Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Missions Series #1: Meet the Bonhams!

Hi y'all, my internet at home is finally working which mean I can now do my missions series I've been promising!!! I want to tell you about my friends, Nate and Nikki and kids and their plans to move to Columbia with MTW (Mission to the World) very soon, AND I want to challenge you to start giving a little to missions -- hopefully to Nate and Nikki (shameless plug), but if not, to missions in general because our 20s/30s is when we should start- or even earlier! (Check out their personal blog here. Check out their missions blog here.)

a little about Nate and Nikki Bonham....

Nikki and I have been friends since the 4th grade. We both grew up at the same little church plant in Mississippi. I actually hadn't seen her in a few years because we were both in college and starting our adult lives but when I moved back to Jackson, we picked back up with being friends. Nikki is pretty easygoing and we are able to go a few weeks without visits and still pick right back up. Thats a blessing to have in a friend and I suspect its a skill that will benefit when she moves FAR away from her family and friends.

Nikki is married to Nate. They were one of those adorable couples that met in high school and got married young. Nate recently graduated from seminary and the two have spent the last year fundraising. They have two precious two year old boys- twins. Barrett and Noah. Barrett is a master planner. You can literally see the wheels in his brain turning, he's so smart, way smarter than me. Noah is bigger than Barrett and a lovable teddy bear, clearly the athlete in the family. We joke that they will be pinky and the brain. Noah will carry out Barrett's crazy schemes. The kids have travelled so much during their first two years of life for fundraising and training, etc. They are remarkably flexible and well rounded 2 year olds!! (likewise, a skill that will be great for moving to the mission field!)

Nikki has wanted to be a missionary for as long as I can remember. I've mentioned before that I attend a missions minded church growing up. She went on the church missions trips (the two of us grew up in a very missions minded church which encouraged going or supporting) and always knew this was how she felt called to serve the Lord. The Lord also opened Nate's heart to missions and they've literally been preparing for years - school, training, visiting potential countries. Getting there has been a challenge as they've visited several possible countries and had to fundraise, etc.  It's literally a calling that took years to make happen (side note: clearly God uses times of waiting to prepare  us for His purposes!)

Now, they are preparing to leave for Columbia with another family. They are going as a team (see team blog here). The team will be trained in the language and how to run a ministry for 2 years before being placed in another spanish speaking country to begin a ministry/mission there. This is the first time MTW has taken a two family team and trained them together with the plan of them continuing to work together. So, the Bonhams and Kines (other family) are doing something different! It will be great for the Bonhams to have friends/co-team members on the field with them whom they trust and whom they work well together (the men have been worknig in ministry together for awhile at a local presbyterian church) BUT this has some challenges-- fundraising for 2 families!!

Nate Nikki and the Boys have finished their missionary training in New York and will hopefully be leaving for Columbia within the next month. They have raised over 90% but need to be at 100% to leave. I've never done much fundraising, but I get the idea that its like weight loss -- the last little bit is the toughest. Nate and Nikki need about 400 dollars more a month (think 16 pledges of 25 a month or 8 pledges of 50). They are getting to the end of their contacts, but I think if several people shared their information with their friends, there will be some sweet people who have been looking for a way to support missions and might want to support this sweet family.

Here is the link to donate or ask Nate questions.  (Also, if you do donate, please email them your donation amount bc it takes a few weeks to process. This way they can add it into their totals!)  Here's a link to tell you more about this two family team.


I ask you to prayerfully consider giving to this family's ministry.  I feel strongly about missions, but even more strongly about this family in missions. Partly because I have seen the Lord's plans unfold (and it hasn't always been easy or as planned) and partly because I know that this is where they are called.  But, also partly because I love their philosophy on missions. They think their financial and prayer support are a part of the calling.  Nikki will keep everyone updated via blogs, facebook, emails. (Additionally, I will update everyone on them and their ministry!)  She says she hopes that their supporters feel welcome to bring teams or come to Columbia or even contact her for updates.  Afterall, those who give money should know how the Lord is working in that Country and what the continued needs are.  Please be in prayer for this sweet family as they prepare to move and feel free to pass their information along to anyone else who may pray or donate. I don't think everyone is called to go into missions, but everyone is called to support missions in some way.

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