As we near our time of departure it seems as though time is moving faster. Things that seemed a long way off a year ago are now imminent. As we look back over the last 12 months or so we can see God's hand at work in extraordinary ways, sometimes in the big things, sometimes in small things.
Recently we booked a removal firm to take some of our furniture to South Africa. In itself this was an arduous task as three companies came to our home, looked in every cupboard and drawer! We have booked a company and they are packing our perusal belongings on 26th July and loading it onto a container on 27th July.
The next few weeks we have to sort through the remainder of our possessions in our home. We are taking big items with us (lounge suite, dining table and chairs, electrical items - all the things that are more expensive to replace there) as well as some sentimental items, like pictures. All of this will hopefully help make our new location feel like home, when it eventually arrives! However, decluttering a home is time consuming. Normally when we have moved house they'd always be a few boxes of odds and ends that don't ever seem to get unpacked on the other side. We don't have that option, if it won't fit in the 20ft container it is not going with us! This is proving to be quite an emotional process as we go through this as so many items have special memories attached to them but we just cannot take them with us.
We have sold our cars too! Although not expecting to do so just yet, both cars sold in a matter of days. Keith's car has gone to our eldest son, who needed it earlier than we originally planned for, and Barbie's sold to a single mum who sent her uncle to negotiate on her behalf: it took three hours of back and forth but finally a deal was done! This left us with no vehicle! We are thankful to Neil Hutchinson for organising us a reliable car for the next few months. Such practical help is so encouraging.
At the beginning of July we will also be rehoming our cat Zoe. We have had her since she was a kitten and we got her when Barbie was wheelchair bound a number of years ago. This little furry creature kept her company and was a big part of her rehabilitation, taking her mind off of her pain. We cannot take her with us as it is cost prohibitive and unfair to her. She will be taking up residence with Ben and Ailish, youth pastor at Life Church. We are not looking forward to saying farewell to this little bundle of love.
Please pray for us during this time as deal with these very personal challenges.
Rapid Response Prayer Team!
We really appreciate your prayers and regular contact with us. Some have asked if we would send prayer requests when they arise, rather than just bi-monthly. This led us to the idea of setting up a WhatsApp group for emergency prayer needs as we get closer to leaving and whilst we are on the field. We hope to use this group regularly but will not use it for social updates (we use Facebook for this). If you'd like to be part of the Kandbinsa Rapid Response Prayer Team, please send us a text on 07707160260 or message us through the contact page. Please make sure to add your name.
GDPR - Double Eeeek!
So the dreaded GDPR laws are now in force. Fortunately, we have until September to comply but have to show we are working towards this. Thank you to the many of you who have responded to our requests to "opt in." For those who have not yet done so it's not too late and is really easy. Simply cut and paste the text below and email it to us, either through our 'contact us' page or using your email programme. Its a real help to us to know that you're standing with us.
Here's the text to send us: “I consent to Keith and Barbie Jackson, Elim Missionaries to Southern Africa, holding my personal information (email, address and phone number) for the express purpose of staying in touch with me with news of Kandbinsa Ministries. Should I choose to no longer receive your news I will inform you in writing, by post or electronically.”
Our visits to Elim churches continue as we raise awareness of what we are aiming to do and gain much needed prayer support. Thank you to those who have signed up to receive our news in these churches and welcome to our new prayer partners and supporters. Since we last wrote we have visited the following fellowships:
This is great church led by Glen Podd and the team. It meets in a local URC church as they outgrew their building long ago. We enjoyed our morning there and received such a warm welcome. Thank you!
We travelled down to the south coast to be with Andrew Fadoju who leads this vibrant church. We had previously met with the church's missions team via Skype and were welcomed enthusiastically by this wonderful fellowship. Their generosity has been overwhelming and we hope that we were an encouragement to them too.
