Thursday, October 12, 2017

Another Great Season of The Brinkman Adventures on CD! {A Review}

Oh, the Brinkman Adventures! Since the very first day we listened to their awesome radio dramas, we have loved them, so we were psyched to receive the Brinkman Adventures Season 4 CD-set for review.

Season 4 arrived in our mailbox, my children could not wait to listen to it and neither could I. So we popped the first CD into our home CD player and enjoyed the first story, which was about 30 minutes long.  Later, we brought the set out to our minivan, to listen to more of the 4-CD, 12-episode set, all the while, alternating between laughter, proverbial mail biting, and pauses to chat about things that came up as we enjoyed hearing about the semi-fictitious Brinkman family's missionary adventures.

As long-time Brinkman Adventures fans, we knew that the Brinkman Adventures are based on a real life family whose names have been changed and that many (but not all!) of the events that take place in the story are based on real events, dramatized for increased listener engagement.  We also knew that the stories of other missionaries included in the series are based on true events from the lives of missionaries around the world.  As such, we found ourselves chatting about realities in different cultures and countries, fun things families get up to, connections in our own lives, and which parts of the stories might be the closest to actual events and which parts might have been fictionalized and why.

We also had fun beginning to read the real stories behind the episodes (which do have spoilers, so don't read them until you've listened to the stories.)  The audio drama includes real missionary stories and the website lets you know which parts are real!

Preview Each of the 12 Episodes

Speaking of listening, if you'd like to get a taste for how he stories sound, be sure to listen to the previews at the Brinkman Adventure website. There, you ill get a flavor for what makes the Brinkman Adventures so engaging to listen to: realistic character voices, a dramatic soundtrack, fun ambient sound effects, drama, humor and more!

Geography also comes into play, as stories take you around the globe to:

A Paradise Lost in Wisconsin
The Brinkmans are at a Family Camp about missionaries when things go wrong and they have to change everything around so that they can keep the camp going.  They recognize God is in control.

Remember Nhu in Cambodia
Carl Ralston seeks to find and help a child sold into slavery.  Perseverance pays off.

Aisha's Fear in the Middle East
A Muslim husband is cruel to his wife.  Together, they run a store, and the husband refuses to sell to the Christian doctors across the street.  Then, he gets sick, the doctor helps him, and he and his wife convert to Christianity before he dies. The wife then must overcome fears through faith as she deals with persecution.

Heart Song in Russia
A man who wants to teach his son about Jesus accidentally starts a church in his home, and, then, gets arrested. He sings his "heart song" in the prison, sharing the love of Jesus with everyone he can despite his terrible imprisonment.  He certainly shows tenacious faith!

The Crashed Kitchen in Zambia
Aunt Sarah faces discouragement and accidents on mission in Zambia, where she went to teach children.  Then, after she crashes into a kitchen, she ends up converting a man.  We recognize that God does not make mistakes.

Crisis in the Congo
Some of the Brinkmans and company fly a powered parachute to get to a village in order to show a "Jesus Film".  All the while, one of the Brinkmans - Kate - concentrates a bit too much on writing a blog post about the showing the film and has to learn to love people over projects.

The Mysterious Palm Feller in the Congo
Still in the Congo, palm trees are being pushed over and a witch doctors tries to persuade the people to follow him instead of Jesus.  However, the missionaries succeed at confronting evil and converting souls.

War of the Raccoons in Wisconsin
One of the Brinkmans - Ian - and a neighbor wage a warn some raccoons. Ian, though, forgets to complete his responsibilities as he gets caught up with his robot in the war, and has to learn to"Let your yes be yes and no be no" as well as to have faithfulness in work!

The Five Guys in an Undisclosed Country
In Bangkok, pastors are being arrested, so the missionaries go on a side trip, where they teach five guys how to listen to God and be Christians in a Muslim nation.

Toughest Man in an Undisclosed Country
A soldier who converted to Christianity tells his story of how he was arrested by his old unit, but saved by a fellow soldier who also follows Jesus. He has to learn to surrender everything.

