MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A crash in Nebraska has taken the lives of an entire Minneapolis family. They were headed to Colorado for missionary training when it happened.

Jamison and Kathryne Pals, their 4-year-old, 2-year-old and 2-month-old children all died Sunday. Nebraska investigators say a semi rear-ended them and their car burst into flames.

The truck driver is charged with vehicular homicide.

College sweethearts Kathryne and Jamison Pals have been on a journey of faith for some time.  Andy Carr worked with Jamison at his last job at Feed My Starving Children in Eagan.

“Jamison never wavered from what he intended to do which was to let people know that Christ loves them,” Carr said.

And that’s what their upcoming move was all about. After Jamison left his job at Feed My Starving Children, it was off to Colorado for training, then to live in Japan and share their faith.

“I can honestly say that there was never a nicer person that I’ve encountered than Jamison and Katherine Pals,” Carr said.

A point Jamison’s heartbroken father Rick Pals can attest to. He sat in his Hugo home Monday night and spoke to WCCO about his beloved son,

“If I could pick someone in this world that I would want to be like, it would be my own son,” Rick Pals said. “In a way, it’s a blessing, to have them all together.”

He found out Sunday the family Jamison and his wife created was gone.

“The love you have for your grandkids is really something different and to lose three of them at once, that was a big loss,” Rick Pals said.

A loss Kathryne’s close friend Rhonda Morgan is also grappling with in the wake of the news.

She calls her college roommate kind and empathetic and wonderful with children.

“I just think that overall Kathryn was an amazing gift to me and I know to a lot of other people and I know that I wouldn’t be the same person without her in my life,” she said.

For the Pals’ journey of faith, the road may have been shorter than intended but ended in a way they always knew it would.

“Ultimately he’s where he belongs and the kids, they didn’t get to make their trip to Japan but they got a better trip,” Rick Pals said.

No doubt many of you will want help this family — they’ve got a GoFundMe page to raise money to bring the family’s ashes to Japan.

But if you could do anything, Jamison’s father asks that you take some time to read the family’s blog, Joy of Japan, and learn what they were truly about.

Family and friends all say the family would want people who hear about the crash not to question but to strengthen their faith.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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