Gratitudes


Below is a collection of the thoughts shared on Derek’s facebook page, further cementing the fact that Derek had a heart for healing the broken and loving on each of us in his own way. You can add your gratitude to theirs in the comment section below.

Blake Andrew Wisz
‎2 Timothy 4:7. Derek you truly impacted my life. Though at times I have forgotten the things you have taught me now more than ever they are ringing in my ears. From my baptism, to telling me “jesus is kinda like sales” during our work duty on the missions trip, haha you have set an example of what it is like to hate sin and love God…. I can say that everytime we worshiped together I could look over at you and see you worshiping with your hands spread wide as if you were standing before the King, and now you are. You are one of the most influential people i’ve had the pleasure to share life with.

James Fry
Once, after really dealing with some sin that had been rooted in my life, Derek Taatjes pulled me aside and told me that the next time it snows to go outside. He told me to look at the way snow covers everything, the way it makes everything white. “That’s what God’s love does to sin”.

Charla Grace Bultman
Derek. I am in awe that you are with HIM, our Treasure, our Lover. And I am so glad for that. You ran the race WELL, my friend.

Pablo De Miguel Pérez-Herce
Hoy estube andando en la montaña…senti el cielo muy cerca, alli nos veremos amigo!!! Me siento feliz de haberte conocido y muy triste de haberos perdido! Algun dia volvetemos a vernos!!!

Marilyn Follick Turnipseed
Derek, our sadness is for those who are here missing you SO much…we rejoice for you and Dylan as you prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord WITH Him!!! How awesome is that!!!! A special verse keeps coming to mind as I think of you and all you have done to further the KINGDOM: “This happened that the work of God might be… displayed in his life.”. I know that is what these next few days will be….GOD glorified in the life of Derek Taatjes! We love you, have been blessed by you and are so grateful for all you’ve done AND the man after God’s own heart that you are!!! Holy Hugs to you, mt

Kim Boynton
I am sure you heard, “Well, well done good and faithful servant.” Your smile, kindness, passion and fervor for Jesus will be missed!

Jake Visser
Derek, You have been a light in a dark tunnel for many kids in the youth ministry. You left a huge impression on all of us. You finished the race strong. The Lord gives and He takes away…..

Jacquelyn Kunst
Derek thanks for everything…you were my spiritual dad…you are greatly missed…see you in heaven

Alex Shane
Derek, we won our game today and i was thinkin of you throughout it. you loved sports and were one of the most competitive guys ive ever met. thank you for having such an impact on my road to Christ as you have had with many many others. we all love and miss you.

Annie Ostrander
I only wish I could tell you in person how much you impacted my life (though words could not do it justice) as you served God and as He worked through you…I thank the Lord for the privilege of knowing you, my dear brother in Christ.

Kimberly Bulthuis Klaver
A man with a deep, deep heart for the Lord..a passion for every single person to fall on their faces before their creator God and proclaim Him as King of their life. Thank you for that passion, Derek! May God be glorified through your life well lived seeking His face and in your home-going.

Courtney Stevens Kerry
There are few people in life that you remember the very first time you saw them. 16 years ago you literally burst into my life (wearing an electric pair of patched madras shorts and Teevas) in the hallways of FHN and we’ve been playing leap frog ever since. I have been so abundantly blessed to be your friend, neighbor and student, no… matter if it was in high school, Chicago or Mayfield. And through your marriage to Charity, you’ve given me a friend like no other. Derek, thank you for being untamable, lovable, a disciple, and always a shoulder. We love you and your family so very much and miss you just as much too.

Jordyn Danae Rauser
Wow, where to begin Derek. You played a huge roll in my life. You showed me what it was to love people to trust that God is our only purpose! You were a great example what a family and husband and wife to be like. You will be missed so much but go home to be with Jesus and shed no more tears or sarrow but be happy forever! Thank you for helping me out of my struggles and pulling me away from a horrible background you have impacted my life so much. you will never be forgotten…. rest in peace.

Benjamin Lee Miller
Derek Taatjes.. you were always there for me… through thick and thin.. you helped me grow, and kept me on my feet even when i felt the world was closing to an end.. i feel blessed and privileged that you re-birthed me with my baptism… you will be missed greatly… love always..

Maddie Huegli
I am so thankful to have had you in my life these past four years. I opened to James today because it was my favorite book you taught on, and seeing writing scribbled all over the pages of that book made me realize how much you taught me and the impact you and those Sunday nights have had on my life. Thank you for pouring your heart…

Joel Vanklompenberg
mighty man of God

Beth Hicks
I feel so blessed that I was able to learn so much from you during high school. You have been one of the most influential people in my life, and you helped ignite a true passion for the Lord in my heart. Every time I heard you speak, I was challenged and motivated to seek harder after the Lord. I was walking around campus today at Taylor, and I was reminded that you and Charity were one of the reasons I chose to go to TU. I’m so glad to be attending the college you graduated from. I can’t wait to see you in Heaven and worship with you and your huge wingspan once again!

