Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Goodbyes Have Begun

Well there is a constant "pit" in my stomach these days. Almost every time we see someone it will be our last now. This week we went to an In His Image/Family Medical Christmas party and hugged and said goodbye to so many sweet, sweet friends. We truly felt loved as they prayed for us. We know that they will be with us when we go.

Friday was Hudson and Jude's last day at Victory Mom's Day Out. Almost 4 years ago Hudson started going there. He learned his ABCs and 123s and shapes and colors. He learned the fruits of the spirit. He learned the lesson to turn to the Lord and pray the minute there is pain or a friend who is hurting. Jude learned to say "No thank you" to even the unpleasant things. He learned to take turns and wait in lines and have fun! Each time I had peace and knew they were loved and cared for. So, we said goodbye to the beautiful aquariums filled with exotic fish. We said goodbye to the larger than life giraffe that is sporting some beautiful holiday ball "bling". We rode the carousel for the last time. And we hugged our teachers a little tighter at the end of the day.

So thank you...Ms. Christine, Ms. Donna, Ms. Brooke, Ms. Niesha, Ms. Megan, Ms. Carissa and Ms. Linda. You have planted seeds that will last a lifetime. We will be praying for you in Kenya and looking forward to sharing our stories when we return!

And lastly, tonight we got together with my sweet, lifelong friends. We have been friends for over half my life. It began in high school as Shannon and I were in student government together and then off to college to live and learn about life as freshmen. Natasha came into our lives and "spiced" it up as she came to know Jesus and loved Him with great abandon. We grew more in our walks with the Lord then we ever expected. We learned how to love and serve and cook and we had so much fun! We watched each other cry and fall in love and have babies. I watched Shannon and Greg follow the Lord to India and serve Him faithfully there. My life is richer because they are in it. They are beautiful women who inspire me more then they'll ever know. They have amazing husbands and the most adorable children. My heart aches to think it will be at least 2 years before we'll kneel and pray and cry together again! They are my sisters for eternity!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Desires of the Heart

Where we've been...
Kyle went to a conference in Florida called ECHO for a week. It's purpose is to help fight world hunger. He left feeling inspired and more equipped for our work in Kenya. Lord conquer the world that lives in a strong cycle of poverty. May they come to know You and know what it means to never hunger or thirst again.

We then had our annual missions conference where we were featured missionaries. Kyle and I were able to host a "Meet the Missionary" room. We were able to speak about our passion for the work we will be doing in Kenya. I'm so thankful to attend a church that longs to spread the Gospel to all nations. Lord may we proclaim the message of your truth until representatives from every, tribe, tongue and nation will bow down and worship You.

Isaac Henry Jones was dedicated to the Lord on October 25. The blessing and charge from our new pastor, Jim Johnston was this: "Isaac was the son of the promise and his name means laughter. Henry comes from the German and it means ruler of the household. Isaac Henry may your life bring Christ's joy to many as you serve the household of faith." What a special time with our eternal family! Children truly are a heritage from the Lord.

And lastly, Grandpa Jones went to be with the Lord on October 31st. We were able to be there when he took his final breath. What a moment. We were in the presence of glory. We don't know exactly how it happens...if the spirit flies up, or angels come and escort, etc. but we do know our sweet grandpa, a faithful servant of Jesus was ushered into the presence of the Holy of Holies and we were present when he left for his glorious home. Kyle's dad and his siblings officiated the service. The church was full of people that were touched by the life of Dr. Ray and were undoubtedly given the grace and truth of God. What a heritage we've been given. We sat down for dinner after the service and Hudson looked at the people sitting next to him and said, "Do you know Jesus?" May we faithfully share the message we've been given. May our children be faithful to the calling that their great-grandfather strived to proclaim as the sole purpose of his life. I long for the day when death will have no sting. When it will be conquered. When we will be reunited at the wedding feast!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Just in Case...

I ever forget the power of the body of Christ. Or that God cares about the details of my life. Or that the Lord wants us to be in Kenya. I want to record the beauty of the Lord's goodness and provision this last month.

