God Uses All Our Life’s Experiences by Dan Page, Volunteer Storyteller
God has a plan for everyone’s life. It isn’t always easy to discern that plan while navigating the twists, turns and challenges it may involve, but Jon Yoshimine looks back with confidence that God had Bubbles and Blooms in mind right from the start.
Bubbles and Blooms, a nonprofit Jon founded this spring, operates a flower stand Friday through Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. at Sam’s Chowder House, which donates the space. The business employs about a dozen developmentally disabled adults, who help prepare flowers, tend the stand and, most importantly, interact with customers. “I see this as a place for our associates to make a start in their employment,” Jon said. “The aim is to give them opportunity and equip them to go beyond.”
Jon has three expectations of each associate: 1) Do your best; 2) Never give up; 3) Have fun. “Everybody is important. Everyone is valuable. And God has blessed each person with a gift to share,” Jon explains. “We offer an opportunity for our associates to express those gifts.”
Among the ways God prepared Jon for his Coastside mission:
His son was born with developmental disabilities, which nurtured Jon’s heart and skills for working with this special community. He also volunteers as a Special Olympics coach.
A psychology major in college, family ties drew Jon to the largest wholesale flower distributors in the Los Angeles region, where for nearly 20 years he managed the business.
When the flower business closed, Jon, the son of a pastor, pursued clinical pastoral studies that led to ministry as a hospice chaplain.
When a position as a church youth director did not work out, an opportunity to work as a human resources director for a local nursery brought him from Orange County to the Coastside.
He gained nonprofit experience with Community Gatepath and Big Wave Group, which both serve youth and adults with special needs in the Bay Area.
Does his background seem like a perfect fit for the Bubbles and Blooms ministry? Jon, whose motto is “Bring Beauty to Life,” says it’s no accident: “That’s the nature of God’s love. He pursues us. He doesn’t give up.”