Wednesday, December 22, 2021





1986: Christine graduates from WVU and joins staff with Campus Crusade for Christ. She begins raising support to cover her ministry and living expenses. 

1988: Christine is assigned to Univ. of Delaware, winning students to Christ and discipling them. 

1989: She attends a summer project in Turkey and returns with a heart for internationals.

1992-1993: Christine decides to live in Turkey for a year, learning the culture and language. As a result, what was once a small group of believers in Izmir grows over the decades into what is today a large movement.

1994-1995: Christine accepts an assignment in Pennsylvania serving in the campus ministry's area office. There she strategically expands her influence to reach students across several campuses.  

1997-1998: Christine is asked to help open other campuses in the area that do not yet have a ministry presence.  

1999: Christine moves to Orlando to serve in HR at Cru headquarters. She starts attending a new church where one of the pastors is Wayne Brooks (Tez's brother). In November of that same year, Tez, a single dad working in law enforcement, moves to Orlando too, and begins attending his brother's church. Christine and Tez meet at a church Christmas party and become good friends.

2000: Christine spends another summer ministering in Turkey. Her friendship with Tez and his two young children (Sharaya and Caleb) grows. She patiently waits for Tez to get a clue and ask her out. Tez begins praying and seeking counsel about pursuing a romantic relationship with Christine. 

2001: Early in the year, Tez begins courting Christine officially. By summer they are engaged. 

2002: Christine and Tez marry in February. Eight months later Tez resigns from his career and returns to full-time ministry by joining staff with Cru. He begins serving with JESUS Film Project (JFP). Christine moves over to that same ministry. 

2003: Christine and Tez train to be mission trip leaders for JFP. But Christine gets pregnant, so Tez goes alone to Botswana where he leads 12 government officials to the Lord and shows the JESUS film each night, causing hundreds more to receive Christ. He receives a letter giving him and his team permission to enter any school in the country and show the Jesus film. Jadyn is born in November.

2005: Tez returns to Africa. This time to Benin, with similar results. 

2006: Tez is asked to supervise a group of reporters and editors for JFP and his leadership causes major donors to give millions toward funding more Jesus film translations for unreached people groups worldwide. Their youngest child, Anicah, is born. 

2007: Tez goes to Turkey to interview several ministry leaders in the M.E.  He meets many of Christine's Turkish friends and hears how her ministry efforts have encouraged believers and helped start movements elsewhere in the country.

2009-2011: The Brooks family move overseas to Australia. Tez serves as the Natl. Communications Director and Christine serves with Family Life Australia, editing radio programs. Meanwhile a medical trip to Cambodia (Tez's hardest trip physically) using the J film, yields hundreds more souls coming to Christ. 

2012-2013: The Brooks' return home. They spend a year debriefing and allowing Cru to build them up and minister to them to prepare for their next assignment at HQ. Meanwhile Tez helps the organization with a name change and new branding from Campus Crusade for Christ to "Cru."  

2014: Tez joins the film team at JFP and writes a few award-winning short films that become evangelism tools, helping lead hundreds to Christ. Christine home schools their two children while serving in a support role for Tez administratively. 

2015-2016: Tez returns to Turkey and then to India testing out new films to determine their effectiveness. Many come to Jesus as a result. Meanwhile he accepts the role as Director for Donor Reporting, resulting in millions more dollars being donated toward the funding of more film translations. The JESUS film becomes the most translated film in history and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. 

2017: Tez accepts a role with JFP's Communication Team, training writers across the ministry. He travels to Spain to evangelize on the El Camino using short films that lead to spiritual discussions and ultimately, souls saved. Able to work remotely now, The Brooks' move to Colorado. Christine leaves JFP and joins another Cru ministry called International School Project, a ministry outreach to teachers overseas. 

2018: Christine travels to M.E. to establish relationships with teachers she can disciple. She ends up forming friendships with key individuals whom she Zoomed with regularly to disciple. 

