Norm Brinkley was born in Lynwood, CA in 1951, grew up in a troubled home, and came to know Jesus as a senior in high school through YFC (Youth for Christ). Married to Joni in 1973 after helping plant a church in Upland in 1971- 78, we helped many to grow relationally to Jesus. Completing a BA in Sociology and New Testament from Azusa Pacific University, it became our habit to nurture and assist believers in all locations we have lived.
God called us to living overseas, living incarnationally to introduce our Creator to those in the Middle East and North Africa, bringing the best news they would ever hear – The Gospel.
We had our first of four children in 1977 and after training for overseas deployment in 1978, left for Egypt in 1979. We had our 2nd and 3rd children in Egypt and The Sudan, in 1979 and 1982. We experienced a wide range of challenges living among Muslims and trained local believers in these lands how to love and serve those who were so traditionally different from themselves. We had our 4th child just before going to serve in Tunisia in 1985.
We worked with Operation Mobilization (OM) from 1978 to 1996, across several Muslim nations. We then reengaged with OM in 2004, after running a two Non-Profits in the Inland Empire area of Southern California. In 2004, Joni and I went to Yemen for three years. We lead the work there with 65 adults and children, in six locations in that country.
As part of this time in Yemen, I assisted in starting a Coffee Shop in Sana’a. I also worked for ADRA–Adventist Development & Relief Agency as an Assistant Chief of Party with 45 Yemenis under my supervision and providing $1,000,000 worth of goods to dozens of locations in the remotest places of North Yemen.
In 2007 to 2012, I started in the role of International Director for HISG–Humanitarian International Services Group for the Middle East and North Africa. This opportunity widened the scope of relief and community development in over 16 nations.
From 2013 to 2015, I worked as an entrepreneur and consultant to many and have served as a part of REACT Service in Lynnwood, Washington. I taught and trained on leadership, business, community development and the building of partnerships across the Middle East and North Africa. It became my privilege to promote and strategize with dozens of organizations to answer this question, “What can we do better together than we can do apart from one another?”.
In May of 2015 until February 2023, I was the involved with the Global Outreach Department of Water of Life Community Church, and in the last two years became the Director of that department. One of many pastors in this church I was regularly counseling and praying with people.
Again, responding to the calling of the Lord, I have just recently been asked to become part of Standing Stone Ministry (SSM) and have become one of their “Field Shepherds” in this organization of great grace and outstanding heart. SSM’s concern for the Bride of Christ wherever the leadership of the church may be found, is phenomenal.
Joni, my wife, has continued to work with Operation Mobilization for over 36 years as the Manager of University Relations on their University Connections Team. She works with faculty, staff, students, and graduates, who are looking for professional internships to the nations. Their heart is to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached, mobilizing professionals with their experience, giftings, and education. She facilitates preparation and guidance toward assignments among the unreached of the world.