Brix Leaders


Kara Willems

Director of Middle School Ministry
kara@westwoodchurch.net

3 Things We Should Know About You:

1. I love missions, traveling, and MAPS!!! We spent the first 4 years of our marriage as missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators (primarily in Papua New Guinea) and enjoyed every minute of it.  One of my favorite things is learning about different ways of life and cultures.
2. I have a great husband and am a mom to two beautiful children who manage to keep life interesting and make us laugh every day.
3. In my free time I’m always up for shopping, putzing around with various craft projects, and trying my hand at cooking new recipes.

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

All of it! Worship. Games. Small Groups. Trips and Outings. It is such a blessing to get to know all of the unique students God brings through our doors and challenge them to grow in their relationship with GOD.  Middle Schoolers are at such a fun age where you can find the whole spectrum of maturity – they’re not too old to have fun, but they can think about the deeper things of life and ask hard questions, too.  Things are never dull at a BRIX event… and we like it that way! 🙂

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Dark Chocolate Peanut M&M’s, Avon’s ‘Dew Kiss’ chapstick (I’m a total addict!) and Bic Clic Stic black pens — they’re the BEST!

CELL PHONE:

(402) 659-2893


Aaron Willems

Co-Director of Middle School Ministry
kawillems@gmail.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I am married to Kara Willems, and related to Andrew and Megan Wismer!
2. I teach science at Millard West.
3. I love to play games of any kind.

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

Being able to talk with Middle Schoolers, who are at a point in their lives where they are figuring out who they want to be.  I love to be a part of helping kids understand themselves and their world, and I especially love to show students what it means follow Jesus, helping them to do the same.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Husker Football Tickets or Snickers Candy Bars

CELL PHONE:

(402) 679-3620


Amy Shafer

Mason - 6th Grade Girls Small Group Leader
amyshafer@hotmail.com

3 Things We Should Know About You:

1. I love heights.
2. I like to run and exercise.
3. I’m shy.

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

The kids

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Pickles 🙂

CELL PHONE:

(402) 630-3296


Annie Essink

Mason - 6th Grade Girls Small Group Leader
amaekolar@gmail.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I’m a middle school math teacher.
2. I have a little boy named Owen.
3. I enjoy baking and trying new recipes.

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

Getting to know all the kids and watching them grow.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Coffee or ice cream

CELL PHONE:

(402) 250-1224


Andrew Wismer

Mason - 6th Grade Boys Small Group Leader
andrew.wismer@gmail.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I think Megan is the prettiest Mason.
2. I like sports and I don’t care who knows.
3. One day, I would like to be a mall Santa (with a real beard – none of that fake stuff)

(The first BRIX student to read about these 3 things and tell me about them will get one whole dollar!!)

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

Other than dodge ball, camp outs, s’mores, worship time, mini golfing, bonfires and trips, I like hanging out with students who are really figuring out who they want to be.  Oh, and whacking kids with tube socks full of flour.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Gold bricks & Husker tickets

CELL PHONE:

(402) 670-9568


Jim Wagner

Mason - 6th Grade Boys Small Group Leader
hskrfn@cox.net

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I served in the U.S. Navy.
2. I’ve been to Hawaii and Alaska.
3. I’m a huge Husker fan!

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

The interaction with the kids.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Husker Tickets

CELL PHONE:

(402) 215-3967


Matthew Rozeboom

Mason - 6th Grade Boys Small Group Leader
matthew.rozeboom@gmail.com

3 Things We Should Know About You:

1. I play with fruits/veggies for a living.
2. I have always had a passion for motorcycles and can almost always find an excuse to go for a ride.
3. My family calls me Hector…..but seriously.

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

Seeing where I was as a student in BRIX and being able to pass on the awesome leadership that I had when I was a student is probably my favorite part.  Aside from that, worship and games are by far my favorite part.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

MOUNTAIN DEW!

CELL PHONE:

(402) 659-0257


Kellie Runge

Mason - 7th Grade Girls Small Group Leader
kellie.runge@gmail.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I am married and have 4 great kids (3 high schoolers & a middle schooler).
2. I love my job teaching preschool at Westwood Church.
3. I love spicy food.

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

I really love it all! We have a lot of fun, meaningful worship, and good talks. The fellowship with these students (and other Masons) is great.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Peanut Butter M&M’s and a trip to the ocean!

CELL PHONE:

(402) 452-4946


Megan Wismer

Mason - 7th Grade Girls Small Group Leader
meganlarae9@gmail.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I teach media at Hitchcock Elementary.
2. I love spending time with my husband, Andrew, and boys, Levi & Reid.
3. I am from Minnesoooota (and proud of it).

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

Small group time – getting to know the students and being able to hold one another accountable.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Popcorn, vacations, or iced coffee

CELL PHONE:

(402) 957-0294


Dan Schoessler

Mason - 7th Grade Boys Small Group Leader
schoessler5@cox.net

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I am a teacher.
2. I have 3 kids.
3. I have been convicted of manslaughter.  (Wait!  This is 2 truths and a lie, right? 😉

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

That I get to work with kids who are on the doorstep of making a life decision about our great God.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Tickets to a baseball game

CELL PHONE:

(402) 709-8783


Eddie Murphy Jr.

