Nathan and Julissa and their family are currently serving the Lord Jesus in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico. Their hope is to see southern Mexico saturated with the gospel of Jesus through church planting, leadership development, and discipleship in all areas of life.
In God’s providence, Nathan was born into a loving Christian home, number three of what would soon be four brothers. His parents had already been serving the Lord in vocational ministry for over a decade, and Nathan grew up hearing the stories of great preachers and missionaries of years gone by. At the wee age of four, he expressed a simple declaration of faith in Christ as Lord and Savior, and not long after declared to his parents that he was going to be a missionary someday.
During struggles in his late teen years, Nathan grew convicted of his own pride and self-righteousness and embraced more fully the grace of God and the lordship of Christ. He recommitted himself to the Lord’s service and experienced a fresh call to cross-cultural mission. After doing short-term work in Europe, China, and Southeast Asia, he traveled to Peru and Mexico, compelled by a newfound love for the Spanish-speaking world. This call was confirmed when he met his future wife Julissa, who had grown up speaking Spanish. Before they were married, Nathan spent a summer in Mexico City helping to plant in an unchurched neighborhood, preaching for the first time in Spanish, and evangelizing in the open air.
Nathan loves reading books on theology, history, biographies, novels, and culture. Filmmaking and writing books or articles on all of the above are also some of his favorite pastimes. He recently completed his first novel, and two non-fiction books are on their way. One is on the Lordship of Christ in relation to culture, and the other seeks to help those who are becoming disillusioned with the Church.
In God’s providence, Julissa was born into a loving but not-yet-Christian family. Her Danish dad was agnostic and her Mexican mom was a devout Roman Catholic. In God’s mercy, Julissa’s parents were converted when she was still young and they soon began attending a local church where the gospel was more clearly preached. At the tender age of five, she professed faith in Christ after an evening conversation with her dad and mom. Her father, though a quiet man, began faithfully leading his family in daily devotions which helped solidify the faith of his four daughters.
At age twelve Julissa heard a sermon that challenged her to truly surrender her future to the will of God and all of her life to the Lordship of Christ. This would prepare her for a future conversation with Nathan about leaving land and kinship for the advance of the gospel. At 17 Julissa began the nursing program at Clover Park Technical College and graduated with an LPN degree two years later. She never dreamed of a career but wanted to stay productive until God provided her with a husband, as she felt her primary calling was to be a godly wife and mother. Julissa enjoys reading (both fiction and nonfiction), playing board games, and researching health and medical-related subjects, as well as home-educating six little rascals who are on their way to changing the world.
Having fallen madly in love, Nathan and Julissa were married on News Years Day, 2005. A year later they left behind their jobs in forestry and nursing to move to Mexico to serve in church planting and evangelism. Returning to the U.S. after only one year, due to pregnancy complications, Julissa gave birth to their first daughter, Eva, and the Lord gave birth to a new work among Spanish-speakers on the Washington coast. Mexicans and Salvadorans were saved and baptized, and a local church was planted. While this Spanish-speaking congregation never grew beyond 80 people, the gospel was preached to 1000’s of Hispanic immigrants in person and to over 100,000 online from 2007 to the present. In 2013 an English-speaking church plant was added alongside the existing Spanish ministry. This church plant, known now as Kaleo Grays Harbor, continues on in faithful preaching and outreach to the community. Along the way, several more children were added to the Cedarland family, Benjamin, Ana, Caleb, Daniel, Gideon, and Jonathan.
Now, in light of clear direction from the Lord, the Cedarlands have been embarked on another adventure in Church Planting and kingdom advancement in the southern region of Mexico, sent out by Kaleo Grays Harbor, Cosmopolis Gospel Chapel, and Crossway Chapel Willmington. They greatly appreciate your prayers that the name of Christ would be exalted through this endeavor.