Jorden To Jordan (and other places)

As many of you may already know I have been praying for the past year for the country of Jordan. I first heard of a plan to establish a Bible College in Jordan a year ago, where Jordanian nationals as well refugees could be taught the Word of God and raised up as leaders and pastors. I had little interest in going myself at this time, but it was on my heart to see others go and so I began to pray for the country and the potential school. Fast-forward a year and now I find myself praying not only for the country daily but that if it be God’s will that He would send me there as a missionary. For the past few months I have been praying that I could go on a vision tour sometime in the beginning of 2020. I was praying that God would provide the finances necessary but also that we would be able to work out the logistics of the trip. I am overjoyed to announce that God has answered the beginning phases of those prayers. After some prayer I sat down to do a bit of math and figured out that by God’s grace, the generosity of some of you who have partnered with me and my own finances I had enough to purchase my tickets. However I still had concerns, I was sitting there thinking, “I still have so much to raise for the rest of the trip and if I purchased the tickets I will be left with very little money.” So with this in mind I prayed and asked God two things, “Lord I know you have called me to live by faith and to trust you with my finances and that you will provide for all my needs. I feel you have told me to go on this trip so if I am suppose to go please send the money that I need. Then secondly do you want me to put my faith into action and purchase the tickets trusting you will provide for me this next month.” God was so faithful to answer these prayers and so having confidence that God was calling me to purchase my tickets I proceeded in faith and did so. Then after I had already committed to purchasing the tickets knowing I would have very little for the month of November I checked my finances once more. Suddenly I had enough money, a check had come in last minute. Not only was it enough for the flights but also for the next month. God had done exceedingly, abundantly above what I asked. So January 26th I will be leaving on my trip to Jordan and as if that wasn’t enough God blessed me even further. In addition to visiting Jordan God provided for me to visit both Israel and North Africa. I know that there will be a wealth of information, knowledge and wisdom that I will be able to glean from both those I will be traveling with and those I will visit. My prayer is that this trip will greatly prepare me for the work prepared for me. 

Called Through His Grace

My internship has been amazing! I have been learning so much and I am so thankful for the wisdom and experience of those around me and to be able to learn from them. Throughout this past month however there has been one prevalent aspect of God’s character that He has been teaching me about and that is grace. As I began to look at Paul’s letter I realized how often he speaks of God’s grace and that it was by, through, and according to God’s grace that Paul was called to be an apostle.  In 1 Corinthians Paul says that he “labored more abundantly than they all, (speaking of the apostles) yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Cor. 15:10, NKJV) therefore Paul attributes his labor, his work not to himself but to God’s grace. In Ephesians 3:7 Paul says that he became a minster of the gospel, “according to the gift of the grace of God…” (Eph. 3:7, NKJV) it wasn’t according to his wisdom, his ability, his education, his status in life or anything that Paul had done but he was called to be a minister solely by God’s grace. Then in Galatians Paul states, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles…” (Gal. 1:15-16, NKJV) In this we see that Paul was separated and called from his mothers womb by the grace of God. Before Paul was born, before any of us were born it pleased God to call us by His grace. Despite all that Paul did in persecuting the church, despite all the sin in our lives against God it pleased Him to call us through grace. In my study of these statements of Paul I was extremely encouraged and taught a valuable lesson. While Paul could confidently state, that he was an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God (Ephesians 1:1, NKJV) and separated to the gospel of God (Rom. 1:1, NKJV). Paul would also openly call himself the least of the apostles (1 Cor. 15:9, NKJV), and less than the least of all saints (, NKJV), and chief among sinners. (1 Tim. 1:15, NKJV).  Paul understood that he could stand firm in the grace of God and be confident in his call, but that God’s grace should lead him to complete surrender to the will of God and absolute humility before the Lord. I am not able nor do I desire to boast in any of my achievements or what I am doing for the Lord for I am humbled and amazed that He would allow me to serve Him. God’s grace is so abundant and He is deserving of my full obedience, full commitment and all I have to give. From Paul I see that I should be confident in the calling of God because it is through His grace I am called not by my ability, my status or my gifting. But this also should produce in me a humility and fountain of praise and thanksgiving to God for His grace.  If God blesses me by calling me to serve Him as a pastor then it will only be by His grace, through His grace, and according to His grace. So I stand in the grace of God and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (Rom. 5:2, NKJV) I have been shown immeasurable grace undeserved so that I may boast in His grace towards me not in anything I achieve. I pray my life and my calling may used for others to see Christ in me as Paul said in Galatians 1:16 “to reveal His Son in me” I pray Christ to be revealed in me more day by day. 

I am so excited for all that God has prepared for this trip to Jordan and also as I continue my internship. I pray that my life may be surrendered to the Lord and used to magnify His name. Thank you for your prayers, your encouragement and your financial support. I would not be allowed these amazing opportunities to serve the Lord if not for God’s grace and the continued partnership in the gospel from some of you. If you have partnered with me and supported me through prayer, through words of encouragement, in finances, or by simply reading my updates I thank you and pray God blesses you greatly. You are all such an example to me of Christ love and am grateful for you all.  

Helping make Belizean food with my Belizean friends from Bible College
Meeting for prayer before Sunday Service
Baptism in the church Courtyard

Praise Reports

  • I’ve bought my tickets to go to Jordan!!! 
  • By God’s grace I have not only been able to be apart of a discipleship/accountability group but actually lead one. Discipleship is one of my passions so I am humbled that God would allow me to lead one of these groups. Especially with such a great group of guys.

Prayer Requests

  • For the rest of the finances for my trip to Jordan, Israel and North Africa
  • For all my friends, and family in Northern California that have been affected by the Kincade fire. For those of you reading that live in those areas, please know that I am praying for you and love you all. 

May the grace of God be with you all,

Your Brother In Christ Jesus,

Jorden Skiles