Fall deputation plans

Hello friends! I mentioned in our last update that we were hoping to make a trip to the US this summer to raise additional support. Lord willing, we will be traveling to the States in the middle of August, and we plan to be there for two months. We are praying that the Lord will allow us to fill the stay with meetings in new churches. We have had a few churches show interest in having us come to present our ministry, so we’re looking forward to the chance to meet new friends and new ministry partners! I have an online calendar set up here and we’re gradually filling it up with meetings and trips.

This trip will be very different though in that this will be the first time I leave as the pastor of a church. Raquel and I don’t have any co-workers, so it makes leaving the field much more complicated. As difficult as it will be to be away from my church members for two months, we’re grateful that the two nearest independent Baptist churches in our area will be taking over services for us in the meantime. And praise the Lord for WhatsApp and live streaming technology which will allow us to stay in constant contact with our people!

One of the reasons that led us to plan this trip was the decision for Raquel to stop working at her pharmacy. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, as Raquel has a wonderful relationship with everyone there, but we decided it was necessary for her to step back some so we both wouldn’t be stretched quite as thin. We will both be able to spend more time doing the work of the ministry this way. We have no doubt God will replace the income she’ll leave behind in leaving her job. Thankfully I have so many people contacting me for English classes that I’m having to turn some down. But I’ll be teaching more students this next year than any previous year!

The pharmacy where Raquel has worked for 5 years.

In related news, Raquel and I are expecting our 2nd child, due this December! We are ecstatic, and so of course is our church family! But please pray for Raquel as we’ll likely be doing a whole lot of driving during this trip, and she will be 7 months pregnant by the time we finish. Traveling can be very tiring under the best of circumstances, but we expect it will be more so with a hyperactive ball of energy and a pregnancy! We’re trusting the Lord to give strength and wisdom during our travels.

Another Bonikowsky on the way!

As for the church ministry, please pray for one of our believers who’s going through some especially difficult times here. His family is unsaved and he has a lot of complexities to deal with. Please pray as well for 3 other young believers who have recently joined the church. I’m doing weekly Bible studies with them, and they seem genuinely interested in spiritual growth.

Thank you so much for your prayers! We’re looking forward to seeing some of you this fall! And to finish, I’ll add here some of the information I’ve been sending to churches as we try to raise support. If you know of any churches that would be interested in having us visit, please let us know!

Ministry description video on Youtube

God bless, David
Ps. 34:3

A Whole Bunch of Firsts!

Thank you as always for your prayers! We need them, probably more than ever before! 2021 has started off being incredibly busy. It’s of course a tremendous responsibility and challenge to be the sole pastor of my church for the first time. Of course, being a first-time parent comes with its own set of responsibilities and challenges (I’m trying to write this from the floor of my living room, where after every 2 or 3 words I have to grab Leire to protect something from her, or her from herself). Raquel and I are both working a lot, so life is a constant juggling act!

Leire is really trying to help me write this update

First of all, I want to ask you to pray with Raquel and me as we trust the Lord for some more financial support. We are both willing to work as here as much as is necessary to keep serving the Lord here. We’ve been doing this for years, but the cost of living is steep, and as we’re only about 50% supported through our mission board, we expend a lot of time and energy in secular jobs, which I believe we could spend more effectively in evangelism and discipleship. We would love to make a trip to the USA this summer to raise more support, if there are churches willing to have us present our ministry. If you know of a church that might be willing to have us come and present our ministry, please let us know!

I am very excited about how the Lord is blessing at church. We have hopefully passed the worst of the lockdown measures, and things are slowly getting closer to normal at church. This Sunday we resumed our coffee/fellowship time before the morning service, which was something everyone sorely missed. There is a great spirit of companionship between the brothers at church (and yes, I just say brothers because, while we’re grateful for the men who are a part of our church, we’re really praying that God will bring some women to the ministry as well!).

During the worst of the lockdown measures, I would go out and meet our members in their cities, since they couldn’t come physically to church (praise the Lord for internet options!). If it coincided with Raquel’s work schedule, I’d bring Leire with me, which is something nobody ever complains about. These discipleship moments are, of course, critically important for our believers. One of our men, Iñaki, wants to get baptized soon. So we met at church and painted the baptistry together as a project. We don’t have a date for the baptism yet, but Lord willing, as soon as we’re able, I’ll be doing my first baptism.

I’ve also been trying to spend time with one of the friends I met in Basque classes in 2020. We meet as often as both our schedules allow. I’ve been able to share the gospel with him, and he’s open to conversations about God. He’s usually working on Sundays, but he’s promised to come to church some week when he’s able. Last week, Raquel and I went out for a picnic with him and his girlfriend, which was a great opportunity!

Some great views while hiking with my friend

Raquel and I have kept on making music videos in Spanish, as time permits (I average 40-50 hours for each of these music videos). We recently produced a Christmas song and an Easter song. It’s always a blessing to receive pictures from people in churches around Spain where they play the songs as special music for their holiday services! The most recent song was Consumado (The Victory is Won).

Raquel has started a new ministry using Facebook and Instagram’s “stories”. They’re short video clips that are really popular nowadays with young people. She records herself daily reading a daily devotional though and posting it on social media for people to watch. They’re of course in Spanish, but if you want to get them, you can add her on Facebook or Instagram.

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Daily thoughts from a devotional book shared on social media

Thank you again for your prayers!

God bless,
David Bonikowsky
Psalm 34:3