Monday, June 27, 2011

Our Calling and How You Can Help

Many of you have asked how you can come along side our calling to help the people of Cub@. Here is a letter many of our family and friend have received.  Or will receive this week. I might not have your address. But here it is.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. –Matthew 28:19

Dear Family and Friends,

The past five years, the Lord has given us a heart for the salvation of the people of Cub@. We can’t tell you why God has chosen to put this calling on our hearts and it is not an easy one.  However, He has never promised his calling would be easy, but  He has promised that He will give us what we need to see it through.

In our many visits to Cub@ we have discovered family there that is ours, just as anyone else we call parent, sister, brother, child, etc. Pastor Jose  and his wife Pastora Yamile  are fighting hard for the cause of Christ and the Lord is using them to bring a great many to Christ. It is an incredibly difficult life they live.  The cost of living is high, while income is scarce. The little salary their church has been able to pay them does not begin to cover what it costs for their family to live. Their kingdom work is a full time job that does not allow them to pursue other work to feed and clothe their family. What little they do have, they use to feed and clothe those with even less. 

We have been completing the paperwork to bring Jose and Yamile to the United States later this summer.  They will be sharing their calling and the amazing things that God is doing through them in Cub@. They will also be procuring support for themselves and their sons, Daniel and David, so they can continue to focus on bringing their countrymen to Christ. It is an exciting story you do not want to miss hearing.  For reasons we do not understand, we have been called along side of them on this mission, and we are humbled that God would use us in this way.

We write hoping for your support in our journey to bring them to the U.S. First and foremost, we need your prayers. It is rarely smooth when these two countries work together. They are scheduled to be here at the end of July.  Pray that this happens as scheduled.  Pray there will be no difficulties for Jose and Yamile as they travel from Cuba and into the United States. Please pray for them as they leave their young sons behind while they are here for two months.  Pray for them as they are confronted with the materialism that is rampant in our country.

Additionally, we ask that you pray to see if God is leading you to help financially with their travel to and in the United States.  The trip will cost about $6000.  We have only raised about half of that thus.  Your contribution is tax deductible.  Your check can be made out to Unity United Methodist church with “Cub@ Missions” in the memo line.

Checks can be mailed to:
Unity United Methodist Church
1910 East Broadway
Northwood, Ohio 43619

Your Brother and Sister in Christ,

Kevin and Tonni Jobe

I will be posting where they will be speaking in the States.  For those of you not in Ohio, they will also be in Florida, Mississippi, Eastern Ohio, maybe New York.

It is your prayers we covet the most!!

In Christ!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Beyond Barriers

June 12, 2011

Last Sunday, during the fellowship hour, which is really half an hour, before the worship service, I was approached by one of the Hispanic ladies who attends our worship service. Adriana is a very sweet lady who speaks very little English. I speak very little Spanish, but somehow, God has brought the two of us together.  We are sisters in Christ.  Adriana found me that morning because she could not find my husband who is the pastor.  She brought me to meet her friend, Sarah. Sarah is from Kuwait.  She left Kuwait three months ago because she did not want to be Muslim any longer. In her country, to denounce your faith is a death sentence. Sarah did not speak Spanish. She spoke English fairly well. And she asked me to tell her about Christianity.  So, in the few minutes we had, I did.  Muslims know Jesus as a great prophet, a teacher. So I told her how Christians see Jesus. As Savior. That he died for our sins. That he is more than teacher. He is Lord. If we accept his free gift of salvation we will spend eternity in heaven. In further conversation I discovered neither of the women had a Bible written in English, so my daughter and I went into the worship area and found them each a Bible. I was able to briefly introduce Sarah to my husband and then it was time for service. I missed most of the service as I was teaching Kids Church that Sunday, but after service, my husband’s face was lit up. When I approached him, he told me that after service that Sarah had come to him and wanted to become a Christian. And he was blessed to lead her in prayer.  It was an amazing morning.  God worked beyond and through all of the barriers that we as people would have seen.  And the heavens rejoiced.

Friday, May 27, 2011

What is Our Focus as The Church?

As you are probably aware, Pastor Harold Camping predicted the second coming of Christ was going to happen on May 21, at 6 pm, EST.  Based on his interpretation of the Bible. But the Bible clearly says, "36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24:36) Yes, as Christians it is easy to sit back now and knowingly quote this verse.  But I think of those people in this man's church who went out and sold EVERYTHING they had and spent their money going around promoting the message, "'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.'” Matthew 4:17b.

Those were the words of Jesus.  

