Clarence Jones – Overcoming Obstacles
After Clarence decided to surrender to missions, he began to ask God where he should go as a missionary. His pastor, Paul Rader, knew where he thought God wanted him to go. He told Clarence that he should go to India and start a radio station there. However, Clarence was sure that God wanted him to go somewhere in South America. He told his pastor that he believed that God did not want him to go to India and received the reply, “Oh, then I guess you will be going out on your own.”
He was hurt by his pastor’s lack of support but continued searching for where God would have him to go. He soon decided on Venezuela and went on a survey trip with his brother in law. Although he was fascinated by Venezuela’s people and culture, he was met by one obstacle after another. The government refused to permit him to start a radio station. Clarence was told that foreigners didn’t have a place on the radio in Venezuela and were not welcome. Clarence then decided to see other countries in Latin America. He went to Colombia, Panama, and Cuba and received the same reply- No.
He returned home after several weeks away, discouraged and frustrated at his lack of success. His wife did not do much to encourage him as she had now decided that she would much rather stay in the states and did her best to convince Clarance that his desire to be a missionary was just a phase that he was going through and he should focus on his work there at the church in the states.
So, for almost two years, he did just that and threw himself into his work at the Gospel Baptist Tabernacle. He was still very frustrated by his plans of being a missionary not working out and the friction with his pastor that was caused by their disagreement about where he should be a missionary, so he decided to quit the ministry and join the navy. He went down to the recruiting office, ready to start a new life, but after his physical examination, he was rejected and told that his eyesight wasn’t good enough.
Clarence was frustrated and angry that none of his plans were working out. He was returning home from the recruiting office when he ran into an old acquaintance from church. Her name was Ruth Miller, and she told Clarence that she had just returned with her husband for their furlough from the country of Ecuador. Ruth and her husband told Clarence and his family all about Ecuador and introduced them to another missionary family working in Ecuador named Grace and Reuben Larson.
One night after a church service, the Jones went out to get some milkshakes with the Larsons, and Clarence summed up the courage to ask them what they thought about starting a radio station in Ecuador. Their eyes light up, and they said they would love to start a radio station in Ecuador and had the contacts in the government to get the permission they thought.
Clarence decided that he was going to go to Ecuador! God had opened a door, and he was ready to take the next step and see what God had for him on the other side.
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