Update from the Jacksons
This post is written by one of our Solace missionaries, Tawnya Jackson.
Since I last wrote in August, we have made a return trip to Abidjan for supplies and money to continue the project. Jeff went with Eli (one of our Ivorian friends) to get his Ivorian drivers license. Things are not always easy in a developing country. For this simple task, they went to a place to do paperwork, then drove one of the “test examiners” with them to another place about 20 minutes away where they took Jeff's fingerprints and blood. The examiner told Eli that Jeff drives very well. He gave him a paper (to show any police that stop him) that proves he is in the process of receiving his license. We will have to get it on the next trip in November.
Jeff was asked again to preach but this time at our “home” church in Tanda. He talked about how God uses the broken and messed up to do great things. He talked about how Satan uses our past to lie to us and tell us we can’t do God’s work. He makes us feel like we are unworthy. Of course, that is true. We are unworthy, but God forgives us, fixes us, and makes us worthy.
After much prayer and many tears, we have decided that I will be bringing Aubry back to Tulsa to live with her mom in December. It’s a very difficult step in our ministry. We were planning on her being here for at least two years. Unfortunately, she is having a lot of skin reactions to the environment, homeschool is not going well, and honestly the culture is just too different and it feels like we are always disciplining her. She will be moving back to her mom’s house and we will terminate our guardianship. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we prepare to travel and make another radical life change.
Our French tutoring is still going pretty slowly. It’s unbelievably hard to learn a new language after spending 45-50 years only speaking one language! Diane, our tutor, is very patient with us and doesn’t seem to mind going over the same lessons more than once. I might be fluent by the time we retire back to the US! We will be having our first test soon so we’ll see how we’re doing on our own.
My heart has been heavy this particular week. I have missed a few of my dear friends so much and it’s been really hard. One of our kids is having a milestone birthday (25th) this coming week and it’s really hard not to be there to celebrate her. Our water has only been on for a few hours a day which makes it really difficult to do laundry and have a normal shower. The satellite TV has been intermittent. Our cell phone service was non-existent for most of the day yesterday. I understand that it’s Africa and I should be prepared for all of this but right now it just drives home the cultural differences. I can’t call the utility companies and let them know this is unacceptable. I know that this will soon pass and all will go back to how it was. God knows there is a purpose to all of it.
As always, we love you all and are so thankful that you are on this journey with us!