The second coming of Jesus is not a joke.  And yet, it has become one.  To everyone.  To many very very good Christians.  Here is where I confess that I laughed a lot at some of the comments I have seen. "Worst Rapture EVER!" is one that comes to mind.  Lots of  quotes from R. E. M. (a pretty cool song, I admit  and it gives  you a little glimpse into my before children life. I wasn't in this group, but did perform for years and taught afterwards.) Anyway....

I doubt very much that Mr. Camping's focus was truly on Jesus.  It may have started there, but if he was truly Bible focused, he would have remembered Jesus'  very telling words. The Bible does not hide secrets about the second coming of Christ.  It tells us that very clearly.  So, Jesus was not returning on the 21st of May.  Just as He is not coming in October as Mr. Camping is now predicting because he "misread' or 'misinterpreted' or whatever.

But I think, as Christians we need to remember that Jesus IS coming!  Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe sometime yet today.  And it is our job, the only one He gave us,  "19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." Matthew 28:19-20a

So, maybe we have a little bit to learn from the members of the congregation of Mr. Camping.  First, to hold our pastors accountable, to not just take what they say as, well, gospel.  To study and  be in our Bibles. (As a pastor's wife, I urge you to do this, remember that your pastor is human!)  And to remember that the people all around us need Jesus! They are not going to come into the church seeking Him, necessarily. We have to go and seek them! It is scary sometimes, but their very lives depend on it. And He promised to be with us, and to give us power that is as great as He had here on earth!  Don't believe me?  Look it up!

Because He Lives,


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hanging Out With My Dad

A few weeks ago I was driving to work at the food pantry our church.  I have to pass the local elementary school to get there and it is at the same time that kids are going to school.

This particular day there was some road construction going on a block away from the school so the sidewalk and street was blocked by some heavy machinery.  And I noticed a dad with his daughter on his back.  He carried her that way out into the busy street around the obstruction so that he knew she would be safe.

And I was struck by how much he loved his daughter.  He galloped around so she would laugh.

And then I was struck that this is how God protects and loves me! He holds onto me, carries me around dangers that I am not even aware of and even gallops around just to hear me laugh!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

So, Are We Still Stuck on That Hill?

We never did see that mechanic. We were eventually pointed to someone down the road who might be able to help us.  He tinkered about with the engine.  We left.  Headed up the hill.  As we started up the incline, I remember praying.  I told the kids to put on their shoes, they might have to push (silly kids that they are, they did!)  And La Limosina started to slow down.  Jose was gunning it, trying to keep us from rolling back ground.  And I kept looking at the top of the hill. Sloooooowly getting closer.  And I sang and prayed and thought of how great God was.  Because I could feel Him right there.  He was pulling us up over that hill.  Like He so often pulls me up over the hills in my life. 

There was no earthly way we should have gotten up that long hill.  La Limosina didn't have it in her.  And there is no earthly way I should be able to do much of what God has me do.  He has used me in so many ways and just when I have felt I cannot do what He has called me to do, He grabs ahold and reminds me that HE is the one with the power.  Not me, that is for certain.

So, on Holy Spirit power, La Limosina came up over that hill.  After that point, we were lead to a mechanic who fixed that old Toyota van so we could get home.  Just like how I, on Holy Spirit power, can do that things that GOD calls me to. 

How Great is Our God!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

La Limosina

We have many amazing adventures in Cub@. One of which was our mode of transportation. It was this old, rusted out Toyota van that we dubbed La Limosina....I'm guessing a translation is not need.  But a description is.  The is nothing in the dashboard of La Limosina.  No odometer, no speedometer, no radio, no dials, nothing.  Most of the starter is there. That is a good thing.  Within a few minutes of our loading up a storm came over Hav@na.  Not good because, although there was a windshied wiper, there was only one, and it didn't work.  And there wasn't a defroster (or heat or air conditioning for that matter.) So, as it rained the window steamed up and Kevin and Jose had to constantly wipe down the inside of the windshield so Jose could see to drive. No matter how I tried, I couldn't convince Kevin to reach outside and wipe the water off of the outside.

To let you further experience the ambience of La Limosina, you should know that the sliding door on the side fell off if you didn't hold it on when you opened it.  The window on the left side had cracked and actually been sewn back together with wire. There were several holes in the bottom so some of our luggage got pretty wet during our storm (the only time it rained while we were there, by the way.)

We spent our first full day of our trip doing several days in the city and then headed out into the country that evening.  We started out knowing we would be at the house in plenty of time for dinner.  Then we hit the hill.  A really really loooooooooong hill.  And La Limosina started to climb. And the higher she climbed the slower she got.  The adults were all trying to will her to go up the hill.  I think we were leaning forward.  I know we were all praying. 

