Words.

Lately, during praise and worship I have found myself at a loss for words. Struggling to convey the depth of my emotions, my love, my gratitude… all the things that are so very real within my heart, seem impossible to express with words. I often find myself in the presence of God, overwhelmed and speechless. And yet more than anything, I want to tell Him everything. 

I think it’s because words have so much power. And because words “speak to me” (no pun intended) in a way that others may not understand. I know how badly they can hurt and how immeasurably they can help. 

Words have always had a powerful place in my life. I live to read the written word and often find it easier to express all that I am, in what I write. I live and die by thank you cards and I experience more love in a handwritten note, than I could ever explain. For me, words have a whole life all their own – an undeniable power that can make or break me. 

Words can literally bring life, strength and fulfillment, encouraging the deepest parts of who we are… or they can crush even the strongest person, destroying all that they believe to be true. 

Words can devastate the wounded. 

Words can cheer the weary soul. 

Words can convince us that we are not enough… or push us to reach for greatness. 

One word can literally change everything. 

All too often, I find that within my own inadequacies, it’s all too easy to hear and accept what the world (and Satan) may say about me. After all, those words are so much easier to identify with… broken, worthless, not enough, failure, defeated, hopeless. Those are the words that have a way of etching themselves into the very core of your being, challenging all that God says is true.

I struggle with some of those words more often that I’d like, my own insecurities taking hold and boldly serving to remind me of all the things I want to be, and all the things I’m not. 

But God. I sat in His presence. (Which is hard for my type C personality, who always has a million Martha type things to do, to just do.) I sat there, speechless at who He is and all that He has done. Once again struggling to find the words. Struggling to silence all the words that would speak so loudly over His voice. 

And I heard in my heart, “All words lose their power in My presence.” 

All the words, the negative, deafening words that can crush me… all those words lose their power in the presence of God. There is freedom in His presence. Freedom from failure, freedom from insecurity, freedom to be all that, and only, what He says that I am. 

Fear fades away. Failure is forgotten. All of the bad, the hurt, the shame… it all loses its voice when the King of Kings begins to speak. 

In His presence, is fullness of joy. In His presence, is peace forever more. 

Tonight, as I stood in a room here in Thailand, surrounded by Staff and kids from Life Impact, I found myself overwhelmed to the point of tears. God reminded me again, that all those words that I allowed to define me, no longer had power because I was in His presence. And as the negatives were silenced, God just began to speak His words over me. With every word, each tear fell harder and faster than the one before.

My hearts cry tonight is for those of you who may read this. Those who may be undone by all the negatives spoken into and over your life. You are not the sum of your failures. You are not worthless. You are not broken. The chapters in your story may not have gone the way you’d like, but your story isn’t over yet. And with every battle comes another opportunity for Victory. Don’t listen to what the world (or Satan) may offer to you. Listen to what God has to say. Find your way into His presence and allow Him to speak life into who you are.

And if you’re reading this, and you don’t know my Father God, through His Son, Jesus, you can.

The very God who created the entire universe and everything in it, chose to create you and to love you. But because of sin, we were separated from His great love. Our sins demanded a price that we couldn’t pay. Money and good deeds can’t take sin from our hearts and lives. Only the sacrifice of the sinless, Son of God, Jesus Christ, could do that. 

Jesus came for you, for me, for the entire world; those alive today and those yet to come. And He died on a cross, bearing the death that we deserved. Paying the price for our sins and making a way so that in receiving Him, we could receive forgiveness.

Three days after He died, the power of God came into the body of Jesus and He rose up alive! He is still alive today! When Jesus conquered death, He purchased forgiveness for all who would choose to simply believe in Him and call upon His name, inviting Him to be Lord of their life. 

He did it all… for you and me. Because of His great love for us.

There is no greater love than someone laying down their life for a friend. And Jesus did that for us all.

He made a way so that we could once again have a relationship with the God who created us and one day spend eternity in Heaven. 

