Starting October 25 of 2011, "InfertilityMom," 39-year-old Jennifer Saake (founder of Hannah's Prayer Ministries), experienced 6 strokes, all due to vertebral dissection at a chiropractic office. The largest two strokes were brain stem and cerebellum bleeds. Jenni remained hospitalized until nearly Christmas and was not expected to live (near death experience) nor recover, but if she even survived, she was slated to live out her days in a nursing home or, best case, to maybe come home but wheelchair-bound and needing 24-hour care (please read more and watch short video). Jenni is now walking (with a cane or wheeled walker), has recovered much eye-sight, some hearing, partial use of her hands, cares for most of her own personal/toiletry needs, and is currently writing three books, maintains multiple blogs, and stays active on both Facebook and Pinterest. Near the five-year recovery mark, Jenni has renewed her pre-stroke excitement about the unique Lilla Rose hair Flexi eight jewelry she sells and has finally regained enough hand/arm function to regularly use! (The biggest ongoing losses at the 4 1/2-year point of recovery are left-side nerve pain, inability to drive, loss of homeschool teaching capability, significant sound processing issues (often triggering nausea), and some profound physical ability limitations such as a limp, balance challenges, clumsy use of right hand and only large motor function in left hand.) Here is her resume.

Since Jenni's chiropractor carried no insurance and moved out of the country soon after the accident (thus avoiding any legal or financial consequences), if you would like to help contribute to the Saake (pronounced like the two small words, say and key) family's massive financial needs (medical expenses alone are estimated to cost between $1- and $1.5- Million in Jenni's lifetime), please visit Jennifer Saake's Stroke Survivor GoFundMe Page. (This support information has been added in direct response to several reader requests.) The Saakes sincerely thank you for your prayers and if God prompts and equipts you to send any monetary assistance as well, this is a significant added blessing.

Jenni is clinging to God's grace through the entire experience. Here is her unfolding story, documented in her own words (typing with only her right hand), as she perceives it happening in real time, messy, honest and to the glory of God...

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Eli

I promised a few months ago, that I still had a couple special Mount Hermon memories coming.



One person who made my week what it was, holds a very dear place in my heart, is in the majority of my conference memories, is Eli.


She plopped down at our table the first night of the main conference. Her beautiful skin and bright eyes captivated me, while her bold tattoos proclaimed Jesus in a way so unashamed that I was intimidated. The legitimate roar of the too-loud crowd gave me the excuse I needed not to engage the young woman clear across the table in any direct communication.


Toward the end of the meal I caught enough of her story to be intrigued by this photo she shared of herself less than 4 years earlier:


To hear bits and pieces of her pre-Jesus life of drugs and addiction and try to reconcile these stories with the gracious woman speaking was hard for my brain to process:


When a woman with a prodigal child moved close and I saw Eli's immediate compassion and ministry of prayer, my heart felt bonded to hers even before we ever got to talk directly.


All weekend long, Eli was put right back into my life at nearly every turn.


One of the funniest moments, that became a beautiful God appointment, was when I was down in the author hospitality center (lounge) talking to the tape ministry ladies when I heard a lady's voice behind me asking, "Where are the people to pray?"


Thinking she was looking for the prayer partner team that had been available the day before, without even knowing who was there, I jumped at the chance to volunteer, "I'll pray with you!"


Spinning around, I was thrilled to find Eli standing there! As we exchanged huge hugs, she replied, "I would love to pray with you, as soon as I find where to pay for my copies!"


We both laughed, but as soon as she had conducted her brief business, we had a lovely 20 minutes of prayer together!


"What are you going to do when someone offers to pray with you," Eli quipped. "Say no?"


One of my favorite Eli quotes of the weekend, "You can take the girl out of the gang. You can't all the way take the gangster out of the girl!" Maybe that looses something without the surrounding context, but that's enough of a quote for me to remember the surrounding story.

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