Contact Derek and Lauren Nelson:

Derek spent the first year out of high school in Argentina. Lauren spent a semester in Mexico during her college years. They were both transformed by their experiences abroad. Thus, after several years of college, getting married, two sales careers, and a couple beautiful children later, Derek and Lauren have joined the Global Year team. They are planning to serve their first assignment in Cape Verde, Africa to equip and disciple students while reaching Cape Verde with the Gospel!

Q&A with Derek & Lauren:

If you weren’t in ministry, what would you be doing? Why?

Derek –  I have always wanted to be a Police Officer. Being able to provide protection and safety for others who aren’t in a position to do that themselves is a big desire of mine.

Lauren – I would start my own business, maybe a small cafe or coffee shop.

Talk about how your childhood has affected your life today.

Derek – My parents taught me so much about life.  My dad is a really hard worker and provider for our family.  He also has a dry sense of humor, that I inherited and love that we laugh at the same things.   When I think of my mom, I always think of a someone who has loved to serve others.  She has always looked for creative ways to love and serve others.  When people talk about someone who would give you the shirt off their back, they are talking about my mom.

Lauren – I grew up in the church and have had so many mentors that are vital part of God working in my life. My parents taught me to work hard and my Mom always made it a point to involve us in serving others that needed help. We went on a weekly basis to help a woman whose husband had Parkinson’s disease, she was never afraid to step up and do what needed to be done to meet needs.

When did you make Jesus your Lord and Savior?

Derek – I became a christian Feb 7, 1999. My parents had divorced and a friend started inviting me to church. There, I learned about a God who was a father to the fatherless. Even though I had an earthly father who loved me, I had never realized my Heavenly father could love me in an even more intimate way.

Lauren – I began to follow Christ when I was in 7th grade and was baptized then as well. The Spirit began this work in my life when my youth pastor talked to us about the difference between being “good” and actually being a Christ follower. I decided I wanted to follow Christ, and He saved me and started changing my heart to look more like His.

Other than Jesus, who has been an influential person(s) in your life?

Derek – My wife Lauren has been the biggest blessing in my life.  She challenges me in so many ways.  I can think of dozens of conversations that we have had that are permanently recorded in my mind where she has encouraged me and said the perfect thing, at the perfect time. I replay those conversations almost daily when I need a pick me up!

Lauren – Derek (my husband) has been my biggest and best influence. Since we met in college, I admired him for his faith in Christ and dedication to serving and loving others well. He is not afraid to challenge me, admit when he’s wrong, and change directions as God leads him. He inspires me to let go of the control I think I have and allow God to work in ways that require my faith to grow.

What Bible verse best describes you?

Derek – Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Lauren – 1 Thes 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

What’s your favorite movie? Why?

Derek – Inception. Brilliant SFX, ends on a cliffhanger, moral ambiguity.

Lauren – Big Fish.  I love tall tales and it is filled with them!

Other than Jesus, who would you most like to have lunch with?

Derek – Jimmy Fallon. I love to laugh and he is a pretty funny dude.

Lauren – My great grandmother, Charlotte. I love when my mom tells me stories about her, she was a kind of “midwife” in her community and everyone knew her. I would love to hear about her life when things were a little more simple and people would sit on the porch in the evenings and “visit for a spell”.

What’s your secret ambition?

Derek -To Run a half marathon

Lauren – To be an exercise instructor.

What favorite books are on your shelf?

Crazy Love, Wild at Heart, Let the Nations be Glad, King’s Cross