Friday, October 12, 2018

Exciting Audio Adventures with Season Six of the Brinkman Adventures {A TOS Review}

Thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew, we had the wonderful opportunity of reviewing the latest season of the Brinkman Adventures. We have loved these audio adventures since we learned about them a few years ago. So far, we have reviewed seasons 3, 4, and now 6. As the children have gotten older, they have been enjoying them more and more. In fact, thanks to getting to listen to the digital version of Season 6: Underground Rising, they have pulled out the older seasons and have been listening to them at bedtime, in both bedrooms!

What exactly are these Brinkman Adventures?

In case this is the first time you are hearing about the Brinkman's, let me tell you a little about them. They are based on a real-life family, the Bultman's. This family has ten children, one of which was born in the last season we listened to, season 4. Yes, the fictional family has the same number of children; in fact, the Bultman children actually voice the Brinkman children on these productions. The majority of the stories are based on true stories that have happened to the Bultman family or to missionaries they have met. However, there have been some fun, fully-fictional episodes as well. The father, Ian Bultman, is the man behind the series becoming a reality. Nine years ago, while a pastor of worship arts in Wisconsin, he started out with the goal of creating "a missionary radio show that will inspire future missionaries." For the past two years he has dedicated himself fully to this ministry.

What did we receive? 

This time around we received the digital version of the adventures, as opposed to a physical CD. This was a bit different for us, but thanks to the fact that my husband could download them to his phone, the differences have been minimal.
Though we can't listen to them on the way to co-op anymore, and the children won't be able to listen to them in their rooms until we can burn them to a CD, we've still been able to listen to them in the car. The biggest difference is these are usually longer trips, as my husband has to be with us, so we get to listen to multiple episodes at a time instead of just one. Of course, we also listen to them from the computer while gathered in the living room and dining room.

The other difference this time around, is that the release is half as long as the previous releases we've reviewed. Instead of 12 seperate 26 minute episodes, there are only 6, for a total of just over two hours of missionary adventure fun. As always, each of the episodes was full of excitement and adventure, and they definitely captured our attention. 

Here is a list of all of the episodes:
  • Dutch Underground, Part 1
  • Dutch Underground, Part 2
  • Twice Born Fly
  • I Wonder Why
  • Free Burma Rangers, Part 1
  • Free Burma Rangers, Part 2
Let us tell you a little about each episode.

First of all, I asked each of the children to tell me which episode they liked the best. Let me tell you, this was a difficult task as they like them all. So, I asked them, "if you had to pick just one that you would like to listen to over and over again, which one would it be?" Tabitha decided that would be the episode "Dutch Underground," while the rest of the children really love "I Wonder Why." So, I asked the children to give me a bit of a summary of their "favorite" episodes.

This is what Tabitha had to say about "Dutch Underground":

Kate and Kitri go to visit their great grandma who tells them a story about World War 2. Reng has two brothers and they started "stealing" ration cards from people who were willing to give them. And they got them to help the Onderduikers. Eventually his two brothers and wife got arrested. 

Mom's thoughts.

This was also one of my favorite episodes. My husband and I were surprised it wasn't Amelia's as well, seeing as she loves history. The story is based on actual events that happened to the Bultman's great grandmother (or Omie) and great grandfather (or Opa) during the Nazi occupation in Holland, which began after the invasion in May of 1940. We hear of the ways Lynn and Reng, along with Reng's brothers, helped get ration cards to give to families who were hiding Onderduikers, those hiding from the Nazis, such as the Jews and those Dutch who were refusing to go to work for the Nazis. They had started their resistance after discussing the implications in Proverbs 24:11-12, which states, "Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, 'Behold, we did not know this,' does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?"

There are instances where it is evident that God's hand is at work, such as one of my favorite scenes that takes place on New Year's Eve. During this time when the Nazis were tightening their grip, it was illegal to have such things as radios (which would broadcast the Queen's messages) or electricity. But Reng had rigged it so they could have electricity by running a wire to the house from the garage as the Nazis had neglected to turn it off there. This meant they had a light on during their meetings. On this night, the Nazis saw the light through the black-out curtains and demanded entry. As the one soldier reached for the hastily unscrewed  light bulb, Reng offered him an oliebollen. As a result, the soldiers left them alone that night. What's really amazing is that this is one of the events that actually happened. I learned this and more in the "Stories Behind the Stories" section of the website.

The second half of this story tells of both Reng's brothers Otto and Hans, plus his wife Lynn being captured and the events that follow. Reng continues to do his part to help the Onderduikers, even though he is quite upset that his wife has been incarcerated. Originally he had decided he would only continue to work with the resistance if his wife wasn't in danger. And yet, here he was, free, while she was in prison. We hear of how he helps a Jewish family, and of a plan to free Lynn. 

