Derek was raised in a Christian family in Detroit, Michigan. He joined the Navy in 1983 where he found Christ on his first submarine patrol and started attending a non-denominational Christian church. His walk was challenging as he fell away several times. Feeling the Lord tugging at him for quite some time in his later years, he eventually accompanied his daughter on a short-term mission trip to Guatemala in 2013. While there, he heard the Lord speak to him and so made the decision to finally listen and become a missionary. Upon returning to his home town of St. Clair, MI, he left his job and, married Mimi Sinay, and moved to Guatemala to serve the Lord.
Mimi is from Guatemala City and also comes from a Christian family whose parents are Pastors. Upon graduating from high school, she studied literature at San Carlos University and also attended Theology School. She became a literature teacher at a high school in Guatemala and while teaching, served in several different ministry areas with teens, children, and women in local churches. Eventually God showed her a place where she now serves as a missionary in Camotán Chiquimula.