Welcome to the Cultivate Speaker Series! At the conference, we'll have a variety of workshops that offer tools to equip and empower your faith journey. Speaker Series is an interview-style editorial about each speaker at Cultivate.
Let's meet LaRae Jonkman, learn more about her breakout session (Lasting Legacy - Setting the Example Best) and, how God has been working out this in her life.
LaRae loves encouraging, giving hope, and sharing with others about trusting God for their futures and is passionate about encouraging her children and grandchildren stay close to Christ. She will share with us the challenges and triumphs of life’s circumstance and how to find joy and build a Lasting Legacy for our families and how to live a victorious and miraculous life.
Tell us about you and your family.
I was born in Colorado, and went to college and married in Oklahoma. When I was 4 years old I had the dreaded disease of polio, and was 100% paralyzed. I was in the Children's Hospital in Denver and with God's healing, I was able to walk again, and live a mostly normal life, while my best friend in the hospital had to spend the rest of her life in an iron lung.
My childhood and teen years were happy, and then at 18 years old, my mother died. It has been hard to go through life without a mother and grandmother for my kids, and I didn't have the example of a mother figure through the remainder of my life. Once again, God brought me through this very tough situation.
I got married at 20 years of age, and we were blessed with 3 children and 6 grandchildren. I was a stay at home mom for quite awhile, then worked part time in the office in high school, and later in a Juvenile Court School, which then led to working at Sacramento County Boys Ranch with incarcerated teen boys, who I loved and always wanted to encourage them.
I also had a business called "LaRae's Interiors", and had 2 store fronts at different times. I loved working with people and helping them decorate. The last 25 years I have worked as a travel consultant helping people with travels. My husband and I traveled over much of the world, and it was so great.
My husband passed away 9 days before our 50th anniversary, which was a huge loss to me and my family, and once again, God was there to pick me up, give me strength, peace and joy. Though there have been some very tough times during my life, God has strengthened me through each one of them, and I love to encourage others through Christ.
My two daughter's families live nearby, and my son's family lives a few miles from Washington DC. I have 6 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild. Today I'm getting ready to say g'bye to one as she leaves for her first experience in college, and it's with mixed emotions as we all come to a new chapter in life. I've loved being a grandma, and it's so m