Mason - 7th Grade Boys Small Group Leader
eddiemurphyjr84@gmail.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I have two beautiful daughters.
2. I love to go to hockey games.
3. I enjoy golfing.

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

Getting to know the kids, and seeing them grow in their faith.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Puppy Chow and Skittles, or Hockey Tickets

CELL PHONE:

(402) 981-9319


Shawn Huyser

Mason - 7th Grade Boys Small Group Leader
shawnhuyser@yahoo.com

3 Things We Should Know About You:

1. I am married with 4 children.
2. I moved here a year and a half ago and live in Gretna.
3. I am originally from Iowa, and yes…I’m a Hawkeye.  (Don’t hold it against me!)

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

The energy of the kids as they grown in their faith.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Peanut Butter (or anything with peanut butter in it!)

CELL PHONE:

(402) 610-2546


Deb Wagner

Mason - 8th Grade Girls Small Group Leader
itsmedaw@cox.net

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I have never been out of the United States, but this February 2017 I will be heading to New Zealand – so excited!  🙂
2. I love to listen to my IPOD – love music.
3. I love to watch TV – big Friends fan

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

I like the one on one interaction with the kids.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

A trip to Hawaii

CELL PHONE:

(402) 968-4758


Lindsey Murphy

Mason - 8th Grade Girls Small Group Leader
Lindsey.Murphy@BoysTown.org

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I have 2 beautiful girls, Joelle & Rilynn, who are growing right before my eyes!!
2. Ice cream is my FAVORITE… any time of the year!
3. I love scrapbooking and doing crafts.

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

Watching God work in the life of middle school kids and seeing their faith grow during their time in Brix!!

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Peanut Butter M&Ms, Butterfingers and Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Ice Cream!

CELL PHONE:

(402) 677-0001


Lori Bruner

Mason - 8th Grade Girls Small Group Leader
Bruner177@gmail.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1.  My passion is photography.
2.  I am a single mother of two beautiful adult kids.
3.  I LOVE Mexican food.  I can eat it everyday, all day!

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

Getting to know the awesome middle school students that come to Westwood! I enjoy watching them as they learn about Jesus. I also love building relationships with my small group girls!  Middle School kids ROCK!

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I WOULD BE BRIBED WITH:

Hot Tamales

CELL PHONE:

402-708-9290


Chris Pangkerego

Mason - 8th Grade Boys Small Group Leader


3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

  1. A long time ago, in a country far, far away, I was born to someday become a BRIX mason.
  2. Music and playing basketball is my passion.
  3. I used to hate Apple products but now I love them.

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

BRIX band and going camping with these little dudes.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

KitKat, Peanuts M&M or TROPICAL SKITTLES!!

CELL PHONE:

911


Derek Varilek

Mason - 8th Grade Boys Small Group Leader
dsvarilek@cox.net

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I like to go fishing.
2. I coach soccer.
3. I’m really a kid on the inside.

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

Going on mission trips and really getting to know the students.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Cash. Cash would be good.

CELL PHONE:

(402) 960-9934


Jake Varilek

Mason - 8th Grade Boys Small Group Leader
jvarilek14@yahoo.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I have a love for all things nerdy (comics, superheroes, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings).  It’s all good.
2. Metal music is my passion.  Also, classic blues like B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
3. I love history.  It was one of the few classes I thoroughly enjoyed in school.

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

Getting to interact with the kids and hopefully having a positive impact on them.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Buying me tattoos

CELL PHONE:

(402) 618-1095


Nathan Essink

Mason - 8th Grade Boys Small Group Leader
nessink89@gmail.com

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I love my job of mowing.
2. I love fishing.
3. The Huskers are the best!  GO BIG RED!

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

Group games and playing in the band.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Mountain Dew & Snickers

CELL PHONE:

(402) 350-1050


Lonnie Shafer

Special Guest Mason
lonnieshafer@yahoo.com

3 Things We Should Know About You:

1. I love sports.
2. I love Iowa State Cyclones.
3. I love my family.

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

Playing dodgeball (teeheehee!)

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

 

CELL PHONE:

(712) 355-8700


McLain (Mac) Stewart

Special Guest Mason & Male Nurse
mclain.stewart@boystown.org

3 THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU:

1. I am a “Living Historian,” which means I use clothing, weapons, and provisions from the past to better understand the way our forefathers lived.
2. I love to hunt deer with my black powder rifle.
3. I really enjoy sports, especially racquetball.

MY FAVORITE PART OF BRIX IS:

Taking long trips with the young people and watching them grow in Jesus.

IF I COULD BE BRIBED, I’D BE BRIBED WITH:

Ice Cream – Something dark chocolate, possibly from the Ben and Jerry’s selection.

CELL PHONE:

(402) 616-0371