Special Delivery

Traveling by ultralight plane to bring God’s Word

Story by Debra Smith
Photos by Steve Shambeck

While waiting for their school bus, teenage sisters Roshon and Rochelle Jones smiled and waved as they called “God bless you” in Spanish. The man passing by on his bicycle, Miguel Oximea, smiled back and rode past to work. The morning exchange had become routine for the daughters of missionaries Daniel and Ana Jones in mountainous Sonora, Mexico.
Years later, Miguel showed up unannounced at the Jones’ missions base and home, Rancho Maranatha. Rochelle explained, “Miguel was involved in the local mafia, and his life was in danger.” Amidst the stress and fear, “God reminded him of my sister and me. So he came, met my parents, and asked them to share whatever it was that we had. They explained the Gospel, and beginning from such a simple thing—us greeting and ‘blessing’ him, as he called it, every morning in the 1990s—he got saved. Then his family turned to Christ too. His village, Osobampo, is where our biggest church is to this day. I love knowing that through something so simple, God changed a community.”
Daniel and Ana established Rancho Maranatha in 1990 just off the area’s only paved highway, between two towns and near numerous remote villages. Through the decades, their ministries have included leading over a dozen weekly Bible studies, running several Christian radio stations that are now online, and raising about 30 children in addition to their biological three: Roshon, Rochelle, and Joshua. Today Ana is studying nutrition at a university, and Daniel leads one or more Bible studies each day in nearby villages. In isolated communities, which Daniel sometimes drives up to two hours on dirt roads to reach, the studies function as the participants’ churches.

The complete article is published in issue 69 of Calvary Chapel Magazine.