Jake grew up in Colombia where his parents served with Wycliffe Bible Translators, part of the time living amongst the Eduria, an indigenous community with whom his parents worked. Jake and Lauren attended Taylor University in Upland, IN, and they share a heart for the local church, under-resourced communities, and people society tends to forget. In 2003, Jake and Lauren started a social enterprise that serves as a tool for community development and reconciliation by providing jobs and a faith community of support for those who need a second chance in life. In 2005, Jake and Lauren, along with the inner-city community they were a part of, helped plant a church in Muncie, IN, with the vision of reconciling people to God and to each other, with a specific mission for racial reconciliation (urbanlightmuncie.com).
In 2015, through a friendship with Colombia team members Jorge and Ginny Enciso, Jake, Lauren, and their (now four) children moved to Colombia. The Joneses are leaders of a house church within the Ciudad Corazón movement and are a part of the Fundación Comunidad Viva community.
In 2017 the Joneses and two other friends started a Colombian non-profit Fundación Wájaro. Wájaro is an Eduria phrase meaning “let’s go together”. The mission of Wájaro is to support and build the Indigenous church and vulnerable communities throughout Colombia (wajaro.org). The Wájaro Foundation has been working extensively among the Wayuu in the desert region of northern Colombia, but is now expanding its reach, also working alongside the Pro-Indigenous Consortium of Colombia.
The Joneses’ deepest passion is to walk in the life of Christ, to reveal this Jesus who chose to turn the systems of this world upside down, and reconciling people to God and each other while living in authentic community with others.