“Here’s a Story…”

(You will laugh when you figure out why I gave that title to this post. Maybe. Or you might roll your eyes. But I laughed.)

Would you like to hear a neat story?

Once upon a time, a very young, struggling military family lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Their names were Dan & Jean Burrow, and their children were Aleassa, James, and Philip.

IMG_4508One day, an evangelist named Chuck Brady and his family of talented gospel singers set up a tent meeting in a cow pasture near the Air Force base. The Burrow family attended the meetings, and God used the preaching and music of The Brady Family to turn Daniel Burrow’s “heart toward home.” Aleassa was a little girl at the time, and doesn’t remember that her family was struggling or that her dad wasn’t serving God. She only remembers her dad as the man he became after those meetings–a godly man who faithfully led his family to serve and love God.

The Burrows became lifelong friends with the Brady Family, and still keep in contact. They went to their meetings in Michigan whenever they were within a few hours’ drive, and had an extensive collection of “Brady tapes”.

IMG_4507Aleassa still remembers the night they all went out to a diner after a service, where she serenaded the restaurant with her moving rendition of “Have You Seen the Wiggle Worm”.

IMG_4477The Brady’s were very involved with a Bible printing ministry called Bearing Precious Seed, and even went on missions trips into Mexico with a man they knew well, named Carlos Demarest.

The Burrows were never familiar with that part of the Brady’s ministry, but that’s where it gets interesting.

Fast forward to 1998. Bearing Precious Seed missionaries visited a church in Minnesota. A man named Jack Jarvis, his wife Cheri, and their three children, Tonia, Krista, and Adam were members of that church. As a result of that visit, Jack Jarvis was led of the Lord to leave a lucrative job and beautiful home in Minnesota and move his family to El Paso, TX as Bearing Precious Seed missionaries themselves. There, they worked with Carlos Demarest in the printing and missions trip ministry. They never knew the Brady family, though.

Fast forward one more time. 2002. Adam Jarvis and Aleassa Burrow met at Pensacola Christian College, while working in the A Beka Book print shop. They became friends, fell in love, got married and worked together at Bearing Precious Seed, El Paso for three years, before moving to First Baptist Church of Milford, OH–the BPS church that had sent out Carlos Demarest.

After 6 years in Milford, they surrendered as missionaries to Honduras and began deputation to raise support for the field. Deputation led them to Plant City, FL on Easter Sunday 2015. They had no meetings scheduled that day, but decided to visit Harmony Baptist Church, since it was nearby and they knew it was a BPS church. Aleassa remembered hearing that some of the Brady’s were on staff there, but figured they’d never remember her.

In fact, they almost didn’t go to church that night. It had been an exhausting weekend, and many area churches had cancelled evening services. They didn’t want to show up to an empty church. But, they decided to go for it and when Aleassa went inside, there was Pastor Steve Brady, his wife Laura, Dr. Chuck Brady and his wife Darlene!

IMG_4475They did, in fact, remember the Burrow family, and it was such a joyous little reunion to see and hear the familiar voices of those dear people who had always had such a special place in Aleassa’s heart and the heart of her family.

They all went out to eat that evening, although Aleassa did not sing the Wiggle Worm song this time.

While gathered at the table exchanging old memories about missions trips, revivals, and faithful men who have gone on to Heaven, it felt like the story had, in some way, come full circle. Aleassa sat there, connecting all of the dots, and she couldn’t help but think…if it hadn’t been for the Brady Family, and if it hadn’t been for the missionaries of Bearing Precious Seed, she might never have grown up in a godly home, Adam’s family would have never moved to El Paso, neither of them would have ended up together at Bible college, they might never have met or married, and they would never have been on their way to serve the Lord together in Honduras.

Sometimes, like that Easter evening in Plant City, God reaches down and hugs us, as if to say, “See? You don’t need to worry about anything. Just follow Me and trust Me, and you’ll have many more moments like this one, where you look back and see My Hand in every single detail of your life.”

God is a good God, and He does good things, doesn’t He?

(P/S We went home that evening with several CD’s worth of new Brady music, and Aleassa is hoping that someday, her kids too, will have lots of “Brady lyrics” memorized, to encourage them on their way, as they did so many times for her.)