Snapshots From Mexico

We have been blessed to have many families attend our concerts in Mexico.
The new and updated "Sibling Cooperation" is still a crowd favorite.  
Some of the most beautiful sunsets ever can be seen in this lovely wide open country.
Here's another favorite sunset.  
Fresh produce, delicious Mennonite cheese & bologna, Mexican peanuts, 
and fresh tortillas make a delicious meal. 
La Sierra is our favorite Mexican/Mennonite restaurant. Here is our family-favorite fajitas with shrimp, beef, and chicken. Some tasty area specialties include fresh slices of avocado, tomato, cucumbers, and always Ranch dressing.  

"And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee." -- Psalm 9:10  


Special Reunion Concert This Sunday Evening!

The entire Bontrager clan will be with us this Sunday evening, March 4, 6pm, at Calvary Baptist, in New Braunfels, Texas! John and Chelsy, Mitchell and Bryn, and Carson and Carolina will be joining the Bontrager Family Singers for a few songs in this special reunion concert. We would love to see any of our central Texas friends!

For those of you living too far away, you can join us through a livestream tomorrow night! Calvary Baptist livestreams their services, and we'd love to have you follow along via their channel tomorrow night @ 6pm central time. Visit this link to watch!

And then, just for fun, if you'd like to check it out, you can watch last years' concert @ Calvary Baptist, here! All four of the "in-loves" were in attendance that night as well, but that was before anyone was engaged and we hadn't announced the relationships online yet. It is pretty fun to think of how much can change in just one year!


Why Your Family Needs the Bible Bee

Our 2016 NBB Contestants
Registration for the National Bible Bee Summer Program opens today! Join thousands of families whose lives have been transformed by the power of God's Word. Sign up before March 15 in order to receive a 20% discount off registration.

First, you may ask, "Why should I do the Bible Bee?"

1. The Bible Bee is Life-changing

For myself and my younger siblings, the Bible Bee has been simply revolutionary.

First, the Bible Bee taught us to love and prioritize God's Word. The Bible Bee taught us that God's eternal Word is the most valuable thing we can spend time on.

According to the Barna Group, around 75% of Christian young people leave the faith after high school or college. If our children don't know and love God's Word, they will likely become another statistic.

Second, the Bible Bee built valuable discipline into our lives. For myself and my siblings, the Bible Bee taught us to deny our flesh. We learned to focus on what important rather than simply doing what felt good at the moment.

Last, the Word of God that we studied and memorized through the Bible Bee prepared us for life. As Christ admonished, those who hear and do His words are like the wise man built upon a rock (Luke 6, Matthew 5). The Word of God we learned through the Bible helped us to grow in the character of Christ and to stand firm in our convictions.

2. The Bible Bee is Do-able 

Through a small investment of time and money, your family can potentially reap massive spiritual dividends. Beginning June 10, the eight-week summer study only takes about 20 minutes each day to complete. Could you fit 20 minutes into your family's daily schedule?

Here's a description of the Summer Study from bible bee.org:

Join thousands of young people who are learning how to unlock the Scriptures and memorize God’s Word! The 8-week Summer Study prepares and encourages participants to memorize and study Scripture, whether they are studying on their own or taking part within a church or other hosted group. Using the Discovery Journal, Memory Passage Cards and other resources, participants learn how to study the Scriptures for themselves in as little as 20 minutes a day with the option of a deeper study.

Using the Discovery Journal resource, the Summer Study takes the participants on a journey through the Scriptures asking questions designed to help the participants learn tools to discover the Bible for themselves. At the conclusion of the Summer Study, participants may take the National Bible Bee Qualifying Test. This test allows the participant to be ranked nationally among other Summer Study participants. If the participant scores within the top 120 of their age division and have met all the other requirements, they will be invited to be a contestant at the National Bible Bee Competition (NBBC).

3. The Bible Bee is Family-Friendly 

Though the competition is designed for ages 7-18, the entire family can still learn the Word of God together. The Summer Study might be a perfect thing to include in your family devotions. As you study and memorize God's Word together, you just might find your family bonding together in a deeper way.

Sign up Today!

