Helping Teachers Change The World

Transforming Communities By Developing Teachers

Helping Teachers Change The World.

Transforming Communities By Developing Highly-Skilled Teachers.


We're just a couple goofy people...

“The one serious conviction that a man should have is that nothing is to be taken too seriously.”
― Nicholas Butler, Nobel Peace Prize winner

With big hearts full of love, and open minds full of dreams

“Where you invest your love, you invest your life.”
― Mumford & Sons, Awake my soul

...And we love coffee.

“I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now.”
(said by Amy March to Laurie Laurence)
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

We are the Brookses.

Five-and-a-half people. Four missions. Four ways you can get involved.


What others are saying about the Brookses

  • Wow!  Thank you for a wonderful School!
    DonTESOL student, East Asia
  • Thanks for all the energy you poured into this program.
    AbbyTESOL student, Minnesota
  • Thank you for being an integral part in the journey God brought me on...I know both of you really cared and you were so supportive.  I loved the opportunity to get to know your sweet family.
    AndrealTESOL student, Idaho
  • Andrew and Cortnie are very gifted teachers and administrators...I give them my highest recommendation and encourage you to make an investment in their lives and the Kingdom of God.
    JeffTESOL department head, YWAM Montana-Lakeside
  • You guys are amazing teachers and such fun people! Thanks much for everything!
    AmandaTESOL student, Washington
  • There are no words.  I'm so proud of all you have both accomplished through your obedience to Him!
    LeeTESOL student, California
  • Thank you so much for the card!  It's a rare and awesome thing to get a letter nowadays!...I hope and will continue to pray that your family is being blessed as you have so consistently blessed others!  Keep up the good work my special friends.
    Kennyfriend and sponser
  • My prayer is truly that I see you both again.  Love that English, people, and Jesus matter so much to you!  Be blessed, you have blessed us all ― so much.
    MackenzieTESOL student, China
  • You guys are the best.  Thank you ― Thank you for all you've done for us.
    RebeccaTESOL student, Vietnam
  • The two of you are AMAZING apart but literally indestructible together!  Way to be a perfect example of a family, leaders & disciplers!
    AinsleyTESOL student, Nepal

This is our story.

We were both tired and hungry as we checked into the King Edward II Hotel in San Francisco on the last night of our honeymoon. It had been an adventurous week spent up and down Northern California, from the hilly wine country of Napa Valley to the seaside cliffs of Mendocino County. This was our last stop and we began to feel this new adventure slowing

and the all-too-familiar rhythm of our workplaces calling us back home. Looking outside to the dimly lit streets of the bay area, we saw the flashing sign. “Taste of the Himalayas” it read in bright gold; it would have been impossible to miss since the sign was hung directly across the street from our little hotel room window. “Hmm, how does Nepalese sound?”

Our server’s name was Deepak. He wore traditional clothing and a dhaka topi, a  Nepali-style hat. He had a hearty laugh and undeniable exuberance as he tried to convince us to come to Nepal with him. “I am Nepal mania,” he said over and over in his simple English. “My brother is a travel agent in Sausalito, it would be very easy for you, give him a call.” I always wanted to go to Nepal.

“Wake up, Andy!” she said. It was 4:00 am, it had been half a week since the Nepalese restaurant in San Francisco. “We have to go to TESOL. We have to put in our two week notices.” Cortnie had just woken from a scary dream, she explained. After the dream, as she laid there sleepily, she felt God say to her “You need to go to TESOL. It’s the best I have for you.”

TESOL was a one month school in Montana that trained people to be English teachers. We don’t remember how we found out about the school, and neither of us remember applying, but months earlier we had been accepted to the school at the YWAM base in Lakeside, Montana. The school started in just over two weeks. We were all out of money and vacation days, thanks to the honeymoon.

In those early morning hours we prayed together and considered the idea. We both had seasonal summer jobs, and it would be a mild form of ‘career suicide’ to ask for any more says off at that point. But we asked anyway. We got the money too. A family member had just received a rather large and unexpected check from his work; he gave us $1000. We were on our way…

TESOL was amazing! It was extremely hard work. We fell asleep many nights while trying to finish our reading assignments. The days were busy too, but we loved everything about the school. All around us, every day, were people from other countries and cultures. There were also people going…Going to far and distant places. And more than anything we wanted to go too.

During YWAM’s “International Night” there was a table representing Nepal where ladies dressed in saris were serving authentic Chai. On the bed stand in my room there was a backpacking magazine about sherpas in Nepal’s. On our wall we hung a giant map of the world, and we would stay up late into the night, praying and asking God where he would have us go.

