Nick was born in Oklahoma, but quickly moved to Arizona when he was six for his dad's work. He was raised in small town and home-schooled much of his life along with his younger sister. His family became active members in a church community where he was led to Christ at 13 years old. Unfortunately a church split led to his family leaving this same church about the time he started to venture out on his own. Later on he completed a GED and began college for computer science while working in management for several years. It was during this time that God got a hold of Nick's heart and begin to call him into His service for His people. So he left his career, and switched major and school to a Bible college where he met his wife, Erin.
Erin was born and raised in the south bay of California. Aside from also being home schooled, she was brought up in a Christian home and in a Chinese church that her father pastored for many years. Her dad is Chinese and her mother is Caucasian, making Erin a Happa (a Japanese term meaning racially half n' half). Despite her upbringing by her Godly parents, she struggled with some of life's challenges during her Jr. High years. By the grace of God, she made it through and came to really, personally understand Jesus as her savior. From there she couldn't see any better way to live than for Christ.
We were both blessed to have grown up in God-fearing homes. We met at Arizona Christian University where Erin graduated with a bachelor of science in Christian Ministries and Nick studied Behavioral Health. We got married just a few weeks after graduation and moved to Phoenix. While working, Nick finished his undergraduate in Psychology and started his masters in Human Computer Interaction. We took our first trip to Japan in July 2015 where we met TEAM, a mission organization that really stood out to us. As of May 2016, we became official missionaries with TEAM and gave up our jobs to pursue fundraising for the summer. As of July 2016 we moved to northern California where we will work until we find enough partners to support us as long-term missionaries in Japan!
When Nick was just a boy, he watched a lot of anime, which to oversimplify is a Japanese made cartoon that was strikingly different than anything he had been exposed to before. Often times, what we experience in our youngest years shape our desires and passions for the future, and we suppose you could say Japanese anime was that catalyst for him so many years ago. His enjoyment of watching anime began a whole new interest in Japanese culture.
The Japanese people have renowned access to health-care, industry, technology, educational opportunities and prestige. They pursue these things because it is what life is all about - success, right? Nick used to think this way, and it wasn’t until success was taken from him personally that his eyes were opened. The greatest lie is that all we need is money, success, or anything else of this earth. Yet the truth is just the opposite: all we ever need is faith in Christ, and everything else is just a poor and temporary substitute. Japan has bought this lie and it shows every 15 minutes by people taking their own lives through suicide.
Nick really didn't know what to do with this interest in Japan at first; however, as his relationship in Christ matured he began to look at Japan the the way God sees Japan.
As a typical senior college student, Erin still had no idea what she was going to do with her life. So she asked God, “What do you want to do with my future?” He wisely asked her to look at where she came from in order to see where she was going. Immediately she started to mull over her growing passion for first world missions. Passages such as “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul,” and “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven,” made her question why hardly any people were trying to reach these people all the more if it is so hard for them to understand their need for a savior. So Erin knew God wanted her in a first world country, but which one? So she asked God a second question, “Where do you want me to go?” Then He made another gesture for her to look deeper into her past. So she started reviewing her childhood, growing up as a half-Chinese girl in a Chinese church with all Chinese friends. Why? She supposed out of all of that she understood first hand Asian values and culture. So in one hand she had first world missions and in the other had Asian cultural understanding. Then it clicked to put those hands together. So she asked God her last question, “God, do you want me to go to Japan?”
God brought the two of us with our separate but cohesive visions together and blessed us with a wonderful marriage and calling to reach the Japanese people.
- Computer Geek
- Master of Useless Facts
- Video Game Enthusiast
- Anime Connoisseur
- Photo Fanatic
- Cat Lover
- Game Addict
- Disney Freak