Jackie was brought up in a religious home but an unsaved one. She finally heard the Gospel taught clearly and trusted the Lord after high school when she was 17. Jackie attended Florida Bible College for 3 years and took a course in Nuclear Medicine. She then went to work in a hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida for about 6 years and was involved in Nuclear Medicine and Ultrasound. While in St. Petersburg, Jackie was helping in a local church and had the opportunity to read some missionary biographies, which challenged her to think about missions. She was especially challenged by the faith of George Mueller and Hudson Taylor.
Jackie went on a summer mission trip to Bolivia in 1980 where she helped build a schoolhouse for the Ayore Indians. This group had killed the first 5 missionaries sent out by Ethnos360 (formerly New Tribes Mission). (See the book : God Planted Five Seeds) www.ntmbooks.com/productDetails.jsp. After that summer, Jackie knew the Lord wanted her in missions so she sold her home and entered the mission training. She had planned on going to Papua New Guinea with another single girl until Jackie met Phil Burns. They met when Phil went to the mission doctor at the medical center located at the language school. They corresponded for almost a year and then were married in the summer of 1983.
“I was raised in a Christian home. In fact, my father was a preacher. We often had missionaries stay in our home. I heard their stories. I saw the need. However, I had other plans for my life. It wasn’t until my senior year at Prairie Bible Institute that God changed my thinking. I did want Him to use my life so I volunteered to go to the mission field. The next year, 1974 found me in the New Tribes Mission training.
My desire was to go to Colombia, but God kept that door closed. The Colombian government was not giving new visas to Americans. After waiting for a visa for two years, I went to Bolivia to work with a group of men trying to befriend a still hostile group of Yuqui Indians.”
Later Phil and Jackie met at New Tribes Language Institute in Missouri and were married in 1983. They worked for a year with New Tribes short-term mission program, SUMMIT. Then, they went to Bolivia and began working with the Yuqui Indians for about 16 years. The Yuqui were a nomadic group of Indians who wore no clothes, made no houses and had little or no contact with the outside world. Phil had worked with this team previously for 2 years when he was single. Phil taught Bible lessons and helped with maintenance of the camp. They both taught literacy courses while Jackie did the medical work and taught Bible lessons to the Yuqui kids.
In 1999, the Burns moved to serve in the missionary school, Tambo, as dorm parents. Phil helped with maintenance and taught middle school choir, art and wood shop. Jackie served as school nurse and also helped teach elementary phonics and spelling one year and 8th grade math another year. When the mission school closed in May, 2004 they felt it was time to come back to the States to work at the mission’s U.S. Headquarters and to help take care of Jackie’s mom who was in bad health.
Read more about our present ministry under the “About” page on this site.