Who are you?
Brian Shell. I’m 33 now.
Short word on your time in Belgium?
I lived in Leuven from 2010-2011 with Sam and Alexandre working with Paul and them in the Kairos office. We spent the year planning “Adelante 2011” in Vitoria and World Youth Day in Madrid.
I was lucky to be in a men’s group with Sam, Alex, Jonas, Jean François, and Tony Laureys.
What is the best memory of your time in Belgium?
I have so many great memories from being there. Two of my favourites are:
1. Riding my bike from Aldi back to the house on Hendrik Consciencestraat in Leuven with a huge camping backpack full of groceries + giant IKEA bags filled with groceries on each of the handles.
2. Dinners with community families especially the Collets and Jordans who had me over so often!!
A little word on your life right now?
I’m married to Emma and with two children Fitz (2) and Sonora (1). We live in Phoenix in a small house that we built. We are part of an emerging community formation program with about 40 young married and single people and their families. I work at IBM and my wife Emma runs a local flour mill where the grow ancient varieties of wheat and grain and mill it into flour for bread and pasta and artisan pizza (www.haydenflourmills.com in case anyone wants to peak at it and see :) )
Do you have a message for the people of Jerusalem?
After moving back to the US after Belgium I felt how blessed it is to live in a smaller place, a place like Belgium where life is deep and intimate instead of how it is so broad and generally shallow in America. We work very hard here to fight the culture of individualism and I know you do too in post-Christian Europe. I just want to encourage you that I often think of how beautiful the Jerusalem community is and how God looks at the heart and the quality of our love more than on our “numbers” or how big our groups are.
I look forward to coming back with my family someday to introduce them to the dear people of Jerusalem in Belgium.
What can we pray for?
Our young community is discerning relationship with Sword of the Spirit this year with some missionary coordinators and what our steps forward are. We would appreciate the prayers of Jerusalem as we pray and discern as a body.
On a more personal note: my family lost my younger sister Heather a couple months ago after a year of fighting cancer and our family would be blessed by prayers as we grieve and for this to bring our family closer together and closer to the Lord.