Adventuring Author: Russia — How Hubby Got On Board

I am in Russia. Yes, right now.

We (hubby and I) landed in Moscow two days ago. I’ll be posting pictures on my Instagram when (if) I can and I’ll resist giving a “full report” until we’ve returned. But while we’re traipsing across the Russian winterside, here’s the story of how hubby went from hating Russia, to wanting to minster there.


I had just met this handsome hunk of a man and — after a few weeks of twitterpation — decided to test the waters of this “potential-husband” material.

Now you have to understand that God placed Russia on my heart back when I was a young teenager. I knew, without a doubt, that the word “Russia” was stamped on my future. It was crucial that my future husband have a similar vision. Only…I hadn’t shared any of this with Daylen yet.

“So,” I asked him during a drive one day. “How do you feel about ministry in other countries? Is that something you’d be open to?”

He shrugged. “Sure! Wherever God calls…”

Phew! He’s a keeper!

“…Well, anywhere but Russia.”

SCREECH! What?! Anywhere but Russia? But…but…I wanted to marry this guy! I couldn’t do that now.

Instead of freaking out and shaking the insanity out of him (I mean, who wouldn’t want to serve in giant, freezing cold country? 😉 ) I remembered Mary who kept everything to herself. So I did that. I realized I couldn’t change Daylen’s heart. God knew my vision and desires (Psalm 37:4, anyone?) He’d change him.

So I prayed and stayed silent. It wasn’t easy. I prayed for clarity, for a change of Daylen’s heart, for perseverance. A month or so later, Daylen was setting up his office at his new job. I was playing around with this new desk, opened a drawer and…

…there sat a Russian Bible.

“What’s this?” I tried to keep my voice from trembling.

He waved it off. “I dunno. I know you studied Russian for a little while. I saw it on a shelf and just,”–shrug–“grabbed it.”

I wanted to do a victory dance right then and there, confess my prayers, and tell him everything. But the Holy Spirit super-glued my lips shut. Not yet.

More praying. But this time, I was energized. A Russian Bible! Even Daylen didn’t know what drew him to it! Another few weeks went by and Daylen and I found ourselves on a drive to the city. We were content. We were silent. Then, out of nowhere, Daylen said, “This might sound a little crazy but…I just keep thinking about…Russia. I can’t get it off my mind and…I think maybe God wants us to do ministry there someday. What do you think?”

And…I word-vomited everything (clearly the Holy Spirit’s super glue worked for only so long) — the waiting, the prayers, my passion, my vision. I’m surprised Daylen didn’t just change his mind right then and there and ditch the psycho girlfriend. 😉 But I’d never been more excited to see God work in such a clear way. He changed a man’s heart.

Now I’m married to that man…and we’re in Russia.


What is a powerful way you’ve seen God work?


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About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.
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  1. Angela Randazzo

    Our Father aka Daddy sure does love us doesn’t He. And by golly, our pea sized brains seem to never grasp it enough that He can do ANYTHING! Thanks for sharing Dini…Love you

  2. Super cool story, Nadine! And a great testimony to the power of prayer and patience. Can’t wait to hearing the full report…

    • I was able to share it in Russia! So many of the people I encountered found it hard to believe anyone would want to come minister to them or their churches. This story really showed the power of prayer and God’s call to all nations!

  3. That is tremendously awesome. Thank you for sharing.

  4. zerinablossom

    Wow, that is really cool for you! God is awesome like that.
    Am I right in understanding that you only knew him a few weeks before thinking you might marry him?

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