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 riogrande.edu 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: www.facebook.com/ServantPhotographer 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