the Hope of Survivors

Jena Kilmer

Jena KilmerI was born in Denmark, and raised in Norway. In the fall of 2015 I married my American husband and moved to the US. I graduated from nursing school in 2001. I feel a burden for preventive healthcare and most of the time I’ve worked with the NEW START program in Norway. I also have some education in “Christian Soul Care” from Norway.

I grew up in a dysfunctional home and went through my teenage years and 20s with a desperate longing for a father. For years I was seeking for a substitute in older men around me in church, teachers, etc. In 2006 it came out that my closest father substitute (a spiritual leader) was sexually abusing one of my friends. The broken trust, mixed with the pain of my background, were devastating to me and that brought me in contact with The Hope of Survivors.

I can still today remember a summer evening back in 2004. I was out in nature, alone with God and my Bible. That summer evening I read the words from Eph. 3:14-15 talking about God as our father—the Father above all fathers in heaven and on earth. I thought to myself and said to God: “I wish that Jesus could mean as much to me as that father substitute does now.” It took me 5 years before I felt that had become my experience, and it is my desire that this experience will continue to grow.

Healing has come slowly and gradually, sometimes I feel that God has spoken directly through His Word, and other times healing has been found through other people. Either way, God is always the source of all true healing. One of the biggest gifts in my life has been to discover that I can learn to trust God and His love in the most painful and difficult experiences in my life. The pain I have gone through doesn’t need to be separated from my spiritual life. Instead it can bring me closer to my Saviour and it is my deep desire to walk alongside other women in gaining that experience.

In church, my husband John and I feel a burden for prayer ministry. In our free time we enjoy hiking, skiing, canoeing, biking—anything out in nature. We love animals; our pets are a little untraditional! Singing, and playing our stringed instruments and recorders together also brings a lot of joy. We both feel a burden to support people in need of emotional healing as we continue to let God work in our own lives.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart...Psalms 34:18