This is the God I serve. The one true and living God who speaks life into my soul. He constantly reminds me of His love for me. 

And the love He has for me, is the very love He wants to give to you.

If you believe what I’ve shared about Jesus, and you want to step out and give God the chance to speak over your life, all you have to do is ask Jesus to come into your life. And in your heart, allow yourself to give all that you are to Him.

There is no perfect prayer to pray. No set words that must be spoken. Simply call out to Jesus.

If you are at a loss for what to say, you can pray this prayer:

Dear God, 

I believe in Jesus and what He did for me. I believe He died on the cross to pay for my sins. I believe He rose and is alive today. Jesus, I ask you, to come into my life. Forgive me of my sins. Speak over me. I chose today to give my life to you. Amen.

I know it sounds easy, and it is. Now I won’t lie and say you’ll never face another problem, but at least you won’t face them alone.

Allow God to speak into your heart and life. Allow Him to redefine all that you are. Let His words set the course for who you will become. 

He will change everything, if you’ll let Him. Give Him a chance.

*If you prayed that prayer or something similar, I want to hear from you. Message me or send an email and let me know about your decision. I want to help encourage you in the days ahead. And if not me, tell someone what you have done and find a church you can get involved with, and a Bible that you can read. It will change your life! And I’m here, message me with any questions you may have.

Jamie Lynn Sivak Signature

Writing Myself Out Of The Story // Asia 2018

Sometimes I write out of necessity, other times it’s out of a desire to get better at what I do. Most often though, it’s out of a need to come to terms with my heart – the realities of life, the fears I face, my hope for the future… all the intangibles that I often keep locked away.

If you read my last blog, “Finding My Way Again” you will remember that back in April (Yes way too much time has passed since I last wrote all of you) that I went to Thailand and volunteered with an incredible ministry, Life Impact International. They work to rescue children out of slavery and prostitution and prevent others from ever entering that world. They give these children a place to call home and hope in Jesus Christ. They are literally rescuing children and training them to take the Gospel of Jesus back into the world. It was during this trip that God opened my eyes and reminded me that even though it might appear as though I was counted out, that He wasn’t finished with me yet.

When faith meets FEAR.

To be completely honest, coming to volunteer with Life Impact scared me. My initial call with their founder went well – too well. We talked about the things I could do… how I had led multiple short-term team mission trips and also loved media/graphic design. She told me about how her team of missionaries and staff had literally been praying for me – someone with my exact gifting and talents and how they could have used me as early as “yesterday”. This news terrified me. What if I looked like the answer to their prayers and ended up being nothing more than a huge disappointment? I couldn’t bear the thought. I had disappointed more than my fair share of people in life and I wasn’t about to add to that list. Even though I had self-imposed reservations, I booked my ticket, packed my bags and went to Thailand. And I had five glorious weeks that changed my life. (You can read more about that trip in my previous blog.)

Before I returned to the states, I got the opportunity to have tea with the founder, Lana Vasquez and simply dream together about the future and what that could look like. We talked about the possibility of me becoming a more permanent member of their team, in the days to come. No date was set and nothing was written in stone, but we both dreamed big about what this could be, how it would work and when it would happen. All of that, we placed in God’s hands, trusting that as always, He would bring things about in His perfect timing.

And with that, I packed my bags again, flew out the next day and headed home. I was filled with hope for the adventure that I knew was just over the horizon. From the moment my feet left Asia, I started praying. Not praying for God’s will to be done – which would have been good on my part… but rather earnestly and sincerely begging God to bring things into alignment. I wanted this – more than I had wanted anything in a long time.

The months seemed to drag by at an unbearably slow pace and yet at the same time, they seemed to go by with such rapid speed that I couldn’t accomplish all that I needed to. That may not make much sense, but it was my reality nonetheless. Finally, it happened, roughly four months later, I was on a phone call discussing all the details with Lana. This was the moment where it was all becoming a reality. In just a few more weeks, I would officially be a member of the Life Impact International team.

