Family History

Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
–Luke 9:62

While serving at a school for the deaf outside of Ensenada, Mexico (Rancho Sordo Mudo), David and Michelle Bonsell have sensed the call of God to establish a new school in the heart of Mexico. Their combined 20 years of ministering to hearing impaired children have led them, along with their three daughters (Laura, Elena, Cecilia) to pack up in December 1999 and head for Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico.

David was born in east Los Angeles and moved to Visalia, California. Although from a Christian home, he did not commit his life to Christ until he was a senior in high school. He became actively involved in missions while attending Azusa Pacific University. It was through APU that he felt led to Rancho Sordo Mudo (RSM).

After 3 years at RSM he attended Bethany College of Missions in Minnesota, where he met Michelle Peterson. David returned to RSM and he and Michelle were married in 1992. His personal interests include history (biblical and world) and baseball!

Michelle was born in Anoka, Minnesota. She made a commitment to Christ at 6 years old and has always wanted to be a missionary. Her first short term missions experience was in 1982 when she went to Europe with Reign Ministries. Other missions trips have included Central America. After high school she attended Bethany College of Missions for 3 years of academics and 1 year of internship. Six months of her internship was with “Youth With A Mission” doing a Discipleship Training School in Belize. The other six months were spent at an orphanage in Honduras.

One day during her “quiet time” she felt that she was to return home. The internship director said that she needed to return to Bethany to complete the final six months. During this time is when she met David. As David returned to RSM, they corresponded for a year before they were married and were together in ministry at RSM for the following 7 years.

“When I first went to RSM, some women were praying for me and one had a vision of a field of dandelions. She said, “God is sending you to care for the ‘flowers’ that nobody wants. People may see them as weeds, but God doesn’t.” I have a picture of dandelions to remind me of why God has sent me to the deaf children. It is not always easy, and can be very frustrating and tiring. But the joy you get when they are finally able to communicate is wonderful. These kids see our lives and our mistakes, but they also see the love of God through us.” –Michelle