Hi from west Michigan. I am Mel Jackson and love the Lord with all my heart. I was raised in a Christian home and am one of 7 children of a Baptist minister. My dad had pretty strict rules but was always quite willing to talk about why he held to them. He was a godly man who loved all of us.
When I was 7 I made a commitment to the Lord. But as I grew up I was quite frustrated with my life. I remember thinking about the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, etc.) and realizing I did NOT have peace.
Eventually I rebelled in college. It was not directed against my dad but directly against God. I did not want God in charge of my life. I was studying biology at a secular university and all my profs taught large scale evolution, which seemed to remove the need for a creator God. I decided to seriously consider their arguments. After all, if large scale evolution works, maybe there is no God and my problems would be over. Each day the profs would teach us greater and greater levels of the complexity of life, even within single cells. I remember the moment when I realized large scale evolution just could not explain life. Immediately I thought a number of things: I am stuck with God; I’d better not commit suicide - why throw myself in hell early; I’d better live a careful and healthy life; and, finally, I felt like I had fought God so much that there was no hope for me - so eventually I would die and go to hell. I lived like that for awhile. No hope but at least I stopped being suicidal.
One night I cried out to God and He heard me. I prayed a prayer I had already prayed many times before - God, have mercy on me and forgive my sins and save me. I will follow you. This time I knew He accepted me. I was filled with joy! But God also said to me, “This is it. If you follow through, great. If not, this is it.” I have never wanted to find out what “this is it” meant so I have followed the Lord with my whole heart ever since. That was 48 years ago.
After that, I finished getting a bachelor’s and a master’s in biology, spent a year teaching at an MK (missionary kids) school in Venezuela, got married to my wonderful wife, Dee Dee, and we went to Denver Seminary for an MDiv for me and an MA for her.
We then headed to Kenya for 27 years with Africa Inland Mission, where my wife was a nurse and I taught high school at Rift Valley Academy and worked with Kikuyu and then Maasai tribesmen on Sundays.
Now we are back in the States, living in Zeeland, MI. I work with refugees in Grand Rapids, with over half my time spent with Somali Muslims.
I look forward to interacting on RZIM Connect with others who share my love of science, working with Muslims, apologetics in general, and just a deep love of God’s word.
Life is good! God bless you all.