(Drawing by Tabitha of a scene from Dutch Underground)

The episode concludes by mentioning what Reng wanted his legacy to be, to "stand up for the weak, help those in need in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ." 

Dad's thoughts:

I really enjoyed "Dutch Underground."  Hearing history from those that lived it makes the best learning.  It was eye opening to hear the reasons that people not only welcomed Hitler at first, but welcomed him with open arms.  Seeing God work through Lynn, Reng, and the others was inspiring. All in all, this episode gave me some really cool pointers for when I attempt world domination. (Yes, he's just kidding...I hope...)

Twice Born Fly was a different sort of episode. The focus is that we don't fear death when we love Jesus. Little Charlie is shown worrying about flying over the lake and later he ends up swallowing a "twice born fly," one that has just emerged from it's pupa. We just loved that Hope sang in the tune of "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly." Of course, this doesn't help Charlie's fear of death. This leads to an account told by Mr. Brinkman of a time when he was in prison and makes an escape with another character named Russ. It ends up that this story is actually an allegory, and was really based on something true in Ian Bultman's past. But, I'm not going to give away exactly what it was.

(Drawing by Hannah of the scene where Mr. Brinkman is telling the story.)

This is what Amelia had to say about her favorite episode, "I Wonder Why":

Sam's family goes camping and finds out God wants them to go to India to help out at an orphanage. They were helping the kids learn about Jesus. They had a difficult time there, and weren't sure if they should stay. It was a difficult decision.

(Drawing by Amelia of Sam's family)

Harold liked, "That they taught them about God."

And here is what Hannah had to say, (WARNING Big Spoiler ahead)
"I liked that at the end the children at the orphanage gave their life to Jesus. And that Julie stopped being mean to the orphans, because that was teaching them more to be mean to the other kids."
End of spoiler.

Mom's thoughts.

This was another one of the episodes I really enjoyed. We see a family trying to come to grips with the loss of a baby a year earlier. Samantha (or Sam) and her mom, dad, and brothers Huck and little Joey go camping. On this trip, both the mom and dad have the thought to go to India to help out at an orphanage. So, after getting rid of most of their belongings (which was a big hardship, especially for young Sam) they head over to India, learning what it means to "love without reason." There are many struggles, including the meanness of the orphans and the lady in charge, an unexplained rash, and a life-threatening allergic reaction. These difficulties, along with the fact that they aren't seeing any fruit, cause the family to question whether they are supposed to be there. The episode ends with answered prayers (one a complete surprise) and answered questions (particularly an answer to that rash they were all getting). I love that this story demonstrates Romans 8:28, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

As you can see, Free Burma Rangers is another two part episode. This one is full of action. It tells the story of Dave Eubank who was raised in Thailand by his missionary parents. The first part is the story of Dave growing up, getting into trouble, going into the military with the goal of becoming a Green Beret, and his pursuit of a young lady named Karen. He comes to a point where he isn't sure whether he should pursue his military goal or become a missionary. In part two, we see some of the Brinkman family visiting Dave and his wife in Burma, where they have a ministry to help bring hope to a war-torn country. I love that we see how Dave's growing up years have prepared him for this ministry God called him to. And it was neat to see the Brinkman's interacting with them.

(Drawing by Harold of Jack Brinkman)

I just love each of these stories, but I tried to go into a little more detail on the two that were our family "favorites." I can definitely empathize with the children. It is really hard to choose just one as a favorite. I love seeing how God worked in all of these separate situations. What is really cool is that each one of them has a theme, which you can find in the "Real Stories" section of their website. But, I would recommend not reading the behind the scenes information until after you listen to the episodes, as it is full of spoilers. Also included at that link is a map of where all the Brinkman Adventure stories have taken place.

As always, this season of the Brinkman Adventures was of wonderful quality, with great storytelling and acting. The music and sound effects really help pull you into the story. And each of the tales themselves are gripping enough that they captured our attention and we wanted to see what was going to happen.

These are perfect for together time with the family and can lead to further discussions. There is also wonderful information on the website to delve deeper. I loved reading the story behind the story info. There was even some neat science info to share with the children (such as information on asthma and metamorphosis), and you can work on geography as you check out the map and see where the Brinkman's have told stories about.

You can find the Brinkman Adventures on Facebook.

Check out this wonderful offer:

The people behind The Brinkman Adventures is offering you a 10% discount on any of their products, now through October 31st!! Stop by to see what they have.

If this review of Season 6 of the Brinkman Adventures has interested you, I invite you to read my reviews for season 3 and season 4. Also, don't forget to check out the reviews of my fellow Crew Mates by clicking the banner below.

Brinkman Adventures Season 6 Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting my blog today. I love to read your comments, so please leave me one if you have the time.

Related Posts with Thumbnails