Monday, March 6, 2017

First Update letter from Texas!

We have put together our first newsletter update to help  everyone have an idea of how the Lord is working. And I've added pictures of our babies because those 
are the easiest pictures for me to get right now and people don't seem to mind.

Here are the links! 

Winter/Spring Newsletter Update 2017! We are reporting from Texas!
Rough weekly schedule (to give you an idea of what we're up to)

Something that I feel like we didn't do the best job of in this newsletter is including information on how you can join the team and support us. 

  • First, the way to support financially: go to click "Missionary Support" in the drop down box and find my name (Billy Jackson) on the list. It will lead you through a secure online donation.
    • While you are there check out some of the testimonial videos from students on the home page of the website. They are in Spanish and made by the student video team here. 
  • Second, the way to support in prayer: Pray! Pray we will learn Spanish. To be informed of prayer needs read the Newsletters we send out every few months. Watch our Facebook page: for more regular updates. 
    • THEN IF you want to commit to specific, regular, personal ongoing prayer support please email me. We have a team we call our PRAYING FAMILY that is very important to us and our work. We update them at least once a week with prayer needs and also they are available for urgent and emergency prayer needs. 

Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support! We are learning Spanish and that is the first step. Pray the Lord would keep us grounded in him first even before Spanish. 
Contact us if you have questions that weren't answered or if you have questions or encouragement. God Bless!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Missionary Focus of RGBI Students

No big in depth post here, but I just wanted to say that there is DEFINITELY a missionary focus to this campus here at RGBI. Not just with the language school students, not just with the staff, but with the Bible students as well.

I think one thing that helps everyone keep a global focus is that there are people here from all over the world, NOT just Mexico and South America but also Europe and Asia.
Josué, a bible student from Argentina.

Language student on left headed to Spain. Language student on right
headed to South America.

Another reason I think there is such a global focus is because there are people here who have served all over the world. The wealth of experience and knowledge of the professors and staff here is great. This is something I will hopefully benefit from and learn more about as I serve here.

Third and last reason I see for such a global focus is that these students and staff GO all over the world with the Gospel as part of their Bible school training. Between April and August most of these students will be scattering around the world with the Gospel, learning what it means to serve the church and to take the Light to where there is darkness.

I look forward to learning more of the process of how these mission trips and teams are formed, how the vision is formed and carried out. So far I know that part of the process is that the student or team of students needs a picture to submit which will also be used on their Prayer Cards for the trip. 

This team of four students asked me if I could take their picture... ...that they needed from me that night because they had to send it in in the morning... ...and that one of the students was supposed to be running the Koinonia (Coffee shop) at the moment so we had about 5 minutes to get the picture taken! Fun challenge!
They decided on the picture with the flags for their prayer card. 

Team of students headed for Burma Asia for their summer missions trip. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

I am Learning Spanish! At the RGBI Language School!

Early morning before school outside our front door. 

La Escuela del idioma! We are learning Spanish every day. Some days it feels impossible and like we'll never be able to speak Spanish fluently and some days Sarah and I feel very encouraged and that we are actually making some headway (though these days are often different days for us because we tend to be encouraged by different things). One big encouragement for me is that this school has worked for almost everyone that has gone through it seems. I can see the Spanish speakers it has produced and if has worked for so many others it has got to work for me, right? 

I need to remember to be trusting in Christ, looking to Jesus the founder and Perfecter of our faith as I was reminded yesterday by a fellow language student (Mark Perry). If He wants me to learn Spanish than I will, and I will continue to strive to be working for the Lord and not for man (which includes not working for myself).  

We have dialogues that we memorize and then speak with another student
and our pronunciation and fluidity are graded. 

Phonetic Lab. Everyone has their areas of struggle!
Actually Savannah has very good pronunciation and is just being a great
 sister in law here. lol! 
I have taken to getting up super early (to me 4am is just about as early as it gets) trying to get my homework (tarea) done and making sure I have my daily Bible reading. It seems to help to have a couple hour head start on the day. I need the focus and encouragement from the Word and homework seems to (so far) get done better in the morning than night. 

