Monique Mata-Bonilla

Development

12. 11. 20

It’s crazy to think that my time as a Pulse intern is coming to an end. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to be a part of an amazing team whose heart and mission is to make Jesus known as both Lord and Savior.

There has been so much growth. If I had to sum up my experience and takeaways in a couple of paragraphs to those who ask, this is what I would say: The Lord met me exactly where I was at. I remember at the beginning of the internship, I could clearly see all of the interns’ hearts in yearning after the Lord. We laid it all on the table in vulnerability before the Lord and with each other for Him to do what He wanted in our lives. Matthew 7:7-8 says,

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” 

I believe we were all met in our own individual ways. This season has been a wonderful and glorious time of deeper reliance, dependence, and growth in every area of my life. It has been a time of solidifying Jesus as my solid foundation so that He may pour out of me in all that I may do. I rejoice that the Lord blesses me with such teachings. He’s not finished with any of us yet. There is still more molding and shaping to come through sanctification. Oh, how I rejoice that He is with us and continuing to teach us and hold onto us throughout this journey and mission here on earth. To Him be the glory forever and ever. 

Thank you Lord Jesus for you.

12. 4. 20

We had tons of fun in our cohort meeting this week. We played Kahoot with questions about us interns. A lot of laughs came from getting to know each other more. Let me tell you, this bunch is pretty competitive. Molly and I got to spend Thanksgiving with our dearest brother James. The food was AMAZING! 

Aside from internship things, I want to share a story about God’s magnificent power. God is so powerful. Let that soak in. How glorious of Him, that He uses His power to love us!

Thursday night, I began to feel sick. Fear dawned on me. Tons of thoughts began to consume me. Molly lovingly prayed for me and I went to sleep still feeling uneasy. I woke up around 4:20AM and the moment I opened my eyes my thoughts were consumed with fear. Have you ever had one nightmare continuously enter your dreams growing up? Everything I felt in that nightmare was the same feelings that took over me in that moment. My body was too weak to function properly and my eyes were too tired to stay open. My lips could barely form words because my mind was not all there, but the little words I could say I began to pray. I got on my knees and continued to pray. Since I couldn’t go back to sleep I tried to lay on the floor. It was then I felt called to read the Bible. Even though I was barely able to read I continued to push through. I knew in my heart I needed to read His truth. I’ve actually been reading the Old Testament in my personal time and during this specific night I was right at Joshua 6. Here’s a little context leading up to that chapter.

God rescued the Israelites from the Egyptians and took them out of the land of Egypt promising them a new land. Moses physically led the people for years to this new land. After Moses died, Joshua led the people into this new land promised by God. This chapter is literally when the Israelites follow the Lord’s instructions to take over their new land. God conquered the city of Jericho and the walls surrounding it crumbled by God’s hands. 

God assured me in that moment of fear that He is God and I am His. He who conquered cities for His people. He who always fulfills every promise is the conqueror over my fears, reminding me He is much more powerful than anything messing with me at that moment. PRAISE! I then felt called to read Psalms. I didn’t know exactly where in Psalms, but I was led to Psalms 18. It says,

“He said: I love you, LORD, my strength. The LORD is my solid rock, my fortress, my rescuer. My God is my rock, I take refuge in him! He’s my shield, my salvation’s strength, my place of safety. Because he is praiseworthy, I cried out to the LORD, and I was saved from my enemies.”  

And on and on the chapter sings praises to God and talks about His powerful hand ready to rescue. The Lord gave me the exact truth I needed. I was reminded who He is and what He does for us in love. I had nothing to fear because the one and only powerful God loves me and will fight for me. In a moment of weakness I need not do anything but call out to Him. I am confident the Lord was meeting me in that moment and was blessing me with the exact scripture from His own words to solidify my confidence in Him.

