Posted by: jakeschwarze | January 4, 2008

How we got here?

Many of you know that God has given me a wonderful fiancée, Olya Kazakova, who will become my wife on January 26, 2008 at Grace Church in Napa. In February we will be leaving the country to serve the Lord as missionaries to Russia with Slavic Gospel Association (SGA). Isn’t it amazing to see how our loving Father unfolds the plans He has for each of us?

I was only 18 when God pulled me out of my sin and despair, changed my heart and gave me real purpose for living. For the next five years of college, I grew and served with my gifts in music, focused on church and campus ministry, while serving Grace Church in the summer as an intern.

My love for Russia grew and grew, and I continued to serve three years on staff at Grace Church as an intern of Junior High ministries, as well as in Music Ministry. Then I spent a year with Slavic Gospel Association in Illinois, started and stopped seminary, moved out to Illinois again, and was the leader of a worship ministry in a great church, while working in the real world.

Then along came Russia this summer. This fourth trip over there would prove most memorable for many reasons. After two incredible weeks at the orphan summer camp in Ufa, I spent another two weeks at a rehab center and churches, evangelistic meetings, and fellowshipping with other believers. At the rehab center, they asked me when I would come back. I had an overwhelming sense that God was going to bring me back there next year, but not for two days or two weeks, but for the whole summer, and with my wife. I thought, “My wife?!!” I explained this to them, and I did not understand it, but I believed it. And I didn’t even have in my mind anyone who I would marry!

In the course of the next two weeks, I found God’s answer to eleven years of prayer. He revealed to me that His desire was to send me a wife from a people I dearly love, and then send us to serve them and Him in Moscow. Olya and I will spend our lives together serving the Lord and each other as husband and wife, and for now that journey begins in Russia.

We are most certain that God has called us to go to and serve there for at least the next two years through SGA in their Moscow headquarters. I will be ministering through SGA in a variety of different ways, working closely with the staff. She will be finishing her studies at the University and helping with special evangelistic projects as well as serving the local church together with me.

Pray with us!!!



  1. Jake and Olya,
    Wow. Not sure what you thought about the wildly popular book Blue Like Jazz, but as I read through your website/blog I have to believe you and your readers/students would enjoy the new book: Brown Like Coffee. I found it at
    I would love for you to read it and review/critique here on your site. Thanks

  2. Jake,
    I enjoyed reading your “bio”. The wedding was a beautiful day. Hearing all the russian being spoken was such a reminder that God’s work is being done all around this world! On a side note…I thought I’d let you know that the Flicker advertisement to the right has a photo of a bikini clad girl posting on it. I thought I’d let you know!! Grace and peace to you from Brentwood!

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