Heartfelt Salute to John Sandford
Many people spend their lifetime not knowing a father’s love or presence. Even more live without a spiritual father’s blessing or stamp of approval. My husband, John Paul Jackson, was blessed with several spiritual fathers throughout his lifetime. John Sandford was the first! A faithful example of true spiritual fatherhood. Just as John Paul honored him in life, I continue to honor John Sandford (and former wife, Paula) with a special place in my heart as extended spiritual family members.
How well I remember John Paul eagerly clutching John and Paula Sandford’s book, The Elijah Task, in our Garland, Texas living room over 35 years ago. The Sandfords didn’t know us, but we were introduced to them through the pages of their book. John Paul gleaned from their writings during his early quest to become better acquainted with God, and discover his own personal, prophetic destiny.
As John Paul passionately pursued God’s call during his unique, spiritual journey, John Sandford continued to make his mark on our family history. He was both strong and supportive, caring and protective. In our earlier ministry days, he displayed courage and authority by going out of his way to prevent misguided leaders from resisting John Paul. I watched him exude the tender love of our heavenly Father while praying for our adopted son, Micah, in our Fort Worth home. The onset of Tourette syndrome symptoms pummeled Micah’s body daily. How endearing to watch a spirit of peace bring some relief that day as John Sandford shared a warm grandpa-like moment with our young Micah.
It’s now been over three years since John Sandford reached out to take my hand at John Paul’s memorial service. He fully expected John Paul would have been the one to bury him! How honored I was by his presence with us. I am truly grateful for John Sandford and Elijah House Ministries, a much-needed ministry that lives on.
John Paul flourished in the things of God and finished strong. His gift wasn’t buried or thwarted. It lives on through his spiritual children, perhaps in part because a spirit-led man, John Loren Sandford, fulfilled his fatherly role. He is remembered as a godly servant, who sacrificed time beyond his own to share of himself with others. John Sandford’s spiritual son, John Paul Jackson, was just one of many he influenced.
On behalf of past and present Streams family, we are thankful for John Sandford’s life. John Paul would proudly join me in personally honoring John Sandford for a life fully lived and invested in others. To all the Sandford family, we thank you as well. Accept our offering of gratitude and prayers. Hopefully you will find some comfort by sharing in our memories and adding them to yours.
I can’t help but imagine the welcome-home celebration that awaited John Sandford. And I can see John Paul as one of the first in line to give him a genuine and heartfelt Texas-size hug!
Wife of John Paul Jackson, founder of Streams Ministries