Once, a lawyer stood up and asked Jesus about how to inherit eternal life. Jesus replied, “What does the Law tell you?”
The man replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus replied, “Right! Do this and you will live.” Wanting to justify himself, the lawyer replied, “Then who is my neighbor?”
Jesus then tells the man of the parable of the Good Samaritan and ends the parable with a question: “Which of the men in the story was a neighbor to the injured traveler?”
Simple, the Samaritan who helped the man.
Jesus answered, “Yes. Now go and do likewise.”
“Go and do likewise” is a statement two ETBU grads, Jenna Jones (10) and Stacie Hooks(09) take very seriously.
Leading up to September of 2010, Jenna and Stacie either sold or traded their personal vehicles to get a van and in September, the went, doing what Stacie describes as “two girls, Jenna and I, living in a van, traveling around the nation, city to city, trying to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in whatever way it needs to be done.”
What does that mean exactly? They enter a city, and, if they have a contact, meet with the church, group, or individual to learn just what needs are present in the area. They pray. They seek God’s will. And then they go and do. Playing games with kids who are overlooked by their families. Sitting on park benches talking to the homeless. Feeding the hungry. Giving a hug to someone who has no one. Holding the hands of broken people. Praying for everyone. Showing people the hope that is found in Christ Jesus.
Living out this Luke 10 passage has been life changing for them. They have had amazing opportunity to meet people, show them love, reach out, pray, share Christ, and a host of other wonderful things that changes people’s lives. But it has made a massive impact on them as well – even deepening their understanding of what they themselves are doing as missionaries to America.
After visiting one of their first cities, Baton Rouge, they had this to say: “We walked under the overpass and chilled there for a little while. At the time there were no homeless people hanging out there. Just us. We sat for a while and watched and listened. It was one of the most depressing sounds in the world. The sound of busyness. People were rushing on the highway above us and the highways around us. The sound of honking and engines filled our hearts with a sound of pointlessness. God wants to speak to us in a whisper and the people in Baton Rouge…and all around America…are too busy to listen.
God has been doing great things through the VanGo ministry. Recently, Jenna and Stacie were featured in The Baptist Standard. One of the unique features of VanGo highlighted in the Standard’s article was the idea of the “tentative schedule.” “Our routes are tentative for a reason,” Jenna said. “The Lord is the one who guides us, sets up divine appointments and carries us through this journey. We have offered him a willing spirit and are just trying to be obedient to whatever he sets before us. … One thing that we have loved watching throughout all the cities is the way in which the body of Christ truly works together.”
We can’t even begin to describe how proud we are of VanGo and Jenna and Stacie. Join the ETBU Family in praying these two make an even greater impact for the Kingdom of God around the United States.
Way to go Jenna and Stacie! GO BLUE!
Read the article from the Baptist Standard here.
Visit the VanGo blog here or at http://whoismyneighborvango.blogspot.com/