Category Archives: Life

Change (and a huge thanks!…and photos)

We have now been back in the States for just over 3 months and have had time to process some of our big transition. 6 1/2 years in Zambia – that’s enough time to be changed…not to mention that our family doubled in size during that time, which brings its own kind of trauma change.

While we obviously pray that God used us to shape Zambia, we know that Zambia has shaped us. We are more understanding of and compassionate toward situations the poor are in. We are less fearful. We know a little of what being a minority means. We have been made stronger through the endurance it takes to live with 12-hour daily power outages, horrendous traffic situations, the inconsistency of food and fuel availability, and so much more. We are more wise about missions and the struggles missionaries face. We know the joy of seeing God bear fruit. We are more understanding of people’s struggles. You get the picture.

Leaving Zambia was not easy. In fact, it was the hardest decision we have made in our marriage. But being back in the States has shown us 2 important things: 1) we still love missions and feel called to strengthening, discipling, and reaching the global Church; and 2) it was the right decision to be based in the States at this time. Some of the situations that had happened in Zambia over the last few years took a greater toll on us than we realized, and we are beginning to feel more refreshed and energized for what God has in store for us.

It really is a major perk that, in leaving Zambia, we get to still be involved in missions with ACTION! Derek will be traveling quite a bit next year to various fields for strengthening, encouraging, teaching, and scouting. We are already praying that God will use our experiences in Zambia to benefit many more around the world. Feel free to pray with us for that!

There is more information about our family and this big change in our recent newsletter, which we would love for you to check out, if you haven’t already. And to add on to the abbreviated “thank you” in our latest newsletter, we really don’t know how to express how full our hearts are with thankfulness. Through the care, prayers, and generosity of so many, we were sent out to Zambia and sustained in ministry there. Unless you have experienced it, it is almost impossible to describe how much missions is a group effort. Although we were the hands that gave comfort to the suffering or the feet that walked with Zambians or the mouths that taught the hope of the gospel, we could not have done it without you!

And even though we are based in the States now, we are in the same situation. Without so many of you continuing to care, pray, and give, we could not continue to serve the nations. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! This has been and continues to be such a humbling partnership, and we pray that God returns the blessing many times over. It is a joy to serve the nations with you.

Enjoy some pictures that we couldn’t fit in our newsletter!

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A New Year – What Will It Bring?

Now that the Christmas and holiday rush is over, you probably have time to sit down and read all of those Christmas letters that people sent. Unless you are us, as we have not received any mail whatsoever in about 4 weeks. The post office went on strike for the month of December. I wonder if they regretted that decision when they came back to work and stood before Mt. Holiday Mail?! But, I digress.

As we begin a new year, there are millions of situations and decisions we will face. Many we anticipate, and many more we do not. This got me thinking about some of the decisions I have had to make over the last year that I did not anticipate. Here are a few:

  1. As I mentioned already, our mail has not been delivered for over a month. (Thank you to those of you who sent Christmas cards to Zambia! We look forward to reading those, hopefully, in a couple weeks when they are delivered). Since I have the email addresses of some key people in the postal system, I have wondered how often I should continue to email them to ask about the whereabouts of several packages, which people sent in November, especially since they don’t respond to my emails. 🙂
  2. What should we do with our dog between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day? Zambians LOVE fireworks. Our dog does NOT. From 8pm until 2:30am for 7-10 days, there are fireworks, a poor dog going out of his mind, and poor us trying to maintain stability and sanity.
  3. Sam has been growing some pretty cute curls at the nape of his neck along with some crazy flyaways behind his ears. When should I cut his hair for the first time in his life?
  4. Does freshly-picked-from-our-backyard mango salsa pair well with spicy shredded chicken on freshly homemade tortillas? (Yes. the answer is a resounding YES!)
  5. Does my househelper/maid do a good enough job that makes it worth it for me to pay her child’s school fees/day care costs? She is only able to work if she has someone to take care of her daughter, but she cannot afford day care costs.
  6. Should I continue on with my undergraduate studies for my Bachelor of Science?
  7. When am I supposed to start officially home schooling? What curriculum will I use? Am I up for the task?
  8. What will I cook for dinner when our power is off for 8 hours every day? Will I actually turn the oven on when it’s 100 degrees outside and 94 degrees inside?
  9. How hard do we push potty training, when someone has told us in no uncertain terms, “I do not want to. I just want to wear diapers.”
  10. At ACTION’s 40th Anniversary Jubilee in Canada, I asked Wheaton College professor and author, Scott Moreau, a question that I found rolling through my mind several times in 2015 – How do I know what the purpose is of each trial? Is it simply spiritual warfare trying to distract us from the work we are doing? Is it the consequence of sinful actions or attitudes? Is it general sanctification – purging sin and learning to rely on God? Dr. Moreau’s response was profound – pray. Ask God. Press in to him. Get counsel from godly men and women. He lamented that he couldn’t be more helpful. But I do hope and pray that I will press in to God this 2016. There will always be trials. So, may God grant faith to trust him and rely on him more, especially for all the decisions and questions that will arise. And may he do the same for you.