After reading, I was called to get up and lay on the bed. As soon as I rested my head, peace consumed me. Moments later I fell asleep and slept peacefully throughout the night. WOW! Praise God! My heart rejoices for that interaction with Him! God is powerful. He is the same. Never changing. Never ceasing. We’re His. Not only was I awakened to a deeper understanding of His power that night, but also an excitement to share what He has done and continues to do! Through Jesus, we’re given access to talk directly to God the Father and cry for help! As Christians, we are not called to keep the magnificent things He does in our lives to ourselves. We’re called to bring praise to Him and share this with others. The love He met me with is not just meant for me, it’s meant for everyone. There’s humility and humbleness within this. God is still continuing to teach, mold, and help me through it all. All Glory to God!

11. 26. 20

The week was sort of a blur. Monday was our last night staying in the beautiful hotel room Pulse graciously allowed us to stay in when we had to leave our host family’s home. We treated ourselves to tasty pastries from Whole Foods and had a movie night. Our weekly cohort meeting on Wednesday was full of information. We had the privilege to hear from two guest speakers. Heather Flies talked about relationships and dating. She even touched on areas some Christians stray away from. We had a panel forum of conversation with Alex Wilson, where our discussions touched on how we can make an impact through our influence as believers.

Molly and I officially moved into her aunt’s house for the time being. The family welcomed us with open arms and have been so good to us during our stay. On Friday, Molly, Jimmy, and I grabbed brunch, went shopping at MOA, and ate dinner at CopperHen (10/10 by the way). It was a nice day to relax and enjoy ourselves.

A lot of changes have been happening, including questioning if we should go back home to Michigan due to the announcement of the rest of the  internship being online due to Covid. Although these things seem little compared to everything going on in the world to some of us interns, there was comfort, joy, and a sense of “normal” in our time together. As we navigate through our new normal I know God’s hand is upon our circumstances and I can rest assured in His truth.

11. 20. 20

Let me tell you about this week. Boy oh boy. This week was an adventure. Let’s go back to the beginning. My sister Nani and Molly’s sister Ahmai came to visit! Our host family went out of their way to spend time with us. We had a game night, movie night, and spent hours over lunch having biblical conversations on Sunday. They even took us and the girls to a nice neighborhood near Minneapolis to go for a walk around the lake. Overall, the time was simply joyful. I’m continuously in awe that the Lord has blessed us with such an amazing family to live with. 

Molly and I left the house early on Tuesday, leaving the girls to do school work at home until Revival Nights. Halfway to our location we noticed our host mom sent us a text explaining their daughter was coming home from college because she was feeling ill. Considering they didn’t know why she was feeling ill we all came to the conclusion that it was best if we didn’t stay there for a while to keep the girls from getting sick before their flight home. After Molly dropped me off, she went back to pick up the girls to take them to our dearest friend Douachee’s mom’s house in St. Paul. Praise the Lord for family! The girls told us how they treated them so well and even cooked lunch for them. During this time I had the privilege of working with Olivia and Deena. We took another trip up north to visit potential venues for an event happening next year. Our conversations consisted of Pulse, logistics for the event, and encouragement/advice. One thing I really appreciate about these ladies is not only are they fellow colleagues that teach me the ins and outs of Pulse, but they also encourage me as a fellow sister in Christ. 

When I got back to the Pulse office a lot of things were thrown at me at once and I confess, I was overwhelmed. My jumbled to-do list looked sorta like this: We would be staying at a nice hotel for a couple of days (PRAISE!). When will we have time to check in? We needed to pick up our clothes from our host families’ home. I have to pick up the girls from St. Paul. I need to get gas. The interns are going to Applebee’s after the event, but that’s the only time to pick up our clothes. Sad. The snow is falling hard and the roads are super slippery. Scary. 

