Nathan was born into a family that lived in a small village in Egypt. His father was a pastor with a small salary, but somehow his parents managed to stretch it to provide for Nathan and his five brothers and sisters.

Nathan loved being with his father, especially tagging along as he did family visits in the village.

People were always glad to see Nathan’s father – his warm personality and his booming voice were only outdone by his love for the Lord and for the people in front of him.

Their home was on the middle floor of a modest house, sandwiched between the church on the bottom floor and the make-shift barn on the roof. The sounds of clucking chickens and bleating goats were just part of the normal, happy sounds of childhood.

When his father prayed, Nathan paid attention. He felt God in the room as his father carried on a conversation that began in his heart. Nathan’s young faith was nurtured through watching and listening and trying prayers of his own.

One day Nathan and his friends were playing outside the church while his father and a few elders talked in the yard. Two men came charging down the street with guns that exploded before anybody knew what was happening.

And in the blink of an eye, Nathan’s father was gone.

Nathan was young, heartbroken, and angry. He wanted revenge against the men who had killed his father. He played different scenarios over and over in his head: the day his father died, what he might have done, how he might pay them back with more hurt than they could imagine.

But the Lord was working in Nathan. The gentleness and compassion that had characterized his father – those qualities were also sewn into his beloved son. Nathan’s heart softened over the years until one day, he was able to forgive the men who took away his father.

And years later when the Lord called Nathan and his wife to serve Him with International Needs Egypt in an age of turmoil, they did not choose the safer route. They said yes. They exhibited the Lord’s love and kindness to their Muslim neighbors and many generations of misunderstanding and wounds began to heal.

Read more about Nathan’s story in Love Casts Out Fear.