Michael and Rebecca Buhrman

Pastor Jared Baldwin is guest hosting again this week. He is joined by Michael and Rebecca Buhrman to discuss serving Christ as a family in the military.

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Episode transcript:

Chris Harper: Welcome to Harvest Time. My name is Chris Harper, and our guest host on this program is pastor Jared Baldwin, the Executive Pastor of Harvest Baptist Church. Every week, we spend these 25 minutes together telling you the stories of our church, interviewing our members and other friends at the ministry. We’d like to invite you to join us at Harvest Baptist Church this week. We have 2 services on Sunday, 8:45 AM and 10:45 AM.

We’re offering Spanish translation during the 8:45 AM service, and we have Japanese and Korean translation at the 10:45 AM service, and that’s also when we live stream at hbcguam.org, hbcguam.org. This week, missionary Brian Leonards is back and speaking in our Sunday morning services. Let’s begin today’s harvest time by welcoming pastor Jared Baldwin. Hi, pastor Jared.

Jared Baldwin: Hafa adai, Chris. Thanks for hosting us up here at KHMG today. And, a familiar environment. I really enjoy coming up here. I was looking back.

We’ve you and I have got to record 3 of these in the last few weeks since pastor Gary’s been off island.

Chris Harper: It’s a great opportunity. It feels like the old days, doesn’t it?

Jared Baldwin: It does. It does. It’s it’s bringing me back, bringing me back. So but I have the privilege today to interview Michael and Rebecca Berman, members of Harvest Baptist Church.

And, they’ve had a little bit of a week. I mean, you guys tell us a little bit about you said you just got back on island and then you had your little guy in the hospital. Tell us a little bit about what your week’s been like.

Micahel Buhrman: I just got back from Korea Sunday night about 12 o’clock, 12 AM. And then, Rebecca took little Samuel over to Navy Hospital because he was having breathing problems at about 6 or 7 AM. So it’s been a, get off the plane, get the bags, and then rock and roll back at the house. So, hopefully, the rest of this week slows down a little bit, and we can let Sam have a have a little room to rest and settle down and breathe.

Jared Baldwin: Yeah. So at at the same time, we’re doing this this interview. Rebecca is holding Samuel who he sounds much better apparently, but he still has, some some croup there. And so you might hear him in the background a little bit between wrestling his mom and, you know, trying to escape this, this recording studio is all good. But, well, tell us about, Rebecca, while we have a quiet moment here.

Tell us a bit about your family, kids, ages, where you guys are from.

Rebecca Buhrman: Let’s see. We have 3 boys, William, Daniel, and Samuel. They’re 5, 3, and 1. The younger 2 were born here on Guam. William was born back in Missouri.

Originally, I’m from Georgia.

Jared Baldwin: I can hear that. The radio audience can definitely hear that.

Rebecca Buhrman: You wouldn’t believe I didn’t lose it. I moved to Washington State when I was 12.

Jared Baldwin: Oh, boy. Wow.

Rebecca Buhrman: Yeah. And, graduated high school there and then joined the Air Force out of there.

Jared Baldwin: Okay. And you were active duty up until just a few years ago?

Rebecca Buhrman: I got off active duty in 2015.

Jared Baldwin: Okay.

Rebecca Buhrman: And then I did a year in the reserves. They got out of that in 2016.

Jared Baldwin: Okay. Alright. And then, Michael, tell us a little bit about your career. How long have you been in, and what do you do in the Air Force?

Micahel Buhrman: So I’ve been in about this summer, I’ll be 15 years. I do, civil engineering. So, the carpentry, welding, locksmithing. Currently, what I do is, I’m an instructor for expeditionary civil engineering. So anything that’s base repair, runway repair, or building from scratch.

Instruct people from all all branches of service or any of our, partner nations. So any any other countries in the Pacific area.

Jared Baldwin: Oh, that’s great. That’s great. Does that require you to go TDY often?

Micahel Buhrman: Yes. I go TDY a lot.

Jared Baldwin: Okay. Alright. When I was active duty in the air force, I had orders to go to Yokota and be on a red horse team, I think they called it at the time. And, one of my classmates had orders to go to this boring place called Masawa, Japan. And I heard that it was he was like, oh, it’s snowy up there and you never go TDY anywhere and it’s so boring.

Well, I wanted to get married and I said, hey, I’ll trade you orders. And it was the best trade I ever made. So I went to Massawa and had 3 wonderful years on Security Hill in Massawa. And he went and joined the Red Horse team, and he was gone all the time. Now he was young single guy.

He didn’t care. But for me, it was a good trade. So but I had a lot of friends that were civil engineering guys that have done a lot of what you’re talking about you do. And so, being an instructor, so how did you become an instructor in that?

