Our beloved sister d. Mary Ellen Jones has left, after a persistent illness! A mixture of pain and longing invades the soul every time we contemplate her empty seat in the house of prayer. And then we think of her whose radiant life brought so much blessing, so much comfort to people.
To some she was sister Helena, for others, sister Maria and yet, for others, Sister Maria Helena. For all, however, she was the dear sister, whose example was remarkable, whose word was trusted, whose goodness was endearing, whose love was impressive and whose energy was extraordinary.
Strict in combating evil, she always had an energetic Word to alert those at fault. On the other hand, loving good, she never let slip an opportunity to stimulate those who sought to serve God faithfully. Large or small, young or old, all were the target of her gentle care and her loving attention.
In all the places where she served, she was tireless in visiting believers, together with her husband, walking many kilometers on foot, or sometimes travelling by bus, tram or train, gallantly facing the rough topography of Uberaba, São Paulo and Piracicaba. Wherever there was a need, a discouraged, sick believer, or other problems, there were the Jones couple ready to help.
She lived to serve. She lived in first place for the Lord, whom she piously served with all her devotion. She also lived for the people of God, "weeping with those that mourn" (how many tears she shed in her solidarity with the suffering of others!) and "rejoicing with those who rejoice." She thought little of herself, but was always concerned with the welfare of others.
Leaving her homeland at 26 years of age, she gave the best of her precious life, all her youth dynamics, to the Lord, serving Him extensively in those Brazilian places.
Sister Mary Ellen Jones was born in Arkengarthdale, Yorkshire, England, on 2 August 1899. When only 10 years old she met and confessed the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, starting her long and brilliant career. On 5 June 1924, she married Richard Dawson Jones (Sir Richard as he was known in Brazil), from whose marriage were born their children Richard David, William Paulo and Grace Minnie, all converted and faithful servants of the Lord.
On 15 November 1925, on a cloudy and very sad-looking day, young and newly married Mary Ellen embarked, together with her husband, in the port of Liverpool, England, toward Brazil, to the sound of the hymn "Rock of Ages", sung by the brethren who were there for their farewell meeting.
Our sister told us that her heart was breaking as she heard the sound of that song. After all, she was leaving the country, renouncing the company of loved relatives and the sweet and warm fellowship of the Christian assembly meeting in Clumber Hall, Nottingham, to follow a course to her unknown. However, she was comforted by their unwavering faith that He who she served and that she knew well, was by her side. So, she could say: "If I don't know where I'm going, I'm sure I know with Whom".
After a short stay in Rio de Janeiro, the couple went to Uberaba, in September 1926, moving in January 1942 to Piracicaba, in March 1948 to São Paulo and back to Piracicaba in 1957. In all these places our beloved sister was the great promoter of her husband's ministry as the exemplary Christian, the careful host of God's people and of his workers, the wise counsellor and loving mother, not only of her own children, but also of others, especially among the youth, who were the target her tireless commitment.
Thanks to the Lord for the extraordinary life of Mary Ellen Jones. She "fought the good fight, completed her career and kept the faith" (2nd. Timothy 4:8). May the Lord help us to follow her example of unselfishness and godliness. She is already resting, happy, with the Lord. We remain here, nostalgic and looking forward to the reunion, comforted with the certainty of this sublime reality.
Gone is to heaven our beloved sister! At dawn on 5 March 1982 the Lord took her to his Holy presence. "The Lord gave her to us, and the Lord took her; blessed be the name of the Lord!"