My name is Cynthia Jones. I’m married with one daughter, a granddaughter, and a grandson. My husband and I live in a small community in South Carolina. We visit Costa Rica twice each year where my husband receives part of his cardiac care.

My daughter graduates this year with a four year degree in Ministry. She started a ministry two years ago, which I serve as a Chaplin in. I began studying with Christian Leaders Institute in the summer of 2013. I currently have 37 credit hours with plans to continue studying.

Being brought up in the Baptist church I was baptized before I was a teenager. I’ve always believed in the scripture, prayer, Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father and the Holy Trinity, but I allowed many things to distract and dominate my life. During my chemotherapy for Stage III-C ovarian cancer in 2003, God tried to reach me, but I refused to listen. I would pray before bed or during difficult days and was not afraid of death because my soul was saved. God was trying to tell me the life I was missing without a dedicated walk with Jesus Christ. Even though I survived when I was given two years to live, my world turned into a downhill spiral. My days were unhappy, discontented and I felt like there was nothing special about my life. God was patient with me; allowing my misery until I was willing to surrender to His will.

My daughter tried to reach me, and in July 2010 her love and prayers helped open my heart and allowed God to take His rightful place in my life. The re-dedication of my life was made publicly with baptism, family, and friends. Praying and talking to God, reading and studying the Bible daily, I felt my heart began to change. Outwardly, my anger was removed, the tone in my voice changed, the way I viewed my world softened and I felt peace and happiness like I never knew existed. After my re-dedication I went through conviction guided by the Holy Spirit. It was painful and I was given a “slide-show” of my life. I was a good person, but I was not living the life of a dedicated Christian. He led me through conviction with the unconditional love that only God can give His children. What a gift! Please… Learn the difference between conviction and condemnation… The latter will kill you, spiritually and physically. One is of God and one is of Satan.

In prayer God directed me to pursue education of His word. I heard my calling to become a Chaplin. This isn’t a paid position. I register with local hospitals, nursing homes, hospice, home health care, people who are home bound; anywhere prayer, compassion and listening are needed. I no longer practice nursing, but my skills will allow me to be in uncomfortable and difficult situations when people may be in the last parts of their lives. No human should ever die alone. Being with a person when their time ends is one of the greatest gifts one human can give another. Love, comfort, respect, and compassion are what every person deserves. I know this is where I can be a reflection of the love of Jesus Christ in me.

Often I have no physical strength due to the long-term effects of the chemotherapy, but it doesn’t stop my prayers and studies. I find I’m fueled by the Holy Spirit, especially when I talk or pray with others. If you’ve never felt the presence of the Holy Spirit come over you, it’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced. It cannot be explained; only felt. I was guided in prayer to split my tithe each month between my church ministry and Christian Leaders Institute. I’m well fed by both and I’m very grateful for the new life I’ve been given.

I’ve been very blessed by the power of the Holy Spirit because I have a condition called “chemo-brain”. It makes my short-term memory very difficult and I often stutter. I know in my heart that I have the gift of the Holy Spirit with me every step of the way. When I’m speaking the words of our Savior my voice is strong and clear. That’s the power of the Holy Spirit, not me. Everything I’m doing is of Christ, not of me. Due to my previous occupation of being a nurse, I can be the one in a sick room when there are less than desirable conditions. Not everyone is comfortable in these situations. I pray to be a comfort to those who have so little and those who feel left behind.

With my ordination I’ll make myself available for funerals, assist in the planning of “End of Life Celebrations,” and possibly weddings. I’m prepared to give Communion with those who are home-bound and serve as a link for those who don’t attend church or don’t have a regular minister.

Five years ago this would not have been a second thought. And now I know why God saved me from Stage III-C Ovarian cancer.

I have more work to do in glorifying our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ through the blessing of Christians Leaders Institute. I plan to always be a part of this school. By the almighty power of God, along with the courage and strength of the Holy Spirit to share the love, grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, proclaiming the gospel everywhere… I rejoice! Amen.