Darin and Kathy were High School sweethearts. Their heart for missions began even before marriage, when they joined with teams on several short-term trips. After they were married in 1997, they traveled to Portugal to help build a school for missionary kids. God used that trip to lead Darin and Kathy into full time missions.
God placed a passion in their hearts for the lost souls in Africa. In April 2008, Darin and Kathy arrived in Nairobi, Kenya with four-year-old Tyler, three-year-old Ella and nine month old Alexis. There they helped plant Utawala Baptist Church. Darin led weekly Bible studies with youth and young adults and Kathy taught children's Sunday School. They were very involved in personal evangelism and discipleship. In 2011 the Kenyan government imposed a high tax on missionaries that Darin and Kathy could not pay. Although the family had to leave, they praise God that Utawala Baptist Church has its own national pastor and is thriving under his leadership!
God redirected the Ishlers to Durban, South Africa. Darin and Kathy serve at Crossroads Community of Christ, where they partner with national Pastor Dennis Nkosi. Darin helps fill the pulpit and teaches the youth and young adult Bible studies. Kathy leads the children's and ladies' ministries. They also have a passion for mentoring and one-on-one discipleship. Their goal is to develop and train young people to be the future leaders of the church.
Darin, Kathy, and the kids enjoy going to the beach to jump waves in the Indian Ocean. Ella and Alexis enjoy roller blading and helping their mom in the kitchen. Darin and Tyler like to play basketball and cook on the grill together when it is too hot in the kitchen. They also believe that being a missionary is one of the coolest jobs in the world!