Joel and Rachel serve with CMF’s church catalyst team among the Turkana, where they use Joel’s passion for youth and discipleship and Rachel’s interest in providing for people’s physical and spiritual needs in their ministry. The Williamses partner with a network of Kenyan churches in leadership development, discipleship training, curriculum development, and community health education. Joel currently trains youth ministers in healthy youth ministry practices and coaches church leaders in starting church planting movements while Rachel equips churches to bring the love of Christ to vulnerable communities through teachings on essential health and hygiene topics.
Joel and Rachel grew up in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., but met at Lincoln Christian University. Rachel took many short-term mission trips and served in her local church, while Joel invested himself in students through church camps, youth programs and coaching. Rachel’s 2011 trip to Missions of Hope in Nairobi fueled her passion for Kenya. Joel has served as a youth minister, Christian curriculum writer, and coach since 2009. In 2012 he collaborated with a team of Kenyans to write a youth curriculum that is used to help youth of the Kipsigis tribe find their identity in Christ.
Joel and Rachel were married in 2012 and are the parents of three children: Lorelai (2013), Juniper (2015), and Atticus (2017). They began serving in Kenya in 2016.