In an age of widespread deception, our children need to know and love the truth of God's Word, so that they can stand strong in their generation and so they can pass on the faith to the next. The Bible Bee is a helpful tool that can assist in the important work of family discipleship.

You may never have tried the Bible Bee before. But you will never know how life-changing it could be until you've tried it. You may have had plausible excuses, but they're gone after this explanation.

Or maybe you've tried the Bible Bee, but have become overwhelmed by the study. You may have become more focused on the competition than on the Word of God. Could it be you need to reconnect with why you're doing the Bible Bee?

If you're struggling to find time for the Bible Bee, you might consider incorporating 20-30 minutes of study into your family devotions. You could even substitute the study for a school subject.

If you'll do the Bible Bee to teach your children to love God's Word, you may find that it's more rewarding than you could have imagined.

Can you spare 20 minutes a day for the summer?

If your answer if yes, go to bible.org to claim your early registration discount today!

Today, registration is only $20 per contestant. By March 15, it will be $25. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to teach your children God's Word!


March Tour Schedule

The month of March finds us singing in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Mexico, Arizona, and California. We have never toured Arizona and it has been 6 1/2 years since we sang in California. If you live in Arizona or California, this might be your only chance to meet us for a while. We would love to see you at one of our concerts!
1...Enon Baptist Church, Jayess, MS, 7pm
2...Welcome Home Baptist Church, Dodson, LA, 7pm
3...Moorville United Methodist Church, Chilton, TX, 6pm
4...Rosebud Bible Church...Rosebud, TX, 9:30am
4...Calvary Baptist Church, New Braunfels, TX, 6pm
9...Mennonite Evangelical Church, Seminole, TX, 7pm
10...Gimnasio der Kleingemeinde, Oasis, Chihuahua, MX, 7pm
11...Koloniehaus, Swift, Chihuahua, MX, 7pm
12...Gimnasio der Kleingemeinde, Km. 14, Chihuahua, MX 7pm
14...Gimnasio der Kleingemeinde, Km. 29 - Chihuahua, MX, 7pm
15....Gimnasio der Kleingemeinde, Santa Rita, #82, Chihuahua, MX, 7:30pm
16....Community Center, Los Jag├╝eyes, Chihuahua, MX, 7:30pm
17....Gimnasio der Mennonitengemeinde, El Agate, Chihuahua, MX, 7pm
18...Gimnasio der Kleingemeinde, El Valle, Chihuahua, MX, 2pm
19...Cornelius Neufeld's Speicher, Buena Vista, Chihuahua, MX, 7pm
21...Tuscon Baptist Church, Tuscon, AZ, 6:30pm
22...Heritage Baptist Church @ Christ Presbyterian Church, Goodyear, AZ, 7pm
23...Flagstaff Christian Fellowship, Flagstaff, AZ, 7pm
25...Lancaster Baptist Church, Lancaster, CA, 8:30am, 11am, 5pm
27...Bakersfield Family Church, Bakersfield, CA, 7pm
28...Shepard of the Hills Church, Tehachapi, CA, 7pm
29...Grace Community Church, Madera, CA, 6:30pm
31...Faith Community Bible Church, Atwater, CA, 6pm


Life Update from John and Chelsy

December 30 was a blustering, shivery day. Though the wind howled and the pitiless sub-zero temperatures chilled, the warmth of love won in the end.
Shortly after 2pm, in a warm, cozy church, Chelsy and John joined together in the covenant of marriage.

Since that historic day, John and Chels have enjoyed many adventures together. The below pictures tell a little of the story.
Smiles from Texas, where John and Chels honeymooned.
One classy couple walking in Texas style.:)

On the honeymoon, Chels enjoyed cooking many of their meals.
John and Chels drove 8 hours out of the way to see us at a concert in Missouri! It was
exciting to catch up with them!
After honeymooning, John and Chelsy briefly settled into their Kansas home. It wasn't long before they hit the road again for a couple business trips.
Opening wedding presents in their new Kansas home. They were overwhelmed by the generosity of their many friends.
Enjoying games, laughter, and conversation with some of John's siblings. 
A fitting plaque for any home. 
Unfortunately, we can only view this dessert pizza, but we cannot taste it. 
Shortly after their honeymoon, Chels and John traveled through Iowa on their way to a wedding. They stayed for one night with Mitchell and Bryn. 
They stayed with Carson and Lina for two nights. Unfortunately, the rest of us Bontragers were already on tour, so we did not get to see them. 
Conversation with old friends at a wedding. 
Back at our home church, enjoying precious Rachel. 
Though Chels was afraid she'd miss the Iowa snow, it visited her in Kansas.
Dessert always tastes best when seasoned with fine conversation.  