Cambodian Quest in Cambodia
Some of the Brinkmans go to visit Nhu's House in Cambodia and find out more about some of the girls at the home. One of the girls ends up in danger because of a mistake a Brinkman makes and, in the end, they learn to go deeper with God.

What Brings Us Together in Wisconsin
The Brinkmans get ready for Michelle and Anthony's wedding, but everything goes wrong, including the would-be groom Anthony doubting if he should marry Michelle because he is an architect and feels as though that isn't a spiritual enough vocation in comparison to Michelle's call to mission.  We learn to glorify God in every vocation.

We Enjoy The Brinkman Adventures!

As you can imagine, as the stories vary in location, theme, and topic, so does their level of intensity versus humor.  As a whole, the series is replete with sensitive and heart-wrenching moment as well as humorous, laugh-out-loud ones.  All intense stories are preceded by a spoken caution for younger or more sensitive listeners to listen with a parent.  Many stories are followed with a tidbit about the real inspiration for the story.  All five plus hours of listening, in my opinion, are worthwhile.  Gripping, exciting, faith-filled, suspenseful, encouraging, sometimes predictable, but always edifying, 
the Brinkman Adventures Season 4 does not disappoint!

Brinkman Adventures

My children think so, too.  My daughter said:

It is a good series, because it has wholesome, adventurous, faith-filled stories about a missionary family called the Brinkmans or about people they know.
One of my favorite stories was the lake one - Paradise Lost.  It's funny!  The Brinkman's go to a beautiful lake for a Bible camp, but the lake gushes away.  So, they have to replan the whole schedule.  They change the schedule to games and kids go in groups to do activities like a trust walk, but, when the last activity happens, a storm comes in.  The activity is a game where the kids are hiding from adults, so - uh oh - they run away from their parents who are trying to bring them to safety.  It's exciting!  The story also has funny parts like when a little boy goes to a kitchen and they have horrible oatmeal and when the kids bucket trap dumps accidentally on a guy's head. 
Another favorite is one about Mr. Pennington's fish being eaten by raccoons and the Brinkman boy trying to help him with a robot that get artificial intelligence - oops!  The story gets ridiculous at parts and so funny.
People that want to listen to children's CD's about missionaries will like this, but some stories are a little intense, so watch out if you're sensitive.

My yougest son (seven) said:

My favorite part is the rogue robot one called War of the Raccoons.  I liked the robot.  He as smart and funny, but I didn't like what happened to him in the end.
I also liked the end of the wedding story,. A lot of bad things happened, and, then, at the end, they were like "What a strange waiter."  It was the robot and it said, "Safety off."  I imagined it shooting ketchup.
The other stories were good, too.  One was about a girl named Nhu who was a saved slave.
In another one, a woman had a really mean husband that beat her.  He was not a Christian and hated Christians.  He got a bad cancer and a missionary helped him before he died.  So, he became a Christian.  His wife was alone and got arrested, but was freed.  She became a Christian, too. 
In another one, there is a rhino.  It chases part of the Brinkman family across a river.  They survive by throwing a bike down and distracting the rhino.  They were going on bikes for a few days to show the Jesus film to a village.  They flew to the village later on. 
People who want to be missionaries would like these CD's.  I don't want to be a missionary, but I like the music and stories on the CD's.  They help me think about all different things.

My oldest son (eleven) said:

I like the robot story and the one where the camp dries up.  Both are funny.  There are serious stories, too.  They are good, too.  All the stories teach about God - sometimes with action - what happens in the story - and sometimes with what people say in the story, but they don't feel preachy.  They are really funny, exciting, and adventurous.  
 I have all the CD sets except Series 1.  I want Series 1 for Christmas!  
Everybody would like these CD's!  They are funny and awesome.

Learn More

If you're curious about other seasons of 
the Brinkman Adventures, we've also enjoyed:

Eighty Homeschool Crew Review families listened to Brinkman Adventures Season 4 on CD or as a digital download.  See what each family thought by clicking through to the reviews.

Brinkman Adventures Season 4

Find the Brinkman Adventures on Facebook:

Crew Disclaimer


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