Br. Tim Stones, OFH says, "[I'm] from South Africa. I am deafblind – deaf and partially sighted. I became deaf due to oxygen deprivation at birth and, over the years my sight has deteriorated. There have been many challenges in my life yet, through it all, I have been acutely aware of how God has manifested Himself to show to me that His grace is, truly, sufficient. When my firstborn son became ill, with a rare brain disease, and suffered several strokes, I prayed only that God's will be done. We may never understand the ways of God, but we do not need to. We only need to trust Him, and love Him, because He is God.
At university I had the opportunity to complete a Masters degree in theology/ religious studies, where I focused on human rights, and the Christian response to social justice, based on the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I further compared the modes of ministry between the Anglican and Roman Catholic priesthood. I am an Anglo-Catholic. Over the years I have served in ministry, as a preacher and pastoral visitor to the sick and the dying. There was a time in my life where I seriously considered taking vows to join the monastic life, within the Catholic Church, but felt a greater calling to marriage, and to raise my own family.
This sense of calling to monasticism has never left me, and a few years ago I came across the Third Order, and started to explore the different expressions of secular monasticism. Throughout I have kept being drawn back to the Franciscan path, and much of my own ministry journey as a lay person has tried to model itself, or at least incorporate aspects of the Franciscan life into my own life journey.
I consider myself a spiritual, more than religious person, and the core Franciscan values of quiet contemplation and prayerful reflection, witnessed through a servant heart, led by the love and grace of Jesus Christ, evidenced through reaching out to the poor, the vulnerable, the outcast ultimately draws me now to commit my life to living out my faith as a Franciscan, and as a follower of Christ within the Order of Franciscan Hermits.