New Members Spotlight (Summer 2019)

Neal Nelson Blog

This entry is part 36 of 37 in the series New Member Spotlight

Bob & Sandra Jackson

Bob and Sandra are involved in ministry to international students at Virginia Tech and are employed by International Students, Inc. of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Working with a team of volunteers in the Blacksburg/Christiansburg area, they conduct Dinner and Bible Discussion Groups, host Men’s and Women’s activities and do periodic retreats. They enjoy watching Virginia Tech basketball and football, attending musical events at the Moss Arts Center and visiting their grandchildren.
The Jackson’s have three grown children: Joel, Jennifer and Jeremy. Jeremy and his wife Michelle have two children of their own, Violet and Lilly. Sandra loves water color painting and Bob plays golf.


“We love the fact that Northstar Church has such a Biblically based approach to preaching and that it reaches a wide variety of people from the community as well as the university. The GAP group is also a much needed outreach effort in Blacksburg.” – Sandra Jackson


Bob and Sandra moved to Blacksburg in 2002 from Abingdon, VA and were active in local church ministries before joining ISI in 2008.


Jake & Carly Edwards

Jake and Carly met at James Madison University and helped out with Young Life and Cru shortly after getting married. They moved to the area about eleven years ago, and they love the great outdoors, gardening, playing games with family and friends, and watching sports. Carly is a big Eagles fan and Jake is a Redskins fan, so there is always a rivalry in the house!


They have four kids ages ranging from six to eleven. They recently moved from Radford to Christiansburg and bought an extreme fixer-upper that Jake will be rebuilding for the next few years.


“We love Northstar because we felt welcomed and loved right away, and we’re excited to become part of the family. We love your theology, preaching, and worship too!”


Joe & Sanya Fabrizi

Sanya and Joe grew up attending church together in Northern Virginia and became close friends in junior high youth group. They were together for seven years before getting married in December, and they’re very excited to officially call Northstar their church home!  

Joe is currently in his third year of veterinary school at Virginia Tech and spends much of his time studying for exams and preparing for rotations. During his limited amounts of free time, he enjoys watching baseball, playing racquetball, and spending time with friends! He’s also a part-time professional photographer.  Sanya really enjoys playing piano and singing. Some other things they love are reading, cooking, and lettering. They also love to have friends over to play games, play music, or just to spend time together.
“We are blown away by the hospitality, love, and dedication that we see in other members of NorthStar. God has clearly been at work growing and molding this church throughout the years and we’re excited to be joining at an integral time for the congregation as we prepare to make the move to our first church building sometime next year. We look forward to allowing God to utilize the specific gifts He gave us to better his kingdom through NorthStar. Sanya and I are already involved with a small group through NorthStar and are always searching for new ways to get involved! Sanya is also getting involved with the worship team.”
“I’ll  admit I am fairly quick to become anxious about situations in which I have little-to-no control over the outcome. My anxiety is often a direct result of fear. Whether it be fear of failure, fear of not having the answers, or fear of not living up to my fullest potential. The Bible says in Isaiah 41:10, “so do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” This verse is a constant reminder to me of the love and power of our magnificent God. We were not made to live this life apart from God, we were not made to worry and be anxious. My God is also my father, and a father has love and compassion for his children. He legitimately cares for us and has our best interests at mind at all times. Lastly, I am particularly fond of Philippians 4:6-7. This passage intentionally describes a response, and I often find myself reflecting on this verse to help guide me through moments of anxiety. One of my (Sanya) favorite stories about Jesus in the Bible is when Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. It is a story that reminds me of Jesus’ humanity as he weeps for the death of his friend. It also shows Jesus being incredibly obedient to the Father in waiting for His timing. Jesus was able to heal Lazarus before he died, but instead He brought more glory to God in His patience. My favorite thing about the story is that Jesus calls Lazarus out of the tomb into the light and tells the people there to take off Lazarus’ grave clothes. This is a beautiful picture of redemption and fellowship. Rather than doing His work with Lazarus in the dark, Jesus calls him out and involves the community in the process. This story is very close to my heart because I first heard this perspective on it as I began college, and I during those years, I experienced the sweetest, most vulnerable, and life-giving fellowship I’d ever experienced.”

They have been attending Northstar for roughly seven months as a married couple.

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