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. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Visit to the Rio Grande Bible Institute

We are at the Rio Grande Bible Institute! It is so exciting to be here after so many years, even if we will only be staying a few days.

One of our goals is to get pictures and video of the work being done here so that when we are presenting we can do a better job of showing churches and individuals what God is doing here and how He is doing it. Billy spent the day meeting with people and taking video and photos of classes and the students recording them.

It seems as though everyone here already knows who we are and has been praying for us. What a blessing! The kids and I have been a little under the weather, but what interaction we've had with the students and faculty has been so sweet! Both Mary and William loved being surrounded by so many sweet people. We're trying to help Mary add "hola" to her vocabulary. William already knows the universal sign for "high five" so he got along great with his smile!

It is still our hope, prayer, and plan to move down in time to start Language School in January! Our second goal of this trip is to smooth the transition between now and when we come down for good. Being here for a visit has only strengthened our desire to come. Please continue to pray with us that God will provide and the last pieces will fall into place!

Monday, September 12, 2016

When Staying is Serving

This week Billy is serving with Steppin-Out Missions to help repair homes damaged by the flooding in Louisiana. I am so very, very proud of him! Hopefully he'll get a chance to take a few pictures and give you your first interesting blog post in a while! Haha

A year ago last month, if you recall, he went to Pennsylvania to serve with To Be A Blessing for a week, and I promised myself that he would never leave me behind on a mission trip again. And yet, here I am in Missouri while my love is in Louisiana, and I was the one that encouraged him to go!

Before we were married I would daydream about working in missions with Billy. I'd see us side-by-side, working ourselves to exhaustion, drinking strong coffee, making a difference in this world, and enjoying life to the fullest. Those daydreams never took into account the other daydream of us having a family, however, and it has taken me more than two years to accept and embrace reality.

When Billy went to Pennsylvania I wanted him to go, but I also found it extremely difficult to be missing out on the adventure. I hated being left behind.

The Lord has helped me to see, however, that there is a big difference between being left behind and staying behind.

I would push myself to extreme limits to take care of someone else's children on a mission trip. I would work into the night and get up early. I would try to make everything better than it was when I arrived, because I truly believe that is a Christian's responsibility.

But at this moment, the kids that will be pushing me to extreme limits (with no daddy coming home to make me sane again) are my own. The work I do will be in my home, or with people that I already know well. The area I make better will be the same area I try to make better every day (while a toddler and a 9-month-old follow me around tearing it all back up).
And that's my mission and my ministry.

At this moment my calling doesn't sound very exciting. It is noble work, but you just don't read about diapers and sippy cups in books of missionary stories.
Yet this week changing those diapers and filling those sippy cups is having twice the impact! Not only am I nurturing the lives of two beautiful image-bearers of God, I am making it possible for my Love (my Heart, my Better Half) to go and serve others to the glory of our Father.

I may be in Missouri, but God is still using me to care for His people in Louisiana!
What a generous God we serve!

For sticking with me through this whole post, I have a treat for you, haha!
Mariposa wanted to tell her daddy that she loves him, and the video is so sweet I just had to share it!

Grace and Peace,
Sarah Jackson

P.S. Next week we'll all be visiting RGBI!!! It's a busy month for the Jacksons! Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Little Jacksons

Pictures of our growing babies! 

The Little William is growing! He is 6 months old now and can roll quite well. He has just begun trying out the hands and knees things. He can get up on them (just barely) and then he flops. He has two teeth now and the things he loves best is people talking to him...

There is not a whole lot to update on support wise. We got to present to First Baptist Church of Ellington a couple weeks ago, that was a blessing. And this coming Sunday we will be sharing with Bethlehem Baptist Church in Dittmer MO. 
We have gained a supporter so we may be just over 60%, praise the Lord. We are trusting Him.
Because the Lord has not sent us to RGBI this summer we are thinking over plans to take a trip down there this fall to visit, recharge/focus our mission of getting there, and also possibly (probably) take some pictures and video of what is going on there. Those plans are still in the thinking stage though so you'll have to hold on to hear more.

