Nine-year-old Bonnie sat spellbound as the tall missionary lady shared her slides, feeling but not fully understanding that God was setting the course of her life. She knew in her heart that he wanted her to serve him through teaching. Obediently, this native Oregonian received her bachelor’s degree in education at Seattle Pacific University and her masters at Portland State University; she also taught elementary school for many years in the Portland/Hillsboro area. While this career, coupled with the raising of her two sons, was relatively satisfying, she never felt it was the full answer to God’s call on her heart. It took the fall of the Soviet Union to open the door to fulfillment of his plan. Bonnie was overjoyed at the opportunity to join One Mission Society in 1993 to teach Christian morals and ethics through CoMission in Russia and Estonia.
Since then, she has ministered and taught English in various places in Southeast Asia. She also worked as an OMS college recruiter in the Pacific Northwest for several years while caring for her aging father. Returning from Asia in midsummer 2013, Bonnie taught English as a second language (ESL) at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, Corban University in Salem, and to Hispanics at a local church. She also served for a short time as the One Mission Society northwest network representative for Dynamic Women.
Within a year of returning from East Asia, One Mission Society seconded Bonnie to International Students, Inc. At this point, Bonnie started teaching aviation ESL to Chinese pilots who came to Oregon to learn how to fly and secure their FAAprivate, instrument, and commercial pilot license before returning to China to eventually become commercial pilots there. She has been volunteering in this capacity during the past three and half years, teaching 2-4 hours, twice a week for at least 48-50 weeks a year. One of the greatest challenges, along with knowing absolutely nothing about aviation, is that the classes are held in Hillsboro, 30 miles from her home in Wilsonville. The traffic congestion often turns this into an almost 2-hour drive one way. God is faithful, and after driving her 2000 Subaru these years, she was finally able to upgrade to a 2016. She works with these pilots and others in Hillsboro and Troutdale each weekend, joining other volunteers to feed and share God’s love and friendship.
God has also led Bonnie to a most unexpected ministry on the days she is not teaching pilots. She leads Bible studies at various assisted living facilities in the area, one in her hometown and one in a Portland church.
Bonnie also invites many community and church friends to her home and hosts many internationals and needy Americans in her three bedroom home for one to six months. She loves to bake and shares the bounty with any and all, including weekly to the classes of pilots and seniors. She has discovered she just can’t outgive our loving God, who gave all so that we might live eternally with him.