Brianna Esswein

Brianna, from Cypress, California, grew up in a Christian home and gave her life to the Lord in February of 1996. A few months later she took first mission trip to Mexico. It was a life-changing experience of reaching out to people in need who didn’t know anything about Jesus. Soon after, Bri committed her life to go wherever the Lord called her to go.

In May 2002 she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and became a registered nurse (RN). When Bri applied to do medical missions the following year, she wrote, “God is a part of every second of my day. My life would never be the same without Him in it. My life is not my own and this is not my life, it is His. I have been placed in each situation for such a time as this, to do His will and to walk in His ways"

In 2003 Brianna completed her DTS on the Anastasis with Mercy Ships and served with an outreach team on the west coast of Africa. In the Spring of 2005 she received her Masters in Missions and Intercultural Studies at Wheaton College, Illinois.

She accomplished her goal to serve in ministry as a midwife after training at the Birth Attendant School in Perth in 2005. She brought compassion and hope to women and babies in Nigeria. “My greatest desire is not to bring medicine, but the love of God to women and babies, that they might know Jesus, our Savior.”

To those who knew and loved her, Bri was a vibrant, generous, all-embracing friend who lived her love for Jesus with her whole heart. She bubbled over with joy and delight to serve the Lord and lifted her voice to worship Him in songs of praise. She had a brilliant mind, a humble spirit, and an irrepressible passion to inspire others to serve the Lord in missions. “I am willing to live and die for my Lord and will follow Him to the ends of the earth, knowing that it may cost me everything, but there is no greater joy that serving my God and only through Him can my life and joy be made complete.” Brianna’s passion to serve the Lord in the mission field cost her everything, and she poured out her life as a fragrant offering that will be remembered long after her time on earth.

  • John Bills

    In the past two years of knowing you since the death of Brianna, I can truly see why Brianna was so committed to Christ. I am so honored to know you, for your dedication to Jesus and to missions. God has proven Himself to be so faithful to you all in such a deep time of grief that you have carried in your loss. My deepest love to you all. John

  • DarrinJoe

    Please allow me to begin by preemptively apologizing for the tardiness of this post. I regret that I only discovered the sad news today, and my aim is to reflect upon positive memories from the past.

    This Sunday morning, I was sitting at my desk at work. I was thinking of the upcoming birth of my first child, and reminiscing about my own childhood. Now in my adulthood, my friends and coworkers marvel at my ability to recall Useless Factual Information. My coworkers call it “U.F.I.” for short. Sometimes they just call me “Wikipedia,” especially when it comes to trivial baseball statistics. For whatever reason, I have always had decent memorization skills. I attribute the honing of these skills to the required memorization of Bible verses per the curriculum while attending Concordia Lutheran Elementary School. It was while attending Concordia Elementary that I knew Brianna.

    I remember Brianna being the smartest and brightest person in our class. I remember her trouncing me in the school spelling bee when I could not spell the word, “Straight.” I remember enjoying her company while climbing on the jungle gym. I remember the glasses she wore. I remember her not minding me calling her by the nickname I gave her: “Brainy.”

    I had not seen or spoken to Brianna since I left Concordia Elementary after the completion of the 6th grade in June 1992. Here’s my stream of consciousness that caused me to think of Brianna today: 1.) I’d rather be at church than at work. 2.) My child will most likely attend Sunday school as I did. 3.) Memorizing Bible verses in Sunday school and at Concordia Lutheran Elementary School is probably how I learned to retain knowledge at a young age. 4.) A classmate of mine who was exceptional at memorizing Bible verses was Brianna Esswein.

    Wondering what she was up to these days, I searched her name through Google, which is how I learned the tragic news. It goes without saying the Esswein Family should be immensely proud of Brianna’s accomplishments and legacy.

    I can only hope my son or daughter can be just like Brianna in terms of cheery disposition, friendly personality, acts of selflessness, and drive for achievement. I have not forgotten about Brianna after 17 years, and most likely, I never will.

    Yours in Christ,

    Det. Darrin Joe
    Newport Beach Police Department
    djoe@nbpd.org