Six years ago, Omaha Magazine printed a story on Millard South High School student Breanna Burklund’s work with Christian organization Samaritan’s Purse. We quickly caught up with the now-23-year-old through email and discussed the work she continues to do with Mission-Haiti, where she is the US Missions and Operations Manager.
“Like all kids, my dreams varied through childhood, but once I hit high school, I knew that I wanted to work for some sort of ministry,” Burklund said. “I wasn’t exactly sure how one could make a career of ‘mission work,’ but I knew I wanted to travel and be able to work for the Kingdom, and through that passion, God opened the doors.”
Breanna Burklund graduated from Augustana University, a Lutheran-based institution in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with a bachelor’s degree in education and religion. She said the religion aspect of her degree solidified her faith. “Through my classes and learning about many other religions, the professors continually asked the tough questions of why you believe what you do. This was the time in my life when I had to really do some soul searching and form opinions for myself. It is a powerful thing to be grounded in a foundation you truly believe in.”
She added that those classes were also crucial in helping to understand people with different religious beliefs, customs, and cultures, which she puts to use when she travels for her work.
Breanna Burklund said the educational aspect was useful because it allowed her to gain a management perspective. “When you are in the classroom, it is all about how you can interact with 15-25 students who are all different from you and from each other, and how you can find common ground.” Since part of her role with Mission-Haiti is leading a variety of short-term mission teams, she said this type of work “is precisely what the classroom prepared me for.” She also oversees the sponsorship program, and “day-to-day operational tasks such as mailings, website maintenance, shipping, organization of donations, and anything else that pops up throughout the day.”
Burklund said she continues to work with Samaritan’s Purse as well, as it is “an organization that is always close to my heart.” Of course, she has made a bit of a transition there. She now helps with education, adding that she also has more of a capacity to include others in the Operation Christmas Child Project.
“In fact, getting a jump on next year, a group of my friends just helped pack boxes a week ago that will be shipped out next year,” she said. “It is such an easy way to give back in a tangible way and to spread Christ’s love to people you may never meet.”
You can read the original story on Burklund and Samaritan’s Purse here.