So, we did what you do in Cub@.  We stopped in a little town at a church were Jose happened to know the pastor and asked if they knew a mechanic.  They did and told us where to find him. So we went looking for the mechanic.  Which was good, but nobody in the neighborhood seemed to know where he lived or who he was.  And very few people have phones so there was no one to call.  So eventually we gave up and went back on the pot-holed highway and started up that loooooong hill once again.

And, you guessed it, the further up the hill we got, the slower we went. Do you ever feel like that in life? Like you struggle up hill all of the time and work so hard and just seem to roll backwards?  And you are praying to God and wondering where He is? Because it sure isn't getting any easier.

So, as we are struggling along, Jose pulls over to the side where there are some men alongside the road. He explains to the what is happening and they offer to call a mechanic they know and we will just need to wait for him to come help us.  Okay.  So we wait.  And we wait.  And we wait.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

What It Means to Worship Here

Church in Cub@ means if someone paints "Viva Raul" Or "Viva Fidel" (meaning Long live Raul  or Long live Fidel as in Castr0 the rulers of the Communist party) on the front of your church, you do not have the legal right to remove it. That's right, that graffiti must remain on the front of the Lord's house of worship.

Worship in Cub@ means that, as you are worshiping God, next to you, on the other side of the wall, this one right here beside where you are worshiping

someone is practicing witchcraft and making sacrifices to the devil trying to stop the worship of God.

Worshiping God here means that you are not supposed to not gather in public in groups of more than 14 people without permission of the government.  But they won't sanction a gathering until you reach more than 40 people, but that is illegal. So, technically, there is no way for your church to become legal.

 But God keeps bringing you people. And you worship in groups of 70 and God keeps bringing you more people.  And you continue to worship because it is what you are commanded by God to do. And you are willing to go to jail if it comes right down to it, because you are living out the book of Acts. And how do you say no to God?

I have had some people ask me how you can help.  For right now, I just ask for your prayers.  Yes, there are tangible ways you can help.  And it is desperately needed.  But for now, please pray and I will continue to share what is happening in the lives of your brothers and sisters in Cristo en Cub@.

Kevin& Tonni Jobe, Yamy & Jose Santiago

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Where and What

For the past several years this beautiful island nation is where God has called my husband, Kevin, and I to serve. Now, don't get me wrong, it is not the only place to we are called to serve. We are a pastoral family and serve a congregation that we love very much in a community that has become very dear to us.But that is another entry.

We have been on several mission trips to Cub@. (Before you ask, I use the @ instead of the letter a in Cub@ so that it does not come up in searches. While we go in and out of the country legally, we don't want to cause any issues for our friends and family south of the border.)

Mission trips to Cub@ tend to be different than to other places.  We don't go in and build things. We spend our time encouraging the Christians there. Letting them know that they are not forgotten. They don't get support from the communist government and it is easy to get discouraged. We encourage. We pray. We preach. We bring in medicines that they cannot get in their country. We bring in what we can to equip their ministry.

Kevin and I partner with two pastors who have become our family, Jose and Yamile Santiago.
We, along with our former church,  outfitted their church with electric drums, electric bass, dvd player, percussion instruments, projection system, sound system, Sunday school supplies. And then their denomination pulled them from their church and they had to leave all of these thing behind.

Since then, they have started a new church.  Actually they began this new church in January.  They started with 6 people in what used to be a pig shelter. Now they have over 70 people attending worship and Sunday school, mid week worship and Saturday morning prayer and fasting. They have no sound system. Their only instruments are few handheld percussion instruments. And yet their sacrifice of praise is so genuine." But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
   will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
   I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.’” Jonah 2:9 
They sacrifice so much to proclaim the name of Jesus.  More than we here in the United States can even imagine. They really are secluded from the rest of the community. Ridiculed by their peers at school. And yet there is such joy.

So, our calling is to these people.  To help to outfit this church. To help them to reach out to their community for Jesus.  Jovellanos, the city in central Cub@ where they live is the center of a religion called Santaria.  Santaria is a mixture of Catholicism and voodoo. It shrouds the city in darkness. And, being as awesome as God is, He has decided to shine his light in this darkness and create revival where the enemy would have none.

Please be in prayer for us and for these beautiful people.  If you have questions, leave them in the comments.
God Bless You!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Making Your Marriage A Priority

Relieving some of the pressure.  For what one of my favorite writers has to say, click here.

I will be posting updates from our recent mission trip soon! It was amazing!

