Farewell Sister Brisco

23 years, that’s how long Sister Brisco has been a part of my life. She’s known me since diapers. Literally. And I can honestly say, she’s had a HUGE part in molding me into the person I am today.

Saundra Brisco (Sis. B) has been in children’s ministry for 50 years. She stared in ministry when she was just 16 years old. This past Sunday, we celebrated her 23 years of ministry at my home church, Montgomery First. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say, I didn’t think this day would ever come— Sis. Brisco is retiring. Of course, you can’t leave us until we throw you one over the top Farewell reception complete with over a thousand balloons, bagel bites and a slit walking clown.

As a child I remember Saturday morning Easter egg hunts, parents night out, spring break trips to Butts Mills Farm and even Kids Camp. I remember the first solo she gave me in a baseball themed program. I thought I was hot stuff in my white and red baseball tee. I even remember the time she had me dress up like a toy soldier and glued fake side burns on my cheeks for Christmas. Ouch! We’ve made lots of memories through out the years, Too many to count. But through those memories have come a lot of teachable moments.

If there is one thing that I would have to classify as ‘The Biggest Thing Sister Brisco Has Taught Me” it would be: How to Love People. I’ve had the privilege of serving under her ministry, working side by side with her week after week. We’ve even traveled the world together and I can honestly say she’s the same person in Montgomery, Alabama as she was in South Africa, Ecuador and Guatemala. Her heart for kids is something special. I can vividly remember standing outside a elementary school in South Africa in 2009, dusty dirt roads, kids running around who haven’t eaten in days, showered in probably weeks, but it didn’t matter. She saw someone who needed love, and that’s what she gave them. Wether it was a hug, prayer or even a smile– She could’ve cared less about what their background was, the color of their skin or how well dressed they where or what they smelled like. She once  said to me “Evan, Happiness comes when we learn to love others.” Talk about ah-ha moment, in the middle of Africa at that. I’ll never forget it. Today I find myself loving on those who are in need, who may be different from others and it’s credited to her and the values she spoke into me at an early age.

Speaking of traveling together, boy have we done our fair share together. From Kids Crusades, field trips and overseas adventure we’ve been side by side. I LOVE telling people about the time Sis. B decided to wear white pants on our 16 hour flight back to the states from South Africa and spilled diet coke on them 45 minutes in our flight—she had a bing brown stain for hours. Or the time we were in the Canary Islands and she didn’t like the tuna casserole the sweet church ladies offered her, so she pretended to eat it and threw it in the bushes. They saw her plate was empty so, they brought her more. You know what she did next, she threw it in the bushes again, and they brought her, yet another round. We laughed for hours. I could go on and on with stories, life lessons and memories we’ve shared but I’ll save those for my trip to visit you at the beach.

Sunday night I overhead people saying “It’s bitter sweet. We hate to see her go.”, but I say it’s all sweet and no bitter. We’ve laughed together, cried together even hooted and hollered. We’ve done life together but For now, I suppose two inadequate words will have to do: Thank you. Thank you for accepting me, loving me, teaching me, laughing with me, and most importantly praying for me. Thank You for being an inspiration not only to me, but those in our church, our city, our state and even the world. I won’t say “Goodbye”, I’ll just say “Until we meet again.”. I Love You Sister Brisco.

Louisville, KY

A couple weeks back our Fine Arts State Level Competition took place, and I couldn’t be more proud of the Students who participated in the festivities. We are looking forward to #Orlando13. We are SO EXCITED!! We can’t wait, LITERALLY. The countdown is on. So in honor of our fast approaching National Festival this year, Our trip from last year…..

Back in August we took a little road trip to Louisville Kentucky with my church Montgomery First. It is here where the 2013 Fine Art Festival took place. For those of you that don’t know, Fine Arts is a discipleship tool of national youth ministries designed to “help students discover, develop and deploy their ministry gifts. From Signing, Drama, Graphic Design, Art, Photography, and even writing. There are over 61 categories– something for every student.

A week away with 25 of your closet friends, we have a BLAST. From Celebrating my Birthday with Addy Grace in Hard Rock Cafe to taking home 2 National Award of Merits for Photography entries– it was a FANTASTIC.

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Guatemala [35mm Film]

You may remember a post several months back with my  iPhone pictures from Guatemala… As most of you now, I spent a couple of weeks in there last summer. It was truly a life-changing trip. I have never been to a country that was so hungry for a move of God like Guatemala was. I met so many wonderful people there, made TONS and TONS of memories.

In the rush of life and everyday tasks, I totally forgot to post actual photos from my trip. I work with some of the most incredibly talented photographers in town, and when my boss Josh told me that I should order a film camera and take with me to Guatemala I knew I had too. The images below are ALL Film shots. YES!! Film. Ya, know the 35mm stuff. There is just something about film. The colors, the emotion, and the look of it. I LOVE it. Thanks to Josh’s lab Indie Film Lab for the fantastic scans.

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Below is a video that I put together of several of the images I shot while in Guatemala.
Song: They will See God by Benji Cowart

Zac the Intern– [Guatemala City, Guatemala Film Photographer]

Where do I possibly begin?  Zachary Griner is a good ole’ southern boy from Ocilla Georgia. I met “Hey Arnold”, I mean Zach this year in Guatemala. He was serving as the official “Intern” to the Dave and Debbie Amsler, the Missionaries we worked with while there.  It has been said many times by several people in our group that, “We felt like Zach should have come back with us.” That’s the truth. Zach is one of the most down to earth people you will meet. He’s hilarious, a huge sports fan, LOVES Zaxby’s, and  most importantly– He loves the Lord! Hey Zach, remember that time you knocked over a whole self of stuff  trying to show me some hair gel?  He fit in so well with our group it’s kinda creepy. I think several of the girls even had a tiny crush on him too– I won’t name names. I’ll be nice. 😉

The night before we left to head back to the states, I realized I have about 6 shots left on the roll of film in my camera– I asked Zach to meet me down stairs the next morning so I could finish it off. I was pretty pleased with the results. I think he was to! (or at least I hope he was.) haha Below are several of the shots I took that morning.

Lastly, I leave you with my favorite quote from Zach on the trip: “I have a question– Can I Hold your glasses?” –Zachary Griner

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