Siham and Gary Jasmund lived 18 years of their married life in Detroit, Michigan until making a complete transition to full-time missions. Over the years prior, they served on 30 short-term mission trips, to 11 countries around the world. They have 4 children and 10 grandchildren. Previously, they owned and operated a residential construction company as well as a hair salon. Sensing a strong calling from God to pursue full-time mission work, they spent 3 years in training and prayer, ultimately selling everything and making a final transition in 2008.
Read their stories below:
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 1:1
I was born and raised in Ramallah, Palestine. At age 7, I accepted Christ through a missionary visiting our town doing children’s outreach. I grew up in a loving family of 9, attending the catholic church. In our small home town of Ramallah we had at least 50 relatives. In 1967 we experienced the 6 day war and its ramifications. We once boarded a bus bound for Jerico and my 10 year old brother refused to get on the bus. This was completely out of character, and my parents removed all of us from the bus. That bus was bombed and there were no survivors. In 1969 at 13 years old, my family immigrated to the United States.
“What has happened to me has turned out for my deliverance. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:19b-21
We began attending Detroit public school without speaking any English, this was a difficult time, “culture shock”. God has blessed me with 4 children and so far…6 grandchildren. In the early 90’s I began attending various prayer and Bible Study groups. As a result, I dedicated my life to Jesus and my faith and personal relationship with Him began to thrive. In 1996, I was baptized (I was baptized as an infant) and began to grow in my faith, relationship and experience of God in ways that I hadn’t known were real or possible. Although I asked Jesus into my heart as a small girl, my personal relationship with Him did not become a reality until I began to have a deeper exposure to the word of God, the Bible.
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things, for you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:2-3
God allowed me to serve on many short term missions trips, leading me into career missions. God is my life and my Savior. Who I am today, has everything to do with who Jesus Christ is. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for what He has done in and for me. It is my greatest privilege and desire to share Christ with others that don’t know Him yet, and to spur other believers on.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
“One thing I know, I was blind but now I see!”John 10:25b
“For this son of mine was dead and is alive again, he was lost and is found again.” Luke 15:24
I was born in Mt. Clemens MI. My parents divorced when I was 4 and they were each married 4 times. My parents were loving and did their best for my two sisters and I. We did not grow up in church, although we did attend catholic church occasionally. From kindergarten to 9th grade we moved 14 times and I went to 11 different public schools, 2-3 schools in some years, and I attended a catholic high school for 4 years.
At age 12 I began training in martial arts, and by 14 believed that I was on a “quest for enlightenment.” This eastern thinking and training continued while in the marines and traveling abroad. Although I had a life of discipline and some success on one side, I became increasingly addictive, frustrated and discouraged, (I never became enlightened).
“Have nothing to do with Godless myths and old wives’ tales, rather, train yourself to be Godly. For physical training is of some value, but Godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8
In 1990 while in a drug treatment program in the Detroit Veterans Hospital, I believed in and trusted in Jesus Christ alone for my salvation. The enemy had a plan to destroy me… BUT, GOD had a different plan.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:12
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20
My best friend at that time was my teacher and mentor from high school who is a catholic priest; he gave me an NIV student Bible and encouraged me to begin in the book of Matthew. I had tried reading the Bible numerous times prior, always starting in the beginning and always stopping after a short while. God used my friend before and after my salvation to show me unconditional love, support and encouragement. “A new command I give you, love one another.” John 13:34
I began attending catholic church regularly and in the first few years after faith in Christ, I began to know God but I also continued to rely on many old ways of thinking and living. The next few years God began to lead me into a deeper life of faith and commitment to Him, abandoning futile beliefs and ways (not Biblical), and He began to grow and change me (only God can truly change a human heart). For 14 years, God used NorthRidge church to lead and transform my life; my trust, love, obedience and experience of God. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
God has also continued to grow in me an increasing burden and passion for the lost and hurting of this world, and the desire to see all people have the opportunity to hear the Gospel (the true story of Gods love and redemptive plan for us). God has taken me on outreach trips around the world, and He led me to follow Him in full time global outreach work. “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.”
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:15-16
Just like you… God has uniquely written our story. We are turning to the next chapter in the story God is writing with our lives…… The title of this chapter is… “GO!”
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Supporting us on this journey is our family. We have eight grown children. They are Theresa and her husband Julien; Nicole and her husband Rob; Christopher And his wife Ai; Steven and his wife Jennifer. We also have nine beautiful grandchildren Lyric, Jack, Caleb, Olivia, Cayden, Sophie, Cameron, Isaiah and Noah. “You and your entire household will be saved.”
God began working on our hearts for serving Him long ago. Even in the twists and turns He has been there directing our paths. “He who began a good work in you is faithful to see it to completion.”
Before we began the journey of short term global outreach work, we had no interest in a life as foreign missionaries. We had worked in the building industry for 18 years, and Siham in Cosmetology over thirty years. What began as careers have become a passion for God and for the lost and hurting of this world.
As many in the mission/humanitarian field have found, it only takes one trip for God to change a heart. This would end up true for us as well. From our first trip God began to change us. Neither of us knew that we we’re only a few years away from a big change. God began to move our hearts in new ways. More trips came along and each one made a deep impact on us. All along, God was shaping us, and whispering “full time” in the back of our minds and hearts. A little spark was beginning to ignite.
We’ve served on many missions trips and outreach initiatives. each being a life shaping experience. We reached a crossroads in our journey with God in June of 2005, in South Africa. It was after this trip that Gary began a new and heavy journey. Months went by as he prayed for relief from a burden in his soul, but nothing relieved the weight. We entered into a season of specific prayer, and seeking God.
Finally at a point of brokenness and surrender, Gary told siham what he had concluded God was doing. “I think God is leading us to full time missions work”. Siham replied,
“I know, I’ve known all along.”
The heaviness in our hearts immediately subsided and the new peace was undeniable. Together we committed that no matter where or when God leads we will follow. What had started in our hearts as a spark to serve is now a full blown fire for reaching the lost around the world. “Through Him we can do all things” and we’re doing it for His glory.
We are responding to God’s leading in our lives. While looking at the journey before us we’re both humbled and grateful. We are surrendered to God’s will as we seek to follow Him. In everything we do, we keep sight of the price paid for our salvation. We trust His hand as He authors our story. We also look to you, our family in Christ and local churches, to stand with us as we serve. We are grateful for those whom God is calling to partner in this work.