Let me shorten up the next 8 hours. When I got outside I had to sit in the car as the windows defrosted. Revival Nights was AMAZING! My favorite part was after the cameras turned off and we all worshipped from the bottom of our hearts. Jimmy (Molly’s cousin) testified He decided to take Jesus’ hand to move forward in following Him (PRAISE!) The girls and I left going as slow as 10-15mph on the highway to grab our clothes. The 30 minute trip turned into an hour. Our car slid 90 degrees and our bumper ran into the rail. Another hour and a half to pick up Molly and Jimmy from Applebees. By this time, the girls and I realized we haven’t eaten since 12PM. We half cried and laughed telling Molly about our journey. After dropping Jimmy off we made it to the hotel around 2AM. However, nobody was at the desk and we couldn’t check in without our confirmation number. I called four hotels, but none welcomed walk-in bookings. Chilling in our car we were finally able to cancel and rebook the original hotel under our information making it into our room at 4AM.

Although I was trying to hold it together, I confess my insides were ready to scream over all of the things that weren’t going smoothly. Multiple times throughout the night I prayed asking God to take my thoughts captive because I began to notice how my initial reactions were not loving towards Molly, who newsflash! Was going through it too. Through prayer and vulnerable conversations with Molly, the Lord gave me perspective. 

There were a lot of accidents that night. What if spending extra time in my car waiting for it to defrost and pumping gas with icicle hands protected us from a potential accident on the road? What if us hitting the rail was needed for us to tell the woman who stopped just how much she was a blessing from God? What if our hours of slowly driving placed us in the exact location we needed to be away from potential danger before us or behind us? What if our sacrifice to get clothes while Molly went to Applebees was a time for Jimmy to be in fellowship with believers? What if us having to leave our warm host home in the beginning of the day led to us having fun/laughable conversations with the hotel clerk Tagrid who lives in London over the phone, which prompted her to welcome us to pray for her. 

We may not know what happens behind the scenes of God’s design, but we can be sure about this—what the enemy intends for evil, God is always plenty of steps ahead using it for good. Trust in the Lord. Say yes to Him in every circumstance. We don’t need to know what’s happening behind the scenes because we know He is good and He holds us in His hands.  Therefore, hold fast to the Lord and enjoy each quest the Lord places you on.

Check out Molly’s blog to read her point of view. Glory to God for the ways He was moving in intertwining both perspectives.

11. 14. 20

I started out the week in a discipleship session with my friends Dominique, Weston, Youapa, Henry, Robbie, and James. We discussed tools that are helpful for discipleship. Pulse created the Move Closer app not too long ago. The app consists of devotionals with Scripture, video/audio content from speakers, and discussion questions. It’s a super cool and easy way to stay rooted in growing spiritually with friends when physically distant. 

Tuesday, James came over to practice the music set with Youapa for worship on Wednesday. It’s always nice to sit in on these moments. Wednesday was a very chill day in the office. We had an open discussion about politics. Everyone responded in love through listening and understanding others’ opinions and their heart behind it. Afterwards, we went to Minnehaha Falls to run up and down the stairs. During these workouts I’m usually the one with a slower pace hanging in the back, but this time I pushed myself a little more to remain in the front “ish” area. Overall, my legs were being butchered throughout it all! Fun times at Pulse, fun times, haha.

Thursday, a couple of us met up at Rusty Taco to have dinner and chat. Our conversations bounced from one thing to another. It’s never a dull moment with the fam! On Friday, our wonderful internship coordinator Emily invited all of the ladies over for a girls night. She had two soups prepared for us with all of the fixings, breads, and drinks. There were plenty of desserts from hot chocolate to puppy chow! The food was delicious and the conversations so fruitful. We talked about life, struggles, dreams, and the internship. Some of the girls ended up staying until 10:45! It was a great night. One I definitely needed. I love my sisters Teagan, Youapa, Dominique, Hayley, Abby, Katie, Gisell, and Emily. I rejoice in the memories and special moments the Lord has crafted before we even enter them. He’s forever gracious, loving, and true.

11. 5. 20

This week consisted of multiple meetings, intentional time with some of the interns, and a venue visit up north. All super exciting!

I was given the opportunity to have a one-on-one meeting with Karen, who is the Director of Leadership Giving at Pulse. Her heart and passion in serving donors through the Development team is super encouraging. Not only did she provide me tips on building relationships with donors, but she also encouraged me as a sister in Christ. 

