SAN DIEGO, California – “I knew,” Tammy Cookson recalls, “that even if our house burned, the most precious treasure was in the van.” She focused her heart and mind on God’s promise, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You” (Isaiah 26:3).
Tammy, who serves the San Diego Southern Baptist Association as a community ministries field specialist, continued: “On Sunday evening, October 21, 2007, we knew the fire could reach our neighborhood by the next morning. The smoke and ash in the air created an ominous blanket.”
Early Monday morning, Tammy, with her husband, Dan, and their three teenagers (i.e., daughter Danie and sons Kyle and KC), joined the caravan of evacuees escaping their neighborhood. “While Dan backed the van out of our driveway,” Tammy said, “we asked God to allow us to flee to safety. We prayed for His peace to fill us during this ordeal.” God provided peace and safety at the North American Mission Board (NAMB) Vision San Diego office where they stayed for two nights.
The Cooksons have served the Lord in San Diego for more than six years. Tammy’s work in community ministries involves helping God’s people connect with those in need to offer them hope in Jesus.
“My role is to be an equipper,” Tammy explains. “I encourage our churches to be equipped, engaged, and empowered as they minister in their communities. I enjoy spending time with church leaders, finding out what God is doing in their ministries, and discovering how I can support them in their efforts to reach their communities. Some days I am involved in direct ministry such as teaching English to internationals or holding Bible study for inmates at the county jail.”
Among Tammy’s joys are seeing people become believers, watching new ministries start, and having people get excited as God works through them to reach others.
When asked about herself, Tammy said: “The Lord has used everything . . . my upbringing, experiences, education, and relationships to shape who I am today. He has made me unique, with all my flaws, skills, personality, weaknesses, talents, and gifts. God’s grace is amazing!”
Tammy has a message for California Southern Baptists:
“Our journey as missionaries would be impossible without the support of Southern Baptists. May you be blessed for your gifts to the Cooperative Program, California Mission Offering and Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. Thank you for giving sacrificially of your resources.
“Thank you for your commitment to pray for missionaries on their birthday, and for their families and their ministries. Our son, Kyle, had persistent stomach pain the weekend before Christmas 2007. On that Sunday, which was my birthday, we took him to urgent care and then to the emergency room. That night the doctors admitted him to the hospital where he had an appendectomy on Christmas Eve. God’s hand of protection was over him. I believe the prayers of fellow believers made a difference and sustained us during that time.
“Thank you for partnering with us in the work through voluntary mission service.”
San Diego: Did you know?
San Diego is California’s second largest city.
There are nearly 90 different languages spoken in San Diego County.
There are more than 250,000 college students and 20 major colleges and universities in San Diego County.
San Diego County is home to an estimated 175,000 military personnel including their families.
The county covers 4,000 square miles and has 18 incorporated cities and many other smaller communities.
Tammy’s prayer requests:
Pray for the Lord’s guidance as Tammy and Dan nurture their children’s growth in the Lord.
Pray that the Cooksons will be able to balance their schedules to include essential family time.
Pray that California churches will fulfill the vision God has given them for their communities and that many people will come to faith in Jesus.
Tammy’s contact information:
San Diego Southern Baptist Association
4608 Gardena Avenue
San Diego, CA 92110
858 229-1322 (PST)