick pony when it comes to counseling. I don't have a whole lot of brilliant counseling insights, but there's a few questions that I just think as young adults, and that's part of the reason that I'm so passionate about Bible college and what can happen in terms of the lives of young adults. In the questions I often say to them, it's time. You got to decide, are you going to follow Jesus?

Bryan Born:
You need to answer that question. And then secondly, who do you want to follow Jesus with? And and that's a big question, because who we hang around with and who we connect with, it really impacts our lives. And, and part of that question, and I joked about it a little bit before that Teresa and I met when we were down in Texas.

Bryan Born:
But you know, who you decide to marry like this is really a huge question. And are you on the same page or you going in the same direction? Do you have the same desires? These are questions you need to look at.

Bryan Born:
And then one, one thing. I've had this conversation with so many folks, and I think people don't often, don't answer it honestly, but the question of, what do you want?

Bryan Born:
And you, Rob your comment about seeing what happened in this bar for me, having this car accident, walking away from it and honestly looking at this thing and saying, what do you want? And I think for us in the church, and even as we grow older in our faith, we constantly need to re-ask ourselves, re-ask that question, because we deceive ourselves a lot of times.

Bryan Born:
Yeah, I want to follow Jesus. But am I willing to put in the time in the energy and the effort to do this thing? You know, I want to serve, but actually I kind of just want to go watch Netflix for a while. Right. This is about discipline and picking up our cross and following Christ, you know, what do you really want? And. And it struck me, that's, that's a gospel question Jesus asks people. You can see it. Mark chapter, 10, blind Bartimaeus, I mean, here's a blind guy and he's calling out, you know, Jesus, son of David, help me out here. And Jesus looks at the guy and the guy's blind, obviously. Right? And his first question, what do you want me to do for you?

Bryan Born:
What do you think? You know, I want to be healed. I think Jesus was, was really looking at him, saying, you want your life changed? You want this to be fundamentally different?

Bryan Born:
Same thing happens in John 5, when Jesus meets with this guy who's been paralyzed. 38 years at this pool waiting for the waters to move. Jesus'first question, what he want? Of course, I want to be healed, like it seems like an obvious question, but I think Jesus was really pressing into the heart of the matter. Do you want to see your life fundamentally changed, transformed? You're going to experience life that's totally different. And it may be, it may even be way harder than than what? Just sitting by the pool the rest of the time?

Bryan Born:
Yeah, yeah. Maybe a little bit of an overstatement.

Rob Thiessen:
But I think the thing, though, that makes that question, an attractive question, not an off-putting question, is, is the fact that it's, when, when you see Christ and you know, you, you encounter what he's done for you, whether like for you, you know, the whole sweep of scripture, you're captured by it.

Rob Thiessen:
You're like, no, this is amazing. Exactly. And you experience friendship, community.

Rob Thiessen:
You experience truth, hope, and, you know, probably at your place in your life, too. But in my life, at some point, you encounter the personal reality of what He did for you on the cross, and, you know, when that hits your life, you're like, well, how could I not receive this kind of a love? So then the cost of the discipline or whatever just. Yeah, sure. You have to say no to some, some laziness, to some self-centeredness, but it doesn't feel like a high price to pay because you think, oh, He's, it's so awesome, so beautiful.

Rob Thiessen:
And you know.

Bryan Born:
Yeah. I mean, it's interesting your comment right there, Rob. I'm struck by this even just this last weekend. And, you know, with all the protests and the unrest that's been going on obviously in the states and now spread in other places. And that, I was then a bit of a Facebook conversation with somebody.

Bryan Born:
And they made, you know, I don't want to get too political but, they made this comment about this George Floyd and saying, you know, he deserved what he got. And that got me pretty riled up, to be honest. Right? And, and I said, and I responded back and I go, no, he didn't deserve. But in a sense, we should all be so incredibly grateful to God because we don't deserve, we don't get what we deserve.

