In February, Morgan and Zac Palmer watched their family's Colora home burn following an electrical failure. They lost everything, but gained a new perspective.
Morgan, 21, and Zac, 18, both Rising Sun High graduates and three sport athletes, are now setting out into the world to help others. Both have signed on with The World Race missions projects.
Morgan will serve in 11 countries in an 11-month span.
Zac will work in five countries in nine months.
"I won't be the same person when I come back. I'm open to and excited about that," Morgan said.
"You don't always have to do what's next. It's going to be an adventure."
Morgan had considered missions work before. He had even looked into signing on for the World Race two years ago. "I wasn't spiritually or mentally ready," said Morgan, who is studying to physical therapy and works at ATI Physical Therapy. He will head to Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Rwanda, Uganda, Albania, Greece, Thailand, Malaysia, Mongolia, and China.
Zac will serve in Costa Rico, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Nepal, and the Philippines. Zac is enrolled in The World Race gap year program. Zac was nominated to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in December.
He said his heart changed while on a missions trip in India. He did not get accepted to the Naval Academy and has taken it in stride. Instead, he was accepted to The World Race.
"As we were watching our house burn down, I decided to do the Lord's work. That put me in the shoes of the people who had nothing," Morgan said. "We have nothing, but we still live in America and it's a big difference."
Zac and Morgan said that people stepped up to help the family in the wake of the fire. They were invited to stay at Sandy Cove while they were displaced. The family then began renting the parsonage at Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. They received gift cards, clothing and more from both friends and strangers.
"I've been building up to this. I have a heart for the people. I love helping people out. You have to let everything go and all you have is your backpack and you go where the Lord takes you," Morgan said.
"Service has been heavy on my heart. After I didn't get into the military academy, this all happened," Zac said. "Our family has a heart for missions."
They will do all kinds of missions work - from Bible school to building. Neither of the brothers is a stranger to missions work. They've both been on missions in India where their great grandfather founded an orphanage.
The brothers are the sons of David and Susan Palmer of Rising Sun.
Both Palmers were required to raise $15,000 to enroll in The World Race. They met their deadlines to this point but more are looming. If you'd like to donate to help fund the missions or want to follow the progress of either of the Palmer brothers, online go to morganpalmer.theworldrace.org and zacpalmer.theworldrace.org.