Family update

July 5, 2015

Last week, Jill and I announced our intent to move later this month for international mission work. Since that time we have been very busy finishing up some last minute things here and enjoying the good ‘ol US of A. Our top priority as a family before we depart the country is to spend time daily in the Word of God and to be praying for both our preparation and for our time on the field. We ask each of our prayer and financial partners to please be in prayer with us for the hearts of the people who we will be able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with, for wisdom and discernment in our work, and for the safety of my family. We’ve been traveling quite a bit lately, so we’ve already been packing and repacking a lot. Just this past weekend, we covered some ground when we had a speaking engagement in Nashville, TN on Saturday and attended my cousin’s wedding in Oklahoma City the next day. Before the wedding, Israel was even able to meet his great grandparents on the Dillard side for the first time and spend some quality time with them. We’ve purposed to spend as much time with friends and family as we can in the final days and weeks before departing for the field. In addition to traveling and spending time with family, we’ve been tirelessly working our way through a growing checklist of tasks that include but is not limited to: packing, coordinating logistics, making copies of passports and other important documents, transitioning insurance plans, preparing for language school, buying clothes for Israel, doctors appointments, sending out family prayer cards, and our orientation with our mission organization 2 weeks ago. For security purposes, at this time, we’re not publicly discussing specific times and places of international service. However, we are glad we were able to celebrate the independence of this great nation 239 years ago once more before we depart! As we soon serve God elsewhere we will continue to pray every day for America.

We hope you’re 4th of July was wonderful!

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Our New Ministry

June 26, 2015

Since we first began our relationship, it has always been our goal that Jesus Christ might be glorified as we serve others through family ministry, by whatever means that might be. We have a deep love and care for all of the world and a real passion for those in the nations, as many have even seen in the early stages of our relationship, and our hope is that all peoples of the world would come to repentance and put their hope in the Lord, Jesus Christ. 

God has put a desire in our hearts to serve Him internationally for longer than the typical short-term mission trip, but we didn’t know yet how God would fulfill that desire in us. We were prepared for the possibility of it being years before our family would be able to make a move of that magnitude. It’s something we’ve prayed about together in an effort to seek God’s plan for our lives in His service. Earlier this year God brought about an opportunity much earlier than either of us was expecting. Several months ago a new opportunity arose for us to serve God on the mission field. Before us we had a choice to make that would undoubtedly change the trajectory of our lives forever.

As I’m sure many of you fathers can understand, I (Derick) had a huge dilemma as the provider and protector of my little family. There were definitely more “unknowns” with the international option. God was definitely testing my faith in Him by bringing about this choice in our lives. A friend of ours wisely shared that if God was leading us to serve Him abroad, we should pursue it as early as possible, to avoid a more difficult move later, when our roots are deep and we’re more comfortable in life. Ultimately, in life there is nothing more important than simply loving, following and obeying our Creator.

After much prayer and seeking Godly counsel, we realized that taking this opportunity and moving overseas in order to serve is the best option for our family. Earlier this year we shared our plans with our families and in May, I shared this decision with my manager at Wal-Mart, where I was working in the Tax department. I recently left the company and we are currently preparing to leave the US and begin our new endeavor in July. We don’t expect this new adventure to always be easy, but God never promised that following Him wouldn’t have its challenges. We are confident in knowing that there is no better place to be than in the center of God’s will for our lives. We look forward to this adventure and the joy of serving Him in this new way. We wanted to share this with you and ask for your prayers as our family makes this transition.

If you feel led to support our mission effort we would be so thankful to have you as a partner. You can give here on our website. Your prayers and your support mean so much to both of us as we begin this great new chapter in life!

To keep up with our ministry and learn how you can help check back regularly here on our website and sign up for the family newsletter.

Mother’s Day 2015 is particular special for me because Mother’s Day 2014 was almost my last with my mom. 

You have to know how this holiday went for my family and me last year, so let’s rewind to last year… My mom had recently been diagnosed with stage 4 Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, the most aggressive form nonetheless. She had been instructed to remain as isolated as possible from people because the intense chemotherapy had acted as an atom bomb on her body and her immune system had been all but completely wiped out. Jill and I were happily engaged, but we treasured every moment we could with my mom because we didn’t know if it would be our last. Mother’s day was no different. After attending services that Sunday at my childhood church, Jill, my brother Dan, and I took one of the Mother’s Day roses that were passed out and headed to my mom’s house. Upon arriving at the house, we had to leave the rose outside because even a flower could be enough to make her sick. We put our gloves and masks on to protect her, and then we finally entered the house.

A lot happened in the span of the next year. I was on a roller coaster of emotions that only accelerated as I got closer to the day I would meet Jill at the altar to be married. This year my mom is celebrating not only Mother’s Day, but also her first Mother’s Day as a grandmother. My mom’s story of battle and triumph over cancer is nothing short of a miracle, performed by the one true God, our Lord Jesus Christ, through many medical personnel to whom I am eternally grateful. I also want to say THANK YOU to all those who have been praying and are still praying for my mom. Next to my wife, my mom is the most special woman in the world to me. I am grateful for a mom who gave her children the greatest thing a mom can give, the Word of God. Growing up, she was my best example of what a Godly woman looks like.

“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.”

-Proverbs 31:10

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

I love you!