July 2019 Newsletter

    Happy July, everyone!
    We are now back home in West Michigan from our four weeks in Colorado at Mission Training International. We were able to meet so many people there who are making similar transitions as us onto the mission field! We are happy to be home, but we were sad to go our separate ways around the world from our new friends.
    *Please note: photos of our cohort are limited and cropped/blurred out where necessary. This is due to many individuals and families entering the field in "closed countries" where their purpose for being there cannot be public for the sake of their safety.


    (The MTI facility and view from the back porch)

    If you followed along with our video updates (here and here), we talked about the first two weeks of training being language-focused, and the second two weeks of training being heart-focused.

    The language portion was primarily to teach us all how to learn a language, as the vast majority of people in our cohort are moving to countries that require them to learn an entirely new language (or two). We felt very fortunate that we do not have to learn a new spoken language on top of Sign Language! That did make these first two weeks less applicable to us, but we agreed that we have no idea where the Lord may call us in the future, and that knowing how to learn a new language is valuable information to have in the event that we need to!


    (Pat teaching a group to play a board game [go figure], and most of our cohort at an outdoor Sunday service we all put on)

    The heart-focused portion of the training was difficult but good. We spent time talking about conflict resolution and identifying each of our conflict styles, about stress management and what it means to take a real Sabbath each week, as well as working through the many levels of grieving that we are all going through. A few mornings even involved simulations with the cohort to explore how we respond to stress and being in uncomfortable situations.

    Another main theme that was talked about throughout the month that was very helpful to us was the idea of paradox.  This was illustrated through a "pair-a-ducks" whose names are yay duck and yuck duck (this was used with the kids as well).  What stuck out to us through this illustration was that the two ducks always swim together and we all have them - but depending on what duck is swimming in front may determine our different outlooks and emotions. What was so impactful for us is that both emotions - good and bad - are healthy and normal.  No matter what we may be feeling about missions or this journey, what is clear is that we are very excited for the call that God has for us (yay) but also sad to leave home, friends, and family (yuck). 

    We didn't want this newsletter to get too long, so if you want to talk further about anything we learned, we would absolutely love to meet and share more with you!


    (Inside visiting the Cadet Air Force Academy Chapel and us at a Denver Rockies baseball game)

    While in Colorado, we had our weekends to ourselves, so we took the opportunity to do some exploring! For our first Sunday, we decided to go to the Cadet Air Force Academy for their Sunday morning service. We were totally blown away by the chapel, as well as the service! We would highly recommend visiting if you're ever in the area. For Pat's first Father's Day, we got to go to a Denver Rockies baseball game (they lost but it was an awesome game!)


    (We stopped and saw the Garden of the Gods, and another day hiked to a watering hole in the Guffey Gorge)

    We were so grateful for the time to spend together off-campus exploring Colorado and processing the information we were learning back at MTI. Although we missed our family and friends for the month (as well as the Michigan summers we have grown up with), we felt that our time in Colorado was extremely valuable in preparing us better for the mission field.

    F u n d r a i s i n g
    As you know, we are responsible for raising 100% of our funds. As of May, we have raised approximately 46% of our annual need, and 71% of our startup costs. We would love to meet with you to talk more about this! If you are interested in giving, please check out our website at www.pkbloemendaal.com/give or reach out if you'd like to meet!
    B a b y · B
    We are now in the third trimester, and baby is as big as a pineapple (stem included!) We have been incredibly blessed with a healthy pregnancy thus far, and so appreciate your prayers throughout this new and exciting process! Baby is moving lots, especially after mom eats or is in the sunshine. Stay tuned for the reveal of the gender... :)

    W h a t ' s · N e x t
    We are now finished with our jobs as we enter the next phase of preparing to move onto the field. This looks like support-raising, language learning, and preparing to sell our house and belongings. In addition to these things, we are preparing to have a baby in September! We feel the Lord has called us very clearly into this time of unemployment and preparation as we look to what He has next for us. It is definitely weird being back and not going to work, but we are excited for what God is going to use this time for!

    Prayer requests:
    - For the Lord to continue to reveal His plans in this time of transition
    - Continued health and wellness for baby B and Kara in pregnancy
    - Any other unknown prayer requests within CCCD's administration, schools, and village


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