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All over the world, Brazles bearing fruitAs the Brazle brothers grew up in Montana and Saskatchewan, considered by many to be mission areas, they were constantly aware of God’s mission in the world.
Their Dad made sure they were exposed to mission heroes all of their lives.
“Missionaries stayed in our home when they visited. They ate at our table. They were the objects of our prayers,” said Mike (74), who said those experiences sparked fire in his heart and for his brothers, Mark (75), Paul (79) and Pete (80).
“In spite of our Dad’s tongue-in-cheek warning, even as he led scores of young men in Young Timothy class/club, he would say, ‘If you can do anything else, don’t preach!’” Mark said.
Those Brazle boys are such rebels because they all became preachers and missionaries! Just as their dad, the venerable Clinton Brazle, trained them to be.
All four boys, who will receive the Missions Award at Homecoming this year, came to Oklahoma Christian beginning in the early 70s.
Many of them had already been on the mission field before they participated in campus campaigns and mission trips.
Pete said it was during his senior year of high school that he and big brother (by one year) Paul decided to go somewhere for missions apprenticing. They chose the Florence Bible School in Italy.
The older boys, Mark and Mike, had already been on the mission field as part of their apprenticing and as Oklahoma Christian students.
Mike spent a year in India before coming to Oklahoma Christian, then spent two summer trips in Belgium and went back to India during his college days.
Mike and many of the Brazle brothers, wives and children have campaigned with Let’s Start Talking in many locations worldwide.
“The Brazles are a missionary family that should find a chapter in the big book of mission work in Churches of Christ, along with other amazing families whose commitment to sharing their faith has gone throughout the world for generations past and generations to come,” said Mark Woodward, executive director of Let’s Start Talking.
For the last 25 years, the mission of Mike and his wife Gail (Roberts 76) has focused on the Golden Age Camp at Yellowstone Bible Camp in Montana, where Christians over age 50 gather for a week of motivation and encouragement to continue active service of the Lord.
“I feel awkward about recognition for what both our Heavenly and earthly Fathers have done,” said Mike, the preacher at the Kimberling City Church of Christ in Missouri. “I would encourage today’s students to seize any of the opportunities available for inspiration and preparation for missions. We have more need than ever for workers willing to go.”
In 1977, Mark and his wife, Jill (Drummond 75) began serving in Flemish, Belgium for 16 years.
Upon their return to the United States, Mark was in ministry at the Church in the Falls in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
This summer, he joined Missions Resource Network in Bedford, Texas, as co-director of Missionary Care.
At OC, Pete spent many summers working with Let’s Start Talking in Italy and Germany. He and his wife Janine (Content 81) also served in Honduras, and they return there nearly every summer.
They now maintain their mission with the poor and homeless in Detroit through their work with Heritage Church of Christ, planting a community garden this year to share fresh produce.
Paul and Carol (Morris 82) remain on the mission field in Antwerp, Belgium, where they have been for more than two decades, and have been supported, in part, by Quail Springs Church of Christ and Dayspring Church of Christ.
“Paul and Carol are committed to the community they are in, which includes many Muslims as well as refugees from Africa. Their influence is broader than their current assignment as they are well connected to the larger body of Christ in their country and Europe,” said Steve Dye, lead minister at Quail Springs. “They are part of us and we truly love them, not to mention their children and the legacy they are carrying out across the globe.”
Around the world, the Brazle brothers and their families continue to show us that wherever we are, OC is mission and OC is home.
By Dawn Shelton (90)