Derrick was my cousin, friend, and close brother in Christ.
We grew up together going to the same church and the same school. I don't remeber elemntary school too much, but I do remember high school. In high school Derrick and I were part of the group that hung out in the art room at lunch time, having arm wrestles and playing cards. During this time I was kind of a loner and Derrick was involved in teasing me from time to time. We have since confronted that fact and made amends with eachother. In high school Derrick was a very bright student, we were all jealous of him in math class because it came so easily to him. He was also extremely skilled at art class. The Lord blesssed him with with intelligence and strength.
After High School he continued to work for his father's landscaping company while taking courses at the University College of the Fraser Valley. He would contiunue his post secondary education at The King's University College in Edmonton. During his post secondary years he also took the opportunity to explore the world, visiting northern Canada, Holland, Europe, Austrailia, and Israel. He has jumped out of an airplane from the heavens and dived into the depths of the sea. During this time of exploration he grew as a person gaining wisedom and truth.
When I arrived in Edmonton to attend TKUC, Derrick opened up his house to me and gave me a roof over my head during my first two years at TKUC. He had already been there for awhile. Despite our not so perfect past we grew to appreciate eachother and became very good friends. We lived together, ate together, went to church and school together.
Together we formed a bible study where our friends could gather and grow spiritually together. With Derricks help, that bible study became one of the most memorable groups of my life. I am so thankful to have met the friends I did through that group. I am thankful that this group was able to play matchmaker and have a few marriages result from it.
Eventually Ifelt called to re-enter prison ministry in Edmonton as I had when I lived in Abbotsford going to the Burnaby Open Custody Center. I wanted to continue this important ministry of visiting young offenders in prison. I wanted to give the rest of my bible study the opportunity to grow spiritually through serving others. I am very forunate that Derrick was very supportive of the prison ministry and was with me every step of the way. Together we prepared our group to enter the Edmonton Young Offenders Center and lead services as we had experienced it before in Burnaby. The people we met at EYOC became very important to us both. There were times in the prison ministry where I became frustrated with trying to lead a group on my own. I asked God for a helper and He gave me Derrick, a dependable, trustworthy, wise, loving, caring man. I could not ask for a better companion going into such a place. If I ever felt that the task of leadership was too much to handle, I could depend on Derrick to take over while I recovered. Derrick was a man who loved the Lord, always seeking for truth and righteousness. He always examined his life and disciplined himself to live how God wanted him to live. I remember a few weeks ago he felt frustrated that he was spending too much time on his computer, on facebook. So he chose to seperate himself from media in general so that he could be closer to God and avoid getting addicted by it.
During our time here at TKUC we both grew and I reallt looked up to Derrick. God has surely blessed him with many Christ like qualities and I am honoured to have fought the battle alongside him.
I feel for his family. His mom and dad. I can't imagine what they are going through right now. I pray comfort over them and wisdom so that they may understand. Lord, surround them with your Holy Spirit. Surround them with your love. Surround his family, his friends, his schoolmates, his co-workers. Please Lord give us wisdom and comfort.