In Christ

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Making Your Marriage a Priority

Recently a group of ladies for whom I have the utmost respect started a discussion on what it looks like to have your marriage relationship take top priority in your life (after your relationship with God.)  And, have I mentioned how much I love these ladies? It has lead to some amazing discussion and growth. And confession and need to submit and need to pray and need to confess and need to pray and.  Wow! I am so humbled.  And so blessed.

My relationship with my husband is my most important earthly relationship. And it takes a whole lot of effort. On both of our parts. And this is so much more than one blog entry so I will start with just one aspect.  A huge one I have found out in discussing this with other women.  Making our relationship a priority DOES NOT MEAN WAITING HAND AND FOOT ON MY HUSBAND WHILE MY CHILDREN WAIT IN THE BACKGROUND NOT HAVING THEIR NEEDS MET.  Let me repeat that...

Making our relationship a priority DOES NOT MEAN WAITING HAND AND FOOT ON MY HUSBAND WHILE MY CHILDREN WAIT IN THE BACKGROUND NOT HAVING THEIR NEEDS MET.(Don't you just picture Oliver and Little Orphan Annie in rags standing in the snow watching while I am dressed like June Cleaver serving Kevin a latte?)

My husband is a big boy and completely capable of wiping his own nose, getting his own drink, sometimes he even fixes dinner and does his own laundry!  Nope, making our relationship does not mean meeting his physical needs. Well, okay *blushes* sometimes there are physical needs involved, but that is not what I am talking about here.

So what does it mean making our relationship THE priority?  More to come.....

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Last night at our couples Bible study the topic of being liked came up.  The women there agreed that we like to be liked.  We like for the people we come into contact with to like us.  Sometimes to the point of compromising our relationship with  God.

Oh, I cringe, literally, as I type that. At 44 years of age, I still fight the tendency to cave to peer pressure just so I will be liked!  I risk the wrath, the disappointment of my heavenly father for the temporary approval someone I may not even know all that well.  Really?

But wait, it gets worse! Sometimes I struggle because I want to be liked by someone I don't even LIKE! Where is the rationality in that? I wish cell phones with digital cameras had existed the first time I told my husband that little tidbit about  myself! Talk about a priceless expression!

I have to stop and remind myself that this is not the way Jesus wants me to live my life. There is a cost to following Jesus.  And He is clear about this.


Luke 9:57-62 (New International Version, ©2011)

The Cost of Following Jesus
 57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”  58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
 59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
   But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Clearly, God doesn't want us to just abandon our family.  He makes this clear in the scriptures.  But we cannot look back to our lives B.C. (as my husband likes to say~Before Christ.) We cannot dabble in that lifestyle just to please the people around us.  Once we have chosen Jesus, that is who we belong to.  Who we have to look to for acceptance.  And it isn't always easy. But it is right. And it is never boring!  But that is another blog entry!

So look to God for the strength.  Ask Him to help you to know, in your head and in your heart that His acceptance is all you need! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Looking for Some Encouragement Today

Okay, I had every plan to get up at 6 this morning to be in my Bible.  But when I don't sleep most of the night that is really difficult.  When I do sleep it tends to be between 4 and 7.  So, when my clock went off at 6, I just kept hitting the snooze.  I would pray until I fell back asleep, then hit the snooze again. Repeat.  You get the idea. I have to make sure my almost 12 year old is up by 7:15, so I got up and made sure she was up.

I opened up to the Psalms.  A place I go every morning for some encouragement, to get my praise on, to be reminded of who God is.  And I came across Psalm 5.   I've underlined what is underlined in my Bible and changed the color of what I have written in the margins.  Although I have put some of my friends into heart failure, I am big in writing in my Bible.

Psalm 5
    For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David.
 1 Listen to my words, LORD,
   consider my lament.
2 Hear my cry for help,
   my King and my God,
   for to you I pray.
 3 In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice;
   in the morning I lay my requests before you
   and wait expectantly.
God is listening. To my spoken prayers. To the times when all I can do is sigh & wait.
4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
   with you, evil people are not welcome.
5 The arrogant cannot stand
   in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;
 6 you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
   you, LORD, detest.
7 But I, by your great love,
   can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
   toward your holy temple.
Lead me, Lord. You are my only God! Help me to follow only you~even/especially when I am under attack!
 8 Lead me, LORD, in your righteousness
   because of my enemies—
   make your way straight before me.
9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
   their heart is filled with malice.
Their throat is an open grave;
   with their tongues they tell lies.
10 Declare them guilty, O God!
   Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
   for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
   let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
   that those who love your name may rejoice in you. 
Protect me, Lord, from my enemies. From myself.
 12 Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous;
   you surround them with your favor as with a shield. 
A shield~ a full body protection, front and back

I am so grateful for a God who protects me like this. A parent who listens to me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love

Yes, that Eat, Pray,Love.  A friend gave me this book a while back, okay several months ago, and I just picked it up today.  I must confess I mainly ready nonfiction and Christian fiction.  But this book has gotten a lot of press, and a movie, so I am curious.

