From throwing rocks at a Catholic Church to evangelizing the Catholic faith, Devin Jones shared his amazing testimony at Aquinas Catholic Schools in David City on Nov. 12. Devin Jones was baptized in a Baptist Church in Chicago. His church’s main mission was to covert Catholics into becoming Baptists. Devin’s church was very successful at leading Catholics away from the Church.
“It was very strategic,” Mr. Jones said. Their church would schedule services the same time as Catholic Mass. “That way we could hand out pamphlets with Biblical verses on why you shouldn’t be Catholic.”
In order to received a great education, Mr. Jones mother sent him to a Catholic high school. Even though most theology classes were mostly filled with his questioning his teacher, he inadvertently gained a Catholic faith formation. After high school, Mr. Jones fell away from practicing any faith. During his freshmen year in college, he prayed for God to send him a sign if he should be Catholic.
“I was raised very Old Testament Baptist with hug signs of bushes burning and the earth opening up” Mr. Jones said.
The next day outside a Catholic Church, there was a physical sign that read, “If you want to become Catholic, call this number”.
Mr. Jones wasn’t convinced that was his sign. He wanted winds and thunder from God. Eventually, the sign was taken down and he prayed the same prayer, “Send me a sign if you want me to become Catholic”.
The next day, the same sign was up. Again, Mr. Jones went about his business and the sign was eventually, taken down. He asked for a third time for God to send him a sign.
The following day, the church sign was up.
“I wanted the bush in front of my house to start burning, not a little old church lady putting up a sign, “Mr. Jones laughed, “I knew if I didn’t listen this time, the ground might open up and swallow me whole.”
Devin Jones called the number and entered into the RCIA program. He received his First Communion and Confirmation in the same church he once threw rocks at.
After becoming Catholic he wanted to help bring the Totus Tuus program to his Catholic Church. In order for that to happen, Mr. Jones traveled to Seward, Nebraska for training. There he met Beth Nemec, Aquinas Campus Ministry Director, and her family.
Mr. Jones studied in the seminary for two years before dropping out and finishing his philosophy degree and was able to teach Theology and Latin at a Catholic school. Three weeks into his first year as a teacher, one of his sixth grade students who was playing basketball with his friends in the park, was shot and killed in a drive by shooting.
“Be grateful for what you have, for what you don’t have to see.”
Mr. Jones has taught kids with family members who were killed, in prison, addicted, or just absent.
“Kids your age don’t grow up seeing a future for themselves,” Mr. Jones explained, “most kids didn’t know where their next meal would be.”
Two brothers he was teaching were essentially homeless. They would go to whichever homeless shelter had room for them that night. “Sometimes they had to get on the bus at three in the morning,” Mr. Jones explained, “Just to get to school on time”.
Living from homeless shelter to shelter is imaginable to most kids. Now imagine doing that carrying all your homework and possessions. Include the fact that these kids had to complete their homework and keep their grades up.
Devin Jones made the life-changing choice to help these boys.
“Essentially, I adopted these boys,” said Mr. Jones.
In order to support these boys, he changed careers to the U.S. Navy. In the Navy, he was assigned to the Master of Arms, which is like the police. Mr. Jones saw lots of pain and heartache including suicides.
“Through the gifts that Jesus gave me, I helped people through painful experiences,” Mr. Jones said, “No matter what you are going through, the light or the darkness, Jesus is the light.”