Friesens 2024

FRIESEN, Derryl and Karen

Southeast Asia

Derryl and Karen were born in Canada but have lived most of their lives as global citizens around the world; in Mexico, USA, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Kenya, Europe, South Africa and now Southeast Asia.

As young children, they separately began their journeys as “Missionary Kids” in Mexico, doing Wycliffe’s iconic Jungle Camp along with their parents. Serendipitously, both families then took up their first assignments in Papua New Guinea, where Derryl and Karen first met.

While growing up in PNG, both Derryl and Karen felt the clear call of God to serve Him in missions. After completing high school in PNG, both returned to Canada where Derryl trained as a journeyman cabinetmaker. They married in September 1982 and then joined Wycliffe Canada in August 1988.

Two years later, they took up their first assignment in Kenya, Africa (1990-1998) along with their two small children, Shane and Carissa. Derryl used his trade to help build the Ruiru Bible Translation and Conference Centre. There in Nairobi, their youngest son, Zachrie, was born.

When Derryl and Karen returned to Canada, they had the joy of helping establish and lead Wycliffe Canada’s NextGen Ministries team. For 13 years, they helped mobilize young Canadians for missions through fresh innovations like Café Wycliffe, Race to 2025 adventure events and discovery trips to Sudan, Kenya, and Nepal.

Since 2013, Derryl and Karen have served in Thailand as Wycliffe Canada’s Southeast (SE) Asia field partner liaisons. One of their key roles is to continue fostering multiple, long-term Kingdom Friendships between partners in Canada and Bible translation and related projects in Southeast Asia.

Derryl and Karen praise God for the faithful team they serve along side in Southeast Asia; both those whom they helped recruit during their time in  Canada, as well as the many young, motivated national workers being mobilized from within the Southeast Asia region.

In 2022, Derryl and Karen celebrated 40 years of marriage and 34 years with Wycliffe. They praise God that all three of their married children and spouses continue to love and serve the Lord. They are especially delighted that these faithful couples have blessed them with 10 precious grandchildren!