This past summer, Brian Dobler, the owner of a small print shop in a small town in North Carolina — a town that also happens to be the home of Transportation Impact — embarked with his family on a journey into a new life. A life with few possessions and a powerful calling to travel the country and invite others to “take a closer look at the evidence.”
“My ministry is to use the skills, talents, and gifts that God has given me to reach people so they can trust the history, from Special Creation and the Worldwide Flood, recorded in the Bible,” explains Brian Dobler, former owner of the Printfish in Emerald Isle, NC, and founder of TakeaCloserLookattheEvidence.com. “It’s a ministry in the Christian church, and anything we can do to invite people to take a closer look at the biblical and scientific evidence will help people to reconcile the biblical narrative history with the real world.”
Dobler’s story is intertwined with that of Transportation Impact. “Just over ten years ago, Keith (Byrd), Travis (Burt), and Doug (Starcke) walked into my print shop. It was a Friday afternoon and they were heading to their first meeting with a company,” he says. “They came in to print a PowerPoint they’d made from a template. I asked who they were going to see, and they said it was a C-level.”
Knowing that what he was being asked to print wouldn’t impress a high-level executive, Dobler offered to “make it pop.” That Friday night he stayed late, and after a few revisions to get it right, the founders of TI walked away with a presentation that would at least get their potential client’s attention and trust.
They didn’t land that particular client, but were so impressed with Dobler that that first interaction began a relationship which, over the next decade, would help to transform both businesses — and form deep friendships.
“These last ten years have been a blessing for us all,” says Dobler. “It is a rich, rich blessingin my life to know and work with these guys.” So when he told them some months ago that the time had come for him to follow his calling of ministry, which he had put aside for fifteen years, the TI leadership gave him their full support and encouragement. Not only in word, but also in deed.
Dobler and his wife, Kellie, had calculated that they would need to sell their house to be able to afford the RV and truck that would take them and their two daughters on the road. One day, while he was wandering through a Ford dealership “doing preliminary research,” Dobler got a text from Byrd. “Don’t buy a truck yet. Meet me in my office Monday morning 9 am.”
The upshot of that meeting was the instruction to go to Ford.com and choose a truck with every bell and whistle and the power to pull the fifth wheel that would be the Dobler family home as they crossed the country following their calling.
That generous gift from Transportation Impact allowed Brian and Kellie to keep their home and rent it out, rather than having to sell it in order to pursue their ministry.
“That was the game changer,” says Dobler. “Their generosity blew me away, and it is so like them. Over the past ten years, they’ve inspired me with their giving. They always seekout need and help people.”
With the truck bought, all the other pieces of the plan fell into place. A tenant was found for the house, and this past June the Doblers planted themselves at Holiday Travel Park in Emerald Isle to adapt to the new, seriously downsized way of living and begin theirministry in the town they had called home for so long.“We developed Dino Detectives workshops this summer and had an overwhelming response,” says Dobler.
As Hurricane Florence neared landfall in September, the Dobler family hitched up and headed inland to the farm of friends in Georgia. For now they’re caretaking the farm — and enjoying that tidying up the camper takes only fifteen minutes! — as they prepare to begintheir new life and ministry in earnest.
“I’ve always had it in my heart to do ministry, but I had to be so focused on my work. Through TI, I was led to an opportunity to take a risk,” says Dobler. “I’m at a place in my life where I want to bless others with the truth of God’s Word, and take my family out and serve together in the world.”