~We sold our house with just a "For Sale by Owner" sign and only 1 open house. All in 1 month.
~We had to replace the roof and fix the windows, but with the insurance it was completely covered.
~We needed a house to stay in by September 12 and the Lord provided an amazing missionary house for us that opened up on September 2. Which is right across the neighborhood from Kyle's parents.
~Our dear friends the Humphreys provided a moving van, movers and storage for our furniture.
~The Duinincks are allowing us to keep our furniture in their basement during out time in Kapsowar.
~Leah came over and worked like crazy to help me sort, throw and pack my house. I couldn't have done it without her!
~My precious neighbor, Marceta, watched my boys countless times so that I could accomplish such a task in such a short time. All with joy.
~My mother in law, Marlene, came over and let the boys spend the night at her house so we could work into the late hours of the night. Never once complaining or letting on how tired she was. And then watched them the next week while we went to WMM orientation.
~The profit from our house was within $100 of the repayment of my student loans!

Praise the Lord with us! Remind me if I ever question God's amazing power and love.

We are now settled for a few months here in Broken Arrow! Things are coming along. Thanks for all who are following and supporting us in this journey!

Good report from Isaac's cardiologist. He had no concerns about us leaving for Kenya. EKG looks good. Still a murmur which indicates the holes have not closed yet. Next appointment in November. Keep praying with us that the holes will close on their own.
And Jude had a really fun 2-year-old birthday party with Diego in our new house.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kapsowar Video

Hey Everyone,

Check out this cool video. It is from the missionary family that was formerly at Kapsowar Hospital, the place where we are going. Anyone want to come and visit?!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

More Precious Than Silver

This week we accepted an offer on our house! We praise the Lord for His faithfulness to provide for all of our needs. I had some mixed emotions. I love this little house of ours. I remember the first night we slept in "our very own house" almost 7 years ago. There are so many memories tied up in this little old house of ours...

When Kyle told me that they accepted our counter-offer I started crying. You see they negotiated our swing set. I couldn't help, but remembering watching Kyle and some of his buddies building that and how excited Hudson was the first time he got to go down his slide and fly in his rocket. And I wanted to hold on so tightly to this precious possession of ours.

Everynight when I put my boys to bed I sing a few songs...and that night I sang to Jude "Lord you are more precious than silver". Tears started streaming down my face and Jude noticed my voice change. He looked up at me and said "crying". He took his little blanket and wiped my tears and put his head back on my chest as I finished the song.

So bottom line, the sweet Holy Spirit reminded me that nothing on this earth compares to Him. Not tattered old houses or well loved swing sets. And I count it a joy to spend my life sharing Jesus with others so that they may know nothing this world has to offer compared to knowing and walking with Him.

Jones Update

Dear Family and Friends,
Well, a lot has been happening in our life right now…

First of all, we have a new member of the family! Isaac Henry Jones was born on May 31st, 2009 about 3 weeks early, our smallest baby yet at 5#7oz. He is a little guy but strong! He has recently been diagnosed with an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) in his heart. The cardiologist will continue to monitor him and is very hopeful that the hole will close on its own without surgery. Hudson and Jude love him so much and are wonderful helpers.

Another new beginning in our life is my graduation from Family Medicine Residency. It’s official, the many years of training are over and now starts the “practice” of medicine. I guess doctors are always learning. It has been a privilege to train at a Christian program that really taught me how to combine my faith with medicine. I will be working at the same clinic where I did my training here in Tulsa for the next 5 months and then…

We plan to leave for the mission field in early January 2010. We will be working with World Medical Mission (WMM), a branch of Samaritan’s Purse, at a mission hospital in Kapsowar, Kenya in Africa. We were accepted into WMM’s 2-year Post Residency Program which will provide for some of our financial needs and offer training and mentorship as we get started. We are very excited to see the Lord fulfilling this vision that we have both had for a long time. The Lord’s calling was clear and we are ready to follow His lead. I will be working in a 100-bed hospital with 2 other missionary doctors. We will have the opportunity to minister to the hospital staff, patients and surrounding community. We can’t wait to see how much fun our 3 boys are going to have playing with all the other kids. Hudson already calls himself a missionary. Vanessa is excited to begin homeschooling our kids and getting involved with women and children’s ministry. We certainly covet your prayers and support as we prepare for this next step in our lives. We are tremendously grateful for your prayers and encouragement over the years.

We would love to have you partner with us in our ministry. We need a team that will faithfully pray for us as well as individuals who could support us financially. Enclosed is a response letter. If you have further questions we would be happy to share more about our ministry with you. If you would like to continue to receive our newsletter please send us an email.

In His Service,
Kyle and Vanessa Jones
Hudson, Jude and Isaac

Prayer Requests:
· Pray for the people of Kenya whom we will serve and the hospital in Kapsowar.
· Pray for our preparations to go: spiritual, physical, emotional and financial.
· Pray for the hole in Isaac’s heart to heal and for the health of the rest of our family.