Bryan Born:
Yeah, yeah. You know, it's, and it struck me again, even as I was reflecting on that. We deserve judgment and we deserve, you know, all of these, the consequences of our sin, and yet what we get is mercy, we get forgiveness, we get love, we get grace all of these, these amazing gifts that are poured out on us. And it was funny because you just sometimes you have these moments and I was in the room just in that moment. I just. Thank you, Jesus. Yeah. Yeah.You know, 

Rob Thiessen:
I remember we had, did you have Christian Bask as a teacher when you were there? No. He was, he was there teaching us and he. We had Arnold Fruckton. Oh yeah. Yeah. Ike Bomb too. You know, he's still alive and he does tours to Israel. Wouldn't that be fantastic. It would be fun. That guy I remember he wore socks and flip flops and white socks and flip flops and he always looked at the ceiling when he, when he spoke. Yes. Anyway, this is the gospel of John. You know, I still remember his Brooklyn Jewish accent. Yeah.

Rob Thiessen:
But I remember we're studying atonement there. And Christian gave like a detailed sort of account of the timing of the cross and what happened with Jesus in heaven and hell and all that. And in reflection, I thought, well, I'm not so sure that that's actually that clear from scripture the way he described it.

Rob Thiessen:
But I remember that looking deeply at the work of Christ on the cross, I just felt like, oh, I'm, I'm looking at the transaction that purchased my freedom. And that's honestly that's what gets me with the current like, oh, you know, we don't. Oh, no. Substitutionary told me. Oh, that's just, you know, God being wrathful, I'm like, good night. Are you kidding me. Like, that's the transaction that saved my butt, you know, that took my place.

Rob Thiessen:
That, that, that's the judgment that I deserve. That's the gospel. You know how it all happened, how God pulled it off, why he didn't do it some other way, I don't know. I don't know. Could he have done it some other way? Maybe. But was God so. Yeah. Was it an ugly thing, you know, divine child abuse. No. It's like God, this is what God did for us.

Bryan Born:
Well, and again, I keep going, whenever I hear that, that is divine child abuse, I'm going, you got a defective theology. Yeah. You don't believe in the Trinity. Yeah, because Trinity says God is one. So God was inflicting, he was taking that pain upon himself. That's suffering. It's not like somehow God, you know, farmed it out to Jesus. This was God that was suffering for us.

Rob Thiessen:
And, and I get the criticism like, oh, you know, if you just look at that as a, you know, your ticket into heaven. And, and but I think, again, that's a defective understanding. I mean, if you think of only, if you, if you embrace what he did for you, then, then the next step of surrendering your life is like, it's like, well, how could I not you know, I mean, he's Lord, he's, he's now my life is forfeit. My life is His what now? He's king now, you know. So I, I think that. Yeah.

Rob Thiessen:
But anyway that's theology and we didn't really set up the podcast to go deep into that,

Rob Thiessen:
I wanted to just ask you about, you know, for the listeners, Bryan and Teresa and Janet and I lived back to back in apartments down in California, in Fresno. We were in seminary together and, and, and our wives both had home births in those apartments. So that was interesting. Interesting times. A lot of excitement in, in, in the, in the suite.

Bryan Born:
Yeah. We could talk about how Rob tried to start the apartment on fire while Janet was giving birth, but that's anther story.

Rob Thiessen:
My daughter Erin, she's, she's just a little over thirty now. So thirty years ago, yes. The midwives started a fire in the kitchen and that created. And meanwhile, my wife was in the bedroom, you know, giving, having a baby. And I was trying to put out a fire, but we made it through those times.

Rob Thiessen:
But as, soon after that, I went up to pastoring in Ontario and you and Teresa made a rather radical departure. Tell us about that experience in your life, how the Lord led you out there and what are some things he taught you?

Bryan Born:
Yeah, you know, we spent twelve years in Botswana with MB Mission, now Multiply from 1992 to 2004, and you know, the road to getting to Botswana. I need to keep it brief because it was actually a ten year time period, you know, and it goes back to again. And what I was saying before about how, you know, my discipleship journey. And so even before Teresa and I were married, we finished Bible school, kind of getting a bit of a sense about maybe cross-cultural mission.

