In the summer of 1999, Casey “Skipper” Brewer was tasked with what appeared to be an impossible job. But bolstered by his fellow staff and empowered by Kevin East, he humbly said yes to adversity and saw, firsthand, how God’s power is made perfect in weakness.
Today, Casey leads Kingdom at Work, an organization that blends business and ministry by providing resources, development opportunities, and coaching to a network of Christian business owners. As the Marketplace Connections Manager, Casey teaches clients, speaks at events, and runs the daily operations—a job God was preparing him for during the summer of 1999 as the Shores Program Director.
After his first summer at the Ranch in 1997, Casey returned to work for Kevin East as a counselor the year the Shores opened in 1998. Casey loved Kevin quickly and followed him closely. He also felt a deep desire to develop disciples and pursue full-time ministry, but was shocked when Kevin offered him the role of Program Director the following summer.
“I thought, ‘Does he realize who he’s talking to?’” said Casey. “I didn’t feel qualified to go from half-summer counselor to Program Director.”
Plus, there was one big problem: Casey physically could not communicate clearly from stage because of a speech impediment.
“It was brutal. I felt called to preach and teach, but I couldn’t even say my name publicly without stuttering. How could I be successful in a role where public speaking was a main component?”
But he said yes anyway. And, at first, it wasn’t pretty. Kevin East would stand in the back of the room, pointing to his face and eyebrows, gently coaching Casey as he struggled with words and confidence. Casey also felt the Lord speaking these words into his heart: “Keep it up and throw stones, just keep throwing stones.”
Each time he got on stage, Casey threw stones at the Goliath in front of him, putting his confidence in the Lord and not in his speech. And each night, Kevin and Casey went back to Kevin’s office to process the day and discuss what could be improved. Although his limitations were obvious, the entire Shores staff eagerly supported and followed him as their Program Director––and this set him free. By the end of the summer, his speech impediment was 95 percent gone.
“Thankfully,” says Casey, “I’m still not 100 percent over it. That way, I never forget.”
In Genesis, Jacob wrestles with an angel and walks with a limp, and today, Casey considers it his honor and privilege to “walk” with a limp. His stutter still creeps in from time to time, but it reminds him that this was God’s victory in the first place.
Twenty years later, Casey and Kevin are still connected professionally and spiritually. Kevin occasionally brings business leaders to Lubbock for coaching and consulting, while Casey brings Kingdom at Work events to East Texas. They also go on a weekend retreat each year with their kids. What started as a spontaneous guys night in 2001 has become an annual gathering of “Dads and Dudes” or “Dads and Daughters” as these men provide an opportunity for their kids to see what godly relationships look like over the long haul.
Every day at Kingdom at Work, Casey practices throwing one stone at a time. His seemingly impossible job in 1999 has grown into a full-time career and a daily opportunity to trust in the Lord for speech. Here’s to another twenty years of walking with a limp.
Posted Nov 12, 2019