When You Question Everything.

And here is the part of this story where I should be able to say that “all the pieces finally aligned” and “all my dreams came true” … and they did, but amidst the fruition of my dreams, was this overwhelming fear (I didn’t recognize it for what it was, but it was definitely fear). I spent many nights awake, beyond my normal late hours – trying to reassure myself that this was God’s plan. After all, the pieces fit so perfectly, that only God could have made this happen, right? And even though I was literally walking into a fairytale of all that I had hoped for, I still struggled. Unable to piece together what was wrong, my heart was heavy. This heaviness was tangible and because it felt so real, I persuaded myself that maybe I had missed God. What other explanation was there? This opportunity may have seemed perfect, but once again, I had messed up. And to make things worse, my worst fear was becoming a reality. If I walked away, I would be letting Lana and the others down. I would be disappointing even more people in my life. Fear was taking me out of the game before I even stepped up to the plate.

There it was. FEAR. Disruptive. Overwhelming. Unexplainable. FEAR. I was afraid of disappointing others and in that fear, I almost wrote myself out the next chapter that God had so perfectly written for my life.

Exactly Where I Am Supposed To Be.

Thankfully, God knew. He knows how crazy I can be. He knows how I overanalyze everything and undervalue myself. And yet He never gives up on me. He had people praying and thankfully my eyes were opened to the real problem. Once I could see the fear for what it was, I could deal with it. I could face it. And I did.

I have now been in Thailand for a little over seven weeks (excluding my five-day trip to the Philippines) and I’m amazed daily at how God is bringing about my heart’s desires, carefully crafting each day to challenge and stretch me and bring me more joy than I could imagine. I’m so unexplainably thankful that He didn’t give up on me and grateful for those who prayed for me, some not knowing why they were praying. I’m here, smack dab in the middle of exactly where I am supposed to be. The adventure has only just begun, but each new day brings forth the possibility of far more than I could have ever hoped for.

Moral of the story – FEAR can ruin the best of things but only if we let it. Fear has no more power in our lives than we allow it to have.

2 Timothy 1:7 The Passion Translation

For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control.

(I have so much more to write about including miracles – all that God has prepared for me and the incredible things I’ve gotten to take part in… but it’s too much for one blog. I promise to write more and share all that has happened. Please be patient though and I promise to include you in all the excitement.)

Jamie Lynn Sivak Signature

 

 

 

Finding My Way Again. // Asia 2018

Those of you who follow my blog have probably noticed my absence the past few months. I tried to come back to writing, I really did. To be completely honest though, this past year has been one of the hardest I’ve gone through personally. Growing up is never easy, even if you’re already supposed to be a “grown-up”. People we love can hurt us. Plans can change. We often disappoint others and fail ourselves. Lets just say a lot of that happened this past year.

I’ve always wanted to get things “right”. The voice of perfectionism speaks to me daily, often overshadowing the voice of God.

I’ve spent so many years beating myself up when things go wrong and expecting myself to always get it right. Mistakes are not an option. Bad choices aren’t allowed. Oh I talk a good game about “not being perfect” and “accepting myself” but the truth is that most days I’m striving for an unrealistic and unattainable goal that should drive most people completely bonkers…

Goals come in all shapes and sizes – mine was a size 6.

Picture the photo shopped beauty queen, size 6, with flawless skin who looks perfect in every shot. Mix that with the “Christian” who always serves, never loses their temper and can quote the Bible on command… now add to those goals the fact that I’ve graduated from not one, but TWO bible colleges and have been in full time ministry for nearly a decade – two things that can produce high expectations from people – so on top of feeling like I need to look perfect and be perfect, I also need to produce results.