Bryan Born:
We came back here to Abbotsford, Teresa lived with her aunt and uncle, and so we were dating at the time and something that doesn't happen that much in our churches anymore. And sometimes I think it would be really good if it did. Central Heights, every fall, they had a missions conference, right. So they bring in guest speakers. And we were at one of those events and we were, we weren't sitting together or anything. And at the end of the conference and I don't remember who the speaker was, but he just said, look, you know, we're making a call here. And for anybody who wants to follow Jesus and who's willing to go wherever God wants you to go and do whatever you know, God wants you to do, why you come forward and we're going to pray for you. And like I say independently, both Teresa and I went forward to the that evening and, and that was, I mean, it's a pivotal moment in my life. I look back at it and I'm going, I don't know what God was calling. I didn't know what God was calling me to at that point in my life. But I was like, I'm all in, like, 100 percent here, Lord, whatever you want. And, and a month later, I asked Teresa to marry me, and be the really romantic guy that I am. You know, I'm like, I want to spend, you know, the rest of my life with you, but don't say yes unless you're willing to go into cross-cultural mission. And I mean, I just laid it straight out there because I said, I'm going and, you know, I'm dragging you along if you, you know. And she said, no, I'm all in, fact, she she jammed the engagement ring so hard on her finger and it didn't fit.

Bryan Born:
So the next day we actually had to get it cut off. So she was serious. She wanted in. And we, you know, and then we went off to Bible school to get some more college, to get some more training.

Bryan Born:
We went out to, to Regina, actually, to Canadian Bible College. What's Ambros now? Yeah. And, you know, got involved in a lot of church ministry, you know, volunteer and everything else, and then went down to Fresno to get some more training. Pastored part time in a church down there. And, and just throughout that whole time period, just trying to discern where does God want us to be and to do, you know. And, you know, Africa kept coming up in a bunch of different ways. I won't go into all of those kind of pieces. And then we were up in Fort St. John after seminary for three more years. And one particular day there was just this MB Mission, kind of these brochures with opportunities. And they were talking about Bible teaching with African independent churches. And I had done a paper in seminary and that explored African independent churches and some of their theology in this kind of stuff. And I just remember as soon as I saw it, it was just like, that's what I want to do. And, and Teresa was like, hold your horses a little bit. We need to pray through this. We need to talk to the elders of the church and our parents. But everybody was really on board, you know, like we, we've been so blessed just in terms of the encouragement we've received from family and friends throughout the years. And that was just another one of those experiences. And yeah. So that's how we got out there. I was 30. She was twenty nine. We had three little kids and yeah, we spent twelve years Bible teaching, discipleship, working with churches that were planting churches, worked with probably about 140 different denominations actually. Oh yeah. Little, little churches, some real big churches, all kinds of stuff.

Rob Thiessen:
Ok, that's interesting. So how could one person work with one hundred and forty denominations. It's like, is it just, is it literally because African independent churches are totally independent.

Bryan Born:
They are, like these are churches that were started by Africans for Africans. I mean like when I try to describe them. Like, there's a real emphasis on, on the spirit and on spiritual things. In fact, the term they'll use for themselves is spiritual churches. Kereke sa sa moina if you want it in Tswana. So these spiritual churches and, you know, so healing prophecy. So in a way, they're, they're super charismatic. Yeah. But on the other side. And this was one of the main reasons we were working with them is pretty much all of their leaders have never really had any kind of biblical training. And, and so that, you know, led in many cases to heresy, to be honest.

Bryan Born:
You know, like we worked with churches where they were still doing animal sacrifice, for example. So they get, they read something in the old testament and say lets do it. Yeah, I still pray or pray to the ancestors and mixing that, you know, and like this word syncretism is something that was just really rampant, you know, in a lot of the churches. But there was, it was also awesome at points. I remember one particular lady who was in our Bible classes and we call, people in the classes called her mopapa, which means the pope, OK, because, you know, she read things in the Bible and it was like, OK, we're doing this like right now. And this was, we were doing a seminar on church administration. Really fascinating subject, that was sarcasm, if you didn't hear that in my voice. But it was a really big deal down there because people they didn't know how to organize groups and stuff. And so finances was often a bit of a challenge. So we were doing an all day seminar on this thing. We've done it all morning. We get after lunch. And I asked if there were any questions. And one of the people said, in our church, we still do animal sacrifices. Is that OK? And I'm going, well, this has nothing to do with church administration, but it's way more interesting.

