How do I pronounce SAAKE?
It’s like the two short words: “say” (what comes out of the mouth); “key” (how you unlock a door). You’re welcome. 🙂
Who is Jennifer?
Jennifer (Camp) Saake is a beloved wife in a marriage God redeemed from the brink of divorce, and a long-awaited mom to three miracles on earth and several others who slipped from her womb into Heaven over a ten-year struggle (as well as multiple failed adoption attempts). As a result of fertility challenges, Jennifer “accidentally” became the co-founder of the international infertility, pregnancy loss, and infant death ministry Hannah’s Prayer*. (See below.)
Jennifer’s first book, Hannah’s Hope, was published by NavPress in 2005 and released in audio in 2017. Subsequent books remain in the plans, but those plans have been significantly delayed since Jennifer experienced six catastrophic strokes at age 39, via chiropractic neck adjustment gone wrong.
Leaning Into Grace
Either one of Jennifer’s two largest strokes “should” have been fatal. The entire family plunged into the terrifying world of traumatic brain injury recovery, as a result. Jennifer has had to relearned how to breath without assistance, swallow, digest food, toilet, sit, talk, walk, write, and manage emotions. God has been slowly but steadily rebuilding their lives shattered on October 25, 2011.
Jennifer is a woman striving to learn the simple freedom of grace, after innocence was stolen very early in childhood, through prolonged abuse by a caregiver, while her family was on the mission field in Asia. With multiple painful chronic illnesses, both genetic and acquired, she has had to learn to lean hard on God since they started exhibiting in her teens.
After a pity-party season, Jennifer has come to a place of (usually) being more thankful for the freedoms that various mobility aids and assistance devices provide, than angry that she requires them. She like to confuse strangers as she pokes fun at herself in chronic illness. Jennifer has fitted her butterfly- and rose-patterned canes with bicycle horns and bells. Bubbles, her bubblegum pink rolling walker, wears a little black “dress” (seat cover) in a rainbow of butterflies.
In her “Bravest Brave,” Jennifer tells about her Darkest Darkness. This is part of her story, but not her definition. She loves the Bible and many other books, butterflies, bears, hot air balloons, babies, and beverages.
OK, corny “B list”! Make that last one tea, hot or iced, hold the sugar, add triple lemon, please.
Each morning must start with caffeine! By two in the afternoon, Jennifer switches to decaf, because sleep is appreciated at night.
NO COFFEE. It is false advertising. Smells divine. Tastes horrid!
Another love is chocolate. Might not start with a “B,” but absolutely,
Do. Not. Forget. The. Chocolate. (Dark, preferably!)
Hobbies include writing (typing single-handedly since strokes), eating sushi (actually, eating too much of just about anything besides onions, but working on giving that gluttony thing to God), researching gluten-free yummy recipes, Pinterest exploration, water aerobics (by default, a post-stroke necessity), rose gardening, spiritual warfare, and passionate prayer. Jennifer also love playing with hair (still learning to do that well with only one good hand) and has been selling Lilla Rose hair accessories since 2010. Before strokes, Jennifer played flute, metaled in race walking, and enjoy hand crafts such as cross stitch, crochet, sewing.
Most of all, Jennifer loves her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, praising and worshiping His beautiful Name!
Please tell me more about Jennifer’s passion for support groups.
Rick and Jennifer Saake established Hannah’s Prayer in 1994, in northern California. Because Jennifer needed help and couldn’t find the resources she was looking for, the couple’s intent was to open their home on a monthly basis for a “small living room support group” meeting with a handful of Christian families also facing infertility, miscarriage, or adoption. The Hannah to Hannah newsletter grew out of this fledgling support group in 1995, the year the ministry was incorporated as a not-for-profit entity. The establishment of the Hannah.org website followed in 1996.
Within the first ten years of ministry, HP estimated an international reach of an 40,000 active members. HP duplicated in-person support group chapters throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and South Africa. Newsletter and Chapters were replaced by the Hannah’s Prayer Community Forums. Launched in the early 2000s, the Forums are still actively offering over 70 specialty sub-group message boards for all aspects of the Christian wife’s life while coping with the intense social, moral, medical, ethical, emotional, and spiritual pressures of infertility, pregnancy loss, or infant death.
In 2005 Jennifer received the lifelong title of Hannah’s Prayer Director Emeritus. Jennifer has cycled in and out of HP activities since, staying available for support to new generations of leadership. She has also participated in several smaller chronic pain, illness, and stroke support communities on other 0nline platforms. She is often helps in some form of leadership in two or three groups at once.
Jennifer has also found great author support through writer critique groups, both online and in-person. In May, 2018, she launched the northern-Nevada area Life Writer group, meeting monthly in Reno.
Won’t You Join Us?
Jennifer now hopes to make this experience of Christ-focused support through friendship and community, accessible to all her friends. Please visit the In Darkness Sing page for more information about this exciting network, striving to walk with readers through every painful season of life. The In Darkness Sing community launched the last weekend of September, 2018.