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Crystal Brown

My name is Crystal (Buell) Brown. I was born in Santa Barbara, CA. In 1979, when I was 9 years old, my family moved to Oregon. It was in 1980 that my Mom met Vonda Winkle, and Bettie Mitchell, and we were introduced to Good Samaritan Ministries. It was God’s will that I be raised in this ministry!

I graduated high school in 1988 and left for the military in 89. I served four years in the US Navy, and travelled the world. Soon after the military, I moved to Tigard, OR, and worked in the restaurant industry. I started at Portland Community College, and eventually Portland State University. I absolutely loved college.

It was shortly after when I received news that would forever change my life. My mother, my rock, Joan Buell, had died. My mother was the bright light when you walked into the room, and to this day, it delights me that many of you called her friend. My mom was a counselor at GSM for over 15 years and stood beside Bettie, Vonda, Joanne, Elsa Jane, and Jackie. My mother taught me about discernment, to listen to the Holy Spirit and to be a woman of faith! It is her mantle that I strive to assume.

Although I was a child of the ministry for several years, in 2007 I started volunteering at the GSM office. My contribution was mostly behind the scenes. I spent several hours helping with the newsletter, writing thank you cards for donations, and multiple days typing in data entry for the office. Being in the hospitality industry, I was respectfully asked to organize Bettie’s retirement party and for many years I sat on GSM’s Annual Banquet Committee; organizing sponsorship events, and guest speakers. I think one of my most heartfelt contributions to our ministry was in 2019, when I stood side by side with Bettie as we organized the First Annual Youth Summit.

With my inspiration, and her relentless dedication, we brought together over 45 years of GSM Youth for a two-day summit, and empowered them to share their stories. The fruit of this reunion is a book called: The Youth Speak Out. I cried many times while reading this book, realizing each story is a love letter of gratitude; for the teachings, the healings, and the empowerment that this ministry has bestowed upon so many children.

So that brings me to today. I am engaged to a very wonderful man named Tom, and I am a caregiver for his parents. Tom’s parents have become my best friends, and I am deeply grateful for how much they love me, and support my relationship with the Lord. As for the daily grind, I am a bartender at a local restaurant and have been with them for 11 years. I have questioned my place in this field many times, but there is a great peace within my spirit, that I am exactly where I am called to be. If I could share with you the stories that have lead me to where I am today, you would know it was a “GOD thing.” This job has taught me the importance of community, and the true meaning of hospitality. I am valued at my job and thankful for friends I’ve made along the way.

I have been part of the family of Good Samaritan Ministries for over 40 years and I am passionate about empowering the next generation. I’ve learned that the Call to Action comes in many forms. This call will to be to listen to the needs of the ministry, intercede with deep prayer, and most of all, to lift Teresa up when needed. Being on the board of GSM is both an individual call, and a team effort. What a tremendous honor to be a part of this team.

Good Samaritan Ministries is a 501c(3) tax-exempt nonprofit.
Address: 7929 SW Cirrus Dr # 23, Beaverton, OR 97008