In 2004, following 14 years of working as lay leaders in many areas of ministry with different churches God brought the Brandsma family to Stayner where they joined Clearview Community Church. The church having recently birthed another church was struggling to regain their footing. Many of their leaders and younger families had gone on to the new church leaving them with a skeleton crew and limiting their resources greatly.
The Brandsma’s did not know the history of the church but believing God had called them to this community and body of believers they simply dug in. First working with the children’s church to stir up leaders and new programs, then developing the Cleansing Streams program in the church. From Cleansing Streams they found that people who were coming out of the program were asking to help out in the church. Maren then jumped into the youth program and worked to build a program that would meet the specific needs of the teens. After 2 years of meeting whatever needs arose, training new leaders and developing programs the church was seeing steady growth. The Brandsma’s simply loved their church family and being used however God called them. It was their belief that they were in the community that they would live out their lives, doing foster care, loving their church and Eric working in a wonderful job.
In 2006 God rocked their world when through a series of events He brought them to the realization that this was just a part of their training and journey in God’s call on their lives. One Sunday morning during a sermon by Pastor Merv, God spoke clearly to their hearts that they were to go and help other churches who were in the same boat, rural churches that were struggling to grow and had no money to pay for help. Yikes!
The year that would follow was a whirlwind of stepping out in faith, overcoming fears, getting credentials, developing ministry plans, selling their house and belongings, meeting with regional directors, registering a charity, developing a board, creating materials, fundraising and finishing their jobs and ministry roles. They spent the year living with friends after selling the house, learning to live with other families and in small spaces – little did they know that these would prove to be critical skills.
In 2007 the Brandsma team accepted their first mission, heading out in a trailer with their 2 children they began the next leg of their journey.
Life Quest Community Church in Brantford proved to be a challenge that would prepare them, teach them and inspire them to keep going. Living by faith God blessed them with housing provision on 4 occasions, moving became a skill in speed and organization! They learned that God would provide in ways they never imagined as they served to help His body. In the year and a half that they partnered with Life Quest the church saw steady growth, health and freedom increased, programs developed and leaders called out and raised up. It has been wonderful to watch that growth continue since they finished and the congregation led by their loving Pastor continue to develop, reach out and get stronger.
April 2009 brought us to Evangel Pentecostal Tabernacle.
During our two years there we were able to run the Cleansing Stream Program twice which saw incredible results with great freedom and lifestyle changes which resulted in the participants becoming actively involved in many roles throughout the church. The church now has leaders for the Sunday school department, nursery and youth group as well as greeters, a youth band and worship team which is under development. The ministry was able to do a very successful fundraising concert to raise money for instruments. we brought in a team from the last church we served in who went on to develop their own outreach ministry using drama’s. They wrote a wonderful play and then came to this church to teach us how to put on the production as an outreach event. It was phenomenal and saw great results. It has also been an incredible time for building a youth group, in less than 2 years we saw well over 30 kids come through the program and have a regular attendance in the 20’s. We have seen over 20 salvation’s and a baptism Sunday for youth before we closed out our season there. There were leaders trained and taking over many areas of ministry as we prepared to head out. The church has seen ups and downs, it is now healthier and more prepared for growth to come. One of the women who we befriended and ministered to has gone on to get her credentials and became their youth and worship leader. We are very much looking forward to what God is planning for Dresden!
2011-2013 We did a 6 month project working with Elora Presbyterian church, helping do a revamp of their youth program. We had 9 adults step forward and take on the challenge of leading youth in a Friday night program. The leaders were trained, and given examples of what it takes to setup, and run a youth program. They started out with 9 youth on a regular basis, and have seen hearts and lives changed. We went on to work with a church in Hepworth and in Wiarton in various ways, we travelled to do several speaking engagements and ladies retreats and began working with Southport
2013-2017 we worked with Southport Pentecostal Church in various areas. The church has seen its regular attendance double in this time as God has refreshed and revitalized many areas through our ministry. The youth program, Children’s program and women’s ministry have been developed and thriving! We have been able to run Cleansing Streams which has helped move people forward and have had our hand in assisting others to develope ministries. We have been able to give different areas of the church face lifts and worked hard to encourage and edify the believers here in growth and outreach. As the Church Life Pastor it was a huge blessing to encourage and equip this church in so many areas and truly do life with them as they become a beacon in their community!
Present. Currently Maren is the Associate Pastor at Hope Community Church in Hanover and her daughter Pastor Keanna is the Children’s Pastor there. They are on staff part time and making their home in Hanover now. They helping this vibrant growing church to establish ministries, grow existing ones, train leaders and manage the growth process. While working here the Brandsma’s continue to do speaking engagements and assist with training and ministry development in other rural churches.
A Little About the Founders/Directors…
Eric and Maren Brandsma are the founders of 4 HIS Ministry, they serve along with their 2 wonderful children. Having moved to a small rural town they experienced first hand the need for a church restoration ministry, a deep desire to see churches healed and living to Gods potential was stirred.
They have been serving the Lord together for over 28 years. The past 11 years they have been the ministry directors of 4 HIS Ministry. Their family has worked in 6 churches serving 1 to 2 years in each through this church revitalization ministry. Prior to that they ministered in several churches as God moved them from Barrie, to Innisfil, back to Barrie and then to Stayner. They served in all areas; children, youth, young adults, small groups, church board, Cleansing Streams Seminar, counseling, prayer ministry and fellowship ministries. The Brandsma’s served hands on, in leadership roles and in developing ministries. Their ministry resumes are available upon request.
God has used trials, tragedies, comfort zones and far beyond comfort zones to stretch, shape and build them into obedient servants who could relate to people’s hurts and trust God whole heartedly with their lives. The Brandsma’s look at life as an adventure planned by God. This shows in the excitement of their two children who are active in church and love to serve the Lord and His people.
Eric was raised in a Christian home, but after facing several losses in his life he has developed a deep desire to see the family of God supporting and loving eachother. He has a heart of service and the gift of helps. Eric has a heart for children and a spirit of fun which brings smiles to everyone he meets. He is very gifted at analyzing and problem solving which is a great benefit to the churches we serve.
Maren had a very different life, coming from a non-christian home and having suffered years of abuse. She has a heart for the broken hearted and a passion for seeing people healed and living to their potential. Maren has been working with abused women and struggling teens for many years being gifted in counsel and compassion she has been honored to see God minister to and heal many people. Over the years Maren has developed into leadership training roles, being a guest speaker and a retreat leader. She is passionate about many of the lessons God has taught them and loves to share in seeing people grow. Her passion and joy for life are contagious,when coupled with her skills in creativity and building ministry teams she inspires each church they serve.
It is the deepest desire of the Brandsma family to live for God in light of eternity, moment by moment. The Brandsma’s sold their beautiful home 12 years ago and left their safe, comfortable life for a life of service. On the road, not knowing where their housing and food will often come from , they have developed a very deep life of faith and trust in God’s calling and wisdom. In the past 11 years they have lived in 11 housing situations, ranging from attics to basements and including two stints in their trailer. Their support does not always come in the form of finances,as God provides in many other practical ways. Provision comes through houses, food and even vehicles to use. They have both had to work outside of their ministry to meet needs but God has been gracious to provide enjoyable jobs. As their funding slowly increases the Brandmas look forward to the day when they can both minister full time to these hurting churches without the constraints of needing to work outside of the ministry.