Making a difference across the world

Published 4:04 pm Friday, July 2, 2010

Before they ever met, Shelah Hubbard and Jade Acker knew they were being called by God to work in foreign missions.

Shelah was raised in Zambia as the daughter of missionaries. Her parents, Jerry and Dorothy Hubbard, now reside in Alabaster.

Jade Acker, 1988 Thompson High School graduate and 1993 Samford graduate, met his wife–to–be on a spring break mission trip to Hawaii in 1993 just before Acker graduated.

He had already submitted his application to serve overseas with the International Mission Board as a Journeyman, a two–year assignment.

The couple married when Acker returned from his two years of service in The Gambia. Both attended seminary in Fort Worth, Texas and both received masters of divinity degrees.

Daughter Anna-Grace, 4, was born in Senegal, West Africa. Kaelah-Joy, 4, was born at Shelby Baptist Medical Center.

The Ackers have worked in Africa for eight years now and in Uganda for the past two years.

“We are inspired daily by the hope that our lives will make a difference. We hope to continue with our current projects and refine the work we are doing,” said Shelah Acker.

The Ackers are “foster parents” to several Sudanese young men whom they have sponsored since 2003.

Some are war orphans, former child soldiers, and others just urban refugees.

There is a small house behind the Acker home in Kampala (the capital city) where the Sudanese “adoptees” live and study.

There are more than two million people in Kampala.

The Ackers are field personnel employed by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

The “fellowship” provides for all personal needs for the family.

However, they also run Refuge and Hope International.

Donations to Refuge and Hope are used for mission projects and furthering their reach to those in need.

Recently at Shelby Baptist Medical Center, the Ackers showed videos of their work in Uganda and sold crafts, art, jewelry, sculptures, etc. to raise funds for Refugee and Hope.

Without the continued generosity and support of family, friends, churches and organizations, the Ackers could not continue in such a successful mode.

Anna-Grace and Kaelah-Joy attend Heritage International School which serves the international community.

It has a very diverse student body with kids coming from all over Africa, Europe, Canada and a few from the United States.

Through Skype, a program you can download on your computer for free and communicate with people all over the world, and a webcam, the Acker family is able to communicate with other family and friends.

Both sets of grandparents, Shelah’s retired missionary parents and Jade’s parents, Judy and Dan Acker, are blessed and thankful to see and talk to their children and grandchildren on a frequent basis.

If you want more information on this worthwhile endeavor visit