Update: Woman who lost it all gets ordained
Since fall 2015, Delores Jones of Maplewood, Minn. has suffered through a tragic series of hardships: Cancer. Chemo. Radiation. Heart problems. A house fire that destroyed everything she owned, including her dog.
To boot, the 50-year-old endured these adversities while caring for four of her grandchildren full-time, with the help of her daughter.
“I had given up,” Jones recalled. “My spirit was broken. I thought, ‘What did I do to deserve this?’”
Today, Jones is back on her feet with the help of a Salvation Army mentoring program called Pathway of Hope. What’s more, she has taken her recovery to new heights by becoming an ordained minister. On Sunday, she was ordained at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in St. Paul (pictured).
“Now I have nothing but joy,” said Jones, who studied for six months, and passed the written portion of the test with a score of 193 out of 200. She has been using her spiritual leadership skills to minister at nursing homes and hospice situations, three days a week.
Looking back, Jones says The Salvation Army was the key to her recovery.
“I would have not made it if it weren’t for The Salvation Army,” she said. “The Salvation Army had their door open to me. They put me on a Pathway of Hope, and I have made it through.”
Pathway of Hope is a mentoring program for families with children under the age of 18. Each family spends at least six months meeting weekly with a Salvation Army caseworker to set goals, create a plan for success, be accountable, and stay inspired. Through this support, families learn to get out of poverty, and stay out.
Pathway of Hope is offered at Salvation Army locations across Minnesota and North Dakota.