Kristen Brown will serve in Jerusalem
By Holly McCray
Since 1996, clergywoman Kristen Brown of Oklahoma has been to Jerusalem seven times. When she returns again this year, she will be going to her new home.
Rev. Brown is a new missionary, assigned to Jerusalem through the General Board of Global Ministries. Her UM Advance support number is: 3021280.
"I’ve been very affirmed every time I’ve gone" to the Holy Land, Brown said. "It’s home on some level; I’m not just a Christian wanting to go there. It’s very, very much deeper than that.
"Not everybody can go, or has that desire, so I can represent the Oklahoma Conference and our greater Church while I am there."
In Jerusalem, she will have many opportunities to minister using her translation skills. Sabeel, an ecumenical theology center, is her mission assignment.
At Oklahoma City University, Brown majored in French and minored in Chinese and German. She also speaks Arabic. She provided translation at the 2008 General Conference and, in 2006, at the 50-year celebration of clergywomen in the Church.
"Some of my gifts and graces lie in language," Brown agreed.
She graduated from Duke seminary and, in 1996, began serving as a pastor and campus minister in Oklahoma.
But she has a lifetime of experience traveling and living beyond the state’s borders. She’s been a leader and member of Volunteers In Mission teams. She spent a month in personal discernment in the Holy Land in 2007, and she has traveled to Europe and Taiwan.
Her parents, Dudley and Sara Brown of Tahlequah, met as students at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. Brown and her sister were born in New York City; her brother, in Zambia. The family lived in Libya, too.
She is undeterred by the power struggles that roil the Middle East. "I wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning if I was afraid of life. We’re in God’s hands. If we could learn to look at a person through the eyes of Christ, see the beautiful creation God has made, then we’d do things differently," Brown said.
The population is reportedly 3 percent Christian, Brown said, in the land where Jesus walked. Yet a man once declared to her, "My people were the shepherds who went to see Jesus."
Brown said, "I would hate to see a day where we have zero Christians in this area."
From Jerusalem, her blog will feature her journey and ministry—womanatthewell2008.blogspot.com