When my father was 16 years old he did not know how to read. He was working on a farm where the farmer’s wife was a teacher. She took her time to bless him with the gift of reading. When I was 4 years old, he taught me how to read. He taught me from the grocery store ads in the newspaper. Being a general contractor, he was at the dump one day and rescued many boxes of beautiful, antique books. He built a bookshelf in our garage. This bookshelf was like a playground to me. I grew up reading the classics by the most amazing authors, many in old English. The Lord had a plan for me and was preparing my heart.
At age 7, a neighbor lady, Bea Gathwright, was kind enough to have the Good News Club at her home. This is where I memorized my first scripture. Another kind friend of my father’s, Gordon Heinmiller, would always whistle the hymns and gift me with a scripture card. When I was 15 my Aunt and Uncle were missionaries to the Philippines. They were coming from Texas but would visit our family in California on the way. I saw the light of Jesus in Aunt Delta and wanted that light too. I remember saying the sinner’s prayer with her in the living room as I held her hands inviting Sweet Jesus into my heart. After that she told me that the Angels were having a party for me in heaven and that my name was written in the book of life. Aunt Delta told me that one day I will be with Jesus and walk on streets of gold. She gave me a bible to read every day. Then I was on my own trying to find my way. I learned my first hymns and was required to take my first bible classes at Pepperdine University. I also learned Organizational Communications, Public Relations and Management at Pepperdine. I was chosen out of many applicants to open the Gucci store in South Coast Plaza in the 80’s. I was promoted and asked to move to San Francisco or New York but I chose to stay in Orange County and marry a pastor’s son. I chose to stay home and raise our 3 children. I loved doing devotions with them and teaching them about Jesus. I was in Moms in Touch (now Moms in Prayer) for many years and then led it at my home. I was a women’s small group leader for several years in bible study. I was active at my church in many ways for many years. In the beginning, I was a bulletin stuffer with my children at my feet. Many years later, my favorite church volunteer experience was being used by Jesus to co-teach a Bible study. I remember telling my teaching partner that if one person was helped by our gleaning of the Bible and effort it was worth it. The Lord brought 85-110 women weekly. If you have ever been filled by the Holy Spirit and used by the Lord, it is the best feeling in the world!
The Lord makes us all uniquely designed to fulfill his purposes. Having a heart for Jesus, people, books, counseling others, and even interior design, the Lord gave me a “calling” to open a Christian bookstore. The Lord would put me in places where I would overhear people talking to other people about how sad they were that there were no Christian bookstores in our area. In preparing for this ministry, the Lord made it very clear why my husband and I were put together. Our gifts meshed to help bring Rejoice to fruition. Rejoice provides an environment to meet people where they are at in their walk with the Lord. It is my prayer that our facility provides a safe haven to get away from the hustle and bustle of this busy world. It is a place where God is glorified in every square foot. It is my prayer that the Lord will take each person by the hand and guide them to what he wants them to read, see, touch, and bless others with on their personal journey with Him.
The Lord led me every step of the way. “My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27. The Lord was invited into every detail of this ministry. He used my husband and me as his hands and feet to give South Orange County a Christian lifestyle store. This is how much our Lord loves you.
He wanted you to have this.
Rejoicing in Him,
Kimberly Jackson, Founder