Nathaniel ‘Nat’ Williams was born into a Christian family in 1978 and grew up near Rochester, New York. At age five, he prayed a prayer, asking God to take him to Heaven when he died. That was his hope for the next eight years. Finally, he realized that salvation was not in a prayer or in living right, but in the sacrifice of Christ on his behalf.
When Nat was a young child, his parents became serious about serving God. The family worked together in neighborhood children’s clubs and Vacation Bible Schools. All of this was on-the-job training for foreign missionary service. Nat taught English in Taiwan, took part in literature distribution at the Asian Games, and traveled for two years with the Institute In Basic Life Principles. He planned to serve in foreign missions, but in reality, he was a missionary already. He worked while he waited.
After graduation from BBTI in 2004, Nat moved to Allentown, PA, for further training in ministry and missions at Lehigh Valley Baptist Church (LVBC). He helped organize their Missions Research Center and worked with their ministry to international students. (Later, in 2013, LVBC would send him to the field.) Nat made a ministry trip to Chile and several trips to SE Asia during these years. This was all GMT (Good Missionary Training).
While working, Nat was also waiting for something else that a missionary needs. He met her at LVBC, and again in Thailand, where she assisted in ministry for fifteen months. Anne was born in Pennsylvania in 1983. Like Nat, she made an early, but empty, profession during VBS. Outwardly, she was mostly good, but she knew something was wrong inside. She attended the Christian school but was often in trouble for cheating and lying. On one occasion she was sentenced to a two-day suspension followed by a four-week Bible study with a lady from church. The Bible study didn’t change her, but it did show her that she was lost. At age fifteen, Anne finally truly trusted Christ and was born again.
Nat and Anne were married in July 2010, and little Paul arrived two years later. (Ellen followed in 2014, and Rachel in 2017.) God had already shown Nat that he should serve in Myanmar (formerly Burma). But Myanmar is closed to foreign missionaries. How could they reach the people there?
Thailand is not closed, and it is a very strategic place for literature distribution in restricted neighboring countries. So, in 2013, the Williamses moved there. (In 2014, Nat and his team received 2,000 boxes of Burmese Scripture to distribute in Myanmar! In 2018, 25,000 Burmese Bibles arrived!) Nat and Anne went to work, learning the Thai language. They didn’t say, “We are headed for Myanmar, why learn Thai?” They are also learning the Burmese language. They continue ministering in Thailand in church planting, Bible studies, literature development and distribution, and reaching people by teaching English.
The family makes frequent trips into Myanmar even though they cannot live there yet. It is a place of much Christian nominalism. Most people have no idea what real salvation is. Nevertheless, Nat has met and helped some faithful Baptist preachers. Besides the Burmese, the Williamses also want to reach the people of other languages and ethnic groups there; many of them are Bibleless and unreached.
Nat and Anne are team players. They may not minister to thousands, but they strategize and labor, teaching individuals who may very well reach the multitudes. They have learned that God leads by opening doors and sometimes by closing them. Their record shows that they are interested in people, not places. They are working in Thailand while waiting for an open door to Myanmar.