2019: Tez takes a mission trip to the Amazon to show the Jesus Film to villagers as well as provide clothing, medical help and other humanitarian aid. Did you know that for every dollar you give toward a Jesus Film missionary, at least 10 people see the film, and at least one of those 10 makes a lasting decision to receive Christ? Think about all the gifts you might have given over the years and do the math. What an amazing return on your investment into the Kingdom! Thank you. 

2020: COVID causes Jesus Film to consider alternate ministry endeavors, so Tez creates training for how to hold a virtual evangelism outreach. It is well-received around the world. Meanwhile there's a renewed interest in airing the J film on television and radio worldwide. 

Early 2021: Opportunities open for Tez to help International School Project in using JFP tools. He accepts the position and transfers over from JFP to ISP working alongside Christine again. 

Summer 2021: The Brooks' resign from Cru to join Global Service Network and expand their reach to influencers worldwide. However, they continue serving in their roles with International School Ministry as volunteers, while reaching leaders in their own city as well. 

2022: Stay tuned. Who knows what God will do!!!!

Monday, August 2, 2021

Important Changes

We have some fantastic news! We are expanding our ministry reach! 

     Over the last few years, God has opened opportunities for ministry. Sometimes we've had to decline from expanding our reach due to some of the restrictions Cru has. It's caused us to pray if Cru is still the best funnel (for us) in which to collect and steward the gifts you so generously provide for the Lord's work. After much prayer and counsel, we've felt the Lord's leading to continue our current work under a different organization called Global Services Network (GSN). Here are just a couple of reasons for the switch:

    The way Cru is set up with the government doesn't allow much freedom to minister outside of one main role. Serving under another organization provides opportunities for Tez to continue using the Jesus film and its tools for outreach. And Christine will keep serving with International School Project.  But now we are providing outlets to reach people we otherwise couldn't. We will now be able to leverage our influence to additional unreached people groups whom Cru is not focused on.

     Over the decades, Christine and I have acquired skills and experience as missionaries that often cannot be tapped into due to the concentrated focus and limits on specific countries or peoples. While we are still committed to keeping the majority of our work centered on overseas evangelism, this switch allows us to include America as a mission field. Who can argue, the USA desperately needs the transforming message of Jesus. So, unhindered by narrower priorities, we will now have additional time and funding to minister to the following groups in addition to our current work with Cru:

  • Ministering to police officers 

  • Speaking/teaching at conferences and churches 

  • Outreach to single parents 

  • Discipling local internationals

  • Assisting other ministries to expand their outreach

  • Coaching new Christian writers to influence their world


     Using GSN provides much lower health insurance premiums and administrative overhead than Cru, allowing a much higher percentage of your gift to actually go toward ministry endeavors. This results in stewarding the Lord's money more wisely for the Kingdom. 
So, whether you give financial gifts regularly, or special gifts now and then, all of our financial supporters should note the following changes....
     Starting immediately, your gifts should no longer be sent to Cru. Christine and I will continue doing the same ministry as always (and more), just opting for a different means of collecting the funds the Lord brings in.

     You'll make your checks out to "GSN."  For those who prefer bank auto-withdrawal, you may set that up, then cancel your gifts with Cru. 


     Again, we want to reiterate, Tez will continue using the Jesus film. Christine will continue serving with International School Project as well. Both of these are overseas outreaches. The only difference will be:

  • greater ministry opportunities to report about

  • where to send your gifts 

     As promised from the start, we're committed to:

  • taking the gospel to everyone, everywhere

  • sending you regular news/updates

  • praying for you. 

     If you have questions or concerns please don't hesitate to reach out. We can give you the link you need to make the switch.
We appreciate you. Thank you for your continued commitment to partnering with us to bring the message of Jesus to every tribe, every tongue, and every touchscreen worldwide.  

