Extended Horizon Reflections
Jeff Jackson was fifteen the first time he laid eyes on a beautiful girl that was thirteen. A few months later he asked Helen to “go steady” with him, and she said yes. Neither of them could have known the incredible journey that initial commitment to one another would generate throughout the rest of their lives. After becoming husband and wife while still teenagers, they relocated a few days after their wedding ceremony to the country where he was stationed as a member of the U.S. Army, and welcomed their first child a few months later. Their son was born with health issues that would almost take his life and require them to go on a breath-taking journey that included stops at U.S. Air Force bases scattered throughout the Pacific. The transition back to civilian life led to a spiritual transformation that moved him to become a pastor, serve the disabled, and lead his family to live in Southeast Asia for more than five years. A few years later, he was diagnosed with a terminal illness that generated life-trajectory changes that would eventually include serving refugees in a major Southwestern city, a variety of other health-related challenges, and many opportunities to pass on the truths he learned about life and identity along the way.