Brandon & Melissa Stiver
When Brandon Stiver was feeding the chickens and pigs in the early mornings on the family ranch in Central California, the last place on earth he dreamed he'd end up living was in Africa. But God had special plans for this young man.
Raised in a Christian home and led to the Lord by a saintly Sunday School teacher with a big heart for missions, a seed was planted at a very young age. Though he went through a rebellious period during high school, by his senior year, Brandon had made a decision to live for God, whatever the cost.
He chose to attend a Christian University, and during those college years he worked part-time with children in after-school programs while studying for a degree in Education. He planned to become a teacher, marry, and settle down to live in sunny Southern California.
But one day, while worshipping during a church service, God intruded into his thoughts. He distinctly heard the words, "Go run an orphanage in Africa." He had never dreamed of going to Africa and in fact was leaving in a few weeks to participate in a missions trip to Poland. The thought seemed to have come out of nowhere. He dismissed it.
A few Sundays later, it was Father's Day and there was a special guest speaker at the church. He talked about his recent visit to Africa and how the AIDS crisis had created an epidemic of fatherlessness. That thought jumped out at Brandon and he heard little more of the sermon as he pondered that theme. Later as the congregation stood to worship again, the words floated back into his mind again, "Go run an orphanage in Africa."
Brandon describes it this way, "And it was that night that I first felt called to Africa and when I began to embrace that idea, I realized that it is totally what I wanted. And my prayer to God was 'Jesus, I will follow You anywhere.' "
After that, Brandon began to pursue opportunities to go on short-term missions trips to Africa, and ended up in Tanzania. Connecting through Vanguard University with the Treasures of Africa Children's Home, Brandon served for a few weeks at the orphanage and fell in love with the children and the staff. He began to sponsor one of the TOA children, Awadhi, while he was still a student. The following year, after graduation, he served as an intern for 3 months with another ministry working in Moshi, and was able to visit TOA 3 days a week to play with the kids and get to know Awadhi more. The experience was life changing. His desire to return to live in Tanzania and work at Treasures of Africa Children's Home was solidified.
His degree in Education and his 4 years of experience tutoring children in after-school programs prepared him to accept the position of Education Director at the orphanage. Brandon's excitement about his new position is tangible. "There is no place on earth I would rather work than Treasures of Africa Children's Home in Moshi!"
If you want to gather a "CARE PACKAGE" for missionary Brandon Stiver, his favorite things to receive would be:
- iTunes gift cards
- Christian biographies and spiritual formation books
- Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
- Knotts Boysenberry Jam
Care Packages can be mailed to:
TREASURES OF AFRICA CHILDREN'S HOME
ATTN: Brandon Stiver
P. O. BOX 383
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Click here for Brandon's video interview
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