News from Keith and Barbie Jackson, July 2021
Keep On Keeping On
Sometimes in life the only thing that we can do is to keep going! It has been a challenging few months for us. When we returned from the UK, freshly vaccinated and full of energy, we came back to a house full (literally) of dead insects, a leaking roof and a litany of other problems with the house. Keith has been slowly working his way through a DIY list that keeps growing.
We also face the challenges of the pandemic’s ongoing affects here, as we have entered more severe lockdown, with the delta variant running unchecked throughout the country. Churches are closed and our global partner is not equipped for online services in the same way the British churches are.
Crime is on the increase once more as the situation deteriorates in the rural areas. An ex-President is due to be arrested for contempt for court having refused to testify at the national enquiry into corruption. This adds to the political tensions and some are threatening a civil war. Through it all we move onwards, taking great comfort in the words of Paul: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” - 2 Corinthians 4:8-10.
The Elim Missions emergency relief appeal is still active. Although the UK is seeing light at the end of the tunnel, many countries are not. Here in South Africa we are in our third wave, which has eclipsed our first and second waves. Cases in our own town have rocketed by over 600% in two weeks. In light of this we were so grateful to receive funds from Elim UK to help feed those most in need. We borrowed a big trailer and were able to purchase 1.5 tonnes of food and provisions for an estimated 600 people. This was distributed in the villages of Lulekani and Makhushane by Pastors Maghale and Mabunda. Soon we will go and purchase another 1.5 tonnes of food. When these items are given out there is not just gratitude but real joy. Many people consider their local Emmanuel Assembly as their church and we have seen a number of families joining their local church as a result.
Barbie’s Baby Boxes
Barbie did a birthday fundraiser on social media and raised enough money to purchase the contents for fifteen baby boxes. These were given out through the Bethel (Nyakelang) Emmanuel Assembly. Many expectant mums attended the service and nine ladies gave their lives to the Lord that day. We are really careful how the appeal for salvation is done as we need to avoid patronage. After the service Barbie and Keith accompanied the Pastor to homes in the village and gave out boxes to other new mums. Keith stayed in the car as culturally it is not the done thing for a strange man to enter the home where there’s a newborn. Barbie got lots of baby hugs though!
Covid and Isolation
During the course of purchasing the emergency food we came into close contact (twice) with a couple who both turned out to be Covid positive. Under the regulations here we are now in strict isolation at home for 14 days. We both feel fine but are doing regular lateral flow tests that we were able to bring back from England previously. We are both glad to be fully vaccinated!
We have booked our flights and arrive 21st August! We are flying via Doha once more as there are limited options for international travel. On arrival we will go straight into hotel quarantine as South Africa remains on the UK’s ‘red list.’ This dramatically pushes up our costs as we have to pay out £2400 for the accommodation and testing. Sadly, it does not look like South Africa will be downgraded to the ‘amber list’ soon, meaning self isolation without hotel quarantine is not an option. If you feel led to give something towards these extra costs, then please contact Elim Missions.
We have been asked why we need another ‘holiday’ in England when we were there earlier this year. Home assignment is definitely not a holiday! It involves travelling throughout the UK, speaking at Elim churches, raising awareness of missions and the ministry here. It has been over two years since we have been able to do this. It is great to meet up with so many old friends and, yes, we do squeeze in visits to our children and grandchildren too.
Here’s our itinerary. There’s only a few available Sunday’s left (if you’re a pastor, don’t see your church listed, and subscribe to this newsletter you will have had a personal email recently).
5th Vale Elim Church, Wantage
12th Church 180, Elim Paignton
18th - 24th Northern Ireland at various Elim churches
10th: All Nations, Elim Reading
17th: Estuary Elim (Rayleigh in the morning, Ashingdon in the evening)
31st: Tramway Elim
We have 26th September, 3rd and 24th October still available.
Thanks for praying for Ben, Emma and the pregnancy. Emma has a nice little bump now and the baby is doing well. Ben had an exposure to Covid himself and had to isolate in a room for ten days, but all is well.
Please pray for the following:
For the food distribution in a few weeks’ time.
For our health and protection from Covid.
For the ongoing house repairs.
For our home assignment arrangements and quarantine to go well.
For Ben and Emma and the continued safety of Baby Jackson.
For Penny, Tobie and Tobie Jnr (Barbie’ sister, brother-in-law and nephew), who are recovering from Covid, and Viaan (Barbie’s cousin) who also has Covid.
Thanks for standing with us.
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Keith and Barbie