When Jordan Stonehouse was just 8, his family experienced a financial crisis and had to move from their comfortable surroundings in Jamestown Township to an itinerant existence in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming marked by several years experiencing homelessness and living with friends and relatives.
Now the Campus Pastor at Wyoming Harbor Church, Stonehouse spoke recently at the twice-weekly service held for the Kuyper Community in the Vos Chapel.
“I really resented having to live in Wyoming, because it became a symbol of everything that was wrong in my life,” Stonehouse told those who had gathered together that day to hear God’s word taught, to sing of His faithfulness and to pray together.
Indeed, he added, he never dreamed he would willingly return to Wyoming someday. But what began as resentment eventually developed into a passion to serve, and as an adult, Stonehouse had the opportunity to plant a church in Wyoming, in the neighborhood where he spent most of those painful years.
“Even though I didn’t want to be there in the moment, looking back, I can see the seeds God was planting,” he said.
Stonehouse then directed his listeners to the life of the Apostle Paul. He read from Paul’s second letter to Timothy, likely dictated from a dark, dank Roman jail cell.
“I don’t know what your story is, what kinds of chains you’re wearing, or what kind of prison cell you’re in,” Stonehouse said. “But my encouragement to you from Paul’s story is to keep enduring whatever that is for the sake of the gospel.”