Missionary Highlight- The Crabtrees




Hi Again!  Sorry it has been a little bit since I last posted!  Life has been busy- but I am getting back at it again with another post about missionaries that I know who are in the process of heading to Papua New Guinea!  I know the Crabtrees from Bible School- we were in the same class there, and I always appreciated and respected them a lot. I also knew them at MTC (the Missionary Training Center for New Tribes) while they were in training there….and I had their little girl Nora in the nursery!  They are awesome people with great hearts for the Lord, willing hearts to serve him…..and adorable little girls!  I hope that you enjoy reading a bit about their story and are challenged to think about lost people around the world today, as well as to pray for the Crabtrees in their ministry.  

Here is some of their story:


Lael and I got married during our senior year at the University of Arkansas. After graduation we spent a year getting involved in our sending church in Fayetteville, AR before moving to Waukesha, Wisconsin to begin New Tribes Bible Institute. Our oldest daughter, Nora, came along during our time in Wisconsin (in the middle of a massive blizzard, actually).

After graduating from Bible School in 2011, we moved our family to Missouri to begin training at NTM’s Missionary Training Center. 5 month old Nora enrolled in the nursery with the best teacher ever: Amy Bishop! Through this training we now we have a game plan for things like: acquiring a new culture and language, creating an alphabet from scratch, developing a literacy program, running a house completely off of solar power, implementing Bible translation techniques, creating chronological Bible lessons that aim at worldview-level issues, understanding an animistic worldview, protecting our children, church planting principles, discipleship and outreach, preventing and addressing team conflict, tailoring a unique homeschool curriculum for our girls, using translation and linguistic software, and counting the cost. That’s just from the classroom side of things.

They say there’s something in the water, so it wasn’t long before baby #2 was on the way. Our second daughter, Rynn, was born in October and has been such a blessing to our family!

~Heart for missions~

As you can imagine, choosing to move to a remote tribal group for 20+ years was not a snap decision! God worked on Lael and me during college for several years, before we were finally able to pray the most dangerous prayer: Lord, I’m willing to go anywhere at anytime to do anything for You.”

We were first exposed to the reality of unreached tribal groups in our sophomore year of college in a class called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. At that point, we decided as a couple that we wanted to be involved in reaching unreached people, but we were clueless about the rest of the details. God was faithful, however, to gradually increase our light-level during the next few years. We learned about New Tribes Mission’s efforts in Bible translation, and after visiting the Missionary Training Center, decided to begin their training program.


Our family is in transition mode at the moment. Lael is finishing up the advanced linguistics program and we’re in the process of raising our monthly financial support. We’re moving to Papua New Guinea next year after our field-recommended budget is met.

In Papua New Guinea, we’ll be living and ministering among an unreached tribal group with a goal of establishing a mature church and translating the Bible into their tribal language. We’re excited to begin this new phase of ministry!

One of the most surprising things God has done through me during our four years of pre-field training was to enable me to write and publish Tipping Our Kings, the true story of a Philosophy PhD coming to Christ. here’s a link to a recent interview about the book:


~Prayer Requests~

I’m traveling to Papua New Guinea for a month-long vision trip at the end of June. Please pray for smooth logistics and wisdom during the trip. Also, pray for Lael, as she’ll have the girls all to herself. This will be the first time Nora has been without me for an extended period of time, so pray that I’ll be able to FaceTime over WiFi every now and then. Please pray for wisdom in support raising and preparations for heading overseas.

NTM Blog:
Tipping Our Kings Blog


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