Going with peaceful obedience to the call
January 19, 2017
As an accountant, giving someone a blank check goes against everything Brent Kapps* knows. When it came to God’s call for his family, however, Kapps and his wife, Brianna,* offered their lives as a blank check before the Lord.
“Our call is a call of obedience,” Kapps said. “We don’t want to miss the opportunity to be salt and light wherever God places us.”
After faithfully serving at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary for nearly six years, eventually becoming an associate vice president, Kapps and his family stepped out in faith to work overseas with the International Mission Board.
They will soon join a team of workers who provide humanitarian aid and community development in areas of Central Asia left in shambles by years of war. Kapps will fill a need for an accountant for the team. “I want to show people that I am here because I love [their] country,” Kapps said. “We will be able to help serve vital needs and help the country rebuild.”
It was this call to ministry that initially led the family to Southeastern several years ago. Kapps had been a successful accountant for 10 years, consulting for non-profits on accounting software when his heart began to stir for the Great Commission.
“I began wrestling with passages like Romans 10:14 where it asks ‘How will they believe in him of whom they have not heard?’ and other stories such as Jesus’ call to Peter, James and John to follow him,” he remembered.
These passages called Kapps away from his ideal job. “It was a call for me to leave the American dream and say yes to the Lord,” he said.
The family took a step of faith and applied to work overseas. While in the application process, Kapps began taking classes at Southeastern to be equipped for ministry.
They did not find a position overseas right away, but not long after that, Kapps was asked to take a position at Southeastern in the finance department.
Kapps saw this opportunity as valuable preparation for ministry and as a way to be involved in the Great Commission right where they were. “We turned toward our community and began connecting deeply with our neighbors. We were able to host Bible studies in our home and lead a few families to Christ. We just used where God had placed us to be his messengers,” Kapps said.
The Kapps family also had many people minister to them during their time at Southeastern, including fellow students, friends and the pastor of their local church in Raleigh. Kapps also credits his supervisor at Southeastern, Ryan Hutchinson, executive vice president of operations, with shepherding him both spiritually and professionally. “He has been a huge encouragement to me here and was able to weave spiritual lessons into our day-to-day work,” Kapps said.
Life began to change around February of last year when Kapps heard of a need for an accountant in Central Asia. The job seemed like a good fit, but he was hesitant about the location.
“I tucked it away. I thought that place needed someone braver or more courageous,” he remembered. “It was a great opportunity but one that was too frightening for us.”
Kapps and his wife decided to take a vision trip, first stopping to explore another job in Central Asia. Though the job was interesting and the area was safer than other options, both Kapps and his wife felt unsettled. “We didn’t have a peace, although we were willing to be there. Something was missing,” Kapps recalled.
Upon visiting the area they had feared at first, God called them to obey and gave them the courage to do so. “We knew early on that it was a special place,” Kapps said. “We had peace about being there and how we fit with the team. We knew God was calling us there before we left to come home.”
With peace from God, all other things began to fall into place. Kapps saw Proverbs 3:5-6 become a reality as the path for his family became clearer with each step of obedience. Kapps’ time at Southeastern wrapped up in October, and the family left for training before heading to Central Asia.
The entire family is excited for this new phase of life, even their four children. “Troy* (8) expresses this through prayers for the people and the country. His prayers really show his understanding of the Great Commission,” Kapps said. “Ruth* (11) told us she just wants to go wherever God calls us to go.”
Brent is thankful for the time they spent at Southeastern before taking this next step. “It is a Great Commission seminary,” Kapps said. “We were able to be equipped and trained while having the opportunity to serve the local church.”
The Kapps family remains humbly dependent upon God and grateful for his guidance. “We are just an average family, and God has given us an open door to go and be a part of His Great Commission,” Kapps said. “It is an honor and a privilege to get to be a part of God’s story that He is writing for this country.”
They also recognize that they are a part of a greater effort to reach this area of Central Asia. “For many years people all around the world have been bathing this area in prayer, and now we are that family they have been praying for,” Kapps said. “We don’t want to be set apart as different or put on a pedestal. We are all tied in to the Great Commission.”
Join the Kapps family as they seek to share the message of Christ. Here are a few ways you can partner with them in prayer:
- Peace amid transition. Pray for the whole family to continue to abide in Christ (John 15) and in God’s Word during all the changes that are about to take place.
- A family to befriend them. Pray for the Kapps family to meet a local family with whom they can share life with and learn culture from. Ask that their children will be able to learn language from this family and feel accepted into the community.
- Language and culture acquisition. Pray for Brent and Brianna to learn the local language to be able to communicate the Gospel. Pray for them to persevere through the hard days and to get out of their comfort zones.
- Strong connections with their local partners. Pray for them to maintain good connections with their local church and be accountable to them. They want to honor those who have committed with them to reach their people with regular updates and prayers.