Word from the Pastor

The Jakes In Our Midst

Jake was just a volunteer – that’s how many people may have viewed him, but not me! As a new believer, Jake became my spiritual mentor. Amidst 700 congregants, multiple staff members, and hundreds of volunteers in Woodvale Pentecostal Church, my home church in Ottawa, Jake was without question the most influential person in my 14-year-old life.

Indulge me for a moment as I share this story from my book, Close Encounters with Jesus:

Dave sprinted to the hoop, shot a picture-perfect layup, scored a two-pointer, and then landed hard on the side of his ankle. I’m pretty sure I heard something snap. Dave began rolling around, writhing in excruciating pain. That put an abrupt stop to our basketball game. We all just went home, Dave included.

Somehow, Jake heard about Dave’s basketball injury, drove to my house, and announced we were going to pray for his healing. Carefully laying his hands on Dave’s injured ankle, Jake prayed for Jesus to heal Dave.

Okay, I’ve got to be honest with you. As a brand-new Christian, I didn’t think prayer would amount to anything in this moment. X-rays would. A doctor’s visit would. Painkillers especially would! But, nevertheless, I went along with Jake. He was after all discipling me in the faith, so I figured the least I should do was try to exercise at least a little bit of faith in this situation.

After we prayed for him, Jake told Dave to stand to his feet. He felt no pain. Dave was as shocked as I was. He jumped up and down, dashed up and down the stairs, and shouted with excitement. Dave was healed! And I was surprised. Of course, Jake was not.

After almost six years at CLA, I have found many ‘Jakes’ voluntarily giving time, energy, love, and faith to help you and me experience God’s Presence and Power. The ‘Jakes’ in our lives don’t just volunteer on the platform; they also serve in the upstairs classrooms. They are often unseen, unnoticed, and therefore, at times, may feel unappreciated. No matter where you volunteer, remember this: you are being a ‘Jake’ to someone needing to experience Jesus up close and personally. You are more than volunteers! Remember, like Jake was to me, you too are helping others experience close encounters with Jesus, and they too will be forever grateful!