Welcome to the online home of Audra Jennings, a book publicist and crafter. Here I share about both. I hope you'll find books you'll want to read and crafts you will want to order. I live a rather boring, single life. At times I would like to think I am humorous. The kids I teach in Bible class tend to think so. I also blog about current seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. I don't know why, I just do.
Linda Znachko’s small “yes” changed her life — and her community — forever
Linda Znachko has found herself in places she never dreamed she
would be: at the graveside of the child of an abused mother; by the side of a
mother fighting for her lost child; and at the funeral of a Texas stripper who
died two days before her baptism but left a legacy of love behind. When Linda
stepped out of her comfort zone and into these implausible places with people
she was unlikely to otherwise encounter, she discovered the life she never knew
she wanted—a life of saying yes to God whenever He asks.
In her book He Knows Your Name: How One Abandoned
Baby Inspired Me to Say Yes to God(Kregel Publications), Znachko tells her story of saying, “Yes,” to nudges
from God. Today, she has a ministry that gives children a name in life,
and dignity and honor in death. When she shares her stories of broken lives
redeemed, other broken people respond, and so the ripple effects of that
long-ago yes continue to spread, touching lives that yearn for healing, and
underscoring the fact that every life matters to God.
Your book, He Knows Your Name, tells
of how your ministry by the same name got started. Tell us a little bit about
how the news story about an abandoned baby inspired you to say yes to God’s
plan for you.
It was a
headline about Baby Doe, wearing a diaper and found in a dumpster, that grabbed
my heart. God spoke to my spirit with a contrasting message — Doe is not a
name, a diaper is not burial clothing and a dumpster is not a grave. God’s plan
for me was to make this injustice right. I had no idea how that would look; I
only knew I needed to call and ask some questions. When I asked what would
happen to this child if never claimed and was told “nothing,” my “yes” turned
into action to make sure the child would be named, dressed and buried with
Your journey began with wanting to provide a funeral for one abandoned baby but
quickly grew into something much larger. Share with us the call you received
while waiting to hear back about Baby Doe.
coroner, asked me about another need when we were talking on what had become our
weekly Friday morning calls. She asked me plainly if “my organization” could
provide a headstone for an under-resourced family. In my head I said to myself,
“What organization?” I asked her if I could call her back because I had to ask
the Lord if this request had my name on it. It was that phone call that started
to shape the idea in me that God was expanding my heart for more of His
purposes. It was also when I realized that naming “my organization” was my next
What other situations have you and your ministry been able to assist with?
I have provided headstones for families who
are under-resourced, and I give a headstone blessing dedication for the family.
I also have established a foundation at Indy Parks in the name of a child who
drowned. For six years, we have offered a free session of swim lessons and
water safety to inner city children so they can learn to swim. I’m currently advocating
for the Baby Box legislation by giving testimony at the statehouse about the
importance of enhancing the Safe Haven Law for awareness and alternative ways
to surrender a baby safely.
I also help families who have lost a loved one
in a violent crime organize memorials for their loved ones. I connect them with
resources that help give dignity so death doesn’t have the last word, but
redemption of life does! One family is putting a bench at a park, near where a
girl was found after being killed. The bench has her name engraved on a plaque,
and the bench brings beauty to the park.
He Knows Your Name is full of the
imagery of God as a Father. How did that aspect of God’s character influence
you to reach out to these families?
says, “God sets the lonely in families,” and John 14:18 says, “I will not leave
you as orphans.” These two verses are foundational for me as I consider what it
means to live out the gospel in my community. In dark times of grief, the enemy
strikes hard with a spirit of isolation. I feel as a follower of Jesus I need
to stand in the gap with families in crisis by bringing the Light. Light always
overpowers darkness, and my presence is a powerful gift when loneliness sets in
because of loss. I believe with all my heart that death, the method God used
for salvation, is the vehicle He uses to bring about life. So when I stand at
the grave with families, I know the hope of life is in the story of the
resurrection. I tell them they are loved by their Heavenly Father, who knows
how they feel, and only He can heal their broken hearts.
Q: Explain how your definition of “family” has changed through
I have four biological
children, and it wasn’t until I adopted babies in death that I understood how
much I could love a child I didn’t carry. The carrying in my heart and claiming
through fighting the systems of justice was every bit as laborious for me. Naming
a child is a parental right that gives authority, so when I name a baby, I feel
the inheritance of family fill my legacy. Another dynamic of “family” that
expanded for me was when others “adopted” me. Walking through the sacredness of
suffering creates a forever bond, such as when families tell me I am family to
them because we shared the intimacy of grief in the most difficult of losses — a
child. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the attachment others feel to me, but I
have to say I have not felt taken advantage of by anyone I have served.
Each time God led you to minister to a family, you came upon potential
spiritual, cultural and economic barriers. How have you been able break down
those barriers and cultivate meaningful relationships?
happens every time I give the gift of time. Time has a profound way of tearing
down all barriers. I used to think that “time, talent and treasures” had equal
weight of importance in showing love to our neighbors. One of the foundational changes
I have made during the growth of He Knows Your Name as a ministry is time is the
most precious of all gifts. Most of the people I serve never ask me for money;
they just want friendship. They want someone to stand with them. They long to
be known. Nothing says, “I see you,” like time spent together.
Q: How does sharing in the pain of others cause a ripple effect of
pain in his or her life. Living life honestly in community through the local
church is God’s way of helping us have a loving family around us for support
and strength. God designed us to be the body of Jesus so we could bring the
kingdom and be a taste of heaven to this broken world. When we live healed,
whole, transformed lives, others can too. When we heal together, we live
redeemed lives that are joyful rather than sorrowful. When we surround
ourselves with healed people, we can extend reconciliation and restoration, resulting
in hope. Hope births joy!
He Knows Your Name Ministry works to honor every child with a name in life and
dignity in death. What are some ways people can partner with your ministry?
reach out to me through my website. I would love for them to tell me their
story! So much healing happens through testimony and the revelation of
redemption. Also, please send me information about what’s happening in your local
news. People find it funny that I don’t read a lot of news, but I don’t. I
count on my community and communities around the country to be my eyes and ears
on the street to keep me informed. Get involved with your local Safe Haven Law
advocates. We need to educate young people about the law and support local
organizations that are doing grassroots work to protect life.