Alberto hails from Colombia and has been in BC for over twenty years. He has traveled to many far off places so it is no surprise that he received his BA in Intercultural Studies from Bethany College. Berto has been part of the community since 2005 and is an amazing resource for Jacob’s Well (and everyone he interacts with). He is a very well researched, informed and intelligent guy! But Berto (as we call him) does not gather this information for himself or keep it inside, he uses it to help, educate and encourage others! On any given day Berto could be found: building a computer, growing tomatoes from seed, researching what moped someone should buy, repairing shoes, helping someone dry out their flooded vehicle or going for a swim! People is the name of his game and he is rarely found alone. At Jacob’s Well he does just about anything and everything but we always need him to: work on all things electronic, deal with our 100 year old plus building, be an awesome friend, pray for us or simply have a great conversation.
Our community is made up of amazing people, and most of their pictures are on this wall at the front of Jacob’s Well’s space. We have different roles and names for each other: staff members, leadership team members, community members (volunteers), neighbours, and friends. Below you’ll find bios of the staff and directors (who make up the Leadership Team). But what we call ourselves is not as important as the high value we place on being a community together.
Yolanda was born in Hong Kong, but spent most of her life in Edmonton, Alberta. She left the snowy weather behind and moved to Vancouver in 2010 with her husband Aaron Bonkowski. She has been part of the community since early 2012. Yolanda graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in Industrial Design. She loves arts and crafts, and led Art Time at Jacob’s Well for a while. She also works at a Before-and-After-School program where her imagination goes wild. Yolanda loves connecting with people from different walks of life and planning projects in which they can all participate. She hopes to explore the possibility of using her bilingual skills to engage Jacob’s Well’s Chinese neighbours in Chinatown.
Jacqueline joined the Jacob’s Well staff in June 2014 and has taken on some of the administrative, teaching, and other leadership responsibilities in the community. Jacqueline graduated from Regent College in 2015 with an MA in Theological Studies with a focus on World Christianity. She grew up in Chilliwack, and worked seven years as a high school math teacher before heading to Regent College where she was introduced to the Jacob’s Well community for the first time during a new student orientation, and the rest is history!
Ted loves people and loves Jesus. Ted is a bit of a geek. His beautiful and long-suffering wife wishes he would desist from wearing his favourite shirts in public. Their three intensely wonderful kids provide hourly fodder for laughs…with a few tears and drama in there to balance things out. In between various trips around the world, Ted, Ange, and kids live in Langley with no dogs, no cats, and no hamsters – much to their oldest’s chagrin. They’re considering a fish. A small one.Ted spent many years at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of the Fraser Valley, and ITI. Officially, that should mean he can communikate somewut, which helps as he’s a programmer with his own consultancy business. Ted’s true passion: seeing, and being a part of, people’s lives changing as they see, believe, and experience who Jesus really is. He has been a director on the Leadership team since 2011.
Mia McKay is married to Al McKay and has one son, one daughter and one son-in-law who encourage and surprise her. An educator and life-long learner, Mia sometimes teaches academic writing at a small university downtown and sometimes writes for a non-profit educational organization working in various countries in the South Pacific. After several years of hearing about and hanging around Jacob’s Well, especially through Al, Mia is now the Chairperson for the Leadership team and loves connecting with people at Jacob’s Well. Getting involved in the garden several years ago has sparked an interest in gardening at home – watching things grow, being close to the earth, and eating from her own garden is a treat!
Amy is married to Aaron Roberts and has two incredible little girls named Sadie and Beatrice. She has been a director on the Leadership Team since 2011 but has been a part of the Jacobs Well community since 2004. She has primarily been part of the community kitchen team. Amy works for a local nonprofit , NieuCommunities, which mentors young adults to live missionally in their neighbourhoods.
Chris Hellewell has spent most of the last five years working in the Downtown Eastside. First as a Mental Health worker and variously as a research assistant, an outreach worker, manager of the New Fountain Shelter and as a Coordinator of the Lifeskills Community Centre. He has enjoyed facilitating writing groups, volunteering with the Portland FC soccer team, the Vancouver Street Soccer League and the Homeless World Cup. Chris loves to play basketball and finds great peace in being in nature. He has been on the Leadership Team since the Spring of 2013.