How can someone with blond hair and blue eyes and a name like Heidi Grabke be Jewish? That’s easy. My mother is Jewish and my father is half German and half Jewish. I have my father’s German coloring and German surname, but believe me, underneath all this is a very Jewish person.
My upbringing near Seattle , Washington was not a typically Jewish one. My two sisters and I were at church every time the doors were open because my father was minister of music and my mother was involved in choir, special solos and teaching Sunday school. With such church-active parents, you can bet that we three girls received our share of Sunday school lessons. Unfortunately, when we came of age and could decide for ourselves where we wanted to be and what we wanted to believe, our focus shifted to the world outside the church.
I spent my teen years preoccupied with secular music, and soon I was heavily involved in the performing industry. Even then my heart was not content, but I thought I would rather live that socially acceptable lifestyle than be a “self-righteous Jesus freak.”
As my lifestyle continued, rebellion accompanied by more rebellion set in. I found myself dabbling in things that were none of my business. Satan had me, not only in my waking hours but also at night, when in my dreams I experienced the depths of hell. I know that it is a very real place. I was tormented day and night, and I found no means of escape. I was lost.
Out of desperation to escape the constant fear within me, I agreed to attend church with my parents. There, week after week I sat and listened to the familiar sermons I had heard as a little girl. I heard of God’s gentle and undying love, so different in contrast to what I had been experiencing. Soon I surrendered to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and placed my life in the hands of my Jesus to do as he wanted.
Over a period of three years I was cleaned out, mended and made whole, all the while learning more of him who had saved me. I loved to read his Word and found myself studying the Scriptures every night. I found that the Old Testament was a story of God and his people, so alive and so vivid that I began identifying with them on a personal basis through my Jewishness. God’s character permeated the pages and I felt his love and his burden for my people.
Soon after my conversion my sisters both gave their hearts to the Lord. As a family we began to celebrate Jewish holidays and feasts. The Lord opened the door for me to become a member of the Jews for Jesus Liberated Wailing Wall, and on July 25, 1988 I made that commitment. Since then I have traveled with the team, singing and witnessing of God’s love in Yeshua.
Now I have completed my term of service and I am looking forward to continuing to serve God in another musical capacity, possibly composing Christian music with my sister Tessa. My prayer to God has been and continues to be, “Let me give back to you through service this borrowed life you’ve given me, that I may become a servant and a messenger of light to someone in darkness and bondage.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: In addition to using her voice for the Lord during her term of service with The Liberated Wailing Wall, Heidi also played bass guitar. Her other musical talents include composing and playing piano, flute and, in her own words, “just a little piccolo.” Together with her sister Tessa, Heidi has written about 100 Christian songs that combine contemporary sound with a Jewish flavor. Heidi and Tessa hope to compose and record more Christian music from their small recording studio in their home town of La Conner, Washington.
The ministry extends congratulations to Heidi and her fiancé Ramon Hayes. “Ray” and Heidi met while serving with The Liberated Wailing Wall. They announced their engagement in December and plan to marry in about a year. Ray is currently playing keyboard with The Liberated Wailing Wall. He will finish his term of service in the summer of 1990.