Walking in Freedom in Christ
Hello to all, my name is Cristina Jones, and I am taking free training in ministry at the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about online Bible classes, Click Here). I currently live in DeLand, Florida, in the United States. I am the proud wife of Casey Jones, and together we have a blended family of five children.
Growing up, I never heard the name of Jesus or God referenced unless it was in a derogatory manner. Alcohol was lord in our home. The day after my 10th birthday, my two-year-old brother drowned in our backyard pool. My stepmother, in a moment of grieving, blamed me and sent me away. They sent me to live with my aunt and uncle, and it was there I heard about Jesus for the first time. God planted a seed.
When I was 14, I was attending a Baptist church that preached fire and brimstone. I became scared of going to hell, so I said the sinner’s prayer. Nothing changed. I didn’t feel any different, and my actions over the next few years reflected that.
Challenges and Finding Jesus
Fast forward to 1992. I am 21 years old and stationed overseas at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. I am walking home one morning from being out all night at the clubs, and I hear a voice say, “Go to church.” I got back to my barracks and found what I thought would be “church clothes,” and walked to find the base chapel. After 3 weeks of hearing the Chaplain tell everyone all my dirty deeds and how I was living, I raised my hand to receive Jesus into my heart for what I felt was the first time. (Afterwards, I learned that it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me and directing me to go to church that morning) The day I was baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, I became radical for Jesus!
However, for the next 26 years, I would fight, and not win, the battle with my addictions. At the age of 10, when I was sent away from my family, I was exposed to pornography by a family member. I opened a door. A sexual addiction began. It led me into several broken relationships, 2 failed marriages, and a lukewarm relationship with God.
After my encounter with Jesus when I was 21, I KNEW God called me to preach the gospel. Unfortunately, everywhere I turned, the “church” told me I could not preach or teach because I was a woman. So I spent 20 years trying to find my identity. And questioning the call God had placed on my life. I believe it really stunted my growth as a believer mainly because I let it.
It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom after the death of my fiancé that I knew I had to surrender EVERY secret part of my life to Jesus. I was empty. Which was exactly where God needed me to be so He could fill me with all of His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love. That is when I was healed and delivered of my addiction, and God brought my husband into my life. Today I walk in the freedom of the Word of God and who I am in Christ.
My passion is ministering to women who feel broken and teaching them their value is found in Jesus, NOT men. My husband and I have a passion for seeing marriages restored. We have been serving couples and teaching marriage classes for 4 years. There is nothing that sets my heart on fire more than studying the Bible and teaching others the power of the Word of God. It’s all with a little “Cristina flavor.”
Free Classes in Ministry at CLI
Every challenge and tragedy I have experienced in my life made me the woman, wife, mother, minister, preacher, counselor, mentor of God that I am today. With that being said, when God called my husband and me to plant a house church in late 2019, I realized I needed more structured ministry training. I didn’t know where to find that training without going to seminary (which I do not feel led to). Then a friend’s daughter reached out to ask if I would marry her and her fiancé. This led me to Christian Leader’s Institute because I DID NOT want to “buy” my wedding officiant certification. I wanted to earn it.
My husband will join me in taking some classes as we move forward with our house church. Being able to take advantage of free training has helped us more than we can say. We have been living by faith for the resources needed to complete our entire home renovation. God has met every need, including the free training classes in ministry I am taking through CLI and CLA. We are eternally grateful for the Lord directing our steps which led us here.
By becoming a Gold Vision Partner, we decided to sow into the Kingdom because we believe in the Christian Leaders Institute’s vision. With the opportunity for free training classes in ministry at CLI, we pray that we reach more people for Christ with no obstacles.