Where in the world is Brian Kettering?
On March 31st, 2017, I found myself leaving Austin, TX on the way to Abilene, TX where Atlas Mason was booked to play a show with New Heroes out of Wichita Falls, TX and Brave Days, who were natives to Abilene. Upon finishing an absolute rager of a rock n’ roll show, I returned home with the band at around 2:30am where I made sure my duffel bag was well packed and my passport was in the pocket of the pants I was going to put on three hours later, and that those pants were set right where my feet would land when I sat up to get out of bed (I like to think of future, forgetful me when preparing for trips). After a cozy three-hour nap (it wasn’t cozy at all, I was nervous and I didn’t even really sleep) I arose from my slumber, put on the pants previously mentioned, and I headed out the door to meet up with Paul and Robert, the two men I would be driving to Houston, TX with. Why was I going to Houston? I had a flight to catch headed to Amsterdam, Netherlands. Why was I going to Amsterdam? Glad you asked! I was headed to Amsterdam so that I could catch a flight to Uganda, Africa. Why was I going to Uganda? Another great question. I was going to Uganda to do mission work and help lead an evangelism crusade in the cities of Kampala and Mbale. Are we all caught up now? Good. Because that brings me to right now, 9:30pm in the guest house of two older missionaries named Herb and Ellen. Now normally this would be a strange series of events, except for that this was not the first time something similar to this has happened.
On June 22nd, 2016, I left Austin, TX for Cassville, MO to stay in Mark Twain National Forest with two of my closest friends (and current band members) David and Joel. All three of us had worked full days and met up after work so that we could drive through the night and be in Missouri by the next morning. We arrived there, hiked around for about six hours, and finally settled on a place to make camp. It was about 6:30pm on June 23rd when David said to me “What if we drive all night again to Minnesota to visit camp and volunteer during the festival?” (Quick backstory, I had worked at Camp Victory in Zumbro Falls, MN every Summer since 2013 and I had no intention of returning that year; the camp held an annual festival that a lot of people came to and many alumni return to volunteer at) I said without hesitation to David “Absolutely not. We haven’t slept in two days, we finally set up camp, let’s just enjoy this down time.” It took me all of about seven minutes to change my mind. Shortly thereafter, we were about to drive all night a second time in a row. After avoiding a few near-death traffic incidents, we made it to Minnesota and spent the day volunteering at the festival. Later that night, I decided I was going to stay in Minnesota the entire Summer and work at this camp again. I had to call home and request that my parents mail me a box of my clothes. I had to call my boss and quit my job. I had to help buy Joel and David plane tickets home. I did all of those things I didn’t return home until mid-August.
God works in mysterious ways. He told me that the people of the world need hope, and that the people of the world need love. So I took hope and love to the punk kids in Texas. I brought hope and love to the children of Minnesota. Right now I’m taking bringing hope and love to the working class of Uganda.
Because I know the hope and love I’m bringing to them. I know Jesus Christ as my savior. I’ve seen people with sickness and injury healed. I’ve seen alcoholics’ and drug addicts’ lives completely turn around. I’ve felt peace in my most anxious moments and felt resolve in areas of my life where I was without closure. I desire that others would see, feel, and believe the same.
-Brian Kettering, Matthew 4:18