I just recently stepped away from a full time position at an incredible ministry (which I believed and still believe I was supposed to do) – one that produced great results; millions of people coming to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and seeing thousands of people healed all around the world. I loved what they do – I still do for that matter. They were and still are absolutely amazing. If we’re being completely honest though, I felt like the world was watching to see if I would fall off course and settle in to my comfortable life in America or keep going forward with missions work overseas. I’m sure 98% of it was in my own head (placed there by satan) but regardless; I felt the pressure to produce. And when the last mission trip I had planned was finished, the feeling of failure began to creep in once again.

I told myself (and others) that I was taking a few months off to rest and catch up – after all, I had been in Asia for 9 weeks last summer. I had earned a little break, I thought. At least that’s what I told everyone. It was a better answer than “No I have no idea where I am going next. I have no idea what I’m doing. Did I miss God? Did I make a mistake? What am I doing with my life? What is God doing with my life?” Those were the thoughts that would bombard me anytime someone would ask, “So Jamie, when are you leaving and where are you going next?”

The first few months were hard. And each passing month got harder. I wasn’t finished with missions, but I didn’t have answers either. I didn’t know what was next. And although I’m sure God wasn’t silent, that stupid voice of perfectionism was getting louder every day. As it grew louder, my hope and joy began to fade away. And I just didn’t seem to hear anything from God.

When hope seems lost.

I reached an all time low, crying my eyes out while yelling at God that I couldn’t understand why He had brought me to this place in my life. He knew me after all. He created me. He knew how miserable I would be where I was. He was the one who called me to missions. I actually asked God if that was what he wanted? For me to be miserable… I know, I’m ashamed of myself, but I’ve forgiven myself and thankfully, so has He. I didn’t get the answers I wanted that night, but the stubbornness in me refused to quit. So I dragged myself out of bed the next day and did what I had to do. And the day after that, I did the same. I kept praying – trying to figure out what was next. I still had no answers.

Finally I sat down and told God that there were three things I had on my heart that I felt I was supposed to do this year in ministry. I was going to write them down and take steps forward, until He told me something else. At this point, I calmed down a bit and simply asked Him to show me if the things on my heart were wrong, to tell me and I would go after what He wanted. And through a series of events and the course of just a few days, I received confirmation on all three of the things I had written down! I’ll share more about some of that later. For now though, I want to focus on one of the bigger items on my list, returning to Asia.

There is an incredible ministry in Asia, Life Impact International, that I have known about (through a friend) for several years now. They work to rescue children out of slavery and prostitution and prevent others from ever entering that world. They give these children a place to call home and hope in Jesus Christ. They are literally rescuing children and training them to take the Gospel of Jesus back into the world. I knew the work they were doing was important and had always wanted to experience it first hand. And even though I am certain I don’t deserve it, God opened the door for me to take part.

I came with the intent to fill a need or several needs, if possible.

I came to serve, not to be served.

I thought these kids needed me.

What I didn’t know was just how much I needed them.

It wasn’t a part of the original plan, but I was asked to join a small team from the ministry that would go into a neighboring nation and take the 28 rescued children they had there, on a trip. I agreed. I was actually thrilled for the chance to go spend so much time with these kids.

We arrived late Monday afternoon and headed to the “Boy’s Home” where we would first encounter the rescued boys – 13 to be exact and later the rescued girls. There were 15 of them. We spent a few hours together with introductions and packing for the trip ahead. My introduction was hilarious since I had managed to lose my voice the day before. Nothing like whispering your name to a room full of kids and then having it translated… It was bad enough I couldn’t speak their language, now I couldn’t really speak mine either. We hadn’t even started and I felt like already I was failing them.

As we got on the large bus the ministry had rented, the funniest thing happened. I was practically dragged into a seat with the cutest little girl I’ve ever seen. We’ll call her “Niah”. Now at this point, I’m sick. I have a cough that makes me sound like a chain smoker, no voice and I’m hot and sweaty. Nothing about me screams “she looks like fun, I should have her sit with me”. Yet Niah wanted me by her side. She didn’t know me. She couldn’t speak to me, but she wanted me there with her for the next six-hour bus ride. This little girl slept on my lap, drooled on my shoulder and shared her blanket with me. She didn’t know me, but I was enough.