Within the first half hour I came across her definition of 'God,' and what it included and DID NOT include, namely Christ as Savior.  But I kept on reading. Because I believe that Christians are to be IN the world, not OF the world.  So I am reading a book I disagree with in case it comes up in conversations with other women.  If we totally isolate ourselves from all thing secular, how can we defend Christ to them?

How many people in your life are not Christian?  How many non-Christians do you interact with on a daily or semi-daily basis?  As a pastor's wife and a stay at home mom it has been really easy for me to isolate myself with other Christians.  And I don't believe that is what God wants of me.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  (Matthew 28:19)

I have discovered that it is hard to follow this command when you surround yourself with people who  are disciples already.

So our move from Cincinnati to Toledo has been good for me in this aspect.  I have new neighbors who I have made efforts to get to know.  I am subbing in the school system where my kids go to school and have had the opportunity to meet many people.   I am volunteering at our church food pantry meeting people who are genuinely struggling.  I provide coffee and danishes mixed with Jesus.  And I am so grateful that He has given me these opportunities.

It is not easy for me to just talk to strangers about Jesus.   That is not my gift.  BUT that is also not a good reason not to.  I am called to offer the Bread of Life along with bread for the stomach on Tuesday mornings. So I pray for opportunities and strength, courage, boldness. And God provides these to me.  And He shows me when NOT to speak.  For some of the people I see, it is a stretch for them to walk in to a church building. They only come because they are hungry.  Some of them have been so beaten up by life. Many of them have been mistreated by the church.  They need to first learn that not all people who attend church are judgmental or out to harm them.  How sad that so many have been hurt by people in the church.

So, I pray and God leads.....I wouldn't have it any other way!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Really? (Yes, I know I already used that as a title)

Really, Lord?  You want me to write about THAT?  Already?  I thought I would be able to build up to that one.  Got to spend some serious time in prayer over this.......

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Growing Weary....

Weary....more than just tired. It is a mental and emotional exhaustion as well as physical.  Sometimes I am weary in a general sense.  How do I keep up with five kids, and a pastoral husband, and try to find time to exercise and be in the Word, and substitute teach and, well, I think you get the idea. I've been there a lot recently.  So my first inclination is to just not do anything. To sit and read and do only the basics of what needs to be done.

For the first part of this year, I have been reading and studying Made to Crave.  And for the first eight weeks or so, it really spoke to me.  I was earnestly seeking God.  He was my priority.  Yes, I lost quite a bit of weight, but it was a byproduct of being closer to God.  But I noticed these past few days, that I have been slipping up on my eating choices.  AND I have not been spending time with God or in His Word,  Today, during church, I realized I was growing weary, once again, over the battle with my weight.  Guess why?  Because I had switched my focus back off of God and back onto food.  My schedule has gotten busier and I haven't kept my priorities in order.

You see, my friends, that is exactly what Satan wants to happen to us.  He wants us to grow weary, to shift our focus from God back onto ourselves.  The enemy wants us to be frustrated, to be distracted. But Isaiah 40:29 tells us
            He gives strength to the weary
             and increases the power of the weak. 

I am so grateful to know this, because, on my own, I am incredibly weak.  I may be able to lift myself up momentarily, but  never long term.  Praise God that He can do all that I cannot!  And He promises me so much!
         I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. (Jer. 31:25)

          Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Mt. 11:28)

Praise the Lord, that in my weakness He is strong!  That He will refresh and satisfy me! He will give me rest! All I have to do is approach My Daddy on His throne and ask!! 

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Okay, I have been feeling like God has been leading me to start a new blog.  I hardly keep up with the one that I have.  But I am really trying to listen to God and to be obedient.  That brings me to the name of the blog. Where & What.

My continual prayer is that I want to be Where God wants me to be, doing What He wants me to do.  Sometimes that is so much easier to say than to do.  I would say that most Christians would say they have the same desire.  But how do we know Where and What?  Are we willing to take the risk to find out Where and What. And are we willing to do what it takes?  God is not interested in our being comfortable in our little lives, taking care of ourselves first and those outside our family unit second, or never at all. Jesus is very clear about that in Matthew 25:40

  40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

So, I hope you will pray with me and for me!