The School works hard on training us to speak correctly. All these years growing up I thought that the Spanish and English alphabets were basically the same with some additional sounds and few sounds that were different... NOPE! The Spanish alphabet is actually a completely different set of sounds. And if I don't want to sound like a gringo then I have to approach it like that. Throw out all the the English sounds and relearn all your sounds from the start... kind of like a baby does. lol! It is hard but they are training us daily and I feel like my Spanish mouth is finally being born! ...slowly slowly. Poco a poco. 

My fiend Walter leading worship at our chapel meeting (they are every Tue. and Thur.)

The family in Christ here is an encouragement and an inspiration and makes me want to contribute to what the Lord is doing here. The students are very very involved in the ministry of RGBI. They all take initiative to lead and serve in different areas, helping lead worship, devotions, missionary club, prayer meetings, mission projects and more. And I think RGBI is very wise ask them to and to shepard them as they do serve and lead. Missionary club is so much more practical than what I think of as a missionary club. They meet in the coffee shop on Fridays and I think the basic idea is "How can we serve and assist missionaries on the field? How can we get ourselves and each other to the field effectively, both short term and long term? How can we pray?" Many of the students and also the staff have plans in place for going to the mission field in the near future. 

I haven't been taking as many pictures as I would like to or have been asked to just because of how much work learning Spanish takes for me. I did take my camera with me to school two days (so I had my camera bag slung over on top of my backpack of books) and I will be helping with some photo and video projects that are coming. Pray for me that I will wisely balance the work of learning Spanish with beginning to serve RGBI with photography and video. 

Dios los bendiga!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

First Day of Language School at RGBI 1/9/2017

We survived the first day!

Actually it was really awesome! Barely scratching the surface of what is to come I feel like. Very excited though! We do like this place and the Lord was very good to us this first day. He is already working on my sin of frustration and making me realize that I need to trust him more every second of the day. I need to care more about others in the every second and less about myself. Saying this all now I think will help me some as we go along.

Anyway, we dropped the babies off at daycare. They totally loved it and were totally worn out when we picked them up at noon. I think they will be happy to go back tomorrow. 

We went to our orientation (I with a GoPro strapped to my chest which drew some attention every once in a while).
We got our school pictures taken. Actually, I got to take the pictures of the new language school students! That was a cool way to meet everyone and start trying to learn their names. One of the timelapse videos is of the school pictures session.
We got our books from the book store. We had a meet and greet with all the other language school students and a bunch of the staff. We paid our money for tutors, daycare, housing deposit, maintenance fee, etc., all kinds of stuff. lol!
On that note, the Lord has definitely been providing financially through all of you who have been supporting us faithfully through giving and prayers. Thank you so much!

Just a warning. It is not the absolutely most exciting video ever. But if you want to see some of the campus and what the place looked like and what our crazy day was like here you go!

The day was very beautiful, much nicer than the last few days of cold. 

This first week of school is mostly orientation. Next week will start our regular schedule of classes. We will begin meeting with our tutors during the afternoons starting next week and also chapel services start next week. 

Thank you all so much for your prayers! We do feel the Lord is at work here and NOT just in us but in all kinds of people around us as well! One of our neighbors are language students with us getting ready to go to Spain as missionaries and on the other side of us is a family from Mexico who were serving in Turkey and are here for the Bible college of RGBI and will be returning to Turkey after they graduate. 

The Lord is at work in His people and around the world and we are His people being sent around the world. His kingdom to come will be glorious!

HEY! Pray we learn Spanish!!!

Video chat with Grandma

Monday, December 12, 2016

Pastor John Breshears and the Church in Warsaw

This is Pastor John Breshears and his wife Virginia. John pastors a small church family that meets in his home. The stories he can tell of the Lord's goodness and faithfulness in saving souls, his own and many other, are a wonderful wonderful testimony. 

 We spent the night with them at their farm house north of Quincy Illinois Saturday night so we got visit and talk and hear more than we did last time we visited, and I am glad we did. The blessing was greater. 

It's very encouraging to spend time with people who have such a genuine excitement for the word of God.

I want Pastor John to tell me about how he memorizes scripture. He uses so much of it in his conversation. And it's not cumbersome or awkward but rather just speaking truth about whatever it is we are talking about. I've asked him if he has a method or way he goes about it and I am waiting for his response back.
While we were there we saw our first snow fall for this year. That was pretty cool because soon we'll be moving to where that doesn't happen from what I understand (maybe every 100 years or so?)

