Hello, my name is Joshua Cones. I am 19 year old American living in Indianapolis, Indiana. In this country I see many struggles all due to sin. So far, GOD has not fully unveiled the ministry dreams for me here. I currently work with kids ages 3-16 from the inner city at The Caring Place church. So in regards to ministry my dream is just to care and love people however GOD leads me to.
Coming to know the LORD is a special and unique privilege for each Christian. Every encounter is different. Mine is very special to me because, like the parable in Luke 7:40-43, I am the servant with the greater debt. I grew up in and out of church but by the time I made it to high school I was addicted to drugs, alcohol, and smoking. I was also sexually immoral and violent. After dropping out of high school at age 17, I got a job. I started working full time and figured the meaning of my life would be working for money.
By the time I turned 18 the president and those running against him for office had begun their campaigns. While getting heavily involved in politics I came across many videos exposing corruption in the government. This opened my eyes to the work of the devil in this world. After realizing that there was a sworn enemy of my soul I realized I was helpless.
After humbly accepting this fact I knew that my only hope would be JESUS CHRIST. After reading the book of Revelation I had the fear of the LORD and all my other fears disappeared. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of THE HOLY ONE is understanding”,and I can testify that scripture to be the truth! After committing myself to the LORD he began breaking me down and stripping away the ways of the flesh mightily and with great speed. I still have a lot more transformation to undergo but in this short amount of time he has brought me across the galaxy. This journey, even with its trials and suffering, brings me life everyday as the LORD enables me to pursue him everyday.
My Pastor, Jon Susa, always ends our services with a prayer. Each prayer is different except for the end is always the same. He finishes the prayer with “And As We Change Our World”. At first, I thought him to be a slap happy motivational speaker but now I have experienced living with the LORD for a while and I truly believe we will change our world because of CHRIST living through us. GOD has not revealed all the details of my ministry purpose but I do know it involves LOVE because GOD is LOVE! Pastor Jon once said “I don’t know the future but I know who holds the future”. I find comfort in this statement when I yearn to know more about my ministry purpose.
The word evangelist sticks out to me the most. I really think of some of the preachers I have heard. In my perspective the ones whom I got a great confirmation from GOD from were evangelists. I believe GOD has put this word in my heart and I will learn more about CHRIST’S definition of what an evangelist truly is as I grow closer to him.
In my geographic location the most significant problem I see is violence. I walk and drive through very worldly dangerous parts of Indianapolis to get our kids for our Saturday youth program. I believe the fear of violence is a major obstacle preventing more Christians from spreading The Gospel here in Indianapolis.
My local church has supported me with something many churches claim to have but lack. This is love. My pastors and fellow members are all family to me and pour out love and encouragement. They are flowing vessels of GOD’s affection and this has molded me and filled my cup to overflow. I cannot contain this great love and I have to share it with others. The moment I started attending The Caring Place and every service since then the people there have just overwhelmed me with their love every time I’ve walked through the doors. This is the life changing experience that empowered me to pursue ministry. If it were not for the affection of The Caring Place people then I would not want to pour into the inner city kids. Quite frankly, a lot of the kids are difficult, problematic, annoying, and extremely lacking in discipline BUT because I saw the power love has had in my own life I desire to pour it into these kids. This builds patience and endurance. Also, I realize that their behavior gives me a slight taste of what my behavior tastes like to GOD.
Currently, my father and I have started a side business out of our house that allows us to give more and more importantly demonstrate BIBLICAL principles in our lives to customers. We often get to pray with a lot of our customers and become friends with them. GOD has blessed us a lot through this and I believe in its effectiveness. Pastor Keith Butler once told me that “Sometimes business is the best way to reach people because you can’t get them to go to church”. So, my father and I get to be the CHURCH to the people, as the WORD commands!
This scholarship at CLI is very important to me. After finishing the beginners course I realized that even though I knew a lot of the material from daily studying, I lacked discipline and order. Our GOD is a GOD of perfection and balance. He gives everything in perfect amounts. I believe since we are called to imitate GOD we should seek balance and discipline in our lives and not just swing the sword wildly. The sword has the power to cut, if you swing wildly without loving surgical intentions, you will severely injure your patient and bring condemnation upon yourself. I can see that CLI teaches us how to BIBLICALLY fish for men. This first course with its time restrictions and practical ideas challenged me to manage time better and remind me that non believers don’t think like believers. To catch them, you have to understand how they think!
Prayer is always priority number one in my life. It would be a great blessing to receive as many prayers as possible! As far as what to specifically ask, ask for everything! We have a GOD who can give it all! In addition, the more I grow in CHRIST the more I see the real distance of how far I fall short of CHRIST’s glory and I need his all! I have so many flaws. Please pray for GOD to continue to mold me and be led by THE HOLY SPIRIT. Also, please pray for more opportunities to minister to people and that they be discipled and nurtured in THE WORD OF GOD. Thank you all who read this and I can’t wait to spend an eternity in Heaven with you worshiping our LORD! GOD BLESS!
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