Every day thereafter, Niah was glued to my side. When a chair was open next to me at the breakfast table, she was right there. We learned from God’s word together and worshipped together. As we took the children to the beach, she was always the first to grab my hand and insist we walk together (although by the end of the week others had followed her lead – I didn’t have enough hands for all the kids). We couldn’t communicate with words, but her laughter and never-ending smiles said it all.

Daily we chased waves, as she tirelessly collected her seashells – valued treasure to her and yet she gave the majority away to others (myself included). I can truly say I have never seen a child with so much unending joy. Not temporal happiness that comes from getting the new toy you’ve been waiting months for or even the happiness that comes from experiencing Disney World for the first time, but real joy… a true joy that only comes from being rescued, from knowing the unending love of a Savior. The truth is, I don’t know all of Niah’s story, what she went through and how she got here today and maybe I don’t want to. I’m told her beginning was a rough one, although you would never guess it.

This amazing little girl took one look at me and that was enough. She didn’t care about my muffin top; smile lines on my face, or whether I could quote any of the Bible. She didn’t care if this was my first or 51st missions trip. She simply took me at face value, The same way Jesus does. I was perfectly imperfect and that was more than enough.

The trip came and went faster than I would have liked, but I can assure you that I’ll be back to see Niah again. I can’t help but learn from this little girl. Niah reminded me of why I started missions work in the first place. She was exactly what I needed and I suppose this “not size 6” “imperfect Christian” was exactly what she needed too.

Jamie Lynn Sivak Signature

A Day of Good News // Stories From Abroad: CAMBODIA ’17 – Part 5

Thursday (the 4th official ministry day) came way to soon. When Thursday hits on a Global Ventures trip, it is always bitter sweet. You know that you only have two ministry days left and if you blink, you’re apt to miss them. Trust me – I have missed a lot. That however, is another blog for another day…

There Is No One To Go…

One of our final ministry locations was what we call a “make it happen” site. Global Ventures coined this phrase years ago to describe times in our team schedule where there is not a set school that has been scheduled. During these times, as team leaders we try and find a location within the area, where we can simply break out our team’s portable speaker and microphones and share the Gospel with as many people as we can gather. Often times this will happen in a busy market or crowded street corner. In the villages in Takeo, there just simply weren’t many places where multiple people gathered, so we found our teams doing more of house-to-house evangelism.

That afternoon, my team and I, found ourselves ministering to a man who had not had the opportunity to receive Jesus. I wish I could tell you his name, but I’ll be brutally honest… I am not as good with names as I would like, and sometimes, Asian names are the hardest for me to pronounce correctly – let alone remember. I’m working on it though.

Moving along… So my team and I shared the simple Gospel story with him and he was quick to receive. The fact that this encounter happened was not at all surprising to me. I have had many similar encounters around the world. What was surprising, were the words he shared with us. “There is no one to take the story of Jesus to my village.” Right away, he was concerned about others getting to hear. Can you imagine? His recreated spirit knew that what he was receiving others needed as well.

 

(Above are pictures of my team and I, ministering to that precious man. Photos courtesy of my friend and team member, Courtney Canfield )

A Great Famine.

I’m reminded of the story in 2nd Kings, chapter 7, one that my mentor, Ms. Martine Smithwick, has shared with me many times. She shares it much better than I will, but read on – it’s worth your time. 😉

There are 4 lepers at the city gate – these were outcasts, people who were looked down upon and literally had lost everything. Theirs’ was a bad situation on a “good day”. The fact that there also happened to be an intense famine happening in the land didn’t help matters.

Lets talk famine for a moment: If you go back a little bit and read in chapter 6, you can get a better idea of just how bad things really were.

