Derek and Kristin both grew up in the Midwest – in Neenah, WI and Mt. Pleasant, MI respectively. God started to give each of them a greater passion for missions after going on short-term mission trips (Derek to Thailand in 2001 and 2002 and Kristin to Kenya in 2000). Then, during what was supposed to be their college years, they instead chose to spend one and a half years in Lusaka, Zambia with ACTION, which is where they met. Both of them spent time working primarily with street kids and some with the HIV crisis. It was in Zambia that God gave Derek the desire to pursue a Biblical Studies degree and Kristin the desire to become a Registered Nurse. After returning to the Midwest and getting married in 2006, they soon realized that their hearts were back in Africa. They pursued various opportunities to work with HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, but none excited them like returning to Zambia and lead the C.R.O.S.S. Project.
They arrived in Zambia as career missionaries in January 2011. Since February 2015, Derek has served as the ACTION Zambia Country Director and also continues to coordinate the C.R.O.S.S. Project. Derek and Kristin have two sons, Charlie and Sam.
Derek and Kristin’s primary sending and home church is Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN. Derek holds a Bachelors of Science in Biblical Studies degree from Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL. Kristin holds an Associates of Science in Nursing (RN) from Normandale Community College, Bloomington, MN.