Micahel Buhrman: So actually coming coming to Guam, I was actually hired in to the Red Horse side of the squadron. So I, ran the shop there. So I had about 25 guys, and our their job was to train and then deploy and go do projects. So I was actually out on a project, a couple years back, in Timor Leste, a little, north of, Australia. And some of the leadership called me and said, hey.

Do you wanna, when you come back, do you wanna still run the shop or do you wanna be an instructor? So in my head, I said, hey. I get to have one troop, less less, headaches at work, and I get to do something I enjoy which is teaching. So, luckily, the Lord let let that all fall into place. And, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last 2 years of doing, instructor instructor

Jared Baldwin: gigs. Sure. Yep. Do you think someday, post military, Lord willing, you might have some teaching in your future?

Micahel Buhrman: Yes.

Jared Baldwin: Yeah. I can I can hear it in your voice? Some people just really enjoy. I just came from teaching at a college and there were certain aspects of it. I really enjoyed the student interaction and stuff like that.

But, there were some aspects of teaching. I I don’t really, you know, grading, stuff like that, you know. So now, Rebecca, you also, you finished when you got out of the air force, you used your GI bill and finished a degree. What was that in?

Rebecca Buhrman: Accounting.

Jared Baldwin: You so you have your masters in accounting? I do. So, that’s a career I never could see myself doing. I have a hard time even balancing my checkbook or, you know, I joke with kids sitting down in front of the coffee shop. I’ll see them studying, like, calculus or something, and I’ll say, you know, you never need that as an adult.

Now I’m I’m just kidding. Of course, they they do need it. But, why did you go on and study accounting?

Rebecca Buhrman: I just have always liked working with numbers, working with money. Yeah. Just get lost in the numbers sometimes.

Jared Baldwin: That’s good. I’m sure that’s good for you, Michael, to have a wife that, takes care of that side of things.

Micahel Buhrman: Absolutely.

Jared Baldwin: Yeah. Some people get carried away numbers, but it’s just all in spending it or, you know, so it’s good to have a family that’s more lost in the numbers of accounting for it, at least so. Excellent. Well, let me move on to I want to hear a little bit about, how your guys life got started. Just briefly, how you met, and, and then also when you guys became Christians.

So either one of you can start with that.

Rebecca Buhrman: Oh, well, I grew up in a Christian home. I even asked my parents if there was anything interesting about our family, about how people got saved. And it’s just a long history of believers, which Mhmm. I guess is interesting in itself. We have

Jared Baldwin: Absolutely.

Rebecca Buhrman: Family going back to, settling America that came over on the Mayflower as Puritans and

Micahel Buhrman: Wow.

Rebecca Buhrman: And then that’s on my dad’s side, from Long Island. And then my mom down in Georgia, there’s a long history there. They’re currently going to a church that was founded back in the 1700

Jared Baldwin: Wow.

Rebecca Buhrman: By her family. So there’s Wow. Yeah, grandparents there, on her side who were buried in the graveyard on the church grounds. So

Jared Baldwin: I think people have a hard time. I’m from the Midwest, and so our history in Missouri, for example, in Kansas City doesn’t go back pre civil war. There’s not a lot of that historic, you know, it didn’t become a state until much later. But we lived on the East Coast for a while, and you could go to churches. You could see, in cemeteries, you know, gravestones that go back to the 16, 1700 and things.

So I think it’s really neat to have that heritage. So you became a Christian as a child.

Rebecca Buhrman: I grew up in church and Sunday school. Always knew about the Lord, but, there was one day, it was I think it was in between 4th 5th grade. I was at a summer camp, the private school I was going to at the time. And the guy speaking was, like, you really need to have a relationship with Jesus. And I’m, like, what?

Mhmm. Like, what is that? I don’t have that. I need I need this. So then that started, my serious walk and, really getting saved.

So how old was I then? Maybe 10.

Jared Baldwin: Wow. Wow. That’s great. I think that’s a encouragement to those that are serving in, like, children’s ministries, for example, because sometimes it’s a it’s a labor of love. It’s you’re sometimes volunteering to to be away from where all the adults are in in the service.

Our children’s pastor, Wade, just preached this last Sunday, but it’s such an important thing because kids, they need to hear the gospel and be able to respond to it. So that’s awesome. Well, what about you, Michael?

Micahel Buhrman: So I, similar similar background. I, grew up in Virginia, was always always at church. A little bit different of a of a church upbringing. It wasn’t wasn’t really a denominational church, but, we were always there. My I got to watch my dad be kind of one of the the lead lead brothers, of the assembly.

So about the same time frame, about 5th grade, after after a Friday night meeting, that’s when all the the church was broken up into 7 different groups and they would do their bible studies. And it was on a Friday night, so we called it Friday night meeting. Mhmm. Real real original. But, that’s what we always look forward to, was being able to see our friends and everything.

