*For those in a hurry, read the underlined text!
It has been a couple of busy months for us, and we are excited to share more with you about what we have been up to. Can you believe it’s been three years since we announced we were moving to Jamaica to work with the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf (CCCD)? We still can’t believe the ways people have stood behind us to give support and prayer. We want to share some big news with you about how our ministry is changing!
As you may know, CCCD’s US office is located in Zeeland, MI and we have been able to work closely with them since being in the US the past few months. We learned there are two large positions within the US office that need to be filled. We have been asked by the US office to fill these roles, and we have accepted! Pat has accepted a Vice President full-time position, which oversees mission teams, virtual teams, short-term missionaries, in addition to other responsibilities. Kara has accepted the Office Administer part-time position, which manages the US finances, handles administrative duties, and oversees the functioning of the rest of the office. Kara is also looking at providing counseling services in the area a few hours per week through private practice.We spent significant time in prayer over this difficult decision, and feel the Lord is calling us to use our knowledge of the ministry learned in Jamaica to now work in leadership roles with CCCD in the US. This means that our family will be moving from Jamaica to West Michigan. 2022 will largely be a year of transition between the move, exiting and entering cultures, and beginning new roles within CCCD. We plan to travel to Jamaica in January for a couple of months, as well as over the summer.
We also want to share about the logistics piece related to our fundraising. We will continue to be missionaries to the Deaf in Jamaica, and thus will continue fundraising our income with a similar annual budget. We want to ask you to prayerfully consider one-time or monthly support of our ministry.
For current supporters - Our funds will continue to be housed at Community Reformed Church through the end of 2022, and then we will fully move our funds to be housed with CCCD. We'll be in contact directly when this change is going to take place.
For new supporters - As our funds will be housed with CCCD long-term, we are now pointing all future giving to CCCD's website (be sure to select "US Office Staff" under Gift Preference, and write "Bloemendaal" in the comment section).
We want to ask for your prayers as we move forward with this transition:
- Praise for the Lord’s provision and timing, that is always perfect, even when we don’t understand
- Praise for finding and purchasing a home in Zeeland, MI in a not-so-friendly market -- huge shoutout to our incredible realtor, Dave Guerink with Keller Williams Harbortown.
- For the many feelings we have (both grief and excitement, to begin with)
- For this change within the ministry, both Jamaica-side and US-side
- For the relationships we have formed in Jamaica to withstand the change and distance
- For the logistics of moving our life to the US (such as when we will return to Jamaica to pack, move, sort, and sell belongings)
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your continued support of our family. YOU help make our ministry to the Deaf possible, YOU are furthering God’s love and kingdom in the world. If you would like to set up a time to talk more in-depth about this transition, or if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
All news aside, we also wanted to provide updates on a few areas:
F A M I L Y
Two competing truths: We still can't believe we're a family of four (and parents of two), but we also can't remember life before Gianna! It has been an incredibly sweet few months full of adjustment, learning, and so much love. Silas turned TWO in September, and Gianna is nearly three months old now! Silas continues to love being a big brother and is never short on hugs and kisses for his sister. We're incredibly thankful for this in the midst of everything else going on. We are closing on our new house in Zeeland this week and we're super excited! It's been such a gift to be able to spend quality time with family and friends, enjoy Michigan rain and shine, and look toward what God has for our future as a family and in ministry.
C O V I D I N J A M A I C A
Over the last two months, rates of COVID in Jamaica peaked at 41% (for reference, the highest rates have been in the US since the beginning of the pandemic is 13%). Fortunately, we're seeing that number decline now. CCCD has seen cases in the past few months among students and staff, but has not experienced any fatalities within the immediate ministry. As of October 11, the Kingston campus officially welcomed back students for in-person learning. Other campuses are requiring vaccines for in-person, and have begun to see a slow trickle of students returning. Many residents at JDV have received the vaccination, and we are hopeful to see many mission teams return in the 2022 year! If you or someone you know is interested in bringing a team, learn more here. CCCD will also continue to host virtual teams - learn more about those here!
N E W S L E T T E R S
In light of our work and geographical changes (and, to be honest, having two kids) we are going to be changing from monthly newsletters to quarterly newsletters, beginning in the 2022 calendar year.
All our love -
Pat, Kara, Silas, and Gianna