As a teenager and young adult, Jamie experienced abuse that is so common for young women. After a battle with depression and a brush with death as a young adult, she surrendered her life to obey God’s calling.
As a young couple, she and her husband, John, served as missionaries in Taiwan among the Hakka and Taiwanese. Jamie speaks with honesty about the difficulties of life on the mission field, harsh conditions, culture shock and her own emotional baggage that made everything in life more challenging.
In 1993, they co-founded a missionary training and sending organization and directed that organization for twenty-two years. They have trained over 300 missionaries who now serve from North Africa to East Asia. Jamie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics and teaches missionaries how to learn another language. She is the author of Simple Obsession: Enjoying the Tender Heart of God, a memoir about intimate relationship with Jesus and learning to hear God’s voice.
Ten years ago, the Zumwalts planted a coffee house, church community called Joe’s Addiction in a “red light” district of Oklahoma City. Jamie is the lead pastor of this church. There they serve among the urban poor doing life together with people who experience homelessness, addiction and abuse, learning together how to live the Way of Jesus. Joe’s Addiction is an example of the kind of Communities that the Zumwalts train people to start around the world.
Jamie is passionate to see Communities of the Hope (what Jesus called the Kingdom of God) spread to the places and the peoples where suffering and despair overwhelm. Jamie travels widely, teaching, speaking, holding seminars, and inviting more people to enter into this Dream of God for the world. She and John have five biological children, and many more who call Jamie, "Mama." "Mimi" is her favorite title though, given to her by her one granddaughter.
by Jamie West Zumwalt
by Jamie West Zumwalt
"In this simple book the great truths of God are available as the sweetest morsels. Like a spring of refreshing, this amazing book has given life to my spirit."
—Dr. Thomas R. Sattler, Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy, Retired, Morehead State University
"I cannot remember having ever read a book that has touched me more, other than the Bible. Jamie writes not just from her heart, but from God's. One of my favorite works of all is Tozer's The Pursuit of God. I truly believe Simple Obsession should rank right up there and should be required reading for every Christian. My fervent hope is that it will become a classic in Christian literature I know it so rightly holds that place in my own heart.
--Lawrence Cook, Attorney, Louisville, Kentucky
"Not only has Jamie started and continued to pastor on of the coolest churches I have ever encountered, she is a powerful author. I just finished reading her book Simple Obsession. I have read all the famous Christian authors and theologians of the past and present, yet never has a book been more powerfully used by the Holy Spirit in my life. It is a devotional, a theological treatise and a guide for practical ministry. This instant classic is for every Christian."
--Rev. Jeff Roartet, Associate Pastor, Evergreen Fellowship, Evergreen, Colorado
When you are in the zone, everything peripheral blurs and fades, leaving only the object of your attention. You might be an athlete in your finest moment, a gunfighter on an old Tucson street, a virtuoso exulting in the music, an artist absorbed in the next stroke... a follower of Jesus, brilliantly consumed by the beauty of the One. There is a vast difference between knowing about God and knowing God. We can spend hours in church- attending worship services, participating in outreach ministries, teaching Sunday School, hosting small group meetings- spending ourselves in service to the Lord. Yet in the midst of all the activity, it is possible for us to remain void of relationship and intimacy with Him. The more we strive, the more God seems to be an impersonal, mystical, distant being. Many of us sense that something is missing and woefully inadequate in our spiritual pilgrimages. We see others leaving the church and the faith, as their excitement and passion for Jesus wanes all too often because we have perpetuated the lie of church-ianity, seeking relationship through ritual. We have lost our simple obsession, the grand, wholehearted, unifying pursuit that becomes our center of life. Speaking from her own experiences as a fellow journeyer, Jesus-follower and missionary trainer, Jamie paints an honest picture of her own search for a meaningful, passionate, transformative relationship with God. Her insight into God's desires to be our closest friend, our compassionate father and our tender lover will soften and restore any heart. For all who are struggling or simply going through the motions, these pages will launch you into an exciting new level of reality with Jesus. This guide will show you the way out of unfruitful religious wastelands and into abundant life with your simple obsession.