Selly Oak Elim:
Iain Hesketh, who has led this church for the last five years, shares some common history with us: Reading is our home church and he served as an Assistant Pastor there after graduating from Regents Theological College. It was great to share some stories of old friends over lunch with Iain and Rachel and their delightful daughters. Members at this church have responded well to the need for prayer and we are grateful for the time shared there.
We visited this gem of a church for their Sunday morning service; they meet in a local school and currently have no pastor, so Geoff Blease the Regional Coordinator for the Met West region organised an invitation for us. What a terrific fellowship this is, currently led by their elder John. The Spirit was evidently moving and after our talk the church gathered around to pray for us, including some prophecies that actually answered questions Barbie and I had been discussing on the journey down to Oxfordshire! God is so good!
From Vale Elim we travelled back to Essex to speak at Ashingdon that night. Keith as known David and Maureen Redbond, who lead this church in Essex, since 1980 when they met at the Clacton-on-Sea youth camp. We have been regular visitors to this church over the years, speaking at church weekends away, and more recently, Barbie spoke at their ladies fellowship. David serves as the Regional Coordinator in the Met East region. It's like returning home to family when we visit this church and we are so grateful for their prayerful support.
As you can see the nearer we get to our departure the busier we seem to be getting.
Thank you to all those who have patiently listened, prayed, laughed at our jokes in the right places, as we have itinerated!
At the end of May we attended the Elim Missions Academy Residential Week. This signified the completion of our training but it was also a fantastic opportunity to meet up with the rest of those preparing for the missions field. We had encouraging speakers in a jam-packed week, covering such diverse subjects
as understanding the call, cross cultural differences, personal security, Paul's missional journeys and much more. We also got to spend time with the Elim Missions Team and finalise budgets and arrangements. At the end of the week we joined with Regent's Theological College, and were commissioned alongside their third year students who had also completed their courses. It was an honour to be joined by Rhianne Lee, John and Joy Wilson, who travelled from Chelmsford to support us, and Sam, Susanna and Joshua (our son, daughter-in-law and grandson) for the occasion. There were many tears during the prayer time at the end. We are now commissioned missionaries!
When Faith Gets Shaken:
A few months ago we recorded an interview for the TBNUK TV show, When Faith Gets Shaken, hosted by Patrick Regan. It was broadcast on Sunday 3rd June. We have had tremendous feedback from people within and outside of the church; the story of when things got really tough for us seems to resonate with so many. If you'd like to see it you can view it online at: https://www.tbnuk.org/vod/watch/when-faith-gets-shaken/interview-with-keith-and-barbie-jackson
On 21st May we celebrated our 30th Wedding Anniversary by spending the day in London. It was such a lovely day. We went on the London Eye, visited Madam Tussauds and the London Dungeon, finishing the day at Pantet Hollywood. We are so grateful to God that He has seen us through highs and lows and has proven faithful through the years.
The following are dates for your diary for prayer. Please make a note of the date for our farewell service at Life Church, you are invited! Please let us know if you're coming.
1st July: New Life Community Church, Crewe Elim.
15th July: Elim Church, Ingatestone.
21st July: Farewell Service, 7pm Life Church, Chelmsford.
5th August: Sholing Elim Church, Southampton.
12th August: Riverside Elim Church, Bewdley.
12th September: Fly to South Africa as Elim Missionaries!
Pray for Barbie as she resigns from her position in the local hospital, that her last shifts there will be good.
Pray for Keith that he will finish well at Life Church in July.
Pray for practical issues, our furniture removal, minor repairs to our current home.
Pray for us during August as we 'sofa surf,' visit our children and say some farewells.
Thank you all for all your continued prayers, love and support.
Love and Blessings
Keith and Barbie
All gifts towards our ministry should be marked 'Jacksons South Africa' and sent to Elim International Missions, Elim International Centre, De Walden Road, West Malvern, WR14 4DF (cheques payable to Elim International Missions).
If you would like to make regular gifts towards our support please visit our giving page or our contact page.
Thank you so much.
Charity No. 251549 (England & Wales) SC037754 (Scotland)