Should-to-shoulder with you,

Monday, February 3, 2020

A Bridge to Love

Anna* led her young son toward the bridge, where she believed her final act in life would be an act of mercy. Without hope for a future for herself and her son, there seemed no choice but to end his life, and hers.
Anna's desperation was no doubt born of an overwhelming set of circumstances. In the weeks prior, she'd tried what she could to provide for herself and her son in the midwestern city where they lived. But, her resources were exhausted. Her landlord would soon turn her out. She could no longer provide a roof over her son's head, if she could not pay rent by his deadline.
Eviction! Anna felt utterly alone.
In search of someone who might help, Anna dialed the phone, even calling people she did not know, grasping at straws. One of those calls was to a local pregnancy resource center. They called her back and asked her to come in. But by then—the circumstances, the setbacks, the loneliness had taken their toll. She lost hope. Gathering her son, she made her way toward the bridge.
On a whim, instead, Anna turned toward the entrance of that pregnancy resource center.  She shared a bit of her story with them. The center's director ushered her to a quiet area where Anna viewed portions of the "Magdalena" film.
The young mother emerged a different person. Moments before, she saw no alternative but to take her own life and that of her son.  But the message of the movie gave her hope that God would carry her through, despite the circumstances.
"Magdalena: Through Her Eyes" portrays Jesus's compassion for women and historical accounts of His interactions with them. The film's companion Bible study is a key part of this pregnancy center's outreach for providing hope and help to women.  What a difference it made in Anna's life.
With the help of a partnering church, the pregnancy resource center was able to help Anna with her rent payment and she was not evicted from her apartment. The Lord directed Anna away from the bridge of despair and death toward Christ, the Bridge to the Father. Please pray for young mothers in the USA to see Jesus as their hope and salvation.
*Name changed for privacy

Friday, November 29, 2019

Is Humanitarian Aid the Gospel?

           A lot of words are thrown around these days describing various kinds of compassion, acts of mercy, justice, and peace. Our society has redefined some of these biblical terms but muddled the meaning in the process. Lumping words together or using them interchangeably can cause quite confusing definitions.

The Bible never mentions the word “humanitarian aid” but it does speak of compassion. Humanitarian work is the practice of improving human life. So, let’s use the word compassion instead, which depicts more a stance of love and care, rather than supplying the outward physical needs one may have.

Using the words found in scripture helps us avoid any confusing definitions attached to modern terms or slang. Zechariah 7:9-10 says, Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.”

 I believe helping others not only shines our light as Christians in a dark world, but can sometimes open doors to a gospel presentation.

Mercy ministry—much like Jesus did when showing love to the sick, weak, and oppressed—can be a powerful tool to open hearts to hear the message of Christ. I’ve seen the power of mercy ministry in:

·      feeding/clothing those in need
·      helping widows/orphans
·      freeing slaves
·      rescuing human traffic victims
·      disaster relief
·      medical care units
·      and more

A few years ago I went on a medical mission trip to provide health/dental/vision care in Cambodia. It was clear to me how meeting the physical needs of individuals more readily prepared hearts to receive the message of the cross we presented.

But we must be careful not to take James 1:27 (like some Christians do) as a verse that explains what the gospel message is. This passage says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, ….”  This verse addresses pure and undefiled practices or good works (compassion). If we keep the verse in context, it’s clear James is talking about how we should live as a believer, not how we are to share the gospel.

We deceive ourselves when we begin to apply this verse or others like it, as a formula for the Great Commission. If we dig a well in Africa, play soccer with some kids, and hug a few villagers, yet never share the actual gospel—it would be wrong to say we evangelized. That’s actually a compassion trip, and even non-Christians are nice to the weak and oppressed. These trips are wonderful acts of love Christians should participate in. But without a gospel presentation, I fear we reduce our time, money, and effort to mere secular kindness. We might feel great about ourselves; while hundreds might now have a full belly, a cleft pallet repaired or freed from a brothel, no eternal difference was made—their souls are not secured.

Compassion is merely a tool to open heart doors. I too, love a good evangelism tool. But if I rely on tools alone as the gospel, I miss the mark. A clear, simple, gospel explanation must follow our love and generosity.

The gospel or Good News is clearly summarized in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, where Paul gives the most basic ingredients of the message—namely Jesus’s substitutionary death on the cross for us, his burial, and resurrection. It’s easy. If we share our faith in the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to God, there’s no limit to what he can do, with or without our good deeds.

