Wedding Plans and More!

Hello friends! I trust all is well. I have a lot of big news to communicate in this letter, so I encourage you to read through it carefully and prayerfully. If you’d like to watch the video update for this report you can watch it here.

Exactly two years ago, Amadeo was baptized in the Irun church. It was a step of obedience that he made deliberately, though somewhat fearfully, as as it meant going against his family by identifying himself publicly as a follower of Christ. In the two years since his baptism, Amadeo has grown spiritually, and is an excellent example to the believers around him. It has been a privilege to serve and disciple him, and I am excited to see how God uses him in the future. Please continue to pray for his growth, as well as the other young people involved in our youth group.

Amadeo's baptism in 2013

Amadeo’s baptism in 2013

In typical fashion, the young people celebrating Amadeo's baptism at MacDonalds

In typical fashion, the young people celebrating Amadeo’s baptism at MacDonalds

Amadeo working at the Aierdi farmhouse. He goes out to work every chance he gets now.

Amadeo working at the Aierdi farmhouse. He goes out to work every chance he gets now.

I also have some personal news that I am very excited to share with you. On September 27, Raquel Rodríguez and I got engaged to be married. I can never stop being amazed by the way God plans out the course of my life. Proverbs 3:6 says “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths,” and I can certainly attest that that promise is trustworthy,  as there can be no doubt in my mind that God has been directing Raquel’s and my paths for many years. Both of us have been involved in local church ministries since we were young. In 2012, when I returned to Spain for full-time ministry, Raquel was living in Ireland (learning English among other things!). But God arranged for us to meet last year, and since then, we’ve had ample opportunities to serve Him together, and we want nothing more than the chance to serve God together for the rest of our lives.

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A photo posted by David Bonikowsky (@bonikowsky) on

We plan to be married on May 6th, 2016. We believe that to be the Lord’s timing, but we’re depending on the Lord to provide financially for wedding expenses. After living expenses, I am not able to save any money unless the Lord provides through other means. Thankfully, He has been giving me a trickle of work through my business, Sierra Creation, and that has allowed me to move forward with plans for marriage. In addition to designing websites, I have also gotten into book publishing as a source of tentmaking income. I believe it’s a ministry opportunity, but it is also a way to support myself (and soon to be family) financially. But I’d ask you to please pray for God’s provision for Raquel and me. In reality we are depending fully on God to provide our needs.   deputation In addition to wedding planning, I am also planning to visit the United States for a few months next summer to raise more monthly support. I also want to introduce Raquel to the churches and individuals who are supporting the ministry here. If you would, please pray that the Lord would direct us to the churches He wants us to become partners in ministry with. I want to keep my time in the United States as short as possible, as it is difficult to be away from the ministry in Irun, but the Lord will need to provide direction so that our time in the US is spent efficiently. If you are a member of a church that doesn’t support me as a missionary, please consider recommending Raquel and me to your church. Feel free to forward this letter to others if the Lord leads you to do so. As always, your prayers are what need above all else. Thank you so much to everyone who has been praying, and I trust that you will continue to see the Lord blessing here in the Basque Region of Spain.

God bless!
David
Ps. 34:3

 

A Steady Stream of Blessings

I hope that this update will be an encouragement to each of you praying for me here in Spain. Not only because of what God does here, but because we both serve the same all-powerful, sovereign, omniscient God, and I am convinced He wants to do equally glorious works through each of our lives.

In my life and ministry choices I try my best to make decisions with confidence in this truth: while I remain in the center of God’s will for my life, He will supply every need and grant wisdom for each decision (See Psalm 25:12-13). That is in large part why I came to the mission field without raising support through deputation. In the past few months, that maxim has been proven true over and over again. Please allow me to share a few ways the Lord has shown His faithfulness since the last update I sent out.

I received some entirely unexpected news this month when I found out that a new church made the decision to begin supporting me and the ministry here monthly. This came about through one of those series of circumstances that only God could string together. As far as I know, I’ve never been within 100 miles of this church, and I had never had any form of contact with anyone from the church previously, but the Lord took care of all the details in connecting our two ministries. It is such an encouragement to me to see how God set this up, as it was so evidently His work and not my own. Of course the financial support is very big blessing, but I am even more blessed by yet another confirmation of God’s direction of my ministry. It is an answer to my prayers, and also to the prayers of many of you who bring the work here before the Lord on a regular basis.

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My late car/ministry work horse

Leading into my second blessing, I must mention that exactly two months ago my car definitively quit as I was leaving my neighborhood. The car, though not very old, had a quarter of a million miles logged, most of them for the ministry, and very many of them came from trips up and down the Aierdi farmhouse mountain (you who have been to the farmhouse know that those miles count for at least double!). I didn’t expect the car to last much longer, as it got such frequent use, but it was still a surprise when it broke down. However, it turns out that even in that the Lord’s timing is evident. First of all, a dear friend of mine let me know that the Lord had laid on his heart the desire to give me a sum of money he received for selling his own car. That money could go towards helping me buy a car for myself here in Spain. Providentially, he told me this before anything had even happened to my car. And second, one of the men at church recently had an older secondary car fixed, and he’s decided to lend it to me until I am able to purchase a vehicle. So once again, God has provided in unexpected ways, and is making it evident that He has a clear plan in mind.

Mikel bringing a challenge to the men

Mikel bringing a challenge to the men

Wedding of Mikel and Noemí

Wedding of Mikel and Noemí

The last blessing I have to share is about Mikel, a young adult in our church (who, incidentally, is the one lending the vehicle I mentioned). He was saved a bit over two years ago, and I’ve mentioned him in previous updates because he has never stopped showing steady growth ever since he came to church. In May he got married to Noemí, a young lady from church whose parents were saved in my grandparents’ ministry many years ago. Praise the Lord that many, many of his unsaved friends and relatives attended their wedding where they heard the Gospel preached clearly. For some time now I’ve been helping him prepare to preach, and I’m excited to say that last month he taught his first Bible challenge at a men’s prayer breakfast in church! He spoke from II Tim. 3:16-17 on the importance of studying the Word of God. It was a very good challenge. He is showing signs of maturity in Christ, and I thank the Lord for him and pray that God will use him to do great things with his life. Please pray for him as he faces intense pressure from his family, all of whom are unsaved.

God has blessed in many more ways, and continues to provide faithfully. Many of you who receive this have supported the ministry here financially, and for that I thank you and our God. I hope that my ministry and some of the blessings I have shared are an encouragement to each of you.

As far as ministry updates, I’ll share some pictures and videos at the end and include a few prayer requests in the captions.

Thank you, and God bless!
David
Psalm 34:3

 

Weekly youth activity in the mountains

Please pray for the unsaved contacts I’ve made through playing soccer

Youth activity in the mountains

Youth activity in the mountains

This is a video of the youth group singing Psalm 19 on top of the mountain overlooking Irun

Team of guys working at Aierdi

During the summer months, I come out once a week with several guys from church to work at the Aierdi farmhouse

Fencing at Aierdi

As I work with the guys we spread around doing different jobs, and I often get to spend time with them one-on-one to talk

 

Participating in special meetings in southern Spain

In June I had the opportunity to travel to southern Spain to help out in a special evangelistic event

Participating in special meetings in southern Spain

I was given the opportunity to preach the Gospel there, and by God’s grace there were quite a few unsaved visitors. Please pray for those who heard the Gospel for the first time

Part of the annual parade in the San Marciales city holiday

Part of the annual parade in the San Marciales city holiday