Nate & Michelle Banker
Full Update Letter
They say that the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” and “like father, like son.” Many people would say these in a negative sense, but fortunately my family has a legacy of faith and selflessness that is an honor to be associated with. It seems as if I am fulfilling these proverbs in a very literal way these days, and if you know my dad, that might be a scary, exciting thing.
God is taking Michelle and me on a new journey. We are still in the beginning stages of this new life and would love to have the opportunity to share with you what God has been doing in our lives so far. I believe that I have a responsibility to all of you to tell you what God has done, because it really is quite amazing and exciting.
20/20 Vision is best when life is beautiful
This last year was pretty crazy for us. Early in the year we decided to give generously to an extent that we have never done before. So far, however, we haven’t been able to out-give our heavenly Father and even though it felt like quite a sacrifice at the time, we are better off financially today than we were when we first gave. His faithfulness is nuts! We have never been in want, always have had food, clothing and a place to stay, and now He has given us a surplus that we have decided to dedicate to something that we think is pretty cool (more to come on that).
In May we were hit by the tornado that went through North Minneapolis. We lost three trees, our fence, a bunch of shingles, one window and my truck. Michelle was at home when it hit and it was pretty scary. Two weeks later I left for my six-month deployment to Kuwait, and Michelle got to stay home and deal with all the contractors and insurance issues. She’s really amazing, by the way! Now, let me tell you how awesome our heavenly Father is: We now have a brand new roof, a brand new upgraded fence and after the insurance money on the truck we actually made money on it (minus 3 years of gas money)! We also got two brand new trees through Tree Trust, where I have work for 4 ½ years. Although it was a very frustrating and stressful time, we came out on top… as we always seem to do when we are seeking God and His plans for us.
While I was deployed I had the chance to do a lot of reading that was very beneficial for me spiritually. I was also involved in the chapel leading a prayer group and leading/participating on the worship team. The most impactful event was when I started reading a biography on a man of faith and prayer from church history. I was struck by his audacity to believe the promises of scripture for what they are, translate that into a powerful prayer life, and then wait on his Father in full assurance that He is who He says He is. God did a serious work on me while I was deployed and has since redirected my life.
I have had the wonderful privilege of doing un-official ministry at an amazing non-profit, Tree Trust, for four and a half years. I was able to invest into a lot of young adult’s lives, teach them a trade, and share life with them as they attempt to transition into independent, adult life. I’ve seen some really cool transformations and met some really great people. But, God has something new for me now. I feel like I’m moving from something amazing to something else amazing, so I have a pretty good life all together. I resigned from Tree Trust after many weeks of prayer and internal debate, discussions with friends and my wife, and an assurance of faith that came through the confirmation of the promises I have seen in Scripture. I’m pretty pumped that God would choose me to go on this journey of faith with Him, and Michelle and I are very excited for the adventure.
Now is the only time we are given
Now I am back home with my wife. It’s so good to be home! I am starting my journey toward what God has called me to do. I got some pretty clear direction from Him when I asked Him what I should/shouldn’t tell people when they ask about what I’m doing in life now. He told me to tell people what He has done and what we are doing now. What you have heard so far is what He has done with/for me (a small part of it anyway). So, what am I doing now?
Right now I am doing a lot of work on my house. The surplus I mentioned earlier has been dedicated to seeing our house remodeled for the purpose of using it as a place to take care of people. We have many dreams and hopes as to how and who we will be able to love-on with what God has given to us. We believe this house is ours for more reasons than to simply have a place to live. This place could literally be a place of ministry. That’s pretty exciting stuff for us. I will be sending out updates as time goes on and will let you know when we get partnerships established and also when we finally start taking people in. It’s a blessing that our Father has developed such a helpful skill set in me over the last 7-8 years through my work and military training. My carpenter skills are once again being used to do His work, and I think that’s pretty cool. (P.S. Jesus was a carpenter… it’s kind of a family trade)
Michelle is still working part time as a nanny and is finishing up some schooling. She is absolutely a rock star with the kids she works with. She has done such a great job taking care of everything while I was away, both at home and with our responsibilities at church. We are both heavily involved in our church, Substance, serving on the prayer team at the Saturday night service. We are both also getting more involved in Prayer Resolution, which is a prayer technique which helps people get rid of any old baggage they have been carrying around throughout their lives. We are fully trained and are looking forward to doing this in whatever capacity we are able to. This is the same ministry my parents do in China full time. It is quite amazing to watch God heal people, and we are both excited to get more involved in this.
Let me know if you would like to sit down and talk about how awesome our God is or what He has done/is doing with us right now. We could talk about what God is doing in your life too! That would be encouraging to hear. I would love to grab coffee with you. Please feel free to find either one of us on Facebook, e-mail us, or call us.
Nathan & Michelle Banker
1236 Upton Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55411