Thursday, October 20, 2011

More Driving Adventures in Zimbabwe!

I have been so excited about partnering with my childhood church (Woodside Bible Church) as they launched their interactive internet campus.  To be able to host an online campus with worship, teaching, prayer and fellowship from Zimbabwe, where we have notoriously bad electricity and internet issues has been a miracle.  Today we had our official African launch at 2pm, 8am for those of you in Michigan. 

If you have ever had to work in Africa you may have heard the statement, “TIA” short for “This Is Africa”, meaning “whatever can go wrong, certainly will.”  We proved that once again to be true!

I have been borrowing a car from Nyasha for the past few months and today when I was picking up Charity who was serving as “Prayer Host” online today the car stopped moving…in the middle of a construction site, COMPLETELY blocking the ENTIRE road that was being worked on!  Eventually we were able to push it out of the way, and Nyasha saved the day! He not only picked us up so that we made it online in time, but coordinating transport for our entire team who was being trained AND getting his car towed to the mechanics.  I am so grateful for the way he can calmly take care of a chaotic situation!
We were able to push the car to the side so at least the trucks could get by! 

Which was exactly what Pastor Doug was preaching about today, from James 1:19/20 “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry because human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” Today we saw our team work together in a difficult situation with incredible grace, living out their faith in action!  I am proud to work with such incredible examples of the Christian religion. 

I am often heard saying, “My work in Africa is not at all glamorous” and what I mean by that is the day to day work that I am found doing is often hard: unpolished and unpredictable.  Today was a perfect example of that… I was showered and dressed for a successful meeting with social welfare and by the time I made it to our online campus I was sweaty, puffy and dirty because I was stranded pushing a car down a red dust road in 90+ degree weather! 

What I love is that not one of us lost our temper or shouted at anyone –even when the construction workers were completely irritated with how I managed to delay their work-and didn't mind telling me!  We totally proved that although our work is not glamorous, it is important.  704 people from 3 countries logged in to check out our service.  As we add our Africa touches to the service, I have no doubts that more and more people will be moved by the prayer and worship of the African people!   

To God be the Glory!

 Read on if you would like to read my letter requesting support for my new car:

Hello Friends,

I am writing to you with an urgent request.

Many of you know that I gave my car to Pastor Chris’s wife Rhoda and have not had a car since I returned to Zimbabwe at the beginning of this year. Nyasha has been so kind to allow me to use a car of his that we knew was having problems and wasn’t going to last long.  Today as I was on my way to pick up Charity for the launch of our African branch of Woodside’s Online Campus, the car refused to move forward when I shifted from reverse to drive…leaving me blocking a construction site J Life here is always an adventure!  (If you would like to read the whole story please see my blog!) The mechanic has towed the car to the shop and determined that among other things, the transmission needs to be replaced and that it is time for me to buy a car!

I knew that the time was coming, and I have been pricing cars and looking to see what was available.  As you might know, I live very frugally here so I will no doubt negotiate as much as possible!

I am desperately in need of the funds to purchase a vehicle.  Without a vehicle, my ability to reach many of the families I work with and the children’s homes I counsel in would be dramatically limited. My schedule is quite strenuous and many of the places I work are not easily accessible by public transportation. 

If you would like to help me purchase a vehicle, you can make a tax deductible donation through ROCK of Africa.  You can do this in one of two ways: visit and click on “Give Now Online” which will take you to paypal.  You can enter your donation amount and credit card information.  If you would rather not make an online donation, but would like to use a check or credit card,  please contact Debi Elliott at and she will walk you through the donation process!

I appreciate all of your love and support over the years!
With Love from Zimbabwe,
Regina Jones

P.S. If you would like to help in some other way, we are in need of several types of in kind donations: Smart phones that can be used in Africa (AT&T or T-mobile) because this way our volunteers can access email without a computer.  We need two laptops to use with our new Internet campus, they do not have to be new—the only requirement is that we can access a wireless signal!  You can also help make our Christmas parties for local families and orphans possible, just email me for more information!

Monday, October 17, 2011

a father's love

I spent this weekend with a group of recovering alcoholics from Southern Africa in a beautiful area of Zimbabwe.  It was just what I needed... 3 days without cell phone service and lots of sunshine and great conversation.

The highlight for me was visiting this little stone chapel, on a cliff overlooking Lake Mutikiwiri.  I was told that I must see it.  When I got there, it took my breath away.  It was a VERY small chapel and the story on the door explained that a daughter had asked her dad to build her a little place to get married in.  He did, and before her wedding day she was killed in an accident.  He finished the little chapel as a memorial of love to his baby girl.

It was so special just to sit in this lovely place and be reminded of what a father's love really means.  For me, I thought of how much God loves me as a father.  As I sat in this chapel overlooking the lake I thought of all of the things God has given me, for no other reason than to show me His love.

A few minutes later a group of Indian men who came from Durban for the convention came into the chapel.  Most of them are Hindu and a couple are atheist.   We talked about the chapel and joked that I should get married there to cut down the guest list and dramatically save money!  Then they got serious and asked me to pray for them.  I was a bit nervous and they said, "Just pray how you normally do, we want you to." So I did.  I closed by saying "In the name of Jesus" and when I looked up these men had big smiles on their faces. 

I reciprocated and asked if they would pray for me and I was met with silence.  One bold man said, "We don't know how to pray, we only know the AA prayers." So we held hands and said the Lord's Prayer and the Serenity Prayer.

It was such a special moment, but I walked away feeling sad.  I am eternally grateful for my relationship with God.  To be able to come to God as my father and speak to Him about anything that is on my heart is a privilege.  It is my desire for everyone I come into contact with to be able to have such relationship with God as well.  The rest of the weekend, every time someone would walk past me when I was in conversation with one of these men, they would stop them and say, "This woman prayed for us" as if it were a precious gift they had been given.

I am so grateful for the reminder that God has given me so many special gifts as a father, but most importantly He gave me himself... and that relationship is by far the most precious gift I have ever received.