“Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth; oh, sing praises to the Lord!” Psalm 68:33
“O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption.” Psalm 130:7
*****It is that time of year again: Fall stories! Wholehearted Woman Ministries’ mission is helping women be fully surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ and courageously on-mission for Him – one heart at a time. One of the ways we do that is by sharing real-life stories of Christian women both past and present who have decided to follow Jesus wholeheartedly in this way. No matter what season of life you are in, God is calling you to a place of deep and wholehearted relationship with Him. We pray that each story told over the next few months is used by God to fashion your individual heart, to know and experience Him even more deeply, and to joyfully do His will to His glory! “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” (Psalm 107:2) Read on!
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My siblings and I (Jenni) attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma for college. It was there that I met fellow students and followers of Christ from all over the world with hearts to “go into every person’s world.” One of those people was Yonah. While our paths did not cross consistently, it was so clear what a love God had given her for Him, for music, for people, and for her Jewish heritage.
Today, Yonah is a wife, mom, worship minister, and willing servant of the Lord wherever He may lead her. She recently shared with The Wholehearted Woman about some of the seasons of life she has walked through with the Lord. She also allowed us to include a bit of what she shared on recent a television interview. This is Yonah’s story…
How have you experienced God in your journey and current season of life? Then and now, how have you cultivated a fully surrendered heart to Christ?
I am Jewish, was born in Israel and raised in Arizona. I have been a believer in Yeshua for more than 30 years. However, experiencing the true nature of God as my Father, Jesus as my Lord and the Holy Spirit as my Guide has been a lifelong journey. I grew up in a Messianic household, volunteered in a non-denominational church, and went on frequent mission trips from the age of 16. I’ve learned to hear the voice of the Lord in common, daily decisions made as a wife, mother of two toddlers, as a teacher and as a minister of music.
Surrendering to the Lord is a decision we have chosen to make, no matter what storms we are facing – and there have been many. My husband and I experienced infertility and had a miscarriage two years before our two miracle-babies came along. We had to surrender all preconceived ideas of what our life would look like and trust that God knew the answered prayers that would come throughout the timeline of our lives. We had been unemployed for three months and had to surrender our financial situation to the Lord while standing in agreement for a job for my husband. He has now completed nine months of working for an incredible company, and we’re continuing on our goal of becoming debt-free. And of course, in the current situation in our nation, we are surrendering our family and know God has called us “for such a time as this” to help all who are seeking Hope, Love and Peace.
How has God led you to be on-mission for His purposes? How has music specifically been used by God in and through your life?
Currently, my husband and I have collectively been to 12 countries and hope to continue in local and international ministry and in Missions…We are just trusting the Lord. We’ve had words spoken over us about what God has in the future. Some things have taken place, some things have not taken place yet, and so we are just trusting God to work out the timing…our pastor speaks a lot about how your world is your mission field. People that you encounter at the grocery store or wherever you are, that’s your mission field, and it’s as real and effective as being on stage at a church….We have learned that ministry opportunities are all around us and in the most common of places. That has truly become our “mission field.”
As I mentioned above, I am a musician, worship leader and am involved professionally as a soloist for various organizations. Wherever God has provided an opportunity to serve in these areas, I have learned to have an open ear to hear what the Holy Spirit is wanting to do in each situation. I find ministering with authenticity and love to those around us is what being the “hands and feet of Jesus” is all about!
[Music is] SO powerful. One of the recent places I led, I did the American and Israeli national anthems, and afterward a few people came up and said, “I was so touched, and the Lord had really healed me, and I’ve been going through storms of life.” And I thought, you know Lord, that’s the national anthem; that’s not like we were singing some hymn or praise and worship song that’s filled with power. It was the national anthem, and it was proof to me that God will speak through anything, and has spoken through anything, and can heal through anything…I feel like I’ve seen a lot that the Lord has to offer in music, that it reaches people of different denominations and different ethnicities, and that it’s just very powerful. Music is a great conduit of [God’s] healing power!
Check out the link below to hear Yonah’s album on Apple Music!
Connect with Yonah: YonahBlack@gmail.com
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For more stories like this one, check out the book The Wholehearted Woman: Who She is and Why She Matters by sisters and co-authors, Jenni Walker and Beth Doohan. With heartfelt messages that will challenge your faith, stories of other Wholehearted Women, and reflection questions to dive deeper, this is a great resource for personal devotion or small group study!