A Remarkable Educator at MCS
MCS teachers are passionate, talented, and driven to instill the joy of learning in the hearts of their students. Brandi Gibbs is just one of dozens of the extraordinary men and women who inspire children every day at MCS.
The story of the Gibbs Family begins at Concordia University: Brandi Mapes meets Jesse Gibbs! Brandi was pursuing a degree in youth ministry, developing her passion for discipleship. “I absolutely thrive on face to face time with children, walking alongside them every single day and encouraging them in every area.” With their common bond in ministry, Brandi and Jesse were married on June 25, 2005 and set down their roots in the ROCKHARBOR Church family.
Brandi completed her teaching credential and started teaching first grade at a local private school, immediately falling in love with the early elementary age group. “Children are so formidable in those years – like little sponges that can be shaped into readers, writers, and Jesus followers! The best part of my job is walking alongside parents and partnering with them in raising up their most precious treasures.”
From that experience, Brandi learned of an open teaching position at MCS, and the timing of her interview could not have been more perfect. Though difficult to leave her former students, she knew it was time to transition into God’s new phase at MCS. Her first day as an MCS kindergarten teacher surpassed all expectations: “Is this how incredible teaching at MCS is every day?!”
The Hills and Valleys of Starting a Family
In the midst of Brandi’s career path as an educator lingered her dream to become a Mom. God answered the Gibbs’ deepest prayers, but along the journey of their first pregnancy, they discovered that they were both carriers of the Cystic Fibrosis gene. Their family and friends walked through the disappointment and fear with them, and in the end their Faith grew stronger than ever. After months of prayer, they received the phone call that brought sighs of relief and led to a safe delivery of Adalee Maiah Gibbs.
Growing Through Adoption
When Adalee was five months old, the Lord began to speak to Brandi about expanding their family through adoption. God gave her a vision of a little boy, running into her arms to call her Mama, and Brandi told her husband confidently, “We have a son out there somewhere. Now we just need to find him!”
God said NOW.
Through their relationship with the (current MCS family) Leeper’s grandparents, the Gibbs were referred to an international adoption ministry in Ghana, and from there a series of open doors and confirmations led them to meet their son Sammy. However, the road to bring Sammy home was more difficult than they had imagined, and once again their Faith would be tested and strengthened.
The United States Embassy refused to provide Sammy’s Visa, and Brandi learned of under the table payments and the web of child trafficking taking place in Ghana. She knew she needed to stand up not just for Sammy but for future children in this plight, and through Brandi’s fight to the White House, Hillary Clinton’s team traveled overseas to secure their visas and help bring two-year-old Sammy home.
Saturated with the love of Jesus through his new family, Sammy grew 10 inches during his first year! And not too long after, they adopted third little miracle Sophia, growing the Gibbs to a family of 5.
From Gibbs Family to MCS Family
Fast forward to 2017 and the Gibbs children are content in their Spanish immersion program at a local charter school. Brandi is content teaching in her first year at MCS, and Jesse is content in his role as pastor at ROCKHARBOR Church. “All good!” And then … God leads again, this time impressing upon their hearts that He wanted their family more connected in community, and a bigger part of the amazing things happening at Mariners Christian School
“Every day, as I witnessed the amazing learning environment at MCS, I felt more strongly that my children could not miss out. I knew they had to be a part of this!”
And so on November 2, 2017 The Gibbs had their first day of school – walking on campus, they were enveloped with love and support, and after just one week, Adalee talked about finding her new “great friends” – and how she could actually pray out loud in class – they were home now, in the best Connected Community they could imagine.
The Gibbs Family’s Future
Mrs. Gibbs is fulfilled in her calling as a kindergarten teacher at MCS: “I am honored to teach at an elite school like MCS. I am living my dream! The support I receive is beyond what I could have imagined: joy-filled, positive – it rubs off on me daily. The faculty is extraordinary, and I know that I am teaching amongst the best of the best. Not only that, but I am encouraged to be the best MOM I can be to my kids. The educational opportunities and spiritual mentorship they receive on a daily basis is phenomenal.
We are grateful to be a part of building MCS for the next 30 years.”