January 13 – Jared and Abby experienced being on a radio station for the very first time this Friday morning! We enjoyed discussing the upcoming marriage conference that was taking place that same night and answering several questions from viewers/listeners. Pastor Look said this radio cast was one of the most listened to that he’s ever had! Questions just kept coming in and we ended up being on the radio for about 1.5 hours! We had such a fun time and were blessed to be part of this ministry while in Curaçao! .
The marriage conference was attended by 50+ people (churchgoers, radio listeners and friends of friends). Pastor John did an AMAZING job facilitating and could’ve spoken until midnight . . . but unfortunately ran out of time by 9:30pm (and we kept stretching the time). I can’t wait for us to possibly do this marriage conference when we get home! The material of the Life Center and book at absolutely spot-on and we pray that it has changed the lives of many who attended (we already have heard many people comment about how it has and will be changing their marriage which is such an answer to prayer)! The material was based on information he was taught by the Life Center, along with excerpts from the book “Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti” by Bill & Pam Farrell.
January 14 – Game Night with some of the youth at Grace Connection
✝️Last Sunday at Grace Connection Church 🇨🇼
Our last Sunday was very, very bittersweet. 😭 We had a wonderful morning service full of praise and worship songs, encouraging words from many church members, prayers for our future ministry in Bonaire, many many tears shed, testimonies, and of course, a fantastic sermon by Pastor John. I don’t think the service itself ended until at least 12:30, and then they had a meal planned for everyone, as well. We enjoyed the fellowship following church, sharing memories of the time spent in Curaçao (which was too short). Then, it was time to go home, sneak in a quick little nap, and then get ready for a surprise “Going Away Party” from the church leadership and their families. We had no idea what we were doing or where we were going. All they did was tell us what to bring and the time to be at a certain point on the Island.
As we got nearer to our destination, we began to figure out that we were definitely going on a boat somewhere and we already knew we were going to swim. 💦 Enjoy the pictures and video below as we celebrated with our loving church family our last night in Curaçao!
January 16 – We arrived in Bonaire late in the afternoon after a very quick flight island hopping from Curaçao to Bonaire. The only problem with flying in such a small plane is that 13 pieces of luggage and a full flight doesn’t go together very well . . . only four pieces of luggage arrived but we did receive the rest of them Tuesday morning, thank the Lord! Pastor Carlos and Denise Brunk arrived back at home just a day ahead of us and we were so happy to greet them at the airport, as well as Anthony, of course! 🙂
Our time in Bonaire has been absolutely wonderful and we have truly enjoyed getting to know the church members more, as well as many local islanders! John has enjoyed walking Anthony and Jared through a preaching class and preparing them to begin preaching some sermons at Ministerio de Grasia Bonaire. Anthony has been busy getting to know many locals, developing relationships, sharing the Gospel and even forming a Facebook Group to introduce our family and invite them to game nights here at our apartment. As Anthony stated in his update . . . “These opportunities have been nothing short of divine appointments in how God has led me to even meet these people, start a conversation with them, and then follow up. We’ve been able to have someone over for board games as well as meet with them in the city in various places. God is definitely orchestrating each of these encounters and it’s so awesome to see and be part. We already have over 55 people that have joined the group that are planning on being part of some of our weekly board game nights! Please pray for this because it is a big opportunity!! The plan is to build relationships with them and as the conversation allows, invite them to our weekly Bible studies/activities and church.”
Bonaire is a smaller, (somewhat) quieter and slower paced island. We have definitely enjoyed living near the shoreline and watching beautiful sunsets from our front porch, walking to restaurants, stores, markets and more! We’ve already met several new people at our Wednesday Game Night and through a local Ultimate Frisbee Club that the guys have been to, as well as when Anthony, John and Jared have gone out downtown some nights and just meet people on the streets or at outdoor restaurant/bar areas. It’s been very helpful that most of the Islanders speak English but also there is more Spanish and Dutch here than in Curacao. So, we’ve all taken up learning more Spanish through DuoLingo and it’s funny hearing the little “ding” sound knowing that someone in the house is working on their Spanish skills.
It’s amazing seeing how much God has worked already with making connections within the community and we’ve only been here a couple of weeks! 🙏🏼
We are all so excited to see how God is going to continue to work with our continued connections within the community, church, local schools and more! So many fun things planned during our next three months here including more game nights, Bible studies, prayer meetings, Super Bowl party, youth activities, and Lord willing, working more with a church member’s school mentoring group (I’ll share more about this in my next post). Of course, none of this would be possible without your prayers and support! We thank God for all of you and look forward to continuing to share all that He’s doing here in Bonaire!
In His Name Alone ~
Pastor John, Melinda, Mallory, Jared & Abby 💙
STAY TUNED for exciting updates about John meeting the KING & QUEEN of the Netherlands!!! 👑🇳🇱😉