Thursday, Molly and I went into the Pulse office in the morning to work on things. Some of our fellow interns and friends were there as well. Henry and I were able to chat while he uploaded the Revival Nights video for the livestream that night. Logan joined us during his lunch break and us three had simple conversations about life and current circumstances. I cherish these simple moments with both my brothers and sisters on the team as we grow to learn more about one another. It’s super special that they welcome everyone into their lives. 

Slowly, one by one more friends came into the office and we all settled into the conference room to discuss our roles for the Pulse TikTok account. Towards the end of the day everyone gathered for pizza and to watch the livestream of the October Revival Nights. During this time we were all in charge of being Echo responders to those watching the event.

To give you a little context, Echo is the platform Pulse uses to communicate to viewers during events. For example, many events encourage viewers to text a word to a number if they would like to receive prayer or would like to accept Jesus into their lives. We are the responders who receive that text message and get to pray for them over text or phone call. It’s super powerful and beautiful to be a part of such an experience to see God move. 

Friday, I went on a venue visit with Olivia (Donor Relations Officer) and Deena (Senior Director of Events and Donor Relations). We went to see if the venue was appropriate in meeting the expectations for a Family Weekend event Pulse is hosting next year. During this time I was able to learn more about Olivia and Deena. We had good conversations about their roles at Pulse and their lives in general as women of God. It was a blessing to be given the opportunity to venture with them on this visit. I learned more about the logistics in planning, evaluating, and asking the right questions for events, specifically for the Development team.

10. 29. 20

This week I experienced many special moments in fellowship with my friends at Pulse. I worked on Pulse tasks at a coffee shop with Dominique and James on Monday. Went on a french toast run with Abby and Hayley, followed by deep talks in the office before our cohort meeting on Wednesday. I enjoyed a game night at Hayley and Gabe’s apartment, with the rest of the gang on Thursday, plus more things in between. 

Other than our time in fellowship, our chapel session on Wednesday was super impactful for me. Alex Hunter blessed us with wisdom on the topic of “Going all in for Jesus.” I had to ask myself, what are the lies I’m allowing to intervene in preventing my potential. In all honesty, those two things for me have been self-doubt and limited belief. I needed the revelation of knowing how good my hand is and the value I’m given. 

“If you believe you have the best hand, never be afraid of going all in,” said Alex Hunter

The TRUTH is we have been given the best hand ever imagined. We’re given Jesus, who accomplished it all. Sin is not designed to remain in my life, so I shouldn’t settle with my struggles as a “normal” thing. My life should reflect the eagerness and belief of a Father who heals and sanctifies. 

Another thing that stood out to me in this message was, when we hesitate in our obedience people miss out on knowing Jesus. There’s something that’s revealed to others watching, when they see the kingdom of heaven at work… and that work is done through us. Jesus knew He was going to return to the Father, so who was going to continue to share the good news on earth? Us. We were always a part of His plan for His kingdom. 

I encourage you to take up the cross by the strength and power of the Holy Spirit alone and remember the value we carry as children of the literal King of kings.

10. 22. 20

This week has been super busy. I was able to hang out with the other interns outside of the office, prepare a devotion to share, and be baptized all in one week!

On Wednesday, I was given the privilege to give a 7-minute devotional to all of the interns. This was definitely a stretching and growing experience for me. Having the opportunity to share how the Lord has brought me to a place of understanding a specific area in our walk as Christians, through applying Scripture, amplified my praise in giving glory to Him and the ways He draws us near.

Additionally, our first Revival Night as a team was Thursday! Working together to make sure the event went smoothly was so much fun. Before the event began, some of us arrived at the office early to help with set-up. During that time we got to grow closer as friends and enjoy each other’s company. I also had the amazing opportunity to get baptized during the event!

