November/December 2011The Colors of the Gospel “I have Jesus in my heart.” Its amazing the opportunities God has presented to me to share the good news of Christ with the students at the school where I work. It all started with a girl randomly asking me during lunch time as I walked by, “What’s down there?” pointing at the ground. It confused me at first but after awhile I realized she was talking about hell. I was excited once again that I was invited into a spiritual conversation by a first-grader with 3 of her friends listening at the lunch table. It’s always interesting to hear what kids have to say about God and what they think of Him. “God is in heaven,” one of them said, and this marked another opportunity where God allowed me to be able to share the gospel with children in a way that many of them had never seen before.
Everyday I wear this colorful bracelet on my arm while I’m at work in the school. On occasion, students will ask me what it means. “Yellow stands for heaven,” is the way I usually start off. “more than that, it stands for God. God is in heaven and we all want to get there someday.” “Dark stands for sin,” I’d say next explaining that we are all sinners and we can’t get into heaven because of it. “Red stands for the blood of Jesus.” I shared with them that God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us so that we can have eternal life and live with God in heaven. “White stands for clean, and that’s what Jesus does when we invite Him into our hearts to forgive us of our sin!” Finally, “Green stands for growth because we must grow in our relationship with Him by praying to Him, reading our bibles, and even obeying our parents!” Before I finished sharing with these children I would ask them if they had Jesus in their hearts, then also I made sure they understood, “You must share this with others so that they can have Jesus in their hearts too and meet God in heaven.” Its amazing how simple the gospel message can be. Although children get it so easily, we as adults make it so difficult. Having the faith of a child goes a long way in the life of a believer whether they’re new to the faith or has been one for 40 years. One thing is for sure, it has taught us that God is our Father (and a good one at that!) and He always provides good gifts for His children. So, in this season of giving, let us remember the biggest gift ever given to mankind. Himself. May God bless you richly and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ October 2011 A Calling and a Purpose“God put you here for a reason.” This phrase from a co-worker of ours rings true to us as we reflect on the season that God has us in during this journey of ours to get back to South Africa. While raising support we decided to work at an elementary school. I work as a substitute teacher and Tammi works one on one with a child with special needs. Its been interesting to experience a lifestyle that is totally different from our lifestyle of ministry in South Africa. Daily we would be on a college campus hosting bible studies or sharing our faith with someone, and yet God has put us in a work environment where sharing your faith isn’t even allowed to a certain extent! Wow! We believe God has put us in this school for reasons beyond what we initially believed. Working at this school has taught us a lot with what it is like to be a Christian in the work place and how to bring the light of the gospel with us everyday. We are learning that without saying anything about God, but simply through our life and testimony, does God lead us through small doors of opportunity for us to share about our relationship with Jesus. In fact, Tammi’s student talks about God with her in brief moments during their math or reading lessons together. “I know Jesus loves me, Mrs. Jackson. I go to Sunday school every Sunday and I like to pray.” Another God moment was when a Christian co-worker wanted to quit smoking and asked me for prayer that God will give her strength. We have been so excited to see her trust God and now to reach one entire month of being free from smoking! She’s said, “I’ve tried before in the past, but I’ve never heard God speak to me like he has now. I know He’s able!” Now, instead of smoking during her break she reads her bible and finds ways to build her relationship with Jesus. “You two working here has been such a breath of fresh air!” a co-worker of ours shared with us. We are seeing that God definitely has a plan for us working here at this elementary school. Although this school is a brief season for us before we return back to our foreign missions field, God is surely at work. God calls us as Christians to be the salt of the earth, but what good is salt if it’s lost its saltiness? So therefore, every Christ follower is a missionary. Where’s your missionary field? Is it at work? The gym? At home? Or even overseas? One thing is for sure. We are excited to be a part of God’s big picture and plan to return to South Africa by January 2013, but until then we will continue the mission where he has placed us. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ September 2011Journey with the Jacksons “The two shall become one…” These words mean more to us now than ever before. A year ago, Tammi and I had only been dating for 5 months, but there was a confidence about our relationship that lead us to believe that God indeed called us together. A new chapter has begun as we are now married and have our eyes set on the same goal we had before ever met each other; the glory of God. We have indeed been savoring this through our love and commitment to each other and our genuine heart to see lives changed by the love of Christ.
“Welcome to New Staff Training!” The new beginning for us has not only been marked by our new marriage but also by our new career! That’s right, we are officially full-time staff of Campus Crusade for Christ. Our long summer of training has prepared us both for what is ahead either spiritually or financially, however, we believe that God has a lot more in store to teach us on this journey. Our first assignment as staff is Cape Town, South Africa. We love the fact that we will be returning to this beautiful country as a married couple prepared to see even more lives changed by the gospel.
As I’m typing this letter I can’t help but to think about you. More than anything we want to talk to you, pray for you and update you further on our plans for the next couple of years. I really want you to know that we haven’t forgot about you and that you should be expecting a phone call or email very soon. You have played a significant part in where we are and what we are doing today for Christ and our prayer is that you would continue to do so.