Buena Park holds annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast

0
19

Renée Bondi, a recording artist, author and renowned motivational lecturer was the guest speaker during Buena Park's 36th annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast Thursday, Nov. 20, at the Knott's Berry Farm Resort Hotel.

And what an amazing speaker and individual she is. Bondi, who at the age of 29, was a high school music teacher, engaged to be married and had just directed her choir of 150 students in a concert; she said she was on cloud nine. "Life couldn't have been better," she said.

Renée Bondi, a recording artist, author and renowned motivational lecturer was the guest speaker during Buena Park's 36th annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast Thursday, Nov. 20, at the Knott's Berry Farm Resort Hotel.

And what an amazing speaker and individual she is. Bondi, who at the age of 29, was a high school music teacher, engaged to be married and had just directed her choir of 150 students in a concert; she said she was on cloud nine. "Life couldn't have been better," she said.

Then, one night, for unexplained reasons, she took a nose-dive out of her bed, somersaulting off the end of the bed and landing flat on her back across the room on the floor.

Try as she might, she said every way she turned, to get up, there was just too much pain; she said she tried to call to her roommate, but was only able to whisper the roommate's name and the roommate had a bedroom upstairs.

"My roommate said she felt 'impressed' to check on me at that moment, even though she hadn't heard me try to call her in my whispered voice," said Bondi.

Landing on the floor, Bondi severed two vertebrae and broke her neck, which left her a quadriplegic, unable to use any of her extremities; after a few years, and lots of therapy, she was able to move her arms a little bit, but not her hands.

Bondi shared that after awhile, the pastor in her church asked her to lead the youth choir in their church.

"I can't," she told the pastor amidst tears. "Well, just try," he admonished her, and so she did.

Remember that number of 150 high school choir members, which she admitted took her a long to time to build up to; working hard to achieve? Well, it just so happened that she started out with 150 members in the church choir.

"Coincidence?" She asks. "There are no coincidences in life."

Then, after searching her soul and praying fervently daily to a higher-power Bondi said, "Who better than me if this had to happen to someone?" Explaining that her sister is a nurse and so her sister can help her with many of her needs and her brother is a mechanic and so he can help her with her electric wheelchair when it needs fixing.

"I'm a music teacher, how could I help them?" she smiles and laughs.

She related how she would pray to the Lord to understand her situation, becoming distracted at times; in the end she was able to understand the direction she should take.

Her presentation this past week was not only with spoken word but with songs of inspiration in a beautiful voice that has returned to help her share her message of hope and of never giving up.

Though she's bound to a wheelchair and needs help with the most simple things in life such as getting dressed and brushing her teeth, Bondi shares her story so that others may have hope in their darkest hour.

Sharing her story, Bondi exhibits great wisdom and insight into life, taking those gathered for the annual prayer breakfast, along with her through her life's story, interspersed with laughter and introspection.

Bondi travels throughout the United States singing and speaking for conferences, churches, youth rallies and corporate events and she is the founder of Bondi Ministries, a Christian outreach ministry.

She is married and lives with her husband and son in San Juan Capistrano.

The Buena Park Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast also gives local clergy and area residents the opportunity to be together just before the holiday season begins, to hear inspirational messages from clergy.

The presenters included:

  • Invocation – Christ Community Church Rev. Doug Scholten
  • St. Joseph ’s Episcopal Church Rev. Mary Trainor – Buena Park Communities.
  • Messiah Lutheran Church Rev. Mark Baumbach – Schools – teachers and youth.
  • Military – Chaplain Jonathan Lee – Buena Park Police Chaplain
  • St. Pius V Catholic Church – Rev. Ted Olson – Justice and safety.
  • Temple Beth Ohr – Rabbi Mark Goldfarb – Federal and State Government.
  • Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Rev. Milo Ken Anderson – Local government.
  • Benediction – Anaheim Christian Reformed Church – Rev. Joel Van Soelen.

The National Anthem was sung by Buena Park High School choral teacher Lorraine Welling; the Colors were presented by the Buena Park Police Officer's Color Guard and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Mayor Pro tem Art Brown.

Master of Ceremonies was once again preformed by TV Personality Ed Arnold and Mayor Steve Berry gave the welcome.

A musical vocal presentation was provided by Danny Donnelly, accompanying himself on guitar. The breakfast is presented annually by the Buena Park Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Committee and Milly Knott and Steve Knott.

SHARE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here