Bryan Born:
So this is where we're going. And we've pretty much spent the whole rest of the afternoon just walking through the book of Hebrews. And I love the book of Hebrews, Rob. I mean, I've often said I think it's the gospel for, for Africa in so many ways. But I also look back here at some point, yet I'm teaching the book of Hebrews in a course, here at the college. It is so focused on Jesus and how he is greater than everything. He's greater than the angels. He's greater than Moses, he's greater than Melchizedek. He's greater than the whole Old Testament sacrificial system. It's just, it's all about the awesomeness of Jesus. Right. So we just walk through Hebrews all afternoon. And at the end of it, she said, I remember her standing up. She says in our church, we've always been doing animal sacrifices. We just read this today. We're not doing that anymore. And it was just cut and dry. Right? I mean, this is what the Bible says. And that, that was one of the things I loved out there in terms of working with with so many of those folks, is see the power of scripture, the power of scripture, and just the way the scripture and the Holy Spirit, work hand in hand in our lives.

Bryan Born:
And, and, you know, and that was just real with spiritual warfare. Yeah. You know, I learned I learned so much. I you know, I had Bible College in seminary before going to Botswana. And I felt like.

Bryan Born:
I got a whole new education of the Bible because the questions were just so many, so different than many of the questions that we face each year.

Rob Thiessen:
Yeah, I think that's that's great. It's.

Rob Thiessen:
You know, I think the way we sometimes talk and I did another podcast with Iain Provan a little while ago too where we talked about some of the progressive theology and the approach to scripture that, you know, comes from penants and others, other voices saying, oh, it's just, you know, it needs wisdom. We're going to interpret for our context. And I'm thinking, wow, the Bible is so much more powerful than just a book of wise sayings. Like it literally, God speaks through it. And, and that's why we have this, this humble attitude and conviction in our own confession of faith that we are under the authority of scripture. And, of course, the Holy Spirit is, you know, he's the one that illuminates it and Jesus is at the center.

Rob Thiessen:
But it's transformative. And what you're saying is any culture can open the scripture and. And God speaks through it and, and, and gives, gives our culture a tune up, you know, this way. Not that way.

Bryan Born:
I mean, I'll give you another example. Right. Like one of the funniest things, we'd maybe been in, in Botswana, but a month and I'm visiting with this older man who's a pastor.

Rob Thiessen:
And this is the context in Botswana. We talking cities? Rural villages?

Bryan Born:
At that point, I was in in a village setting, most of our time we lived in cities, not huge cities. But, you know, but, but this point with a village guy and he comes to me and he tells me his dream that he had from the night before and it had like lions and all kinds of, it had all kinds of stuff in it. And at the end of it, he looked at me and he the term they use is Marutai. It's like pastor teacher. He says Marutai, what does that mean?

Bryan Born:
And I remember looking, I'm going, why are you asking me?

Bryan Born:
I don't know squat about interpreting dreams, but in an African context, dreams are really important and, and they're real. Yeah. They've got messages in them. Yeah. And the rest of my time in Botswana, I spent regularly just looking at dreams in the Bible. I mean there's wacks loads of information about dreams in scripture that we don't even, we don't even think about it here in the West.

Rob Thiessen:
We question it if somebody operating at God spoke to him. And yet today, especially from the Middle East, we're hearing lots of stories about Muslims coming to Christ, through dreams.

Rob Thiessen:
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Well, that's part of my question was, you know, things that God taught you there. And obviously that's, that's a big thing.

Bryan Born:
Can I tell you one story? Yeah. Because it relates to, again, what kind of, what's going on in our culture around race and reconciliation and all of these kind of pieces.

Bryan Born:
And this is actually one of my favorite experiences during the entire time. Part, while also working in Botswana, we also did a lot of Bible teaching in La Sutu and some in South Africa as well. And I went down on, La Sutu in wintertime, it's actually pretty cold. You think, it even gets snow up the mountains and stuff like this. And I was down there with a conference and we had a bunch of bishops. So these are old guys, leaders of their churches. They've come down there and then there were people from La Sutta and then there was also South African bishops and they're all old man.

