2022 - Begin Again
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We had tickets to fly to Saint Croix to teach Evangelism for the Discipleship Training Students the week after Christmas, but Jenny came up with a fever on Christmas Day and positive on a home test for Covid that night before we were to fly, so we cancelled our tickets and she stayed in bed. The following week we were able to teach, though not feeling at our best, through Zoom and really enjoyed working with the students. We repurchased our tickets to fly to Saint Croix on January 16.
Here is a review of 2021 for those who haven't been receiving our newsletters, though you can go to JonesFamilyJouney.com and read our monthly blog posts at any time.
From January until May, we served on the Youth with a Mission (YWAM) base on Saint Croix last winter and spring. Merle did quite a number of construction projects for them, while I worked with local students and other tasks on base.
We arrived back just in time to help Hannah and Allan move into their first home, purchased in Columbia, SC.
We received word from our friends in Sarajevo who recommended that we NOT go to Sarajevo last summer as everything was locked down and no vaccines were available, so Merle decided to work on our future ministry retreat dream. We had received some inheritance money and wanted to invest it into the first retreat home as an AirBnB type rental. He has been constructing a small one bedroom house from the ground up, actually below the ground as he started with the septic tank, after clearing the brush with Luke's help back in July. He has finished the plumbing, wiring, and most of the windows, doors, and the glass is in. We had enough money for the materials so far, but not enough to pay any workers, so he has been building alone. We had to close up for the winter, but he will complete it, God willing, when we return from St. Croix. We need additional income, and we are praying that God will provide through this investment of time. If you'd like to help with this project, it would be much appreciated. God blessed us with the invitation from Delores to stay in her trailer while he constructs. She continues to do well at the nursing home.
Lydia came home from college for part of the summer, and again in December, and Luke moved back from Oklahoma in June to live with us and work locally, as we now have a much-needed home base in Jonesboro, GA. It is so important for our family's health and well-being to have a home for us and our children to come to! There's no place like home!
I had a wonderful opportunity to take training to be a Biblical counselor. I have been doing a lot of reading, taking tests, and attended a Residency in November for a week, which someone generously covered financially for me. Kerry and Alison were great teachers! I continue to make my way through the training requirements, including leading 10 people through the Heart of the Problem workbook this spring.
Everyone was home for my Birthday in July, and again for Thanksgiving- highlights for Mom! I was also able to go to Houston after 29 years to see my brother and his wife. He is declining, so it was good to see the situation first hand.
Now, on an important and serious note: As we are ramping up for future international ministry, we really need more of the body on-board. Not everyone can leave the comforts of home and go personally. We are going and will continue to go, Lord willing, but we really need your help in bringing our years of cross-cultural missions experience to serve as God directs. If you are feeling that nudge to support us financially, and you believe it is from the Lord, you will be the answer to our prayers. We are all just jars of clay, but it seems to be God's good pleasure to use ordinary people to bring His light to the nations with the gospel. Come aboard and fasten your seat belt, as we embark on this journey together. :)
Please join our giving team, as we rely on both periodic and monthly gifts to fulfill our needs throughout the year. Click on this link, https://armmin.org/missionaries-and-workers/merle-jenny-jones/ which will take you to ARM Ministries. God raises our support through people like you as He has faithfully for almost 25 years. Thank you and we know God will richly bless you in return!
May your New Year of 2022 bring you greater blessings through knowing the Lord! Choose the narrow path that leads to Life!
"But the one who boasts should boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am Yahweh, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things. This is the LORD's declaration." Jeremiah 9:24