I was on the way to Krakow with my sweet husband just four days ago for another business trip. We were driving down the road talking and enjoying the drive. Our cell phone rang and Daniel, one of our volunteers in Poznan, told me that a man from Kenya was trying to get hold of us on the phone. I asked if he knew who it was and he said that he had tried to give our cell phone number but the phone kept disconnecting. He never got a name.
My husband and I tried to figure out who might be calling. Most of the people we knew there did not have access to call us, and it would be very expensive. In the back of my mind I remembered the blog about Jackson. Maybe he had read the story and decided to contact us. It has been many years since we were able to talk to Jackson. He had no computer and no phone. Our contact had been mainly through other missionaries and friends in Nairobi.
It was after dark, we were still on the road and the phone rang. It was a 254# and we recognized that it was from Kenya. However, when I answered the call was lost. So, I decided to send a text in case the person was using a cell phone. I said "Please try again, we lost your call...who is this please?"
Minutes passed as we waited to see if there would be a response. My phone sounded the alarm that there was a new text message. I looked and the message read:
It is ur son Jackson Tustin. I found you on the internet and saw pictures of my sisters, they are so big now! I also saw pictures of mum and she is beautiful.
I sobbed as I read the message. While we have been telling Jackson's story for many years we have not been able to talk to him for so long. There was a piece of my heart that came back to me on that cold drive to Krakow. I remembered taking Jackson out to dinner one of last nights in Kenya. We had ordered dinner and we told Jackson that our time in Nairobi was almost over. We told him we would have to leave in two weeks. Though he knew it was coming this was a shock to Jackson. He laid his head on the table and wept. We tried consoling him but he was grieving. Leaving him was one of the most difficult things we ever had to do.
Later that night, when we arrived in Krakow, we were able to call Jackson and I heard his voice after so long. He is indeed a man now. He coaches soccer for kids and works as a guard, still living in Kibera. I am also a grandmother of a bright, beautiful young man who is 8 years old, my Kenyan grandson.
Jackson said to me "Mom, do you remember the time I got the shoes?" I asked Jackson if he had read the blog, because I had written about this story on my blog. He said no. He told me that though he had given his heart to Christ it was when God gave him those shoes was when he knew God loved him. He told me that today he still remembers that and he loves God. My mother's heart was full.
Jackson still has a very difficult life. I think it did his heart good to know that we missed him as much as he had missed us. We laughed and cried together. When we said goodbye we promised that we would not lose contact.
I guess I wanted to share the rest of this story with you because I feel so blessed. Many times people ask us what happened to Jackson and it felt so bad to have to say that we had not been in touch with him for so long. I even wondered if he remembered us, but now I know. What God starts He is FAITHFUL to and He will FINISH!
God loves us...Oh Happy Day! :)