GRAND BAY, Ala. (WKRG) — A family in Grand Bay is celebrating the life of a missionary killed in South America. Family members say Michael “Soy” Taylor died after being shot during a robbery attempt in Guatemala.

Family members say Michael “Soy” Taylor always had a smile, always wanted to be around people but most of all loved and trusted the Lord. He and his family left the comforts and safety of Mobile County to be a missionary family in Guatemala six years ago.

“In our marriage. From the very beginning we said, God, we will do whatever it takes. We will go wherever you lead us, whenever you call us to. To see people come to know Christ,” said wife Deidra Taylor. Nicknamed “Soy” based on a childhood love of soy sauce– Diedra Taylor says she and “Soy” were watching football on their porch on September 30th in Guatemala, when three men confronted them demanding money. She went inside to protect their three children, family says Soy confronted the would-be robbers–who ran away but shot him once in the gut. Family members said he was stabilized in the hospital but died days later, due to an infection from the gunshot wound. Deidra Taylor said “Soy” stood between his family and a bullet and died a hero.

“My husband protected his family without ever second-guessing anything,” said Deidra Taylor. Despite losing her husband of 16 years in a tragedy in South America, Deidre Taylor says she and her three children will return to Guatemala.

“We want to grieve with the very ones that we love in Guatemala. We want to minister to them. Even at this moment, I cannot explain that. I cannot explain how God has given us a heart for that,’ said Deidra Taylor. Family members say “Soy’s” missionary work included feeding the needy, establishing a school, and medical clinic, and building relationships with the people he served.

“To know Soy was to love Soy. And he just. He just loved being around people. And from the youngest person to the oldest person, it made no difference to him,” said Father-in-law Teddy Turrentine. Deidra Taylor says she forgives the men responsible for her husband’s death and hopes they turn their hearts to God.

“We may never see them again. We may never know that, but somehow God will send someone to share salvation and love found only through Jesus Christ and with everything in us. We want those three men to know Jesus,” said Deidra Taylor.

The family has set up a Memorial Fund online. Grand Bay Pastor Teddy Turrentine chronicled “Soy’s” tragic story and celebration of life service in his blog.