It’s Never Too Late – Derek and Pam Helt

Author: David Davolt
Published on: June 3, 2020

Alumni Derek and Pam Helt

Boise Bible College not only equips servant leaders to serve the church for a lifetime, often life-time relationships are forged at Boise Bible College. Relationships are grown in the classroom, eating meals together in the cafeteria, studying late at a restaurant, hanging out on campus, or traveling with a camp team. Sometimes it’s just legacy and you have little choice but to accept fate!

Derek (BA’89) and Pam (Baimbridge, BA‘91) Helt met at BBC during their freshman year. Derek was the first in his family to attend BBC, but Pam’s family had a long history there. Her grandfather, LeRoy Miller, served on the board for several years and her parents, Ted and Sharon (Miller) Baimbridge met as students there. The legacy continued when Derek and Pam’s daughter, Natalia (BS’12), attended BBC and met her husband, Justin Werber (BA’12).

They made lifelong friends during their time as students at BBC and are grateful for the education they received. The matter-of-fact way Kenny Beckman presented the Bible was great for setting a foundation of Biblical literacy for new students. His daily requirement for reporting how much time was spent studying for the class helped his students realize that this is not a church camp, but a place where students must invest in order to succeed. It also gave him a great opportunity to call out those who chose to “court” rather than study, which was his go-to accusation whenever a student reported no study time.

Derek and Pam appreciate the academic requirements and organizational skills of both Dale Cornett and Chuck Faber. They also appreciate the fact that both of these men presented several views on a theological topic before announcing which one they currently held and why this is their belief. Frequently, lectures included phrases such as, “I used to believe A, but now I think there is merit to B.” They are great examples of healthy leaders who are lifelong learners with an ever-evolving faith.

Life After Boise Bible College

Derek and Pam were married after their sophomore year. While they were students at BBC, they spent a summer in Argentina on a mission internship with Team Expansion. They fell in love with overseas missions and had a desire to return to Argentina as full-time missionaries after graduation. However, circumstances kept that from happening and they spent 21 wonderful years serving in 2 churches (in Gallup, New Mexico and Newport, Oregon) as they raised their two daughters, Natalia and Emily.

As Derek and Pam were approaching the empty nest stage of their lives, Derek was invited to accompany an elder from his church on a trip to Cambodia. During that trip, Derek spent some time at an aftercare home for girls who had been rescued from sex trafficking. The desire to serve in overseas missions was rekindled and in February 2014, Derek and Pam moved to Cambodia to work full-time with Agape International Missions (AIM), a Christ-centered organization that has developed a very holistic approach to fighting sex trafficking through prevention, rescue, restoration, and reintegration.

Much of AIM’s work is done in Svay Pak, an area on the outskirts of the capital city, Phnom Penh. Svay Pak was once known as the epicenter for child sex trafficking in Cambodia. AIM dreamed about changing this reputation and brought a full-time presence into the village, beginning with hiring a Cambodian pastor and youth pastor to open a church, from which came a variety of ways to meet needs in the community. Derek currently works in staff care and development at AIM School in Svay Pak, a school that exists to help approximately 600 students from very difficult family situations realize a promising future. The school also trains Cambodians to fill all of the roles required to run a school. It has a staff of about 120 Cambodians, and Derek works to provide ongoing support for them. He also teaches English, Bible, and practical skills to the staff.

Pam currently works as Teams and Tours Coordinator, communicating with churches and other organizations who send short-term missions teams to serve with AIM. In 2019, AIM hosted 50 teams. She loves spending time with these partners both before they arrive on the field and meet them while they are in Cambodia, though once they arrive, her Cambodian colleague becomes their main point of contact.

Derek and Pam love this new season in their lives and can see that the foundation they received at BBC and experiences at their subsequent ministries has helped to prepare them for their current work in Cambodia. In addition to the wonderful people they work with at AIM, they have developed relationships with other missionaries and with Cambodian nationals and find all of these relationships to be very rewarding as they strive to simply love God and love people. They encourage others to be willing to allow God to stir a new ministry focus or to rekindle an old dream no matter their age. They feel that they are proof that starting over is not only possible but very exciting!

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