A Toddler’s Perspective on Playing Catch [Video]

In case you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be inside a toddler’s body, here ya go. We put a camera on Charlie’s head and played catch.

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We learned that a simple game of ball-throwing involves a lot of falling down with both catching and throwing. And don’t worry, Charlie did not get hurt in the making of this video. Enjoy!

Introducing Samuel Henry Dearth

We are thrilled to announce the birth of our second born son, Samuel Henry Dearth!! Sam was born on October 30th at 6:28pm CST. He weighed 8lbs 10oz and was 21 3/4 inches long.

Both Sam and Kristin are doing really well, and we praise God for a quick delivery after Kristin was induced yesterday at 2pm. Charlie is also doing well and is interested in this new addition to our family, but he’s not too sure about him yet and is still keeping his distance right now. We were able to get Charlie to give him a little kiss today though. 🙂

Please pray for us as a family during the next three days before Derek needs to go back to Zambia for a little trip from November 4-13. More on the need for this trip in the next couple of days.

Thanks so much for all of your prayers the last few days. God has been so faithful and gracious to us, and we praise Him for this precious little baby!!

 

Charlie Looking at His Reflection (Video)

Well, we haven’t done a blog for a while about Charlie, and we thought this little video would be fun to share. We are so thankful to God for this little guy – he brings so much joy to our lives, along with a whole lot of  tiredness!!

Our Little Secret

There are some secrets that are easy to keep and some that aren’t. We want to let you in on a little secret that isn’t staying so little anymore. But thanks to living 8,500 miles away, we have been able to keep it a secret for about 16 weeks.

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That’s right, we’re going to have an extra pair of feet to cover this October, another passport photo to get in November, more Christmas gifts to buy in December, an extra plane ticket to add to our trans-Atlantic/trans-Africa return tickets in January, and another car seat to buckle into our SUV when we get back. 

After our miscarriage in January, we have been waiting to make sure that this baby is healthy before making the announcement, and as of an ultrasound on Tuesday and lots of strong movement today, it seems that the baby may give Charlie a run for his high-energy money! We praise God for His good gifts to us and look forward to meeting Charlie’s little brother or sister in a little over 5 months!

Fun in the Sun

Derek and I just got back from a great getaway with our friends, the Hetricks, to Florida. It was a time of firsts for us, as Derek had never been to Florida OR to the Atlantic Ocean, and neither of us had ever been to the Gulf of Mexico.

Apart from the 50+ hours in the car on the way there and back, we spent lots of time playing pool volleyball, swimming in the Gulf (no oil!), jumping waves and boogie boarding in the Altantic, and touring all the must-see places in the Tampa Bay area, like the Skyway Bridge, Ft. DeSoto, Ybor (Little Cuba), and eating at different mom and pop’s seafood restaurants.

August in Florida is HOT and HUMID. The Gulf was about 88 degrees when we went swimming, so it didn’t offer much refreshment from the 100-degree heat index. But the Atlantic Ocean was so fun, and I got to try boogie boarding again, which was a blast!

Here are some pictures of our time down there:

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