Has God ever changed a jerk? You bet he has, says Ward Brehm. He said he used to be one. But Ward has seen how God can change a heart and a life. He found the love of Christ on a trip to Africa and has never been the same since. Today he shares how that experience changed him and the guiding principles he has used to live his life ever since.

Who is Ward Brehm? Ward Brehm is the founder of the national insurance consulting firm, The Brehm Group, which he spent his professional life before his recent retirement. While in his 40s, Ward had the opportunity to visit Africa and see firsthand the extensive poverty there. Returning a changed man, Ward began leading relief efforts for the country, becoming nationally known for his humanitarian efforts. He was appointed the chairman of the United States African Development Foundation by President George W. Bush in 2004 and re-appointed to the position by President Obama in 2010. In 2008, Ward was awarded the Presidential Citizenship Medal, the second highest civilian honor, in an Oval Office ceremony by President Bush. A sought-after public speaker, Ward is also the author of three books, including his most recent release, Bigger Than Me: Just When I Thought I Had All the Answers, God Changed the Questions. Ward and his wife Kris are lifelong residents of Minnesota. They have three adult children: Andy, Michael, and Sarah.

After returning from Africa with a newfound faith, Ward has turned his attention to helping the most impoverished of people get access to the things they most need: clean water, food, and the love of Jesus Christ.


“When you are totally focused on success you are totally focused on yourself.” — Ward

“The best way to help poor people is to change the hearts of their leaders.” — Ward

“I had been living my whole entire life for myself. I was leading a very small life.” — Ward

“I have never found anyone against Jesus. There are plenty of people against the church or against Christianity, but nobody is against Jesus.” — Ward

“Jesus has seven billion strategies for making himself known to people.” — Ward

Action steps:

  • Unless we expose ourselves to different aspects of life and different situations, we’re never going to get out of our comfort zone and experience God’s bold plan for our life.
  • Even if you travel to a place like Africa for selfish reasons, the trip will still open your eyes to the privilege that you have and the inherent opportunities that are available to you. Don’t waste an experience like that.
  • Think about actively changing your mindset from “Where can I get?” to “Where can I give?”
  • The scarcity mentality always puts you in the a position where you need to receive something. It makes you feel like you have nothing to give. Try turning your mindset from scarcity to abundance. You’ll give more, have a better attitude, and love deeper that way.

Resources mentioned:

Ways to get involved:

We look forward to hearing from you!