Brooke & Karen Butler, Athletes in Action

Brooke and Karen Butler first served with Cru at Stanford University for 10 years. Then in January of 1994, they arrived in Croatia with their two children during the Yugoslav Civil War. 

The Butlers served 17 years as the Cru National Team Leaders for Croatia and Bosnia, and during this time, God graciously blessed them with two more children and a ministry team of over 40 staff.

In 2014, they began their third and current chapter in ministry at UC Berkeley with Athletes in Action, where they love ministering to college students because of their zeal and potential to impact their teams and world for Christ. We asked the Butlers some questions about their work, and here’s how they responded:

What you do in your current ministry?
“My wife, Karen, and I lead the Athletes in Action staff team and ministry at UC Berkeley. We are involved in winning athletes to Christ, building them up in their faith, training them in how to multiply their lives and sending them to reach their teammates and multiple areas of society after graduation. We also build relationships with and minister to various coaches and athletic personnel.”

What do you love about serving as missionaries?
“We absolutely love seeing students won to Christ and experiencing redemption and healing! Seeing these students become world-changers who impact their teams and friends is so life-giving!”

Describe something God has shown you during your time serving as missionaries.
“We served at Stanford for 9 years, Croatia and Bosnia for 21 years, and now at Cal for 4 years. In each of these chapters, we have been shaped and our self-confidence has been chipped away at — so we have learned in much deeper ways what it means to find our confidence in God. Karen and I have become acutely aware that God is always at work and that we are simply being led in to joining Him in His work and plan.”

What has been your most memorable experience serving as a missionary?
“Probably the most memorable experience was handing over the reigns as Country Director for CRU in Croatia and Bosnia to a Croatian National staff. We set out to work ourselves out of a job and see Croatian leaders raised up to take on the leadership of CRU. And after 21 years of labor and prayer, God fulfilled that calling!”

You can learn more about the Butlers on their website and donate to their ministry here.

Meet Our Missionaries

Learn about some of our other Local Missionaries serving in the Bay Area.

Dave Nothhelfer, CHAI

Before serving internationally, Dave worked in marine ecology, biotech, and organic farming. He came to faith in 2001 and is now fundraising to serve the poor in the Philippines with CHAI (Community Hopes Alternatives, Inc.).

Read their story

Jonathan Newman, Athletes in Action

Jonathan Newman serves in Athletes in Action at UC Berkeley, helping student athletes grow and thrive in their faith and equipping them to make disciples.

Read their story

Joanna Clark, Young Life San Francisco

Joanna works with high schoolers through Young Life San Francisco and loves how they ask real questions about life, pretend like they know everything, and are down for pretty much anything.

Read their story