The stories most exciting to hear for me were when John's witness of the Gospel (imperfect though it may be just like all of us) led the salvation of one who shared with another who shared with another who's salvation and ministry and teaching had already been a blessing to me before I had met Pastor John. 

And here is the church family that currently meets at the Church in Warsaw. So small by some measures but such a blessing to spend time with, singing, in the Word, and in fellowship. The number of their membership has gone up and down over the years but I have talked with another pastor who has benefited from the ministry of Pastor John and the number of men who have become pastors and the churches that have been started because of the witness and teaching of Pastor John Breshears was astounding to me. Another testament of the Lord's grace. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Birthday Party!

We have officially parented two children for a whole year! Because their birthdays are only 12 days apart, we decided to celebrate them together, and because both of them were born right when holiday craziness begins, 
we celebrated a little early with a fish-themed party on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Our beautiful and passionate Mariposa L'abri turned two! In the short time since, she's stopped using her pacifier when she goes to sleep, and tonight is her first night sleeping in a toddler bed instead of a crib!
She's smart, funny, and a joy to have for a daughter, even while she keeps us on our toes while she tests all boundaries.

William Roy Jackson V turned one yesterday! The differences between him and his sister are amazing. He doesn't have a very extensive vocabulary, and Mary was walking everywhere by now, whereas William walks just enough to let us know that he's choosing to crawl. His mechanical mind, however, far surpasses where Mariposa was at this time last year. He loves to do things with his hands, whether it be throwing a ball, putting Weebles on the toy slide over and over, driving cars all over the house, or opening books to look at the pictures on his own.

These little ones bring the greatest joy I have ever felt, and yet have a knack for revealing the most impatient, self-serving parts of my heart. On the days when everyone is tired and cranky and whining non-stop, I have discovered that my greatest weapon against my own tendency to whine and be cranky is to remember that caring for these children is proclaiming the Gospel just as much as any other job may be. The way I respond to my children is preaching to them how our Heavenly Father responds to us. The way I discipline is a reflection of how my Heavenly Father disciplines me. It's a somber and weighty responsibility, and has definitely driven me to prayer again and again and again as I face my own inadequacy. What a blessing!

Also, they're adorable. 
Mariposa coloring with Great-Grandpa Weber
William getting his first haircut from Great-Grandma Dickey, and being so happy for the whole thing!
Mariposa got a tricycle! Her feet don't quite reach the pedals, but she still loves to "ride".
 It'll be perfect for the Rio Grande Bible Institute campus!
William wasn't sure he was quite old enough to wear a mustache yet, but he was a good sport.

Love and Peace,
Sarah Jackson

Monday, November 7, 2016

3rd Anniversary Camping Trip!

We celebrated our 3rd Anniversary at Washington State Park in MO. This was by Sarah's choice. It was her year to decide how we were going to celebrate (we take turns every other year) and she decided she wanted to see the Missouri outdoors. I was a little doubtful at first but she made a good choice. It was a beautiful weekend!

My wife is beautiful and the Lord has blessed me so much in giving me such a wonderful partner. She is an encouragement to me in our work, she is a hard worker and a wonderful mother to our babies. She is patient. She appreciates reality, doesn't live in wishfulness (there's probably a better way to say that). 

Sarah got to go on her first canoe trip and she handled it like a pro. It was a beautiful float.

The Lord provided for us even in this little thing of going camping. We did not reserve a camp site. Lack of foresight on our part. We just wanted a basic little site to put our tent on... every single site in the whole park was booked! We had no backup plan. I drove over to the camp host just to find out what I could. They said that yes indeed ever single site was taken, but as an after thought they they said there was a man with two sites down the way who was actually only using one after all.
We drove on down and found him and he was very happy to rent his other site to us (which was a perfect site located away from everyone else). The Lord provided very sweetly for us with this little thing even in our lack of planning.

Texas is very flat (the part we are going) and very different from Missouri. It was good to see MO at its best one more time before all the hustle and bustle of moving. 

We do love Texas though! It's the new home the Lord is giving us! We are excited as we head off on this new adventure. Pray for us! Our departure date is set! We are leaving January 2nd for RGBI and will begin our language training and work in the video department January 9th.

See our newsletter for more information! Also check out the letter send from the students at RGBI who are working in the video department.