Missions passion takes Brazle all over the world

By Aubree Hughes

Mark Brazle’s passion for missions stems from his experience growing up in Montana, Oklahoma, and Saskatchewan as one of six children born to church planter and evangelist Clint Brazle and his wife Faye.

After Mark earned his associate’s degree from Western Christian College, he graduated with degrees in Bible and music education from Oklahoma Christian University.

Through the years, he has learned how to not only watch for God at work, but also join Him … lessons Mark gladly passes on to others.

“Use whatever tools God gives you along the way to glorify Him. These can be used everyday on the way to eternity.” Mark Brazle

“Use whatever tools God gives you along the way to glorify Him, whether writing songs to help with Scripture memorization or simply being attentive to the Word and following Jesus,” Mark said. “These can be used everyday on the way to eternity.”

Mark and his wife Jill met at OC. After they married, they served as missionaries in Belgium from 1977 to 1993. Mark credits his wife for being the most helpful and influential in his success.

“Without Jill by my side, where would I be? That is a frightening thought,” he said.

Mark said OC helped him prepare for success in countless ways.

“When Jill and I graduated, I was surrounded by encouragement to explore being involved in the mission of God,” he said. “From Outreach every Monday evening, under the exceptional student leadership of fellow students like Harold Shank and my roommate, Gary Williams, we were surrounded by fellow students who were exploring ways to be involved in some aspect of missions. Several of these students gathered with us or prayed with us about team formation.”

Mark’s fellow colleagues had a mutual feeling.

“Mark was a well-liked, mission-minded campus leader,” said a classmate of Mark’s, Donna (Buchanan 73) Carpenter.

Mark said OC’s faculty members always made themselves available to discuss mission work.

“Dr. Ron Bever and Dr. Ralph and Gladys Burcham were there every step of the way,” Mark said. “As I double-majored in Bible and vocal music education, Dr. Harold Fletcher and Ken and Lindy Adams constantly encouraged our involvement in missions and ways to use music in the effort.”

In addition to inspiration from faculty, exceptional Bible instruction gave Mark the tools to ask important questions and communicate truth well.

“Extracurricular activities like Songs America Sings exposed us to Dr. Stafford North’s uncanny sense of humor as well as the unstoppable Dr. James Cail,” Mark said.

Mark spent 20 years in ministry with the church of Christ in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, helping expand the congregation’s missions vision and involvement.

“Without faith, it’s impossible to move forward,” Mark said. “We moved to Belgium in 1977 with inadequate support and then the value of the U.S. and Canadian dollars dropped as much as 40 percent. We believed. God was faithful. He supplied our needs. We prayed. God guided. The Father sustained us, by faith.”

Drawing upon his 16 years of missions experience serving in the Flemish-speaking part of Belgium, Brazle began working with Missions Resource Network as co-director of missionary care.

“In this vital role, Mark ministers to missionaries and helps to remind churches of the importance of missionary care in helping extend the stays of missionaries on the field,” Professor of Ministry and Missions Robert Carpenter said.

The family legacy of ministry and service lives on in the Brazles’ five children and 10 grandchildren, who work in missions, education, and vocational ministry – from Belgium to Tanzania to the United States.

“The most important component of our work that might be called success was to continue faithfully to be ambassadors for God,” Mark said. “I am where I am because of God’s guidance.”