Brandon and Melinda married in Salt Lake City in March 2008 after meeting a few years earlier at the University of Utah. Their joyful and joy-giving son, Zachary, was born January 2015, and they now live in Manzini, Swaziland, serving children’s ministry programs through Adventures in Missions. They find it awkward to write about themselves in the third person. So, here’s a little about them as described by the other…
Our Life Together
What Melinda says about Brandon
Brandon is a coffee-lovin’ all-around nice guy. He grew up just north of Salt Lake City in Layton, UT, with his older brother, younger sister, and lovely parents. Brandon has many talents, including the ability to figure out how to operate or fix anything with and on/off switch. Brandon isn’t afraid to break his manly I-like-to-grill-stuff-image by admitting his favorite of our three pets was our smallest kitty. At 6 ft. tall, I often call upon him to reach that shelf above the fridge. Brandon has an impressive amount of patience and is one of the best listeners you will ever meet. His encouragement in my relationship with God and with others is so valued and I’m thankful he’s always looking out for me. Brandon hadn’t put much thought into going to Swaziland at first, I had to gently persuade him to go. Now he seems just as passionate about the country and its people as me. I’m so grateful we’ve been able to experience our trips there together as a couple -it means so much to have complete unity in this decision to move there.
What Brandon says about Melinda
Melinda is my favorite person and I know that I’m not the only one who thinks Melinda is awesome. She has a special personality that’s a mix of being very smart and highly compassionate. I love her ability to switch from hours of deep and meaningful conversation to destroying friends in a dance off. She’s always quick to consider the best way to include everyone –especially outliers, I love her heart. She is forbidden (by more than just me) from visiting animal shelters, if it were possible she would adopt every. single. animal. That’s not to say that she didn’t adore our three pets, in fact, she loved them so much that they were always following every move she would make -in perfect triangle formation. I’ve always admired Melinda’s heart for serving others through missions, she was definitely the driving force for me to take my first steps of faith. Looking back on our first trip, we were pretty crazy to get married only three days after returning state side. I’ve always found happiness when we journey together, following God’s plan for us.
What were your fears about moving to Swaziland?
We knew that there are real dangers in moving to Swaziland, we’ve thought through every scenario from contracting HIV to getting bitten by a Black Mamba, to losing our baby. We’re honestly afraid of those things, they’re scary and they happen to real people everyday in the country. We know that we can’t control what happens to us, but we also have hope that God will be our protector. The number one thing that helps us gain courage in all this is that we have friends in faith who’ve committed to pray for us and our continued protection -their prayers are so special to us.
Thanks so much for taking the time to get to know a little more about each of us. As you can tell, we are pretty normal folks that decided to step out and serve in a very untypical way. While our need for financial support is very real, we are in desperate need for your prayer support. Would you be willing to sign up for our monthly newsletter? We promise we won’t spam you –it would mean the world to us to be able to stay connected with you while we are in Swaziland so we can share the latest updates on how things are going.