Both Joel and Janelle were raised as MKs (Missionary Kids)—Joel in Brazil and Janelle in Colombia. At a young age, both were able to witness personally the needs of a people group without access to the gospel and scripture in their language. The Lord impressed it on both of their hearts that He wanted them to be a part of taking His good news to people like these someday.

Joel and Janelle met at College of the Ozarks, where Joel was being trained in aviation science and Janelle in elementary education. After college, they were married and entered the working world to get some experience in their professional fields. The Lord used this time to re-confirm the calling that they had felt as children, and in 2003, they entered the training to become missionaries with New Tribes Mission.

In 2008, they arrived in Brazil, where they now serve with New Tribes Mission Aviation, pioneering a flight program to serve missionaries planting churches among the remote unreached tribes of the Amazon Basin.