A Year in Review

    January Newsletter

    *For those in a hurry, read the underlined text!

    Happy New Year! We, like everyone else, are eager to enter into a new year and are excited for what this one holds in store. As of January 5, we have officially been living in Jamaica for one year! We have tried to find the words to express our profound gratitude for your support in our ministry here, but continue to come up short. What we will say is, we have a community surrounding us like no other, and we would not be where we are today without your and God's help. We continue to be amazed by you all.

    G I V I N G   U P D A T E

    We were able to get a fuller picture of our giving in 2020, and thought we would share a bit about that with you all. So many individuals and families took financial blows this past year, that any giving in our account was so appreciated and coveted - thank you. We did come up approximately $10,000 short for our annual budget in 2020. Fortunately, our spending was much lower than budgeted due to the pandemic, but we want to ask if you would consider a monthly or one-time gift as we enter into 2021. We acknowledge so many are not in a place to support us financially, and we are so grateful for your continued prayers and encouragement! If you or someone you know is able, please consider checking out our giving page to see various giving options. There is truly no amount too small!

    In honor of our move-iversary, we thought we would do a (brief) year in review! It was fun for us to look back on each month of this year (we would encourage you to try it yourself!) Although the year held so much unpredictability and unprecedented territory for all of us, our family still has so much to be thankful for.


    J A N U A R Y
    We made it to our new home in Jamaica, began settling in and getting into a rhythm, and celebrated home purchases such as a kitchen table!



    F E B R U A R Y
    Some firsts this month! Pat preached for the first time here (with an interpreter) and Silas went swimming for the first time (he was so tiny!)



    M A R C H
    We made it to the ocean for the first time and coordinated our first community dinner! (then COVID hit)



    A P R I L
    April came with continued drought in the village, and we celebrated our first major holiday here - Easter! 



    M A Y
    Pat graduated from seminary!!! Although we had to cancel our trip to the US (and his graduation), we celebrated in our own way! This month we also experienced our first forest fire.



    J U N E
    Our dog Rosie was welcomed into our family this month, and we celebrated Kara's birthday!



    J U L Y
    We celebrated six months of living in Jamaica, and took a village trip to the ocean!



    A U G U S T
    We celebrated three years of marriage, and said goodbye to Jamaica for three weeks for a visit to Michigan! Silas' first Michigan summer meant a lot of firsts for him!



    S E P T E M B E R
    We closed out our Michigan trip with Silas Israel turning 1 year old, Pat being ordained, and Pat baptizing Silas!



    O C T O B E R
    We got back in the swing of things after being gone and then celebrated Pat's birthday! (Our house is the little red roof between the two buildings you see)



    N O V E M B E R
    Pat helped with a Deaf men's retreat at the village, and we celebrated Thanksgiving complete with a few Jamaican twists to our traditional dishes!



    D E C E M B E R
    The village celebrated the holidays with a Christmas party (complete with Cheeries...see below), and we were able to create some new traditions, while also utilizing FaceTime with family!


    Simply put - we are grateful. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for riding with us this past year. Again, if you are interested in financially supporting our family, please visit our giving page here or respond to this email with any questions. 
    Here's to the next year, friends!

    Pat, Kara, and Silas

    P.S. To check out a past newsletter, you can see each one on our website here


    J A M A I C A N I S M S
    Cheeries! A tradition similar to Secret Santa, but you reveal whose name you drew by acting them out in front of everyone and having people guess! Very funny, very telling - we loved getting to participate!


    Pray with us:

    - PRAISE for a whole year in Jamaica. It hasn't been easy, but it has been good.
    - PRAISE for health of our family and greater CCCD
    - PRAISE for God's grace in the holiday season while we were missing family and friends. He provided in new and creative ways.
    - ASK for the students and staff of CCCD, who plan on returning to in-person learning this month.
    - ASK for the monthly Readiness Courses Kara will be putting on for JDV residents that will begin this month
    - ASK for His name to be shared and known in new and glorious ways this year, in Jamaica and around the world!!



    Vicki Voskuil says (Jan 5, 2021):

    Hi Kara, Pat, and Silas, I currently teach at Hope College and worked with Kara's mom for many years. So excited to see what you are doing in Jamaica. Sue keeps us all informed over Facebook. I have given you a donation so just wanted to provide some info on who I was. Take care, Vicki Voskuil


    Lyn Walker says (Jan 12, 2021):

    Great newsletter, love the pictures and stories. God bless and keep you and make Himself known through you, Bloemendaal's! We love you so.

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