I wrestled with the idea of being baptized for a while. A lot of people have many opinions on it. A part of me felt ashamed for not being baptized when I accepted Christ into my life during high school. Somewhere in the noise I fell captive to the lie of believing that I must have been a false Christian all this time. It wasn’t until my time at Pulse that God pointed out I was seeking others’ opinions more than His. So although I was baptized when I was a baby, I decided to make that personal decision on my own. This decision was a way for me to openly display my heart in allowing Jesus to be the Lord over my life. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward decision already made in accepting Christ into one’s life. Throughout this experience the Lord has graciously brought me to a position of awe before Him. I rejoice that even though I didn’t make the decision to be baptized sooner, He continued to pursue, mold, and shape me into the woman He’s calling me to be.

If you haven’t been baptized, or have questions about baptism, text or call me! I would love to share more about the journey.

10. 16. 20

Towards the beginning of the week, I began to feel the rush and exhaustion of being on the go for the past two weeks. The Lord definitely answered my need for rest through our first chapel time on Monday’s topic called Pace of Leadership, spoken by Mike Todd. The biggest takeaway I took from the talk was that one’s leadership pace needs to be aligned in unity in every area of one’s life. I fully confess pushing myself to say “yes” to every fellowship opportunity was causing me to reduce my time in resting with the Lord. Even though spending time in fellowship is not bad, the effects from lack of sleep and quiet times were reflected in my ability to be present in fellowship. Although I would LOVE to say yes to everything, sometimes saying no is needed. Tuesday I was blessed with rest. Praise the Lord! I was even able to work on Echo for the Emerging Leaders Check-In. Echo allows Pulse staff to directly connect with people watching the live program who need or want prayer through text. 

“It allows us to mentally and emotionally be available,” said Mike Todd. 

Wednesday all of the interns met up as a group. Blake, Abby and I went to a park nearby where people without homes were living in tents. We were blessed with an opportunity to talk to a man in that community and hear his story. His heart for wanting to take care of that community was unbelievable. Even in his current situation he was eager to think of things that would be helpful for everyone living there. Shortly after that conversation ended we sat down with a boy who was passing by the park. We got to know each other, laugh together and share experiences. He was closed off in wanting to hear about God, but his curiosity amazed all three of us – this boy was smart beyond years. He taught us many things. Random facts, some may think how in the world do you know that! Regardless this boy was one who wanted answers about anything. Our heart’s prayer is that the Lord directs his curiosity to begin asking the right questions. Questions that lead him right to God. For those of you reading this, I encourage you to pray for both of these individuals we graciously were given the opportunity to meet.

10. 09. 20

My first two weeks have already been very eventful. Our first day consisted of being welcomed into the Pulse family through joining in their regular time of prayer. Beginning the workday by seeking the Lord first is already one of the many things that has been super eye-opening to me. Prayer has actually been a consistent thing that keeps coming up for me since I’ve been here. The topic has been brought up in training, in church sermons, and conversations. Key scriptures connected to prayer have continued to be placed before me through the multiple platforms as well. That being said, there’s no doubt the Lord wants me to pay attention to this topic. 

The wonderful coordinators over the internship continue to push us. Not in a bad way, but in a good way! They genuinely want us to grow so that we don’t settle with staying comfortable in certain seasons of our lives. They encourage us to take steps of boldness, to think deeper and provide conversations of developing our understanding of who God is and how He is connected to our daily tasks on a regular basis. Because He’s connected, whether I choose to acknowledge it or not.

Outside of the internship – we’ve had opportunities to spend time with some of the other interns. Also, our host family is absolutely amazing. Molly and I have loved every minute living with them.

Biography

My name is Monique (Mo for short), I’m a Development Intern at PULSE Movement, meaning I assist with donor relations and all-things fundraising. I was introduced to PULSE by my mom who attended their Together 2016 gathering held in Washington DC. I love Jesus, going to new coffee shops and long talks with friends. Born and raised from Lansing, Michigan. This season in Minnesota is already an exciting one – I rejoice in all the growth to come during my time here.


One thought on “Monique Mata-Bonilla

  1. I love seeing and hearing about how awesome your time interning has been so far. To see you smile and so happy to be doing what you love most is great. Love you!
    Kisses, Mom

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s