Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Mud House Mama: Vanessa Jones

A thoughtful writer friend of mine gave me the inspiring idea to write features about “Mud House Mamas,"  women who embrace God’s incredible heart for the world, live their lives accordingly, and boldly share that passion with others.

As I considered writing my first post for this, I was compelled to tell you about this woman! 

She is soft spoken, wise, gentle and kind. I first met Vanessa when she worked as a summer camp counselor at New Life Ranch. I was pregnant with my first child, and scared because I just found out I might have gestational diabetes. If my husband couldn't make it to the appointment with me, the first person I thought of asking was Vanessa. She was a comforting person, a balm to the soul. 

And yet, as I would soon discover, surprisingly so fiercehearted

Growing up, I always imagined that women who chose to go to the mission field to places like Kenya, must be loud, passionate, strong, warrior type women. She wasn't the personality I thought would be headed to Africa. I was wrong. 

Several years after our meeting, Vanessa married my brother, an aspiring medical missionary doctor. Together, they survived his medical school years, and the birth of 3 boys. Then they packed their belongings in 12 suitcases, and moved to Kenya.

While Kyle serves at Kapsowar Hospital, Vanessa is cooking meals from scratch, homeschooling their now four children, hosting guests and visitors from around the world, and leading Bible studies with women in Kenya. She has supported and come alongside Kyle starting a medical clinic and a Christian school in the remote Lodengo area four hours down a dangerous winding mountain road from their home. Her children are growing up to be compassionate, energetic, souls who love Jesus.

And last week, Vanessa saved my brother’s life. While on vacation at a hotel in Kenya, Kyle hit his head on a faulty designed water slide and went unconscious. Thankfully, Vanessa saw the accident, quickly jumped in and yelled for their 12 year old son, Hudson to help her get him above and out of the water. Likely the scariest moment of her life were those 2 minutes he lie unconscious at the poolside, and the 30 minutes he was confused afterwards. (He’s recovering from a concussion, but doing well now.)

My sister-in-law is a fiercehearted HERO. I’m delighted to name her the first “Mud House Mama.” She loves the Lord and the people of Kenya with her whole being. She is living for Jesus and changing lives! I am forever grateful for her impact on my life! (and my brother's :)

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