Travis Johnson
As much as we loved this man, God loves him more, so much that he is now with our Lord in Heaven. As much as this guy loved us, God loves us more, and his life and ministry constantly reminded us of that. I never spent much time one on one with Derek, but i still felt like i knew him as well as a brother. His Integrity, Transparence and Passion for Christ are 3 things Derek taught me through example. Thank You.

Emily Faletti Rolls
I praise God for your testimony and the impact that you have had on Kris and I. You will be greatly missed, we love you and we will see you again one day.

Gerald Owen Longjohn
I am forever thankful for the short time I knew you. I will see you in heaven someday, and I wanted to express my sorrow for the rest of the Taatjes family.

Joshua Hess
I havent spoke you you in a long time, but you really helped me through a lot when i started to attend youth group, rest well, you will be missed.

Barb Bloem Lomasney
Derek, You touched our kids lives in so many ways. You showed them by example how to know Christ more and how to walk in his ways. Now you walk on Streets of Gold!

Chris Ford
Derek, God called you and Dylan home last night. Your work on this earth is done. You leave behind a lasting legacy. Your love for life, God and everyone remains. We love you Derek and Dylan. You are missed.

Kyle Matthew Bos

DROCK…may this song sung here on earth (as you remembered so well at the college retreat years ago) be sung by you this day, arms raised, in the presence of the risen Christ! Love you brother…your work here was not in vain! Alleluia.

Derek DeGraaf
Derek, I know God will use this to draw out others unto salvation. Your testimony is an amazing example of Christ’s mercy and grace. Your family will always love and miss you, and will be taken care of… What an encouragement to know you and your son are now with Jesus.

Shanna Johnson
You ignited fires. You made me bold because of your intense belief in the Almighty King, forever I will remember this. Praise Jesus for putting you in my life and in the lives of so many people. You have created in me the steadfast believe that God is all that is worth living for he, is life, and in Him death has lost its sting. Derek you will be missed but, we will soon be dancing with you.

Coryn Rauser
thank you so much derek.you were a huge impact on my life as well as others.you helped me out of darkness so many times,your name will be passed on through generations to come.you portrayed jesus so well.i love you.hope you and dylan are havin fun, laughin with jesus.

Jeffrey Black
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. My friend, you have built mighty foundations under them. God bless and see you soon.

Luke Macdonald
derek, you fought the good fight. finished the race. kept the faith. —-

Jake Walczak
see you soon, son of the Living God.

Accel Monroe Paramour
You did well Derek. You ran the race hard and crossed the finish line. We cannot wait to see you once more.

Jake Blakeney
You finished the race well, brother!

Faith Van Enk
well done.

Daniel Andres
Derek, my brother….you will be missed! You were passionate and intense! Your love for God and hate for sin has forever impacted my life. I know you are in Heaven with your arms stretched to the skies, praising the God you longed to be with.

Amanda Joy Gilbert
All morning I was struggeling with the question to why God would take a man that has influenced and impacted so many peoples lives… Your passion, your brokeness, your willingness to not be “comfortable” in this world and your desire to see people REALLY living out their faith. Knowing if they were to die today.. that they would know…

Abby Taylor
From all of us in the youth ministry: we love you and thank you for showing us Christ in everything you did.
You baptized my sister and saved my best friend. Thank you for everything.

Shawn Sterk Tol
Your love for God, your family , life and people was so evident and contagious. What a blessing you were here on earth…you have finished the race fought the good fight and were a faithful servant of God. May the Lord be glorified in all of this…until we meet again in the presence of our Lord and Savior.

Tom Vanderson
Thank you for bringing Christ into the life of so many young people, we will miss you. See you in heaven.

Dave Cook
To the Taatjes’ family, I’m so sorry to hear about your losses. Words cannot heal your pain, but only God’s hands can comfort you at this time. He was a great man, great friend growing up, and a great father Ihm sure. Peace and blessings to you all.

Joel Sonnenberg
Heard the news. I miss you man and already miss your beautiful smile and love for the Lord! Heaven now beholds what we could only get a glimpse of.

sara v
Derek was a man after gods heart. He loved everyone he came in contact with. He was such a blessing to the body of Christ. He will be greatly missed but we can rest in knowing that he is in heaven with our father. Thanks Derek for showing Christ love and compassion to everyone you talked to. Peace and encouragement be with the family.

Rj Regan
You will be sorely missed Derek.

Jim Garringer
Derek and family, there are just no words to express the sorrow we feel today. Charity, the family and all of those who know and love him are in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.

KarenMark Kuiper
Derek, thank you for letting Jesus’ light shine through you these past years. You will be missed by many. May this bring an opportunity for the rest of us to share the Good News about Heaven and about the hope found in loving and following Jesus. Just think – you’re getting to show Dylan the Heaven you’ve been telling him about. What a joyous morning for you.

Jim Zuidema
I love you man and will miss you! see you in Heaven….


3 Comments

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  3. Andrew Sisson

    Derek, You’ve been rocking me this past month deeply convicting me in ways I need to be more like Christ, ways I need to serve Lindsay more, ways I need to be more bold about the gospel, and ways I need to live a life of repentance. Derek you lived a life that regularly points me to Christ. Thank you brother. Love you man

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