Bryan Born:
I might have been in my late 30s at the time and we've been studying the Bible together, doing all kinds of work together in terms of, you know, how to do ministry and when it came time to go to bed. And they had this big room kind of set out and all they had done was kind of maybe throw a couple of blankets on the floor and then you'd find a place to sleep. And all these guys, they had gone to bed, but I was still talking with a couple of them. And by the time I got ready to go in to go to sleep, I come into this room and there's on the one side is, is the Botswana the Botswana guys, maybe eight or ten of them.

Bryan Born:
And then on the other side, there's another eight or ten South Africans. And right in between them, there's like this little area that they had kind of reserved for me. That's where I was going to sleep. And, and they were already sleeping already. So these are all guys and they're big guys. So, you know, you're in the snorers and all the other kind of noises right. And I get myself, and I kind of sandwich myself in between these guys, squeeze in there.

Bryan Born:
And, and as I was lying there, I couldn't get to sleep right away. And I was about to, but I was happy because this is the funny thing. I remember thinking about this wrong. And I'm going, I'm with these, you know, old men of God, people that we come from such unbelievably different backgrounds. Yeah. Yeah. And, and I'm here with them and I'm one of them. Yeah. And they, they've accepted me. Yeah. They're keeping me warm right now. You know, they, they're loving me and, and you've got to remember, this is South Africa, right? You know, and whites and blacks have got along well there for a, for a long time. And I remember thinking, like, God, why are you so good to me? Like, I just this farm boy from Matsqui. Who gets to do this. Yeah. Like, I don't know, maybe that's weird. But at the moment I was, I don't think I could have been happier. Like, I just felt like this is, this is like sleeping in heaven. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I mean, that's amazing.

Rob Thiessen:
I just found a book that I read at home was called In the Wake of the War Canoe, and it's a story of Henry Collison, Collison, who went as a missionary to the Haida Peoples, and then Nishioka and Tim Sheehan and all up and down the coast. Right. And as I was just captivated by his experience of being accepted by those people and how the Lord really used him in it.

Rob Thiessen:
And I thought, you know, that's the missionary experience.

Rob Thiessen:
Like, you go you, you embrace a people and their ways and then a bond is formed, a trust is formed. And across that bond then, then, you know, mutual learning happens. And that's, that's the missionary strategy. And that's the same thing that happens, in a neighborhood, now right?

Bryan Born:
And I think, you know one of the things that's really struck me both that, and because I agree, it's, it's the missionary experience, but I think it's also our experience here, and especially as we think about the church in the 21st century, is do we operate from a position of power or from a position of dependence and willing to learn and willing to embrace people?

Bryan Born:
Because, you know, I tell you one other really quick, quick experience that was so funny to me. When I was learning Tswana. So I'm in these villages. We were living in a village and we had all these kids around and they had never experienced a white person. But what they'd been told is that white people are really powerful and that, in fact, there were stories about white men eating African children. So scary stories. Right. But I figured out ways that these kids could help me learn the language. They would tell me to do things like one exercises. They would yell at me, clap your hands, jump, run, do all. They would be telling me stuff. And of course, sometimes I'd mess up. Yeah.

Bryan Born:
And they'd laugh their heads off at me like, look at that crazy white man who can't even speak the language. Right.

Bryan Born:
But it opened up all kinds of doors. And one of the biggest things we got involved in there was ministry with kids. And I still am convinced it's the same thing here. I like people who treat my kids well, and I, and I don't like people who don't treat my kids well. Right. And I think as the church and as Christians, if we have those opportunities to, to learn from people around us, to come from a position of weakness, but a willingness to learn and hear, you open the door is way better than coming in and saying, hey, this is what you need to do. This is the way it has to go.

Rob Thiessen:
That's a good point, Bryan. And I like it, right now at this season, in a number of our churches with covid, opening up and wrestling with, should we do camps to do day camps. Exactly.

Rob Thiessen:
And I think sometimes we forget just what a powerful witness it is when we love on a community's children.

Rob Thiessen:
Yeah, I.