While kindness is an effective tool, John 3:16 or Acts 10 or 13 doesn’t seem to mention anything about meeting people’s needs in order to present the Good News.

I’m concerned we’ve allowed the world to adopt and twist our terminology to water-down the definition of Christian outreach. How often have you heard secular organizations calling their medical practices in the jungle a “mission trip?”

            As we get involved with outreaches, here or overseas, let the worldwide Church be diligent not to embrace a watered-down gospel, but to communicate the true message of the cross. May we remind ourselves daily, that the Good News is the person and work of Jesus Christ—especially his virgin birth, righteous life, atoning death, and resurrection—with the promise that he will save anyone who turns from sin by trusting him as Lord. 

Let us continue to love sinners, using valuable tools like compassion to help the Holy Spirit prepare hearts. But may we never neglect to preach the gospel of grace to all nations, making disciples and teaching them to observe all Christ commanded.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Are Christians Offering the Wrong Support?: Labels and the Gay Christian

Recently at a conference, I met Shane*, a construction worker and single dad who loves Jesus and is deeply committed to following the Lord. But Shane struggles with feelings for other guys. His church offers a ministry to those like Shane.
Although the group offered him a tight community, he found it alienating and hard to make room for other people at church he might enjoy getting to know, like parents or those in the construction business.
“I just want to be looked at as a regular guy.” Shane said. “A Christian, without labels.”
I felt sad for Shane. There’s a lot of Christian organizations and churches reaching out and ministering to believers who experience homosexual feelings. But are Christians offering the wrong support?
Along with this comes the argument about what they like to be called. Some say they want to be identified as a person who struggles with attraction to the same gender. Others call themselves gay Christians. To determine which is the proper terminology, we must first explore both of these titles a little closer. Only then can we help guys like Shane.
To be honest, the term gay Christian is an oxymoron to many Christians, because the word gay carries with it a stigma. Among the evangelical community, it implies a certain lifestyle that is contrary to a Christian’s life.
The title of gay might mean something different to the world at large, (or even to the celibate individual living a holy lifestyle and identifying themselves as a gay Christian). Still, to the majority of believers, “gay” assumes you have embraced the militant, activist movement that includes pride marches, rainbow flags, shaking fists, and holding signs that read “We’re Here, We’re Queer, Get Used to It!” To a lot of Bible-believing Christ-followers, gay means you are actively involved in a sexual relationship(s) with someone of the same gender and are not attempting to pursue a holy life of abstinence. This is how most Christians interpret gay, as a verb.
With this definition in mind, we can see how the phrase gay Christian, upsets believers because it’s like saying “I’m a lying or stealing Christian” or “I’m a Christian who deliberately disobeys God.” It just doesn’t make sense to many Christians and feels downright blasphemous for someone to claim they are a follower of Christ, yet blatantly refuse to leave a lifestyle of sin. It brings reproach upon the church, themselves, and the name of Christ.
This can be an awful accusation to the innocent Christian who is refraining from this temptation but doesn’t know what else to call him or herself. While it’s not right for believers to assume the worst, it’s hard not to with a phrase that carries such a scandalous definition.
Right about now I’m sure I’ve got some people upset at me. In particular, some of my gay male friends who claim to be Christian and believe they are following God’s commands by being in a loving, exclusive relationship (or married to) one man. Hopefully, we can agree to disagree, still love one another, and remain friends without misinterpreting truth for some kind of hatred.
But that’s a whole other topic and an entirely different demographic. This blog post is referring to believers who hold to the traditional biblical standards of purity and God’s design for men and women in spite of their unnatural sexual desires.
Another phrase, same-sex attracted (SSA), seems to please Christians. It emotes empathy. Christians understand this issue and more readily embrace it because it doesn’t imply that sin is happening….it only implies a temptation. It is likened to someone categorizing themselves opposite-sex attracted or a Christian struggling with lust.
Some have said this label too, has implied evil. The phrase sprang up out of the ex-gay movement of the 90s. Behavior adjustment camps like Exodus International taught that homosexual behavior could be fixed by re-training the mind to be attracted to the opposite sex. Many young people who just couldn’t seem to be fixed were ostracized and accused of rejecting the gospel or righteousness. They left the programs confused and many left the faith, mad at God and hating the church.
