*For those in a hurry, read the underlined text!
Summer has arrived! Here in Jamaica, things don't feel too different than before with the arrival of summertime. Schools go through the end of June and the weather remains very warm (our two tell-tale signs that it's summertime in Michigan). Typically, we would see an influx of mission teams coming to CCCD at this time, but all teams have now cancelled until the fall due to the coronavirus.
Silas helping Pat submit his final assignment // Kara and some of the ladies from JDV
C O V I D - 1 9
We know your conversations and timelines are filled with news on the coronavirus, so we just wanted to give a brief update on how the pandemic is evolving here on the island.
- The work-from-home order has been lifted as of June 1, primarily in an effort to help prevent a large recession in Jamaica, although the Prime Minister has stated that if virus cases begin to escalate that measures will tighten again
- Schools are online now until the Fall
- People are encouraged to wear masks (and required by most stores) and maintain social distance
- There are no cases within the CCCD organization
- The total for cases on the island is around 580, with about 290 of those being current cases, and 9 resulted deaths on the island.
G R A D U A T I O N !
On May 11, Pat officially graduated from Western Theological Seminary with his Masters in Divinity! This is an enormous accomplishment that he has been working towards full-time for five years! We were able to have a celebration with our neighbors over dinner and special desserts, and then as a family a couple of weeks later (more below). Part of the process of becoming an ordained minister involves an oral examination with the Zeeland RCA classis (who Pat will fall under as a specialized ordained minister). Pat took part in this four hour exam over Zoom video chat on May 19, and he PASSED! (To no one's surprise) This means that when we are next in the States, Pat will be able to be ordained at our church in Zeeland. We are so incredibly proud of him!!!
Swimming with our little fish! // View from our Airbnb
F U N D R A I S I N G
Although we are fully funded for the 2020 year (all glory to God!), we have not met our monthly donor goal. We have been able to bridge this gap with generous one-time gifts that have come in for us. Ongoing commitments (regardless of size) are needed in order for us to serve on the field long-term, and we need around $1,000 in additional giving per month to reach our goal.
→ Would you consider partnering with us on a monthly basis? Visit www.pkbloemendaal.com/give for more information, or reach out if you have any questions!
V A C A T I O N
We had the opportunity to take a long weekend away as a family! We were able to find an incredibly affordable Airbnb that had not been occupied since February (due to the coronavirus) on the north coast of the island. We spent three nights at the house swimming in the pool, enjoying air conditioning, grilling, and walking the beautiful grounds. This was a special time to celebrate Pat's graduation and Mother's Day for Kara.
S I L A S
Silas is now nearly nine months old, and is officially crawling and pulling up! He loves exploring all around the house, and we are making very good use of our baby gates... He has a newfound love for dogs, and continues to love being read to and sung to. His favorite phrase is "mama", and you can expect him to reach peak excitement anytime Pat walks into the room! We are just so proud to be his parents!
J A M A I C A N I S M S
Light switches are often placed on the outside of the room they connect to! This can sometimes lead to having the lights turned off on you while using the bathroom... :(
Double rainbow outside our house // Our family at the Airbnb
- Praise for our family's health! Our immediate family and extended family have managed to stay healthy from the coronavirus, and we do not take this for granted.
- Praises for receiving some rain in this drought! Prayer for continued rain as we enter into especially hot months
- Continued health for our family and the residents in the Jamaica Deaf Village
- For the Spring Hope 2020 campaign by CCCD to help supplement funds that are missed by canceled teams due to coronavirus (more information here)
- Safety and health for all of the Deaf students, but specifically those home from school in homes where their deafness may be unwelcome
- For national leaders both in the US and Jamaica, that they make wise and educated decisions surrounding reopening society