Rob Thiessen:
I think of when I was pastor in Ontario, we ran day camps at Orchard Park and a widowed French Canadian lady named Beatrice Bruneau. Yeah. She brought her little niece to the day camp and Beatrice came to Christ. She had been suffering with depression, had hardly left her home. She went to the doctor. I remember Beatrice told me she visited with her doctor and the doctor said, Beatrice, you, you seem better. Have you met someone? She said, Oh, yes doctor Yeah, I have. I met the Lord. And she, she became like a grandmother to. But it was through day camps through, you know, this is like, like you said, when a community loves on the children, that's a powerful witness to see.

Bryan Born:
I mean, and that is one of the things that I find.

Bryan Born:
It is really sad that our camps are not able to function the way they normally would this summer for a variety of reasons, obviously just serving the younger kids. I also look at look at it from the Bible college perspective here. So many of our students, especially some of our best students and our best student leaders right there, discipleship experiences have been through camp. Yeah, yeah.

Rob Thiessen:
And it's and it's a greenhouse and it's learning and serving.

Bryan Born:
And, you know, if I go back to my own life, my, I stayed for the summer camp after Bible school down in Texas and had phenomenal experience. You know, they had the Mennonite, I was teaching riflery. But we won't get into that one, you know, but I did learn how to shoot skeet that summer, too, so. But God just did so, you start putting it into practice. You get opportunities to lead and you're given responsibility.

Bryan Born:
So I, you know, I just feel like we got to keep the camps going some way next year. We're coming back in. The camps are going to come back. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Rob Thiessen:
We're working on a, on just now, as a community how we can help them financially.

Rob Thiessen:
So it's a real challenging time. Yeah. So I want to ask you just a little bit about, you know, youre the, the president here,at the Bible College. It's like also that's like intense in its own way, especially with Covid.

Rob Thiessen:
And, you know, you guys talk about pivoting like, you know, I've noticed that our large churches, any anything with an institution that they're you know, it's more challenging. It's like, OK, well, how do we, you know, we run with thin margins. Oh how do we, how do we make this. We hardly you know, we barely scrape by as it is with our budgets and our students. So that's a lot of pressure.

Rob Thiessen:
And, you know, I didn't I mean, you can obviously tell us a little bit about maybe how you're coping, but also just, you know, what keeps Bryan joyful with all of these challenges?

Rob Thiessen:
You know, your, you know what, what what breathes life into your faith, into your being at this stage in life with, with the responsibilities that you carry? Sure.

Bryan Born:
Yeah, I mean really good question Rob, in and obviously anybody who who's in leadership, there's, there's a, there's lots of challenges and Covid it is, it is tough. I'm not going to whitewash this thing. It is affecting practically everything we do here at the college and how we're preparing for the fall. It's like we're walking through a building by building and going, OK, what do we have to do differently here? Yeah, and with every program and with every event and, you know, sometimes there's days that I feel like my head's going to explode on this thing. But there are a few things that have just been really critical for me. And one of the key ones is how do I start my day, you know? That time where you just say, OK, Lord Jesus, what, what's going to happen in this day? How, how do I walk with you, spending time in the word, spending time, you know, in prayer. And it's not even like I've got this long list. Some of it is just being quiet and quietin my heart, because I know there have been meetings that I've come out of in the last few months where it's a bit overwhelming and, and there was lots of issues to deal with before Covid, like you said.

Bryan Born:
But it's really ramped up. I mean, one of the other things, I and I have such an amazing wife. I'll just say straight up Teresa has been, and I talked about when I said when I asked her to marry me, and I also even reflected back after we came back from Botswana and some of the things, the way she served, the way she sacrificed and the way she suffered during those years. And, and I'm going there's, there's a lot of women that wouldn't have done that. You know, I know that. And so I have. And she's been just rock solid all the time. So she's great to just kind of process things with. I have a small group of guys that we meet every Friday morning.

Bryan Born:
We've been doing this now for about six years. And one of those guys is from Bible school that's in the group. One of them was a missionary with me. And another guy is someone who's come long over time.

Bryan Born:
And, you know, that's, that's just really important for me. This is, that's a safe place to go. Sometimes I'm angry, you know, you get frustrated with people and sometimes you don't understand why they don't understand. So that's a great place to go. And we just walk through scripture together and we spend time praying together. That's been huge.

