Meet Tyler and Mikhaela Whatley!
Tyler attended the training as a student this past year. He completed his first and second semesters than in August married his wife Mikhaela. Mikhaela is now a new student beginning her first semester while Tyler is presently a part-time student and will take his third semester with Mikhaela next fall!
What drew Tyler and Mikhaela to pursuing missions?
I (Tyler) grew up in Indonesia and witnessed the need all around me; it’s not something you can easily forget or dismiss. I witnessed the “before Christ” and “after Christ” transformation in the people around me. I knew I would one day return to the mission field and be a part of reaching the unreached. After high school and with this goal in mind, I attended Ethnos360 Bible Institute, in Jackson Michigan. Preparing to take the next step and attend missionary training, I worked and was heavily involved in a local church. That’s what led me here–so I can be better equipped to serve people cross-culturally as I continue to develop an even greater desire to go. I started the training last fall before meeting my wife Mikhaela. Mikhaela was attending Heritage Bible College when we met and she planned to go to missionary training school once she graduated at the end of the year. We both knew we wanted to pursue missions even if that meant we’d go alone. However, it was a huge blessing when God brought us together and now we are here at Emanate desiring to “go” and serve overseas.
“We both felt God leading us to serve Him through mission work since we were kids.”
At a very young age, I (Mikhaela) heard the story of a single woman missionary living cross-culturally for Christ. Her life was intriguing, I’ve never heard anything like it, a woman traveling across the world to work in an orphanage and share about Jesus! From that day forward I latched onto the idea that becoming a missionary was my dream job; unaware of all it entails I hung on to its appeal and didn’t let go.
As I grew older, I learned more as I heard preachers and read authors, studied the Word, and understood the true purpose behind missions. I realized missions shouldn’t be centered on an adventure or gaining a compilation of stories to tell. It is about the One who died for the whole world. It took me some time to let go of the dream life I made up inside my head, but once I did I never looked back because I knew He is Worthy. He is worth abandoning all I am and giving up my culture, comfort, and pride. With this in mind, I became aware of people around the world who never heard the name Jesus and understood they need someone willing to go and share the truth with them. I couldn’t neglect this reality, so here I am in training–willing to go and serve for the glory of God.
“We both desired to be obedient to Christ as we felt him directing us overseas even if that meant we’d go alone. The Lord had different plans in that matter and he intervened. Now we are both here in training excited to learn and grow through our time here. Right now in classes we are exploring Foundations of Grace, Form and Meaning, and Philosophy of Bible Teaching. We are loving our classes so far and look forward to all the ones to come!”