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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wiping off the dust...

I started this blog back in the 2013 when my wife, daughter, and I were preparing to go move to Guatemala. It was supposed to be a good way for us to keep all of our family, friends, and supporters up to date on all of our endeavors while we were abroad. As you can see by scrolling through the past post, I was not the most faithful of bloggers.

Having graduated seminary about a month ago there has been a longing to write, as that is all I seemed to do in seminary. I have often found myself thinking of things and wanting to write them down but just not getting around to it. However, I am going to give this another shot. For the most part this blog is going to consists of devotional thoughts, theological and church growth issues, book review, ideas on living missionaly, etc. 

The is to have something once a week for the first bit and then move into a more frequent publication.

Grace and Peace,

JD Jones

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A new calling and another move...

Dear Friends & Family,

We hope that your Christmas season is going wonderful, and that the Lord has blessed you like He has blessed us! We wanted to write you to tell you of a very hard decision that we have had to make. Bethany and I have been praying hard for the past couple of months about what the Lord has for us long term. We both feel a strong call to missions on our lives, and we have such great love for the people of Guatemala. However, after being home these few months, I (JD) have seen how much my parents need me to be with them right now. This last year has been very difficult for them. We all had to go through a very difficult situation that I have not previously told to many people. The last couple of years, my brother got into partying, drinking, and drugs. One night, he, along with two or three other people he hung out with, killed a man. Daniel was the primary suspect. He was charged with capital murder and later was able to plead out to life in prison. Thankfully though, his first night in jail he truly met the Lord for the first time! He got saved that night and is now living for the Lord! He is daily in the word and is growing in Christ.
While we are overjoyed that he is now serving the Lord, it was extremely difficult for my parents and I this last year. Bethany and I have been praying for a while now and seeking God’s will in this. We prayed that God would make it obvious whether or not he wanted us to move back. In all of our decisions about Guatemala, God has shown us His will in a big way. One evening, we prayed specifically that God would give us direction and clearly show us where we needed to be. The next morning, we got a call that our landlord wanted their house back. This confirmation, along with counsel from multiple people, has led us to make the decision to move home this next year. We have decided to come home at beginning of March. This was such a hard decision for us- so much harder that even deciding to move to Guatemala. We love the country and the people of Guatemala. It pains us to have to leave. But we know that God is calling us home for now to minister to our families.
We ask that you continue to pray for us as we make this transition back to the states, as this will be our third move in a little over year. We are uncertain on what the future holds, as far as jobs and housing, but God has been so faithful to us and we are certain He won’t stop now. We also ask that you would prayerfully consider continuing to support us through March, as we will have bills to take care of in Guatemala until the end of that month.
We cannot say thank you enough for your partnership with us while we were in Guatemala. We know that God called us and used us in mighty ways during our year in Guatemala, and each and every one of you helped to minister to these precious people through your support. Thank you for being a vessel of Christ and giving so generously to our ministry. We praise Him for our time in Guatemala and all that we experienced and learned while there. We covet your prayers as we make this transition, and continue to pray that the gospel message continues to spread through the country of Guatemala through Clubhouse Guatemala.

Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone be the Glory),


JD, Bethany, & Karis Jones

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Producing faithfulness or the loss of our house.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4, ESV)

Most of you know the setbacks that Bethany and I have had since we arrived in Guatemala. From our car getting stuck in port, cutting short our time at language school to having a lot of our belongings stolen on the container. Through all of this God has continued to show Himself faithful and taken care of us. We were dealt another blow a couple days ago. I received a phone call from our executive director, who informed us that our landlord wants their house back February 1st. We were devastated with this news. Bethany has worked very hard since we have been in Guatemala to make this house our home and we had just started to feel at home before we left to come back to the states for the holidays. Unfortunately we have no choice but to move now and  will have less than a month when we return to Guatemala. 

We have endured a lot since moving Guat and we will make it through this as well. Continue to pray with us that God would give us direction and wisdom as we follow him..

Gracias,
JD, Bethany, and Karis

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A little R&R...

Hey everyone! As I have previously stated I am not a good blogger. But I just wanted to give everyone a quick update.

Most of you know that we are back in the states right now. We are in until the 27th of December. I have had a few people ask if we are back permanently and the answer is no. We are just home for the holidays and to raise support before we start into next year.

This past year was great and we are looking forward to next year! God is doing great things with Clubhouse and we are privileged to be apart of it!

JD

Friday, September 20, 2013

Here, There, and Everywhere

If you follow our blog you know that I (JD) am really bad about this whole blogging thing! Mainly because by time I sit down at my computer at night my brain has given up and gone to bed haha. But here is an update of this summer and some upcoming new about the fall!

This past summer was probably the hardest I have ever worked in my entire life! As Field Director for Clubhouse, I run day to day operations in coordination with our National Director. This includes being the team liaison (taking care of teams), doing logistics for team ministry, handling administrative responsibilities, and making decision on daily schedule changes, on top of trying to take pictures and video for our ministry.