...Except when he's hungry. Then his favorite thing is definitely a bottle.

Our Mariposa is growing bigger too, and bigger in personality as well. Please pray for us as we seek to teach her and train her in the wisdom of the Lord our God. 

Here is the Super Momma Master Mind at work. Her Super momma powers sometimes include stealth so it can be tricky getting a picture of her. But she is beautiful and amazing and the wonderful mother of our babies. 

And the Jackson boys (Me, dad, Eddie Jonny, Jimmy and also Gracie who is not a Jackson boy but I am very thankful that she came) went on a little fishing trip and took Mary and William so Sarah could be without the kids for just a little bit. (that was not the reason for the fishing trip but the reason the kids came on it)

 Thankfully we have an awesome new double baby stroller that was given to us very generously. We have been using when we go jogging and it came in handy here as well.

 William (the little one) didn't get to see much of the action but he was happy anyway on his grandpa's back.

Mary isn't telling a fish tale. She says she's done sitting on this rock. 

 A hat for bubbub (she can also say William now but prefers bubbub)
He guesses we're on some kind of great hiking adventure or something... not very sure from this view.

The End of this post.
Thank you for all your prayers and support as we continue to work towards RGBI and continuing our work as Servant Photographers

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Lord is faithful in all things great and small

The Lord is faithful!
He is faithful and good in all things.

Family pictures by Will Jackson Photography

William's first tooth came in this week!

Our little ones are growing day by day.
Recently Mariposa reached the 1 1/2 year milestone, and a few days later William turned 6 months old. It does not seem possible that so much time has already passed this year!

This past Sunday (6/5) we had the opportunity to share with First Baptist Church of Ellington, MO. It was such a blessing!

Later this month we will be sharing with Bethlehem Baptist Church and next month we'll be sharing with Morse Mill Baptist Church. Praise God for these opportunities, and join us in prayer that we will be a blessing and discover people that the Lord is going to use to support the video ministry at RGBI!

With the August Semester beginning in just two months and our support still hovering at 60%, it looks like we won't be getting to the Rio Grande Bible Institute this semester. We trust that God will get us there in His perfect time, and pray that it will be soon! The next semester will begin in January, so that's our new goal!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Honesty, Encouragement, And a Challenge

It's been a long journey, and we're still not at RGBI.

That can be discouraging sometimes. To be honest, there have been many times these past 3 years that I've asked God, "Are we ever going to get there?" We remain convinced that this is the Lord's will for us, but His timing has been very confusing.

When we made it to the 60% mark, however, things started to get exciting. Not too long ago we realized that if support continued to come in steadily there was a real possibility that we could be there for the start of the semester THIS AUGUST! Wow!

But in order for people to join our support team they have to hear about the work God has called us to, and those opportunities can be hard to come by. With only 4 months remaining until August, making that goal is starting to look more improbable. I admit that this past week I started praying for some encouragement, because I am ready to go, but it's easy to wonder if that's ever going to happen. And after all these years, do they still really want or need us?

Then last night we received an email from the Media Director at RGBI (our future boss). He wrote to tell us that the students working in the video department are praying for us and are "anxious for [our] arrival on campus."
"We have some quality students in the video department," he wrote, "but they keep asking for a staff member to be there with them."

Do they want us there? YES! 
Are we ready to go? When can we pack?!

And so we press on! The finish line of this little race is in sight! And we need you to do something.


That is our challenge to you. Please, pray. Pray fervently for us, brothers and sisters. Pray confidently. Pray joyfully. Pray that we will be at the Rio Grande Bible Institute by the start of this coming August semester!
(If you would like us to mail you a prayer card let us know!)

God is going to take us there.
Sound teaching will be sent to Spanish-speaking pastors and missionaries all over the world through RGBI's video ministry.
And YOU will be a vital part of that ministry!

To God Alone be the Glory!
Sarah Jackson

Churches we have shared with recently!

Believers Chapel church in Ellington MO

First Baptist Church Of Eminence MO