“My Name is Cintia Joy…”
In October 2010, Peter and Jan* traveled to Indonesia for a trip to visit, pray with and encourage missionaries working in an unreached part of Indonesia.On their last night, their host Jim* invited them to share a meal and a message with the workers and students on the Discipleship Training School (DTS).Jan felt strongly led to talk about her parents, Elizabeth and Philip Jones*, who had spent many years serving in parts of Indonesia and The Philippines. At one point in their ministry, the Joneses had traveled from their base in the Philippines to neighboring Indonesian islands in a boat they christened “Cynthia Joyce,” after Jan’s younger sister.
“My name is Cintia Joy…”
In August 2009, I traveled from my hometown to attend a one-year Discipleship Training School. My younger brother had completed this course the year before and was very excited to see me go, as he was very blessed and challenged to grow in God.
It was a very long trip – first, I took a boat from my island (18 hours), then a plane to Jakarta (4 hours), and finally a bus ride (12 hours) which brought me to Mr. Jim and Mrs. Sarah*, who led my school.
I wondered at the time if the tremendous sacrifice of time and money would be worthwhile. But now, looking back, I am very thankful to God that I was able to go to the DTS.
When the lecture phase of the DTS was almost finished, Mrs. Sarah, who was leading the school, challenged us to find out the meaning of our name and write about it.
She pointed to me and said, “You have a very special name – there must be a significant meaning to your name, as Cinthia Joy is not an Indonesian name.”
I called my mother, who told me how I was named. My parents are originally from Indonesia, but they moved to the Philippines in 1948. In 1962, two missionaries, Elizabeth and Phillip Jones came to my parents’ village and preached the Gospel.
They held a series of public meetings, and near the end of that time gave an altar call to repent and pray to receive Jesus. As they prayed for deliverance over the group, there was an earthquake, which only occurred at the place of the meeting. After the earthquake, some of the leaders from the village opposed the missionary, saying he was from the devil and deceiving us.
My father stood up and for many hours defended the missionaries, saying the earthquake was a sign from God, speaking to us through this missionary, and the village needed to respond. In the end my father managed to convince the group, and as a village they repented and gave their hearts to Jesus.
My parents and a few others then went with Mr. Jones and his wife to preach the Gospel to the nearby islands. They traveled using a boat called ‘Cintia Joy.’
In 1977, my parents returned to Indonesia and ministered in the islands near our home. I was born in 1979, and given the name “Cintia Joy.” The reason my parents gave me this name was to remind them that Mr. Jones had introduced them to Jesus Christ. From before I was born until today, there is a large photograph hanging in the center of our living room wall of Mr. Jones and his wife, the ones that led us to Jesus.
Back to the present: Mr. Jim hosted Peter and Jan Green from Minnesota, who were Mr. Jim’s pastors when he was a teenager. Mr. Jim invited us to dinner where he invited his guests to share the Word of God with us.
After a short introduction, Mrs. Jan felt led of God to tell us about her parents that were missionaries to Indonesia and the Philippines. She also said that when her father prayed and shared the Gospel, there were sometimes earthquakes.
The story that Mrs. Jan was telling was very similar to the one my mother had told me about the meaning of my name! After she shared, my heart was pounding and I could not wait for the meeting to end. Mr. Peter spoke about joy after his wife finished, but I was so excited, I do not remember what he said.
I asked Mr. Jim to help me to talk with Mrs. Jan, and I explained what my mother had told me regarding the meaning of my name. To my amazement, I found out that Mrs. Jan is the daughter of Mr. Jones who introduced Jesus Christ to my parents so many years ago!
I thank Mr. Jim and Mrs. Sarah for making it possible for me to meet the daughter of Mr. Jones. This is indeed a miracle and I am most grateful to God for giving me this experience.
Reflecting back a few days later, I remembered my father always telling us that we, as a family, village and island, needed to take the Good News of Jesus Christ to other areas and islands, just as Mr. Jones had done for us.
Now many decades later it is happening. My brother and myself (and hopefully many more) are committed to going to unreached areas of Sumatra!
*names have been changed for privacy.