Above, the Brooks family
January-February 2019 – Austin and Emily Brooks are a package deal. It’s hard to speak of one without the other. When Austin came to American Family Studios in 2009, it was a joint leap of sacrificial faith.
The Brookses met at Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, where she studied elementary education, and he studied media communications. They graduated and left family, friends, and all things familiar to follow God’s leading to American Family Association.
AFA Journal spoke with Austin on how that step of obedience has impacted their lives.
AFA Journal: How did you become a part of AFA?
Austin Brooks: A college friend attended a conference, met some AFA employers looking for videographers and video editors, and he gave them my name along with other Asbury graduates. I was contacted by AFA and drove down for an interview. While my introduction to AFA could be called happenstance, I strongly view my position and work here as a clear calling from the Lord.
AFAJ: Explain your work at American Family Studios.
AB: Our work at AFS changes day to day, and that’s what I love about it. Some days I operate a camera, some days I edit video, and other days I collaborate with colleagues on new project ideas. Over the years we have created feature films, documentaries, video curricula, and countless promotional videos for AFA’s varied departments. They are all different, but they all serve the same purpose, to point people to Christ.
AFAJ: How has God used you to minister at AFA, at church, and at home?
AB: At AFA, I use the gifts God blessed me with to create compelling content to strengthen, encourage, and equip the church to stand for truth and righteousness.
At church, we have served on our mission board and taught middle school Sunday school together. I play drums in the praise band, and Emily serves on the Women's Bible Study Committee. We also look for practical ways to give and serve people in our community.
At home, our calling is to challenge and encourage one another in our spiritual growth and to train up our children in the way they should go, praying they will never depart from it.
AFAJ: Speaking of children, describe your parenting journey.
AB: Emily has several medical conditions making it difficult to have biological children, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Four years into marriage, we began exploring our options. With wisdom and guidance from parents and doctors, we prayerfully started the adoption process in 2013.
During the three years we waited for the Lord to bring us a child, there were difficult moments, sad moments, moments when we questioned if we truly heard the Lord correctly. In those times, He led us to Scripture like Psalm 27:13-14 where He promises we will see His goodness if we are strong, take heart, and wait for the Lord.
Finally, in October 2016, we held our daughter, Lydia Grace, for the first time, overwhelmed with joy and love for this gift from God. Needless to say, she has stolen our hearts. And though parenting can be difficult, there is no greater blessing than teaching a child about all God has blessed us with. We just celebrated Lydia Grace’s second birthday and have begun the adoption process for our second child!
AFAJ: How exciting! Do you have other plans?
AB: Right now, I enjoy my AFS duties, and Emily loves being a stay-at-home mom. We are just focused on raising our family and teaching our children to love, obey, and serve the Lord. Our goal as a family is to follow after the Lord wherever He leads us.