Texas Calvary Chapel Pastor Shares the Love of Jesus in Qatar as an Army Reservist—PART 1
Story by Kathy Symborski
Photos courtesy of Brian Colyer and Calvary Fellowship Killeen, TX
This is Part 1 of a two-part story about U.S. Army Reservist Sergeant First Class Brian Colyer, an assistant pastor at Calvary Fellowship Killeen, TX. Brian is currently serving in Qatar, and actively and passionately shares his faith with military colleagues and local residents as he serves his country in the Middle East. Look for Part 2 soon.
“It’s Ramadan right now in Qatar,” Brian Colyer contemplated. “I hear the prayers ring out five times a day, and every time I hear their prayers, I pray to the Lord that He would reveal Himself to them [the Muslims] and forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing. They are praying to a false god that doesn’t hear them. I pray God uses whatever means necessary to have them come to the realization of the love of Jesus.”
Brian Colyer is a Sergeant First Class finishing up his career as an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army Reserves; he’s currently serving in Qatar. Back home near Fort Hood, TX, he is an assistant pastor at Calvary Fellowship Killeen, where he helps with various outreaches in the surrounding community, oversees youth and children’s ministries, and, along with his wife Victoria, serves on the worship team.
Brian Colyer plays the drums at Calvary Killeen, TX, where he is an assistant pastor actively involved in ministry. He is also a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army Reserves, serving now as an intelligence analyst in Qatar.
Originally from Southern California, Brian, now 44, came to Christ when he was 28 years old. While working at a construction site, a friend asked Brian if he had been to church lately. Have I even ever been to church? he bemusedly thought. “So I went; and it happened to be Greg Laurie’s church, Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, CA, and his message was pointed directly to me. I didn’t give my life to the Lord that day, but the next Sunday I went back, ran up to the altar and gave my life over to Him.” Brian has been heavily involved in evangelism ever since—using tracts, giving out Bibles, and using the Way of the Master technique to share the Gospel with anyone and everyone who comes his way. He’s been a part of the Texas church since 2009 and was ordained in 2019.
His senior pastor, John Newberry, reflected on Brian’s deployment soon after his ordination. “I am glad he will be back soon because we will need his help to finish building our new auditorium. He really wanted to be a part of building the walls and putting in doors, and he is going to be back just in time for that. It’s been a privilege watching Brian and Victoria grow over the years; they are very effective Christians who have a passion for reaching out to the community.”
On the first day of Brian’s new deployment in Qatar in 2020, he admitted he was feeling low, missing his ministry, job, and family. Going through a bedstand, he discovered this adaptor, which he realized he had left behind during an earlier deployment at another base in the Middle East. Finding it encouraged him that God had a purpose for Brian in Qatar.
Same Mission, New Location
After being deployed several times in combat zones like Iraq, Brian decided to finish his career in the Reserves at Fort Hood. Fully expecting to retire there, he got word in September 2020 that he would be sent back for a final deployment before that would happen. “I mobilized to Kuwait, the central hub, and from there they decide where to send you. Until then, you have no idea where you are going. My orders were Qatar,” he explained.
Brian admitted that he was feeling very low on his first day in-country. Back home, the ministry he was involved in was going great, his personal business was ramping up to the point where it was supporting his family, and he truly didn’t want to leave. “That first day, I just sat on my bed to pray and seek the Lord, asking, Why now? It is just an inopportune time, and I don’t want be away from my family.” When he finished praying, Brian began busying himself taking inventory of his small, sparsely furnished room. Going through the nightstand by his bed, he found several extension cords and a travel adaptor with some writing on it. Travel adaptors are simply connectors that allow equipment from one country to plug into the wall outlet of another country; in essence, they act as a “go-between.”
Brian and his wife Victoria. Victoria is a former missionary to Muslim countries and has advised her husband as he shares the Gospel while he’s on deployment. They both serve on the church’s worship team.
Brian continued, “I put it back, not giving it much thought, and went through the rest of my room. But I had the feeling something weird was going on, so I go back, look at the adaptor and notice what was written on it. To my surprise, it was ‘Brian’. I thought, Wow! What a coincidence a guy named Brian was here before me! But then I look at the top of it and see the initials ‘BC’, and it starts to look very familiar. Suddenly, the hair on my arms goes up as it dawns on me that this was my travel adaptor—one I left in my barracks room in Iraq a decade ago.
“Somehow it resurfaced in my very room, in a different country, and happened to be in my nightstand right next to where I am praying and crying out, Why am I here? As I’m looking at this thing, I said, Lord, You are just too much! I broke down in prayer and thanksgiving at that moment, and He brought to mind Proverbs 16:9: A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. I believe He supernaturally placed this adaptor to show me that I am exactly where He wants me for a specific reason, and that He is here with me.”
A New Mission Field
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. Matt 28:19a
Brian’s passion is sharing the Gospel, and that certainly has been his path; but the Lord has directed his steps to go places only Brian could reach. “What He has called me to do is to just share the Gospel with anybody and everybody who will listen on this tiny three-mile-long outpost in the desert.”
Brian’s audience may appear to be small, but God has brought the nations to him, he asserted. “We have OCNs (Other Country Nationals) who are employed to do the manual labor on post. Some are from the Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and neighboring nations; most speak English fairly well. God directed me to them first—they have such a desperate need for hope,” Brian asserted. “I came here with some Gospel tracts, but God has provided everything else I need. The chaplain here even hooked me up with two boxes of Gideon New Testaments.” Although they came to work to feed their families, the OCNs are getting fed the Bread of Life [a name for Jesus] through Brian’s obedience to go and make disciples of all nations.
With a background in construction, Brian helps install a door at Calvary Killeen’s first auditorium in 2009, when he first came to the church.
Chess & the Gospel
One of those OCNs was an Indian named Dar who ran the jewelry shop on post. Interestingly, he is Muslim, not Hindu. They struck up a friendship over a mutual interest in playing chess. “Chess originated in India about 1,500 years ago,” Brian pointed out, “so he was very receptive to me; while we played, I would share with him about the God in the Bible, His Son Jesus, and how He loves Dar very much.” Because a Muslim’s understanding of love from a god is foreign to them, Brian knew he couldn’t rush Dar’s understanding. “Statistically speaking, it takes about 10-15 years for a typical Muslim to come to Christ, even if you are an imbedded Christian missionary in their country.” So he would talk a little, play a little in silence, and then one day Dar mentioned that he had read the Book of Proverbs. Brian used that opening to share back and forth about their insights on the biblical book of wisdom.
Brian would talk about these encounters with his wife, Victoria. As a former missionary in Muslim countries far more hostile to the Christian faith, she is quite knowledgeable about their customs. When he mentioned that Dar had complimented his chessboard, she asked Brian if he had praised that board three times. Brian chuckled, “He sure has!”
Brian later recalled, “So she told me to give him that chessboard—it is customary if a Muslim tells you three times that he likes something, that means he wants it. So I did, and he was so happy! In return, he gave me a necklace with an anchor and a cross with the saying Our Future Hope on the bottom. So a Muslim guy gave me a Christian necklace—how cool is that?” Brian thanked him but also used that to plant that seed of faith a little deeper, explaining how Jesus is the anchor of our souls and our future hope. Dar is now working on a different post, but is accompanied by his Bible, Gospel tracts, and Brian’s chessboard.
Brian will continue to be God’s ‘go-between’ for several more weeks as he finishes out his deployment. He is adamant that he is not leaving his power adaptor behind this time. It will be the first thing he packs as a reminder of how God used it to embolden him to reach the lost and hopeless, just as God uses whatever means necessary to share the love of Jesus.
All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
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