Nick Derington grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and later spent time in Washington, DC. Traci Derington was born (to American parents) in Mae Hong Son, Thailand and moved to the US at the age of 9. It seemed unlikely we would cross paths in life but we did, and ten years into our marriage we are pursing our hearts to see the Kingdom advanced in SE Asia.
2008 - We met when our paths crossed serving with Adventures in Missions (AIM) on a trip called the World Race -- an 11 country, 11 month mission trip to share the love of Jesus and serve others around the world. Traci had just returned from the World Race and was serving on staff with AIM and Nick was preparing to launch on his own trip. We chose to begin dating, despite knowing we would be apart for the next 11 months.
2009 - At seven months into Nick's race our paths crossed for one week in eSwatini, Africa (formerly Swaziland) and we got engaged. We were married later that same year--less than a week after Nick returned from his race--and we moved to Cincinnati to participate in a growing community of believers. Traci remained on staff with AIM, remotely, and we began discussing plans to move overseas long-term to serve.
2011 - The birth of our first child--Elam Atticus Derington.
2013 - Just before the birth of our second son--Greyson Fierce Derington--we, along with our son Elam, traveled to Thailand to survey various ministries taking place. We were confident the Lord was calling us to Southeast Asia but lacked a sending church and an organization to partner with, and felt the Lord asking us to wait.
2015 - We welcomed our first daughter--Moriah Cosette Derington. In that same year we began attending Grace Fellowship Church, which quickly became our church home. We also joined a team they were preparing to send to Southeast Asia. We studied and trained as a team in preparation to go to the field.
2017 - Our fourth child--Arcadia Wren Derington--came into our lives. After almost three years of starts and stops the whole SE Asia endeavor with our home church was placed on an indefinite pause. We bought a house, we rested, we grew as husband and wife, we connected on a deep level with our four kids, and we prayed for guidance and direction.
2018 - Through lots of prayer and a series of confirmations from the Lord we felt Him say, "Now is the time to go!" We reached out to our remaining contacts in Thailand and started to pursue a missions organization.
2019 - We joined staff with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) and were commissioned as full time missionaries. We have since been in the process of building a ministry partnership team in preparation to launch.
Upcoming - We plan to relocate to Chiang Mai, Thailand in the summer of 2020 and step into on-going ministry with Cru.
Thailand sits at the center of Southeast Asia, surrounded by Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia, with China just to the north. Millions of people cross its borders each year.
While a spiritually open country, roughly 85% of Thais still hold to Buddhist teachings, while less than 1% are evangelical.
Missions work has taken place in Thailand for over 200 years with slow growth. Over the last ten years there has been a shift in the culture and greater disillusionment in the majority religion, paving the way for more consistent growth in the gospel.
However, of the 114 known people groups in Thailand, 79 of them are still considered unreached. This means roughly 88% of the Thai population currently has little-to-no chance of hearing the gospel.
But...because of the foundation God has laid through faithful workers we are now beginning to see second and third generation Thai believers stepping in to full time ministry, and the gospel spreading into these "unreached" parts of Thailand and SE Asia.
Our family will be serving in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Considered the largest city in the mountainous north with a population exceeding 200,000.
Cru's ministry focus is four-fold: campus ministry, church planting, leader discipleship, and digital strategies.
In addition to outreach and discipleship, Nick will be stepping into an operational leadership position with Cru with the aim of expanding the existing infrastructure to support the growing ministry. He looks forward to leveraging his fifteen years of corporate experience with project management, marketing, software development, and finance for the Kingdom.
Though born to American parents, Traci holds a Thai birth certificate. This will enable her to work toward establishing dual citizenship once we land in-country. Having dual citizenship gives us permanency in Thailand and will open further doors to serve in the country long-term. Traci will also be involved in relational ministry through outreach and discipling new and growing believers.
Our children--Elam (8), Grey (6), Moriah (4), and Wren (2)--have all made the long journey to and from Southeast Asia and have experience first hand. They are excited to participate in ministry and we see them as key players.
As a family we value prayer. We have found as we progress in this process it is crucial to have more individuals involved in praying for us and the ministry. Please consider partnering with us in prayer in the following ways:
Provision—that God would bring about the right ministry partners and that appointments would be fruitful
Endurance—preparation can be an exhausting season, and we want to pace our family well
Family—that we would have a “same team” mentality within our marriage and with our littles
Connection—that relationships would begin to form now with our team in Thailand