But it wasn’t planned, they both insisted.
“Sometimes siblings grow up, become best friends, and want to do everything together,” said Nathan. “That wasn’t the case for us—not that we had a bad relationship, but this is just something God has brought about in his own way.”
Four years Micah’s senior and the oldest of four siblings, Nathan had always gravitated toward the company of adults and took the most responsibility in lending a hand to his parents’ ministry.
He remembers late nights with his father setting up equipment to show the Jesus Film to refugees in Ivory Coast. To be sure, Micah participated too, often accompanying his father to the fish market and around town to make small talk with locals. Even their two sisters caught a passion for ministry early on.
And how could they not? Missions was in their blood, starting with their grandfather, who embarked on his missionary journey to Liberia in 1959. Sitting under the preaching of their grandfather and father, both Micah and Nathan vowed as children to become missionaries when they came of age.
But when their mother’s health complications brought the family back to the US, the brothers’ paths took different directions. They both still clung to a vision of ministry, but neither’s involved each other.
Nathan married Jackie, a childhood friend whom he began dating while on furlough a few years prior. A job at Liberty University brought Nathan and Jackie to Lynchburg, Va., and his school employment allowed for both of them to complete their undergraduate degrees.
Though she wasn’t brought up on the field like her husband, her passion for the lost equaled his. Before going into missions, Nathan wanted to continue his biblical education at seminary. Between avoiding student debt, having children, and juggling a demanding job, it was put on hold.
While finishing his Master of Divinity, Nathan and Jackie’s hearts were set on serving in Thailand after a missionary presented to their church the need to build churches among the Thai people.
When Nathan left home, Micah stayed with the family and became more involved in his parents’ ministry to African refugees. Then, he attended Word of Life Bible College and later Lancaster Bible College. There, he found a missions opportunity to teach English in East Asia. Although Micah considers himself more of a “math guy,” the chance was too good to pass up.
And his decision paid off.
Along with getting exposed to Asia’s massive need for the gospel, Micah met Misti through a network of house churches. Misti grew up in the church but didn’t hear the gospel clearly until college. After giving her life to Christ, she joined a church-planting team to East Asia.
Micah and Misti made their first trip back to the US to get married but were forced to leave East Asia again when Misti’s visa was on the verge of expiring. With the pandemic on the horizon, they found themselves stuck in the US.
But God was working in the background. With the world-on-hold, it gave the brothers an opportunity to reconnect.
“When I went off to college, we weren’t particularly close,” said Nathan. “It’s not that we were enemies, but we just couldn’t foresee working together.”
But those attitudes existed when they were still young, naïve brothers. Now, as adults forged by the experiences of marriage, family, and overseas ministry, they see each other as friends.
Although Micah was set on returning to East Asia, Nathan approached him about the idea of serving in Thailand together.
After some time and prayer, Micah and Misti agreed. Today, with Nathan and Jackie’s four children, and Micah and Misti’s two, they are planning to do church-planting work in Thailand.