Together on the plane on the way to a business trip. Since marriage, they've completed four business trips together. All in all, they've actually been gone more than they've been home!

John designs drip irrigation systems for farms across the United States and South America. On the side, he is also a real estate agent. Chelsy works as culinary and home-culture director, chief encourager, wife, and helpmeet to John. She also is continuing her writing with occasional blogging (www.chelsyrenee.com) and she plans to soon be working for John's business. Their talents and abilities combine to make them a powerful team. 

"And the Lord God said, it is not good  that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." -Genesis 2:18


Winter Tour 2018|| Week 4

The week started out in South Carolina. There was a day of training and orientation in preparation for volunteering in the prisons.
Over 400 Christians gathered to join together in sharing the Gospel in the prisons of South Carolina. 
Before we all went our separate ways for the week, there were a few extra hours for sweet fellowship.....in this case conversation with friends over chai and chocolate. What could be better?
Going into the prisons is always sobering. We see firsthand the results of sin, wrong choices, abuse, and addiction. We are reminded of the power of Christ to set the captives free- hallelujah! It is a joy to proclaim hope to the hopeless behind bars, and to come alongside the Christian brothers and sisters  behind bars.
Singing teams from all over the US and Canada gathered to serve in this revival, alongside hundreds of other servants of the Lord. We were blessed to be stationed in the same district as dear friends. Though we didn't see much of each other due to full schedules of services, we grabbed a few opportunities for fellowship throughout the week
boys + smoothies + Risk....a recipe for success!
Our sweet Joshua and Cassidy got some additional special time with their "other family"......not "Cassidy's family" since they are Joshua's now, too.:)  Sweet, sweet memories!
After the prison revival, we headed further south. These trees and Spanish moss along the way were MAGNIFICENT!
These dear friends treated us to a good dose of VERY Southern hospitality! We loved having a few hours with them before sharing a concert at their church one evening.
These little ones gathered around Liz to "help" one evening before a concert.....so precious! We were thrilled when some of them came to our concert that evening. The community center we sang at is starting an outreach to the neighborhood young people. We loved hearing about their vision!
"O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together."
Thank you to each one of you who have prayed for us, hosted us, and encouraged us in so many ways! We are grateful!


Life Update from Mitchell and Bryn

On September 2, 2017, Mitch and Bryn tied the knot!  
 The pictures below tell the story of their past 5 1/2 months together and their life today. 
Honeymooning in Duncan's Cove, Nova Scotia. Mitch and Bryn 
also visited Prince Edward Island for one day.
1 1/2 years ago our family climbed this lighthouse at Mass Town Market. 
Though Mitchell and Bryn didn't have this stop in their itinerary, Mitchell
noticed the familiar sight as they were filling up with gas nearby!
Working together is an incredible way to build family bonds. Mitch and Bryn 
enjoyed many hours in the tractor this fall with Bontrager Family Applicators.
Together at the National Bible Bee.
With Hudson, our family's 3rd place winner.


Enjoying a fun pizza party at the hotel with the four youngest Bontragers.
Mitch and Bryn have done an excellent job since taking over the management at the hotel. 
Mitchell especially loves working with people and solving their many problems. 
He's also an expert at working with a wide variety of personalities.
Together, Mitch an Bryn make an unstoppable team!
The thrills of Iowa snow in winter!
Mitch and Bryn attended their first wedding as a married couple. This time they 
weren't quite as involved as in the last wedding.:) 

Today, Mitchell and Bryn manage the Dutch Country Inn. On the side, Mitchell teaches three guitar students and Bryn teaches three piano students. They are also assistant Sunday School Class leaders at church. Above all, they are committed to following the Lord Jesus Christ together and glorifying 
Him in all that they do. 

"But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, 
and his righteousness unto children's children." --Psalm 103:17