This summer, we saw 20 churches come on mission trips with us and we still have 3-4 more teams that will be coming this fall (over 300 volunteers)! God is expanding our ministry faster than we can keep up with! The teams were able to see many salvations and lives changed. Two of our teams alone saw over 100 salvations the weeks they were here. Along with helping people to meet their ultimate need of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ, teams were also able to meet physical needs of many Guatemalans. We built houses, stoves, vertical gardens, chicken coops, and delivered food to families in need. Along with our volunteer teams this summer, we have many other projects going on. We are in the middle of construction on our school and camp. We are already in the planning stages for a fall youth camp for the older kids in our programs and next summers volunteer teams. It has been a busy but incredible summer, and we are so thankful that the Lord has allowed us to be apart of it!

As some of you know, we traveled back to the States in August to renew our Visas and for a little R&R. It was great week to be back and see our families and a few of our friends! We wished we would have been able to see everyone! But only being home for a short time we wanted to be with family as much as possible. We are coming back soon! We will be back in October and will be staying through Christmas. We are so excited to be able to back for an extended period of time to not only see everyone but to also share about what the Lord is doing here in Guatemala! We will be at the Clubhouse booth at the Conclave Conference in Dallas in October. We have a couple of speaking engagements in Texas so far this fall. If you would like us to come share about Clubhouse and Guatemala send us an email at JD@clubhouseg.net or at JD@clubhouseguatemala.com. We will also be having a few small fundraisers while we are back. More info soon on those!

Our little family is doing well! Karis is continuing to grow. She is very close to walking, but still waking up 3-4 times a night which makes for very tired parents. Hard to believe our little girl is almost one! Bethany is doing well (minus the lack of sleep). Mike has asked her to work with our new sewing ministry Clubhouse has started. She will be working closely with Pastor Fernando's wife Swanda to find patterns for the women to sew as well as collecting supplies. I am doing good as well. I started back to seminary this fall after taking last semester off because of our move. I only have 8 classes left for my Masters of Theological Studies and then, Lord willing, I will be done with post high-school studies after 8 years!

Thank you all for your continued prayers! Hope to see you soon!

JD, Bethany, and Karis



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Praying in Faith

I started using a devotional last year called "For the Love of God" by D.A. Carson. It is a great devotional that combines a read-through-the-Bible-in-year-plan with a short devotional/ theological observation on one of the passages for the day. Last week one of the selected passages was Acts 12. This passage is the account of Peter's arrest and subsequent release from prison by an angel of the Lord. When Peter is released he goes to a house where believers are praying (no doubt for him and his release).

"When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. Recognizing Peter's voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!”But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. (Acts 12:12-16, ESV)"


This really stuck out to me. Here, these believers are praying. Calling on the name of the Lord, and when the Lord answers, they don't believe it. It occurred to me how often do I pray while not believing. Little did I know that this passage would come into play in my life less than a week later. 


Yesterday, we lost power at our mission house. When the power goes out here nothing works. Lights, stove, water, all of it is dead. We have a team of 30 staying there right now. I spent most of the day worrying about it and trying to figure out a solution. About 5pm, we had figured out a solution to power the fridge but we still had no solution for the water problem. We had contacted the power company. They were going to come get us power back, however they couldn't give us a specific time. As we were giving our daughter a bath, I prayed "Lord, please get the power back on", but I found myself immediately going to worrying about how we were going to manage without power. Then this passage came back to me. Here I was praying without faith. I bowed my head and said "Lord, I know that you have the ability to turn the power back on and I am asking that you would do it". We finished Karis' bath. I read her a couple of bed time stories. As I walked out of her bedroom, I glanced through one of our windows and saw light in the mission house! The power was back on.


 And all it took was praying in faith

Thursday, August 1, 2013

In the middle and in the way:

In January of this year, my father and I hooked up a U-Haul trailer of stuff and drove to Knoxville, TN. The trailer was full of the bulk of what was left of our earthly belongings. The boxes were to be loaded on a container later on that month and shipped to Guatemala. Because of the many different circumstances out of our and Clubhouses' control, the container didn't ship until June. When it arrived in port, it sat for nearly 3 weeks because of the bureaucracy of the Guatemalan government. However, the day finally arrived when the container was delivered to our staging area for unload! We were so excited! As we started unloading our boxes I started to move the boxes that where marked with our name aside. When we finished unloading I noticed a lot of our boxes were missing. I began to think, "Well, maybe I just missed them and we will find them when we go through the bulk of the load." However, after much searching none of the boxes that were missing turned up. To our best knowledge, the boxes were stolen by the "Christian" society that we used to import the container. 

The stuff that was stolen was mostly kitchen things, some board games, and home items. It was things that could be replaced. However, a few of the big boxes were Karis' stuff. Clothes, toys, and other baby items that she never got to use. This was what hurt the most. A lot of the stuff was gifts from other people to Karis. Also, many of the items we received as wedding gifts were also stolen. 

I am thankful to say that the Lord has sustained us through this trial. We know that the things stolen are just "stuff." He has provided above and beyond what we could have asked for. For us, it was another conformation that we are right in the middle of God's will and when you are there you are also right in the way of Satan. I am thankful for this trial. It was brought me personally closer to my Father and given me a greater appreciation for the things that the Lord had blessed us with! 

The first verse that the Lord brought to my memory was from Job 1:21b "...The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." It is an easy verse to say but a hard one to live. Loss hurts. It makes you angry! However, as Christians we should always expect opposition from Satan when we are following the Lord. We should always be prepared to stand firm on the promises of the Gospel. 


JD