Tom and Bev Brumbley have been missionaries to Haiti for over forty years. We became friends with them while living in Port-au-Prince for our first 5 1/2 years. When Prit and I encountered our first real crisis in Haiti, Tom and Bev were part of a prayer chain that gathered outside my (Dana’s) hospital door and prayed nonstop for me. With a 105 degree fever and horrific stomach pain caused by a urinary infection, the doctors were urging me to let them take the baby by Caesarean, then do exploratory surgery to find the source of the infection. Neither one of these proposals gave us any peace. Due to the Brumbley’s prayers coupled with those of many other missionaries, I was miraculously healed and gave birth to a normal, healthy baby boy two weeks later. That “boy” (John) now works with us here on the mission field and teaches in our Bible institute. We have remained great friends with the Brumbleys over the years, although we left Port-au-Prince in 1988 and moved to the north coast to plant our first church.
The Brumbleys are no ordinary people. They have now spent over forty years in Haiti and have gone through their own share of troubles. After saying goodbye to their family, friends, and country, they moved to Haiti with a zeal to do God’s work. At one point, however, the bottom seemed to have fallen out and all their plans appeared to unravel.
On the Brumbleys’ return flight to Haiti in 1974, their plane had engine failure and crashed. Jody, their 10 month-old daughter, had been sleeping in Bev’s arms. Unfortunately, she didn’t survive the crash. As if this wasn’t enough, the property which they had been renting was suddenly sold. The Brumbleys, along with the children from their orphanage, had to relocate to three different houses. None of them were next to each other. Still not having enough room, they had to find other places to put the rest of the orphans. Bev said, “I felt like everything was falling apart as well everything we had worked for.”
Heartbroken, Tom was complaining to the Lord one day about the tragedy and sudden loss of their precious little girl as well as the other difficulties he and Bev were facing. He bitterly complained to the Lord that it was just too much for them to bear. He related this story to us. “I was startled to hear God’s voice answering me,” THEN GET OFF THE FRONT LINE! Tom was reminded that they were in a war zone and Haiti was no playground. It had also been the graveyard for countless ministries which had failed. Laboring in a country which had been consecrated in 1791 to Satan would not come without a price. He had been told to count the cost.
Fortunately, in spite of their heartache, the Brumbleys consecrated themselves afresh to their mission. They have raised up churches, schools, orphanages, a medical clinic, and several other works. Today they are still busy planting new churches. We are so glad they stayed the course.
The Lord does not leave us comfortless, however. Tom and Bev had two more daughters; Lindsey (whom I had the great privilege of teaching) and Kasi. Lindsey and Kasi are now two beautiful grown women with families of their own. Tom and Bev now divide their time between their mission work in Haiti and doting over their two grandchildren. We are so glad that they chose to stay the course and set an example for Prit and me to follow. Even though I’m sure it would make them blush, they are true heroes to us!
Anyone who is well acquainted with Prit and myself and the work of Rehoboth Ministries knows that being here for 33 years has not come without its own hardships and trials. Sickness, demonic oppression, limited resources, incredible loneliness, and an unstable government would just be headliners for the obstacles we’ve faced. Someone asked me once, “Do you ever just want to throw in the towel and give up?” I answered, “Yes, all the time!” But, the Lord has been faithful and much has been accomplished here. We are thankful that we had the Brumbley’s example to follow and that they stayed on the front line.
Thank you, Tom and Bev, for being such great friends and such great missionaries! If you would like to know more about their work, check out this link: http://www.evangelisticworldoutreach.com/ewo/Home.html