In the fall of 2000, Brian began to sense God calling him to leave his high-tech career to pursue a new “career” in ministry. After much prayer, God made it clear that he was to leave his current position and move to Dallas in order to pursue a THM in World Missions and Intercultural Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary (awarded in 2007). It was during these years at seminary that God opened Brian’s eyes to the potential for “Business as Mission” (or BAM) and Brian resolved that, post-graduation, he would dedicate his energies to seeing business used as a tool for reaching the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Shortly thereafter, Brian was introduced to Iris Liang, then Executive Director of Videre, and to Ben Chatraw and Tyler Self, the organization’s founders. In the spring of 2009, Brian joined Videre’s board of directors and in June of 2010 became its chairman. After the conclusion of Videre’s first pilot in Sudan, he led the transition from a traditional microfinance agency to the model we use today – Micro-BAM incubation. When it became time for Videre to focus on building up a leadership team and Iris Wen announced her desire to focus on operations, Brian was the natural choice to take over as Videre’s new Executive Director.
Prior to receiving his THM from Dallas Theological Seminary, Brian held a number of management positions with companies in the computer networking industry. He most recently served as Vice President of Product Management and Business Development at ArrowPoint Communication until its acquisition by Cisco Systems. He has also held positions in Engineering, Customer Service, Systems Engineering, Sales, and Strategic Planning.
In ministry, Brian has served as a Director at Pioneers, Right Now Ministries, Videre, and Development Associates International (DAI) and as an advisor to RAIN (Reaching Asian Indians Now). Brian, his wife, Dawn, and their two boys, CJ and Matthew, attend the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, where Brian serves as an elder.
Brittany’s passion for serving others and building relationships led her to pursue a career in Human Resources after graduating from the University of North Texas in 2008. About two years into her career, she realized that work had slowly turned into an idol and what once made her happy, now left her feeling empty and dissatisfied. In the midst of an economic recession, the Lord spoke clearly and told her to quit her job. With peace like she had never experienced before, she put together a separation packet for herself and left her corporate job, not knowing what was next.
Over the next two years, she spent a total of 11 months overseas and it was during that time that her eyes were opened to missions and the many opportunities to pursue her passions outside of the corporate world. She got connected with Videre in March 2013, and planned on joining a Phase I trip to Ghana as a business coach later that year. One trip turned into three trips and a total of 8 weeks in Ghana. During that time, she was able to meet with program participants from all of the classes that had graduated through Videre’s program and heard about the incredible ways the business training and loan they received was impacting their families, communities, churches and ultimately the Kingdom of God! In January 2014, Brittany joined Videre and began transitioning into her current role as Director of Operations.
Brittany met her husband, Chris, when he came as a business coach on a trip to West Africa in March 2015. They got married 15 months later and currently live in Dallas, Texas where they attend Park Cities Presbyterian Church.
Abukari grew up as a Muslim in Northern Ghana. He became a follower of Christ as a teenager when a Korean missionary shared the Gospel with him. Now Abukari oversees more than twenty church plants in the Yendi area, an area where the majority of people are Muslim or traditional idol worshipers and only 5% are Christian. Abukari and his Dutch wife Joke are extremely well-known and respected in that region, where they work tirelessly to help the people. They have started many different projects in the area that continue to change the surrounding communities for Christ, including a discipleship program, a literacy program, a correspondence course for Muslims to know Jesus, a goat project to provide for children to go to school and a Home of Hope where young people can stay to continue to have an education. They have two sons, Samuel and Micah.
In his former life, Azindow was a shrine man who practiced traditional idol worship and persecuted Christians. But when Jesus Christ took a hold of him, Azindow could not deny the living God and saw his own weariness in worshiping things created by human hands. When Azindow became a Christian, his entire village predicted that he would die within three days, but he did not die. They extended the time to three weeks, which he survived again. Azindow has now dedicated his life to serving Jesus Christ and pastors a church in his village Kulkpene. Azindow, his wife Rebecca, and their five children continued to be a light in their community. Azindow is one of Videre’s most essential eye and ear pieces on the ground, and because Azindow is well-respected by everyone, he is vitally important to keep our loan recipients accountable with repayments.
Joshua lives in Yendi, Northern Ghana, and has been working with NGO’s in Ghana for most of his life. He currently works with Literacy and Development through Partnership (LDP) and has a tremendous passion for using literacy and development to forward God’s Kingdom. He has seen many come to know Christ through the literacy program. Joshua was formerly a Muslim and is now a member of Assemblies of God church in Yendi. As Videre’s Local Program Manager, Joshua is responsible for translation for business training teams, administrating loan repayments, and consulting the entrepreneurs monthly on their businesses and Kingdom Impact Strategies.
As Videre’s Local Program Manager, S* is responsible for translation for business training teams and all business training curriculum into French. He administers loan repayments, and consults the entrepreneurs monthly on their businesses and Kingdom Impact Strategies. S* has lived in a country in West Africa for most of his life with his wife and five children. He has extensive experience in translation, having worked abroad and with the UK Embassy in West Africa.
M* grew up as a Muslim in a country in West Africa. His father was a polygamist and had four wives; M’s* mother was the third wife. In this cultural context, there is a great competition between the wives to be the most loved and their children to be the most blessed. This blessing will facilitate their success in life and business. In this competition anything goes. For example, the use of supernatural and spiritual forces to undermine the life of another, or to those children. The only way to protect themselves was by wearing amulets and bathing with blessed water. M* did not escape this rule and from a young age, by imitation of his father, he started practicing Islam. Between the ages of eighteen and twenty, he started to have questions like: How can I be sure of my salvation? How can I be pure? How am I sure that I can maintain a good relationship with God? When the questions started, he told himself that his way of practicing Islam was not good and he needed to be better. So, he redoubled his efforts to do better and find the answers to his questions. However, the more he practiced Islam, the stronger and louder the voice asking these questions became. This is when, in His grace, merciful God called him to put his faith and trust in Him.
M* is now married with five children. He and his wife run an orphanage and they currently care for 18 young girls. He is a church pastor, Director of Training and Church Planting and President of the National Church. The National Church is made up of about forty churches, and is led by a holistic vision given by God to M* of preaching the gospel through several church projects that aim to transform communities holistically. Among these projects are a theological training program for pastors, schools focused on improving the quality and accessibility of children’s education, literacy training for adults, and a program which aims to equip young people for employment. Last year, M* was promoted to President of his church’s denomination, which includes five countries among its members.