June 2018 Update

Dear family & friends,

Thank you for your ongoing partnership with us.  It is a joy to have you follow us, pray for us, and support us in this adventure that we are on.  We appreciate you a LOT.

Here is a brief recap of the past months.

March was a month of meetings in Toronto where CMA Canada leaders gather each year to talk through the big issues.  We are thrilled with what is happening with our Alliance family across Canada and around the world.

March is also birthday month in the extended Derksen family.  March 6 (our brother Rob’s birthday) came and went with both sad and happy memories (Rob died in May 2017).  Then we had the chance to celebrate Mom Derksen’s 83rd birthday as a family.

Mid March took Murray to Mexico City for board meetings with TeachBeyond Mexico and the BridgeWay North American School.  Mexico City is a thriving metropolis of 22 million (plus) people.

After Mexico City Murray traveled on to Guadalajara (where we lived from 1993-2001) for some more meetings.  It was good to reconnect with many people during that time.

We finished March with some meetings in Canmore, AB.  What a great time with leaders from BC to Manitoba, in a very nice setting…

Easter weekend is always an enjoyable family time.  Michelle’s custom is to make pasa (Easter bread), and she usually makes enough to share…

The annual Easter egg hunt is still enjoyed by our adult kids, relatives, and friends…

April held some unique experiences.  We met with our Venezuela team for a couple days at the beginning of the month.  Please continue to pray for those in Venezuela during this very challenging season in their history.

We were also able to make a trip to Cuba and Mexico City with the leadership team that we work with in Latin America.  Dr. Charles Nienkirchen was our teacher/guide as we walked through the streets of Havana and then Mexico City learning about the history of the conquistadores and the religion that they brought with them.  We learned a lot about how those events of 500 year ago continue to impact today.  Here are some snapshots of those 10 days together.


Mexico City…

Michelle carried on to Guadalajara to do training in conflict awareness and management with the seminary there…

April also saw us start another journey – Michelle’s sister Karen Braun’s return of ovarian cancer.  Karen spent 3 weeks in hospital in April, returning home at the end of April knowing that this cancer will most likely take her life.  It has been a hard journey so far, but not one that is without hope.  We would appreciate your prayers for Karen & Doug and their family as they continue to walk this uncertain road…

May started with a trip to Victoria on Vancouver Island where Michelle was taking a course…

We had some of our colleagues join us in Kelowna in May (Curtis & Linda Doell) prior to them heading to Paraguay this summer.  It is always good to host them and to spend extra long linger time in conversation.  The Doells lived on the same property in Costa Rica with us and we have been colleagues for 10 years.

Michelle spent 10 days in Toronto in May with the new workers heading out around the globe.  Here she is with a couple of them…


June started off with the General Assembly of the CMA in Canada.  It was an amazing time as an Alliance family, going deeper and finding out how we can go further on mission together…

After Assembly there was a reunion of the Hillsdale youth group from the early 80’s.  This was Michelle’s youth group…

Michelle also had the opportunity to to attend Soul Care in Airdrie after Assembly.  This was a deep time of learning and personal ministry.

The rest of June has been office time, with some family time mixed in there as well.

We appreciate you taking the time to visually walk through the last period of time with us.  Please comment as you like.  You can also check out our profile on the CMA website here.


Murray & Michelle


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