In verse 24, Ben-Hadad king of Aram mobilized his army and marched upon and laid siege to Samaria. This siege lasted a really long time and the famine that occurred as a result, was unimaginable in comparison to anything I have ever experienced in my 31 years on earth. The famine was so terrible, that people were eating each other’s children.

2 Kings 6:26-29

New International Version

26 As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, “Help me, my lord the king!” 27 The king replied, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?” 28 Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’ 29 So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”

Can you imagine being in a position where food was so scarce and things were so bad, that you would even contemplate eating another human being, much less your own child? I don’t know about you, but I can’t begin to understand what they were going through. What I can tell though, is that things were bad. Not “I don’t have enough money to get my iced cappuccino and so I’ll have to suffer without, until my next paycheck” bad. Not even, “I’m out of groceries and will have to live off the microwave popcorn that has been sitting in my pantry for 3 years” bad. This was “I’m going to die if I don’t eat…” I cringe just thinking about it.

Back to the Lepers. If you think that women eating each other’s kids was bad, imagine suffering like that AND having a skin eating disease that literally cut you off from society and would inevitably kill you. That is a bad day, for sure. These guys literally had nothing to lose.

2 Kings 7:3-9

New International Version

Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”

If they go into the city where the famine is, they will die. If they stay outside the city gate, they will die. If the go into the enemy camp and surrender, there is a 50/50 chance they may be killed, but maybe the enemy will show them mercy and allow them to live. Anyway you slice it, these guys are probably going to die – so what have they got to lose? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. If the enemy kills them, they will be no worse off than if they had stayed right where they were.

Let’s read on a bit further in verses 5-7…

At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.

God had opened a door and their enemy was scattered, abandoning their camp and all their valued possessions.

The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.

After a terrible famine, these men found themselves alone in the enemy’s camp surrounded by food, lots of food. Probably more food than they or anyone in their city had seen in quite some time. So they ate. And drank and enjoyed the goodness in what they had found. And it was good. All of it. So good, that they took things and hid them, so they would have more for later… Then they came back and took more things to hide.

It wasn’t long though, before their conscience got the best of them. Even though they were enjoying the finer things life had to offer (many of which they had not had for a really long time) they couldn’t help but remember the people in Samaria who were still suffering from the famine, hopeless and dying.

Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”

They themselves had once again found hope. And it would have been easy to keep it to themselves, but they knew the people of Samaria needed what they had found.

***The same was true of the man that we ministered to in Cambodia. He could have received salvation and the hope of Jesus Christ and been content to have God’s blessings in his own life but right away, he began to think about the rest of his village, people who didn’t have the Gospel, people who hadn’t heard the good news. He had found what his heart was searching for and even if he didn’t realize the fullness of what was happening, he knew that his village needed this message too.

What if every Christian felt the same way? What if our biggest concern was not in what we had received, but in what others had not? 

One of my favorite quotes is from Oswald J. Smith.

“No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once.” — Oswald J. Smith 

This encounter with a stranger in Cambodia only served to remind me of just how important sharing the good news with people truly is. In that moment, I didn’t have all of the answers and I did all that I knew to do. I encouraged him that he had now received the good news of Jesus and that he could go back and share with his village. We also connected him with the church we have been working in the area, in hopes that they could help him in getting the Gospel to his people. I encourage you – please, pray for this man. Pray for his village. Pray for the countless more villages out there that have yet to hear the Good News.

It has been very interesting, but my time in Asia has also opened my eyes to how important it is to continue to bring the good news to those at home, those around me each and every day. But more on that topic later. For now, I am thankful for all that God has been doing and honored to be a part.

Jamie Lynn Sivak Signature

IF YOU MISSED PART 1 – EXPLORATION & CHANCE ENCOUNTERS PART 2 – MINISTRY MOVEMENTS & MIGHTY MEN, PART 3 – OF SKIRTS & SALVATION, OR PART 4 – MIRACLES & MEMORIES, BE SURE TO CHECK THEM OUT!