Bryan Born:
Grandkid's. My grandkids, you know, the best part about having kids is that they give you grandkids and they're just I don't know. It's so awesome to be able to spend time with them. And, and then I have this other hobby, and I think it actually is important to have a hobby. When we lived in Botswana, I really got into indigenous plants. And so I had like succulent plants. Right. Fact, some of my friends kind of made fun of me a bit. They wondered if I was like a traditional doctor. Right, because I had all these herbal plants and all kinds of stuff like this. And it's a great hobby. I haven't been able to do that here as much, but I do garden here. And then the other thing I've always been interested in is rocks. Oh, so I collect rocks and especially the Fraser River is an amazing place to go and find rocks.

Bryan Born:
And and I cut and polished them. Oh cool. And especially the cutting. And it's, it's interesting. This is where it ties in with my, my grandsons. Some of these rocks, when you look at from the outside are very, they just look like a rock, you know, it's no big deal.

Bryan Born:
And then you cut them open and the colours, the crystals, the stuff that is inside that rock, repeatedly I have found myself with the boys just saying, let's just thank God for this incredible creation that he's given us. And we just opened up a rock now that God formed just because he wanted to form it. And he knew that maybe someday somebody is going to open this thing up. But he's also created a billion billion other rocks that no one's ever going to open up. But they're incredibly gorgeous inside. And that blows my mind. Like every time I look at them and go, wow, incredible. God, we, we worship, we serve. So that's a big that's a real fun thing.

Bryan Born:
People here at the college they mock me out for it all the time, you know, that's great.

Rob Thiessen:
No kind of rock that I have the same feeling.

Rob Thiessen:
I like snorkelling. So that, that same thought, I was like, I'm out there snorkelling. I'm like, wow. Like there's a whole nother world under here. It's so incredibly beautiful. God made it and nobody is seeing it, you know.

Rob Thiessen:
You know, you just did it because you want to do it. Exactly. And that always has it's captured my, my interest and you know, which gets us longing about Covid that we can't travel. Yeah. Fine things. Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, that's good. I had other questions I wanted to ask you Bryan, but I think we will have to schedule another podcast to talk about some of the things you're wrestling with here at the college. And maybe we'll go deeper on that another time, talk about students and where they're at and things they're wrestling with. So there's more to talk about. And I think we we need to schedule that.

Bryan Born:
Yes. If I can throw out one last thing Rob, real quickly, we are super excited just to see how many young adults are still wanting to grow in their faith with Jesus Christ. Had five new applications just this last weekend. Students are, they're wanting to come. And if, if I could just said it, we're open for business. We want to see students come to, to have a just a transformative experience with Jesus Christ.

Rob Thiessen:
Yeah, well, I think of one thing became clear in our conversation today, Bryan, that the shaping of our lives during a time of way of studying God's word and community has been transformative for both you and I.

Rob Thiessen:
And, and the same is true for so many students. So for all of our listeners, especially our pastors, you know, take it to heart that it's a worthwhile investment to encourage your, your young people to get out to Bible school, to come here to Columbia or, you know, if they're led somewhere else, that's fine too. Exactly. But but please encourage your church and your young people this way.

Rob Thiessen:
So for another episode of BCMB Pastor to pastor podcast, thank you for being with us. And I look forward to, to our next conversation together. Bye bye.

Automatically convert your audio files to text with Sonix. Sonix is the best online, automated transcription service.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your mp3 files to text.

Better audio means a higher transcript accuracy rate. Sonix converts audio to text in minutes, not hours. Sonix has the world's best audio transcription platform with features focused on collaboration. Automated transcription is much more accurate if you upload high quality audio. Here's how to capture high quality audio. Sonix takes transcription to a whole new level. Automated transcription can quickly transcribe your skype calls. All of your remote meetings will be better indexed with a Sonix transcript. Create better transcripts with online automated transcription. Lawyers need to transcribe their interviews, phone calls, and video recordings. Most choose Sonix as their speech-to-text technology.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your mp3 files to text.

Sonix is the best online audio transcription software in 2020—it's fast, easy, and affordable.

If you are looking for a great way to convert your audio to text, try Sonix today.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

You can send us a message here and we'll get back to you, easy as that!

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt
0

Start typing and press Enter to search