Before we left for Zambia, I was adding Charlie’s Social Security card to ours in our fireproof box, and I found my high school diploma and remembered that it has been 10 years since I graduated. That got me thinking…What have I done with the last 10 years?
When I graduated from high school, I always wondered where I would be 10 years later. One of my worst fears was that I would look back after 10 years and realize that I hadn’t really done or accomplished much and that I had wasted this first decade after high school. I remember praying a lot in those days that God would guide and lead my steps so that I would not waste that time or my life.
Now, as I look back over those 10 years gone by, I see many periods of laziness, idleness, and thousands of conversations, thoughts, and actions that I would do over and that I am ashamed of. I am so thankful for the atoning work of Christ in my life and God’s amazing grace and faithfulness in my life, and, in so many ways, He really has mightily answered my prayers after high school.
Here is a brief overview and condensed version of what God has done over these past 10 years since I graduated in June of 2002.
-June 2002-December 2003 – Worked at Club Scrap (online scrapbooking company); went on my second short-term missions trip to Thailand; took Old Testament and New Testament survey from Oklahoma Baptist University satellite classroom in Wasusa, WI; played drums on the worship team at church; helped out in the Jr. High youth group.
-During this time, God also called me to go to Zambia with ACTION Zambia and work with the street kids’ ministry. So, throughout much of 2003, I was raising prayer and financial support to go to Zambia and was preparing for that.
-January 2004-October 2005 – Arrived in Zambia March of 2004 to work with ACTION Zambia in the street kids ministry; worked with Steve Ripley and Blake Walburg during this time in the street kids ministry; Kristin and I met, fell in love, and began dating.
-October 2005 – arrived back in the States and started to work for a security company as a security guard right down the street from the Mall of America.
-December 2005 – Kristin and I got engaged!
-January 2006-May 2006 – Kristin and I prepared for the wedding and both worked; I was still working as a security guard, and Kristin was working at Fairview Southdale Hospital as a nursing assistant.
-May 27th, 2006 – we got married!!!
-July 2006-July 2007 – moved to Appleton, WI, and I started going to school at Moody Bible Institute (online) to get my Bachelors of Science of Biblical Studies; I also did an internship with Pastor Wade Hetrick at Community Church of Appleton; Kristin worked at a care facility as a nursing assistant.
-July 2007-July 2009 – moved back to Burnsville, MN and lived at Kristin’s grandma’s house (Kristin’s grandma was not living there at this time but was living with and taking care of her sister); Kristin and I both were in school, and Kristin graduated from Nursing School as an RN in the Spring of 2009; we also helped out as small group leaders at our church.
-Fall of 2009 – went to Zambia to visit ACTION Zambia and confirm God’s call that we should return after being gone for four years; shortly after going to Zambia, we attended ACTION orientation out in Seattle to, once again by God’s grace, be missionaries with Action International Ministries to Zambia.
-Fall of 2009-December 2010 – finished up my BSBS in the Summer of 2010, and we raised prayer and financial support to come to Zambia; Kristin worked as an RN doing home health care.
-January 2011 – moved to Zambia to be missionaries with ACTION Zambia and lead the C.R.O.S.S. Project HIV/AIDS Ministry.
-April 2012-August 2012 – came back from Zambia for four months to have Charlie (June 15th)!!
-August 2nd – left Minneapolis to come back to Zambia with Charlie.
Love it! And hold on…you worked at an online scrapbooking company??? Oh Derek, I didn’t think it was possible to like you more – but turns out I was wrong. SO funny! 🙂
Sounds like you have certainly done a LOT in the past ten years! You’ve let the Lord lead, and He has blessed and used you. God bless you all!
Our love and prayers.