When the month was over we packed our things and headed back to California. We knew we were in for a life of missions—of intentionally living out the ways of Jesus in our communities. And right now, our community was back home. Our friends were starting a new church and they needed some help. We packed up our giant map, and hung it on a wall in our little cabin in California.

A few years later we were living in another cabin. The dream of traveling to Nepal and Asia was still alive within us, but the map had since been put away. Focus had shifted, hope had waned slightly. But once again—on another night—we had another dream. This time we decided we should return to Montana and try our hand at staffing the school we took four years earlier.

“Go to TESOL. It’s the best I have for you.” God’s word to Cortnie, just after our honeymoon. As we packed our car with our new baby, Eoghan, we felt the promise of something good ahead of us. We arrived in Montana to a new set of strangers, each on their own journey to and from somewhere. There were also a few old friends, some of which had since married each other, as often happens.

Throughout that summer in Montana, over and over again, people kept telling us “You guys should check out Portland…I think you’d like it there.” “You’d fit in really well in Portland.” And once again we spent late nights praying to God with the giant map on the wall, and we decided to take a trip west to Portland, Oregon on our way home. And what we found there excited us deeply…

As we walked down the sidewalk in Portland’s downtown park blocks, we both straightened our backs a little when we saw her. She was still a block away, but she was clearly walking straight for us. She had a funny look in her eye too, like that of a truly crazy person. As she got closer her pace didn’t falter or slow as she came right up to us, and stopped us.

“This place is dark. They have no relationship with God. They need people like you here.” And then she left. We were both stunned. “Was that an angel!?” we said, “because that was crazy…She was crazy!” That would have been enough for us, but we continued to have more experiences on that day that confirmed for us that Portland was where God was sending us for a season.

A few months later, without a single job or any friends or family, we moved to Portland. We quickly found an apartment to rent, putting down the deposit with our little bit of savings, and we soon found jobs too. It was the middle of the recession, and we had jobs and a home. Next, we set out to make friends and to make a life for ourselves. In this city many passions came alive in us.

Portland was perfect for us. And it was here that we learned the art of making real northwest-style coffee. Both Cortnie and I found jobs working in coffee shops, and eventually I was able to work my way up to Restaurant Manager, and was later able to help start a new chain of fast-casual restaurants with a my boss and a big chef from downtown Portland.

Portland became our new “base of operations,” if you like. We spent the beautiful fall and winter, and the drizzly spring in the city, and then we traveled back east to Montana during the summers to continue staffing with TESOL. As we did this, we formed stronger and stronger bonds with the Montana base and our vision continued to grow beyond the beautiful city life we so enjoyed.

In the summer of 2012, we packed our things once more and headed to Montana for TESOL—but this time it was for good. We stayed into the fall. As a family we did a DTS with YWAM, and we headed to Iceland on our outreach. And our hearts exploded for all that God wishes for the world. Our time in Iceland was short, but powerful, and our dreams expanded to include Asia and Europe.

And that is where we are now. We are living in Lakeside, Montana at the YWAM base there. Last year we took a team of young people to Northern and Southern Thailand, and right now we have our sights on the coffee shops of Asia, particularly Taiwan where they serve up delicious coffee downstairs and teach English classes upstairs.

We continue to work with TESOL in Montana, running at least one large course and many little workshops throughout the year. Our greatest privilege has been working with outreach teams before they go all over the world. We are now looking at adding coffee training to our equipping ministry, since we’ve realized that our experience in the coffee shops of Portland is in high-demand in a few locations at home and abroad.

It’s times like this when you realize that all the places and experiences God has brought us through are most certainly part of a greater plan. We may not see all the steps or know which of the moving pieces will come together in the future, but we catch glimpses now and then that show us just how much He is caring for us and leading us where we should go. Put simply…God is awesome!

This is our story.

Stories in Pictures


Latest Articles


TESOL: Equipping Teachers

Unlocking doors.There are two billion people all over the world right now learning the English language. It’s the most widely learned and sought after second language in the world. And that’s where you come in. It’s because of the demand for more and more English teachers that our TESOL program was created. This short course is designed to quickly and effectively train any English speaker as a fully certified English teacher. The certification given at Lakeside is also very unique to YWAM since our graduates are not only certified by YWAM’s University of the Nations but also receive a secular Certificate IV through a recognized training institute in Australia. It’s this second TESOL certification that unlocks many doors overseas, and many of our graduates have gone on to work in some of the hardest to reach nations on the planet.

Upcoming Seminars

April – June
July – September
September – December
January – March



Apply Online

Learn more about our TESOL course at   YWAMMONTANA.ORG 

Coffees consumed.

Teachers sent.

Nations reached.

Continents touched.

Where do we go from here???

 There are 6 simple ways to get involved.

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