Monday, November 2, 2015

The Brinkman Adventures {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

When we were first starting out as a homeschool family twelve years ago, we read our first book about a modern day missionary. We decided then that we wanted to be intentional about introducing those famous people to our children. One of the best resources we've found for teaching about missions is The Brinkman Adventures, and we recently took the Season 3 CDs to listen to as we drove to our campsite a few weekends ago.

In The Brinkman Adventures, we follow the stories of the Brinkman family as they share stories of missionaries they've had the chance to meet. In the first two episodes of Season 3, we hear about how "Tomas" made multiple trips into "Bishmar" to smuggle Bibles into the country. Both the missionary's name and the name of the country were changed for security purposes.

I realized as we came to the end of the second story on the CDs that Tim had not heard any of the earlier episodes. (The rest of us had listened to Season 2 while he was deployed.) He did not realize that the Brinkman family was telling true stories of events that actually happen in our modern world. He says, "At first I thought they were fun and exciting stories. When I found out that they were true, I realized again what amazing things our God really can do!"

Several of the episodes in Season 3 tell the story of Steve Saint, son of Nate Saint. Our family was familiar with the story because we have read the story of Jim Elliot's and Nate Saint's work with the Auca Indians in Ecuador in the 1950s (now called the Waodoni). Our background knowledge made it easier for us to understand the stories, but there was enough information presented in the audio dramas to figure out what had gone on years ago and what mission work is currently being done in that region.

Not all of the stories are directly related to foreign missionaries. One episode on the first CD tells the story of a young, shy girl who overcame her fear of being around people to form a group of other children that then packed over 200 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. On another CD, some elderly characters find a new mission for their lives by serving in a local prison ministry.

After listening to the audio dramas, we sometimes looked at the additional information available on The Brinkman Adventures website. They tell the stories behind the stories, explain which parts are true, and often provide pictures of the locations in the story. For instance, by reading the additional information about the Waodoni, I learned that the entire Brinkman family did not get to visit them, but that Aunt Sarah did go. I also discovered that Mincaye's lines were spoken by his son in the recording. Unfortunately, I also realized that the Brinkman family did not actually meet Jonathan and Kendall Park (from the Jonathan Park adventures series) in the airport on the way to Ecuador. That meeting was a cool addition to the story, though.

Our family highly recommends these audio dramas. In fact, we were traveling with another family and they got to listen to the first CD of our set on their trip home. They also give The Brinkman Adventures a big thumbs-up.

Season 3 of The Brinkman Adventures contains 12 episodes on 4 CDs. The physical CDs are available for a suggested donation of $27.99 (free shipping), and the digital mp3 version is available for $17.99.

The Brinkman family has offered readers the opportunity to download three free episodes from Season 2 by visiting this page on their website. (Offer good through the end of November.)

Brinkman Adventures Season 3 Review

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