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Come Full Circle

Derington family photo

Do you ever look back on your life and see how God made everything come full circle? For Traci Derington who was born in Thailand due to her parents’ ministry, she has seen how God brought her back many years later to serve in full-time ministry in Chiang Mai with her husband Nick, and their children. 

Traci’s parents served in a hilltribe near Mae Hong Son, where Traci spent the first nine years of her life. She had attended NTEC (the school that was to become Grace International School years later) before moving back to the States. Traci says, “I told myself that I was never going back to Thailand ever again.” She then laughs. “But God had other plans because in 2004 my parents invited me to volunteer at Grace. The Lord really used that experience to transform my heart for Thailand and I began wanting to come back long-term.” Coming back to Thailand during the World Race solidified that decision, especially after meeting Nick who also felt drawn to the country during his own run of the World Race. But God kept on telling them to wait…and wait…and wait…and finally released them to go in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic! 

Through all the hurdles, Traci and Nick, along with their four kids, landed in Chiang Mai in the fall of 2019. Nick is currently serving as the Digital Media Specialist in the Communications Department—filling in many gaps with his strong media background—at Grace International School where their oldest three kids attend. The couple are hard at work in tackling the intimidating task of learning Thai so that they can better reach the locals. They see the importance of Business as Mission and their desire is to equip local believers so that they can be a light to others through their work. 

“Looking back, it’s amazing to see how things have come full circle in how God has brought me back to Thailand. I can even relate to my children as a TCK (Third Culture Kid). I’m so thankful that because of Grace, my kids can grow and blossom both academically and spiritually alongside other kids like them, and it allows us room to breathe and focus on what God has, for such a long time, called us to do.”

Grace International School is thankful for this family and can’t wait to see what future plans God has for them to impact Thailand.