The richest family in town...

My daddy posted this on his Facebook profile and I wanted to share here:

The following, is a story of where we were as a family fourteen years ago.  I do not send it out to scare anyone or dwell on the past, but I do read it each year to remind myself of God’s incredible goodness, mercy and grace that he has showered on the Jackson Family.  We are blessed.

This was in email form and I sent it out from our home in Cochabamba, Bolivia, to family, friends and supporters.  There are a series of emails that I sent in order to keep folks posted on what was happening.  The notes also helped me process and think out loud.

Take a walk with us as we marvel at what God has done.

This note was sent around 3a.m. the morning of the 24th.


  Dear all...I have indeed been running the events over and over in my mind.  I have an incredible image of Cindy engulfed in flames and our screaming.  I tried everything to put her out.  Screaming does not do it. If screaming could, she would have been out before flames reached her body.  I have never screamed so much in my life.  Screams came from some place deep where horrors are stored.  

As soon as it was over, I was cradling her on the floor.  I had screamed for wet towels and my screams turned to soothing.  Looking Cindy directly in the eyes and saying that it was going to be all right.  "It's out, It's out, It's out!"  I made the youngest girls come in and see their mommy… that she was o.k.  That she was alive.  As they looked on, they winced and strange, “Spielberg”, sounds come from their little bellies…Deep, hurtful sounds.  

I made them see her up close and then we got a mirror for Cindy to see herself.  I was to blame.  I know it was indeed an accident.  But I am absolutely to blame and cannot shirk that.  Why was I not thinking clearly when we decided to add more alcohol to the fondue burner?  I am fine.  Just wondering.  My hands were burned but it seems like nothing compared to my brides.  I am ashamed and at the same time grateful.  

Can you imagine, what would have happened if more of us would have caught on fire.  Someone would be dead now.  Can you imagine if I would have caught on fire at the same time as Cindy?  Who would have helped us, not the girls.  It took all my energy to eventually put my wife out.  What would have happened if one or more of my little girls would have also caught on fire?  I cannot get that awful idea out of my head. 

God has a plan.  We cannot begin to understand God's wisdom.  I am grateful.  I have made a decision in my mind.  There have been several people that have offered help to get Cindy to a burn unit in the states.  It got my tumblers thinking until 3 a.m. this morning.  I am going to check on airlines today to see if Cindy and I could get on a plane.  I am going to buy two first class tickets and one regular to be at the bulkhead.  Cindy will be able to rest well near the front and with a larger seat.  The extra first class will be for a nurse to ride beside Cindy and take care of her.  I will try to get a bulkhead seat.  We would switch between the two seats according to Cindy's needs.  

Whether we get help with the expense or not, this is what I will do unless the Lord shows me another way.  There is no reason not to have my mate of 20 years at the best medical facility available, if I can.  Pray as I make these plans.  As soon as she is stable and safe to move, I will move her.  Pray for wisdom.  Pray for the minds, of our two youngest girls, Maggie and Lizzie to just fog over for now.  They both have had terrible memories of seeing their mommy on fire, and not even "Big Poppa Bear", could put out the flames quick enough.
In Acts 27  Paul and some other men have been caught in a storm on the Adriatic Sea.  They have been fighting for their lives for fourteen days and nights.  On the four-tenth night it says they took soundings.  Verse 29 says, "Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight".  

We too are praying for daylight, and it will come.  

In Bolivia,

     When I was little, I got tired of watching It's a Wonderful Life and White Christmas.  We watched them EVERY SINGLE YEAR and they seemed old and outdated.  However, this year I watched them and got all choked up during two scenes...please take a second to watch both:

     You know why I got all choked up?!?!?!  I was listening to someone the other day talking about when her father died and no one came around to help or even showed up at the funeral.  I realized that my family, although we have gone through hard times, has ALWAYS had people around us who care...people who show up.

     In White Christmas, hundreds of people show up to support the General, encourage him and get him and his family back on their feet.  The same thing happens for George in It's a Wonderful Life.  And the same thing has happened over and over and over again for my own family.

     We have NEVER been without a home, food, cars, clothes, jobs, money...we have NEVER lacked for anything.  My parents have lived their life in such a way that people would do just about anything in the world for them.  They have friends...true friends.  It's taken me 30 years to appreciate these two movies because I've realized that everyone goes through hard times, but not everyone has the type of friends that have your back, through thick and thin.

     When I look at my parents, I see their success...it may not be success by the world's standards, but they have what I want Nick and I to have.  When my life is going downhill and I feel like I've lost everything, I want the type of friends that come around when its not fun to be around.  "Things" can be lost in a flood, burned up in a fire and stolen by a thief, but relationships can be built and last a lifetime!  Christmas is a wonderful time of year and I love the gifts, but I want to be reminded of what really matters...friends and family.

     George Bailey's little brother said that George was the richest man in town, but I have to say I disagree...The Jacksons are the richest family in town...I just want to say to my daddy and momma, I have watched y'all live an adventure and make an impact on every life you touch and I hope that I grow up to be just like both of you!

     Merry Christmas to EACH and EVERY person 
who has EVER loved on my family and cared for us...you have truly 
been a blessing to us and we are SO THANKFUL
to have YOU as a friends!

Let's be Friends:


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