Still, this is not enough reason to reject the phrase SSA when it so accurately describes someone’s issue without implying ungodly activity. There is little baggage to this phrase that implies evil intent—only a cry for help.
But I would plead that both labels are incorrect for these Christians trying to live holy lives free from sin. We miss the mark when we begin to bring attention or make this particular sin special. When we form customized affinity groups for those struggling with attraction toward the same gender, we place the focus (and sympathy) on the sin, making it bigger, or greater than other sins.
Rather, we should be treating it like any other sin. After all, does God categorize sins as lesser or greater? By diminishing its importance, we correctly place the focus on mortification (i.e. pursuing holiness by intentionally and strategically attempting to kill fleshly desires) rather than identification—and that’s the more biblical solution to any sin.
I do think it’s great to acknowledge that certain issues hold more difficult challenges (i.e. money mismanagement, eating disorders, alcoholism, porn addiction, homosexuality) and necessitate special support and understanding. However, when it begins to separate and elevate struggles over others, I think we fail our dear comrades like Shane.
We must re-direct these precious brothers and sisters from identifying to mortifying, then we place the emphasis on the work of Christ and his blood instead of on their sins. Born again children of God have a new identity, we are new creatures! We need not continue to call ourselves by our old labels. This only defeats and beats us down so that we can not rise above it to be what Christ has already made us—victorious over sin and death.
Lest you shake a finger and say, “The identity that comes with same-sex attraction runs deep in the psyche of those who own it. You can’t possibly know what it’s like! It can’t be easily thrown off or minimized.”
You’re right. Ever since I was molested as a young teen by a man in our church, I myself have struggled with attraction toward men at times. (That’s right, I just outed myself. Ha! But it’s not the first time. I’ve outed myself to several groups over the decades).
By God’s grace, he kept a very short leash on me. I never turned from him or the church. Over the decades I realized God probably was never going to remove these feelings, but he graciously continued to give me an attraction for women. I see his redemptive power in my life every day when I look at my lovely wife, four amazing children, and a thriving ministry.
His pardon overwhelms me. I’m not worthy.
I don’t mean to say I’m perfect, I haven’t learned all I should even yet. But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be (Phil 3:12 LB). I stand as a testimony of God’s grace because I know I have lots of issues. I struggle with pride, arrogance, fear of failure, anger, temptation to look at porn, to lie, to steal, to stare too long at a woman… or a man, to watch too much TV or eat too many donuts, to neglect my wife or yell at my kids, ignore the Bible, not love others like Christ…the list goes on.
But I cannot walk around writing these sins on my forehead and making sure everyone understands this is who I am. I can’t constantly identify by creating a public spotlight for each of those issues and hanging out with others of similar pigeon-holes, just because I feel they “get me” more than other Christians. I must abase my flesh and die to self. Because my propensity to sin is not who I am. I’m so much more than my battles—I’m a husband, a daddy, a missionary, an author, a hiker, a pizza-lover, and more. Primarily, I am no longer a slave to sin, but a child of God. That is my utmost identity (Romans 6:6).
Labels only reinforce the old man and make him harder to resist. How long can a person who calls himself a gay Christian continue to deny that temptation and act out on it? How long can someone say they have SSA without it becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Those identifying as Christians who are gay, SSA, gender dysphoric or anything on the LGBTQ+ spectrum need loving, gentle guidance. Believers immersed and grounded in God’s word can help them live life more abundantly. Every Christ-follower (you, me, Shane…even the late Billy Graham) must learn to sever of our hearts and minds from Satan’s stamps and embrace our new identity as “cherished of God,” “highly favored,” “saint,” “lover of righteousness,” “holy one,” “child of the light.”
Ephesians 4: 22-24 reminds us, what we were taught with regard to our former way of life—to put off our old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires and be made new in our minds. To put on the new nature that was created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Only when we strip away the old man and pursue who God has called us to be, will we experience true freedom from sin.
*name changed for privacy