ArticleMissionary Life

Continuing a Family Legacy

Inspired by his great-grandfather’s heart for missions, Joel felt God calling him to continue his work in Brazil.
In terms of legacy, if anyone was ever destined for the mission field, Joel was.

His family history in missions dates back to the late 1930s, when his great-grandfather, Willard Stull Jr., arrived in Brazil. His life inspired following generations to become missionaries to the largest

South American country. He lived out his final years on the field in a small house in Joel’s parent’s backyard.

To Joel, his great-grandfather wasn’t just a spiritual giant but also a beloved family member. So, when he passed away, Joel found himself wondering for the first time why his great-grandfather had stayed in Brazil all those years.

He asked himself, “What was in this man that he would give everything he had to the mission field?”

The Holy Spirit opened Joel’s eyes to the answer—a passion for Jesus Christ. At the age of 14, he asked God to stir within him the same zeal that motivated his great-grandfather to serve faithfully. As a result, Joel resolved within himself to be more involved in ministry.

“I made that faith and ministry my own,” said Joel. “It wasn’t just my parents’ faith or being a missionary kid in Brazil.”

His parents having recently started a third church plant, Joel viewed it as fresh opportunity to demonstrate his newfound commitment to ministry. He jumped in with both feet, serving on the worship, tech, and youth teams.

In college, God made it known to Joel that he belonged on the mission field. The only question remaining was where.

Eventually, after a period of fasting and praying, the Lord impressed the answer upon Joel. It turned out to be what he already knew deep in his heart: Brazil.

Today, Joel will be returning to Brazil to plant churches, make disciples, and take the gospel to the gauchos, South American cowboys.


Support Joel’s ministry.

About the Author

Loren Skinker served as communications specialist with ABWE and managing editor for Message Magazine. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in communications and English.

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