Getting Stuck on a Roller Coaster During a Power Outage in Malawi: A Father-Daughter Story

04/10/18

What do you have in common with Brandon Albers, Seattle tech mogul? You both care deeply about children in need!

 

Brandon made the 2017 Puget Sound 40 Under 40 list for his work at L4 Digital. Maybe you even caught his interview with the Puget Sound Business Journal about his family and their love of serving others.

 

Brandon has been a COTN partner for a few years now. The Alberses found out about COTN through family friends Todd and Danielle Jorgenson. Todd used to serve as COTN–Malawi’s education specialist, and his family even accompanied him on trips to Malawi in the summer. Danielle would email her friends with photos of children who needed sponsors, which is how the Alberses found Aisha. They’ve been her sponsors ever since.

 

Aisha

The Albers family is ensuring that Aisha gets the holistic care she needs to grow into a healthy, young woman who can change Malawi.

 

So when Brandon wanted to take his daughter on a mission trip, COTN was a great fit.

 

Bella Albers, Brandon’s oldest child, has a passion for children in need, specifically orphans. She also has a love of acting and drama, which she has put to use when ministering to children. And she is committed to serving those who need it most.

 

Bella in Malawi

Bella and Aisha, her family’s sponsored child. Aisha’s dress was made by the Albers and their friends!

 

“[There is] a fire in my daughter’s heart that burns to this day,” Brandon says. “...Awareness of suffering and hardship, even in the simple terms described to a child, can ignite a passion in a child’s heart to bring the light of Christ into the darkness in this world. [This] led my wife and I to want to provide our children with a worldview that extends beyond the four walls of the comfortable life we live in the US.

 

Bella playing with children

 

And what better way to go beyond their comfort zones than to take a Venture trip? So a few years later, Bella and Brandon went to Malawi. They helped with summer camp, which included taking younger children to an amusement park, aided COTN staff with events, and they even got to meet Aisha!

 

Bella got to put her love of acting to use when she and her team acted out the story of the Israelites while teaching the children about Deuteronomy 31:6. “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

 

“The key points that stand out, even a year and a half later,” he says, “were the two days getting to know a village family, spending a couple days in their life during the cultural emersion stage of the trip. Cooking a meal, singing and dancing with the women and kids, playing games, killing a chicken, connecting with the mom over the challenges of raising three energetic boys who were close in age to my three sons—it was great.

 

Dreamland in Malawi

             Part of summer camp in Malawi meant taking children to an amusement park!

 

“And finally, the poignant moment where your first-born child gets stuck on top of a roller coaster in the middle of Africa, when the power goes out, was not something you get to often experience.”   

 

And it’s not just Bella who is pushed to leave her comfort zone. The Alberses encourage all of their children to serve, especially as they grow up into young adults.

 

Brandon, Bella, and two Malawians

 

“Each child will respond differently, as we all are called to serve differently. But by providing that experience in those early teenage years, my wife and I hope to give our children a view into the power of the gospel and the blessing it is to be given the gift and responsibility to be the light bringers.

 

We’re so glad to have the Alberses as faithful partners and an example of a family who loves God and others. You and your family can have a life-changing trip like Brandon and Bella did—just check out our Venture program!