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Sarah Nicolai-deKoning and Jonathan deKoning

2007-2010 Community Kitchen

October 20, 2021

We are ever-grateful for Jacob's Well, and for what it taught us about loving our neighbours, about justice, and about joy.

Jonathan, Sarah and family - 2019

Memories from our time at Jacob’s Well are scattered throughout our life, despite the time and distance that separates our existence in Edmonton now from our time in Vancouver.  

Each time we open a feta container, we hear the voice of Tony(Doan) yelling ‘More feta, more betta!’.  Every time we cook with garlic, we remember Mike Spears chastising Jonathan for his poor garlic-dicing technique.  The recipes we learned at the community meal, like Moroccan peanut and sweet potato stew, and pumpkin coconut curry, are still a part of our family’s dinner rotation.  We think of Berto’s ingenious pest trapping every time we set a mouse trap of our own.  We feel sadness when we think of our friend Allan’s decline, and joy when we remember another friend finding housing in the lower mainland during her recovery journey.  Images of pushing wheelbarrows full of produce down Hastings with Dave (Aupperlee) and Tom (Wuest) or lugging giant bags of rice to the kitchen with Dawn (Humphreys) come to mind unannounced and bring a smile.   

We spent three formative years at Jacob’s Well, from 2007-2010.  Jonathan participated in the community meal and the community garden and, after we got married in 2008, Sarah joined the community meal team. We always looked forward to Tuesday nights in the kitchen, and always ended those evenings with a deep sense of gratitude. Jonathan completed his Regent College internship at Jacob’s Well, adding Friday morning lectio divina to his Jacob’s Well involvement.  Some of the deep friendships that began at Jacob’s Well continue to this day, and we also continue to be inspired by the witness of those who led Jacob’s Well at the time (Dave and Helen Auperlee, Tom Wuest, Joyce Rees, Beth Malena, Berto Jaramillo, and Jane Halton).  The lessons in faithfulness, welcome, and kindness that we learned are still a part of our life today.

These days we find ourselves still spending a lot of time in the kitchen, mostly catering to the culinary whims of three children who are 9, 6, and 4. We live in Edmonton, where Jonathan works as the program director of The Micah Centre, a justice and reconciliation education initiative at The King's University. Sarah spent many years post-Jacob's Well working for The Mustard Seed, a non-profit that supports marginalized Edmontonians. She's now the chief chauffeur and domestic engineer of their home.

We are ever-grateful for Jacob's Well, and for what it taught us about loving our neighbours, about justice, and about joy.

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