By Gregory Ciola
Crossing Jordan Ministries is under the inspirational leadership of Jesus Christ and divinely directed and managed by Gregory and Rachel Ciola. The concept for the name of this ministry began in 2009 after the birth of our son Jordan who was miraculously saved by God during a life-threatening experience he encountered at birth. In the Bible the Israelites crossed the Jordan River in a miraculous way to get to the promise land (Joshua Chapter 3 and 4 entire chapters). The Bible account says that as soon as the priests carrying the ark of the Covenant touched the water that the river split in two and dried up allowing the Israelites to cross similar to the parting of the Red Sea with Moses.
John the Baptist spent his entire ministry preparing the hearts of the people to be ready to meet the Messiah. The thing he is most noted for is baptism. John’s entire ministry was situated around the Jordan River near the spot where the Israelites first crossed (Matthew 3:1-4).
Like the Israelites crossing the Jordan to go into the promise land, John wanted the people to get baptized in the Jordan River to be cleansed from their sins. Jesus was also baptized by John in the Jordan River and that is when the Holy Spirit came down like a dove over him and a voice from Heaven proclaiming him God’s beloved Son (Matthew 3:13-17). God has used the Jordan river throughout history for some very significant events. Crossing the Jordan has a number of interesting symbolic meanings, including leaving the world behind and going into the promise land or presence of God.
Prior to our son Jordan being saved from a near death experience my wife had already chosen the name Jordan to be his name. In his case it seemed as though he had to cross over something to get here to the earth. After Jordan was saved the name Crossing Jordan was a name that I couldn’t seem to get out of my mind. I kept thinking that it would be a terrific name for a ministry.
Much to my surprise, we were able to purchase the website domain www.crossingjordan.com in 2011. I have felt for a number of years that I was called into ministry of some kind, but there were lots of things standing in the way of that happening and distracting me. What made this domain purchase such a “God thing” had to do with the fact that it was actually controlled by Hollywood for a popular TV miniseries called Crossing Jordan that ran on NBC from 2001 until 2007. For the show producers to end the series and give up the website with that name is highly unusual in the online world. In most instances businesses will hold domains because they cost virtually nothing even if you don’t keep it active.
The other interesting thing you may notice about our ministry is our logo design. Several years prior to the birth of our son Jordan I was driving my oldest son to private Christian school one day. After I dropped him off I was driving into work and I noticed a very interesting cloud formation in the sky. It looked as though a road was going from the earth up into the sky and at the top was the son. To this day I can’t fully describe how it spoke to me but what I discerned from this was Jesus talking about going down the straight road that passes through the narrow gate. Since he came to save us that road goes from this world up into the next and the only way to get through the door is Jesus Christ. Beyond that door is a blast of light 10,000 times brighter than the sun. The cross is the way Jesus got through that door again and it is through him shedding his blood on that cross that grants us the right to also go through it provided we believe in him, accept his blood as payment for our sins and follow him down this road to the Kingdom.
The birth of this ministry, the logo design and the domain name are three very significant events that I feel compelled to share with others wondering who we are and why we chose this name. It will be interesting in the years ahead to see where God takes this.
As far as our logo design is concerned, I have been trying to find an artist who could create this for almost 10 years. For whatever reasons I just never pursued it enough or was able to find someone who could capture the vision. It wasn’t until August of 2016 that I finally felt prompted to get this design created and to also start using the website.
We will be doing lots of very exciting things through this ministry. We will be focusing on Spirit, Soul and Body which we believe is an intricate part of the New Testament gospel message as outlined in I Thessalonians 5:23. You can expect some dynamic sermons, in-depth interviews with Christian leaders, a focus on health and nutrition, and a thriving music ministry with cutting edge praise and worship music. Thanks for reading and being a part of this ministry.