But what they were talking about was, hey. You need to be saved and have that relationship. So afterwards, talked to my dad. And then, what what would happen is, you know, then he would bring it up at the at the brothers meeting of all the men and, you know, he said, hey, Michael, you know, wanted to, express some, interest in, being saved and asking the Lord into his heart. So we sat on a Saturday the, the next week and, chatted with a couple other dads.

I said, yeah. I think he’s he’s not just dab dabbling around, but he’s actually being sincere. So, I got saved young and then, was always always in, in church, in the ministry. I decided to get baptized actually after a summer youth camp, about sophomore year in high school, that summer. I still remember what they talked about.

They were talking about the Jordan River and how, the analogy was you can’t have your feet on both sides of the Jordan River. Right? And that just, clicked in my head saying, hey. I’ve been trying to straddle the Jordan River, and I can’t. So, I’d like to be baptized and really show that, hey.

I want my life to be for the Lord. So then I was able to be baptized at church, after the service on the on one of the Sundays, sophomore year, but right right before, junior year of of high school. And then that’s been that’s been it really, really ever since. Just been walking with the Lord. Sometimes I feel like my testimony isn’t as grand as some others, you know, because I I didn’t have that big shock and awe turn moment.

But, myself and Rebecca always, you know, come back to saying, hey. It saved us from a lot of other Absolutely. Other stuff.

Jared Baldwin: That’s a lot to be grateful for because you don’t have to, you know, you don’t have the unshackled testimony. We have a radio program called unshackled with these traumatic testimonies. But, really, every every time someone gets saved, the angels are rejoicing, and God spared you from a lot of headaches and heartaches, I think, because of saving you as a as a kid and having that Christian upbringing. So you guys, give me the give me the short version of how you guys ended up getting together because you’re both active duty air force, young, you know, in your twenties. How did you meet?

Rebecca Buhrman: Well, we were both in the civil engineering squadron up in Montana. And what would you say? Like, 300 people in that unit? Maybe 10 females, so everybody knew who you were. And I’d like to think that it was my reputation that attracted him.

You know, I was I didn’t do anything that people in the military tend to get themselves into sometimes. And he saw me and started asking, some of my coworkers who I was, and I like to say that he actually got ordered to talk to me. He was a little nervous to approach me, and then finally, this, they were joking, but this major was like, yeah. That’s an order. He needs to go talk to Nice.

Herman Chase.

Jared Baldwin: Nice.

Rebecca Buhrman: And we just hit it off. We started talking and realized that we had the same upbringing. We both grew up in church, similar family background, and, I thought that would be a rare find in the military. So it’s the rest is history,

Jared Baldwin: I guess.

Micahel Buhrman: Yeah.

Jared Baldwin: Well, that so that’s your side of the story. Michael, what about yours?

Micahel Buhrman: So I, we had just done a promotion ceremony, for one of the younger lieutenants. He was putting on 1st lieutenant and, he was up there playing ping pong with some of the other guys up on the balcony. And I saw this big 5th wheel trailer getting backed in to the to the response bay. And out pops, you know, Rebecca. You know, young young Airman Chase is is was her last name before I was able to start dating her and then marry her.

And, I was up there and I was I said, man, who’s that? You know? And they said, that’s the girl we’ve been telling you should go talk to. But obviously, I was nervous. Right?

So they they did their whole joking around thing and said, hey, we think you should go talk to her. And then obviously someone said, hey, I think that’s an order. It came from an officer. So it was a joke. But I walked myself downstairs and they all they all bent over the the balcony railing.

So watched her back this 5th wheel in and then she got out of truck and looked at me and smiled. Said, do you wanna go talk somewhere else? And I said, yes. Absolutely.

Jared Baldwin: So And it was all history

Micahel Buhrman: after that. That was Friday at 3 o’clock, and then we met for dinner, went back to our dorm rooms, got cleaned up, went out for dinner on a Friday, and then been hanging out ever since.

Jared Baldwin: So That’s great. That’s great. And how many years has that been now?

Rebecca Buhrman: 12.

Micahel Buhrman: 12 years.

Jared Baldwin: Yeah. 12 years. Wow. When’s what day is your anniversary?

Rebecca Buhrman: October 9th.

Jared Baldwin: There you go. Alright. I looked at Rebecca just in case because,

Micahel Buhrman: it’s my phone password.

Jared Baldwin: Okay. There you go.

Micahel Buhrman: So I don’t

Jared Baldwin: Okay. Don’t forget it. Good. If someone finds Michael’s phone, you know now how to get on to it. Okay.

Well, let’s let’s transition here in this last couple of minutes. You guys have I mean, you’re both you were active duty, Rebecca. You guys now are military family. You’ve been stationed abroad. You’ve had TDY’s.