For more info, check out Global Ventures.

© 2017 JAMIE LYNN SIVAK ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Encountering Miracles // Stories From Abroad: KENYA ’13

The amazing organization that I was a part of for 8.5 years, Global Ventures, is headed out to Haiti this week and I’m headed in a different direction the following week to Paraguay. Okay, same general southerly direction, but mine will take me a little further south.

As I was reminiscing about some of my memories with Global Ventures, I found a blog I had written during my time there, about one of the most amazing encounters I have ever had team leading on a GV trip. And in honor of #throwbackthursday, I wanted to share it with all of you.

blog-kenya-deaf-school

“Massive Miracles in Kenya”

Global Ventures – December 2, 2013

My team and I were on the outskirts of Mwingi, Kenya doing Gospel presentations at local schools. We had just finished a presentation at an elementary school when I noticed my co-leader Blake speaking to a woman I had never seen before. He called out to me to get our team and the equipment and follow him. The woman was the director of a nearby school and she had heard our presentation, so she invited us to come and share with her students as well. I personally love it when we are able to minister at unexpected locations, but this was not just any school; all the students were deaf and many were also mute.

Please understand, I believe in the power of God to open deaf ears and cause the mute to speak, but I had never seen an entire school healed before.  Honestly, I was a little anxious about how to proceed. How do you share the gospel with people who can’t hear you? I didn’t know how to make it work, but I knew we had to try.

I was amazed as Blake stood in front of the students and began communicating with them in sign language. I’ve known Blake for years and had no idea that he knew sign language. He greeted them and introduced himself. The student’s hearts instantly opened to our team. Next, one of the teachers who was fluent in English and sign language jumped in and started translating as Blake began to share with them the story of Jesus.

As he finished the story, Blake gave all of the students the opportunity to pray and ask Jesus into their lives. What happened next was possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen: In complete silence and perfect harmony the entire school “signed” the prayer of salvation. I was in awe. Not one of the students heard the gospel with their ears, but they “heard” it with their hearts, believed, and received.

Caught up in this moment of perfection, I was startled when Blake turned around and handed everything over to me. I began to tell them of the miracles that Jesus worked when He walked the earth, and how He still healed today. I shared of His love, compassion, and power to heal. Then I prayed. It wasn’t an articulate prayer, I simply joined faith together with my team.

I asked the students to raise their hands if they could tell a difference in their bodies, but many of them didn’t raise their hands, they just began to run forward to our team. We tested them and watched in amazement as God restored hearing and speech to many students. There were so many of them being healed, in fact, that my team wasn’t able to test them all! We know, though, that at least 15 were proven healed, and truthfully I believe there were even more.

kenya-deaf-school-arrival

Here are the students as we arrived.

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This was one of the students who prayed the prayer of salvation using sign language. He was 15 years old and had been deaf and mute from birth. We signed a prayer of healing and God opened his ears and he began to say his first words!

The Power of God has no limits!


 

On that day, I remember being blown away at the power of God and His ability to work through someone like me. To be completely honest, I didn’t walk into that situation fully confident of anything. The one thing I knew though, was that the power of God is real and His love for people in undeniable. I have seen it in my life and in the lives of countless people around the world.

I hope that encounter encourages you the way it continues to encourage me. God is capable of unimaginable things! If you are in a place in your life where you need a miracle, set your heart upon Jesus. He performed miracles while He walked upon Earth and He’s still performing miracles today!

If you’re reading this and have a need in your life that you would like prayer for, please comment or email me. I’d love to pray with and for you!

Jamie Lynn Sivak Signature

GLOBAL VENTURES:

For more information about missions and to get involved with Global Ventures, you can check out their website at GlobalVentures.tv. You can also follow them on Facebook at GLOBAL VENTURES. Do it, you won’t regret it! They have amazing, life changing trips and are always looking to take new people, just like YOU!

 

 

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