You’ve had, you know, 3 kids born in military hospitals. I mean, you’re or or at least 2. Was your first child also born at Whiteman’s? Or

Rebecca Buhrman: No. He was born at an office hospital.

Jared Baldwin: So 2 but you you’ve you’ve kinda had the full spectrum of everything that a military family will go through, sounds like. And you still got more to come. You still have a couple more years in, lord willing, before you retire, you’ve probably interacted with some families that have had great success, and you’ve probably also seen the predictable hard times that that military families go through. What would you say are some of the biggest needs for, especially young families in the military?

Rebecca Buhrman: I think they just need a a family away from their family. I’d say, we both started out single in the dorms. I spent 3 years in the dorms as a single airman. And, Montana can get lonely. It’s cold.

You can’t go outside for most of the year if it’s blowing snow sideways. But I got grounded in local churches, and families there adopted us, adopted me. He would before I met him, he had his own church family and they adopted him. Even in Missouri, we were adopted by local families. So I think that’s a that’s a huge need here with, the big military population here and getting ready to get bigger.

Jared Baldwin: Sure.

Rebecca Buhrman: Just need a space to fit in. I I would say shout out to Brian and Amy Leonard. They were some of the first, people we met here. And they just pulled us into the young families and we hit it off with some people

Jared Baldwin: and Awesome.

Rebecca Buhrman: You know, I’ve been going to harvest ever since.

Jared Baldwin: That’s great. That’s great. And, Michael, even on TDYs, what would you say families military families that are experiencing TDYs, what what do they need?

Micahel Buhrman: So, you know, I will I will definitely take this as a as a shout out to all the, the wives or husbands of a service member that are that are holding down the house. They they do it as a single parent, instead of having their spouse with them. But, just if you’re if you’re plugged in, to a to a fellowship group or a community group at church, they already know if I’m going TDY. You know? So, Brian and Amy or, pastor Wade, they already know I’m gonna be out of town for the week.

So if Rebecca needs help, there’s already a text message that goes out.

Jared Baldwin: Sure. You know,

Micahel Buhrman: it says, hey. Are you doing good when, you know, when Michael’s out or anything? But, just just kinda reaching out here on Guam. I would say the military, we kinda stick out a little bit. But it’s still worth, just going up, shaking a hand, and saying, hey.

You know, introducing ourselves, especially being in a little longer at this point in our careers, saying, hey. If you have questions, feel free to ask us. You know, just extending a hand, they it’ll it’ll go a long, long, long way and just making them feel welcome that they have, something outside of the, military association that they can they can get help with or, have a sense of belonging.

Jared Baldwin: Sure. Well and I I know that sometimes, with the best of intentions, people might misunderstand when a military family comes around, like moves into their village, visits the church, sits in the pew next to them, that they’re just kind of independent. They’re used to moving around, and they’re they might not be looking for, you know, to put down roots or whatever. But what you’re talk both of you are talking about, I think, is so critical that we shouldn’t make assumptions that everything’s cool. That are they’ve got it all under control.

I’m sure they’re fine. There’s some kind of base services that cover all those needs that really that church family, that home away from home can be the difference maker. And and to have church members that are able to step in when there are needs and care for one another. That’s really what the church is all about. And so having military folks here at our ministry as part of our body, I think, enriches our body and helps us to know, hey, you know, God has us have unique ministries and sometimes that ministry is reaching out to a military person or a military family.

So well, guys, as we wrap it up, just wanted to first off, thank you for your service, both of you. But also thanks for coming up here. We got of course, as people are listening, they’re hearing little Sam here who’s really suffering with croup. And he’s how old is Sam, by the way? 13 months.

13 months. And he he I think he’s gonna be a future radio broadcaster. He loves the studio so much. So but it’s been fun to have you guys up here, and and I really appreciate it. You you’ve I think you laid out a really good case for engaging folks as they come in the door.

Like you said, Michael, military folks stand out a little bit. Right? They walk in. You kinda pretty much guess, this must be a military family or this must be a an airman or a sailor or a soldier or a marine. As a church, we can intentionally reach out and try and be a blessing to you guys.

So we appreciate you guys coming up here today. So thank you very much.

Micahel Buhrman: Thanks for the opportunity to, to chat.

Jared Baldwin: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Chris Harper: And thank you for listening to Harvest Time. Of course, at this point in the program, we always want to personally invite you again to services this week at Harvest Baptist Church. There are 2, 1 at 8:45 AM, the other at 10:45 AM. We have Spanish translation at 8:45, Japanese and Korean translation at 10:45, and we bring you that service live, the 10:45 AM service, I should say, here on 88.1 FM and on khmg.org. We do hope to see you this Sunday.

Thanks again for listening to Harvest Time.

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