On July 25, 1979, Jamie’s sixth “born-again” birthday, she was celebrating her new life in the Messiah by meditating on the Word of God in a beach chair on Ft. Lauderdale beach. She asked the Lord for a birthday gift, a way of serving Him that would reflect His great creativity and bear much fruit for the Kingdom of God. As she looked around at the sparkling pure white “lucina” (means light) shells.
Typical of Florida beaches, the Holy Spirit brought to mind the following scripture from the book of Ecclesiastes: “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.” Ecc.11:1. She had heard this verse set to music a week or so earlier, and she began to hum the tune. As she continued to contemplate the ever changing waters of the Atlantic, she thanked God for His Word which is the bread of life, and for Yeshua (Jesus), the Messiah, the living bread sent down from Heaven to feed a world starving for the truth. She also thanked the Lord for seashells… which she has collected since she was a toddler. Then God spoke to her in a “still small voice”: “Write scripture messages on the lucina shells and throw them out into the ocean.”
Within a few days, she found the right “tools” to use: “Sharpie” permanent markers and “Krylon” acrylic spray. She began making the message shells and, at her husband Neil’s suggestion, put their telephone number on the inside of the shells so that the people whom God wanted to speak to could contact them. Her prayer was then, and still is now, that the Lord would have people find the shells who need to hear about His Love and about Yeshua, the Light of the world. Jamie doesn’t believe that any shell is found by accident. When she prayed about the number of shells she should “cast” per day, the Lord led her to Ecclesiastes 11:2 which reads: “… give a serving to seven, and also to eight, for you do not know what evil will be on the earth.”
On August 20, 1979, God led Jamie to resign from her Public School teaching position. She really didn’t know what He had planned for her husband and herself. They stepped out in faith and on August 22, 1979 when all the other teachers went back to prepare their classrooms for the new school year, Jamie went out on her “prayer raft” in the ocean, looked up into the beautiful blue sky and said: “Lord, have you really called me out of teaching to throw out seashells messages? Please reassure me that I’m doing Your will. If these seashells are really of You, and are indeed a ministry, have someone call today.” A short while later as she walked up their driveway, Neil ran to meet her with: “Guess what? A woman just called from a motel. She found one of your shells.” She never questioned God again about His seashell ministry. (P.S. About one month later their television ministry was born.)
Since that first telephone call, hundreds of people have been touched by the realization that God cares so much for them that He is even willing to reach out to them through a seashell, most always with the right word at the right time! It has been our experience that nearly everyone who takes the time to call the telephone number on the inside of the shell is “open” to hear about the Messiah Yeshua and His message of abundant Life. We have also found that most people keep their “message shell” in a place where they and others can see it. We are confident that God reaches out to those whose hearts are hungry and seeking through these little shells, and we praise Him that His Word will not return void.
The Seashell Ministry Today
Jamie collects the shells from Fort Lauderdale beach a few times per year and paints each one by hand. Recently, the Lord has sent Jamie helpers to collect the lucinas. A precious sister in the Lord (Millie) also paints flowers and other beautiful designs on some of the shells and then Jamie writes the messages.
The lucina shells are not “for sale.” However, from time to time Jamie takes special orders if time and energy permit (and if the Lord directs her to make the shells.) When this is the case, donations are gratefully received.
Special ministry outreaches call for special message shells. When Jamie goes to Israel, she usually takes 100 shells in Hebrew with her. [Photo here of Hebrew shells] The Messianic festival in Argentina inspired over 100 seashells with messages in Spanish. In any language, one message is the most popular: “You are special… to God.” Everyone wants to know this truth!
Seashell messages are sent out today from the offices of Jewish Jewels to those who send in donations above a certain amount, after viewing Neil and Jamie on TV. Since no money is requested on the program, we like to reward people for obeying the voice of the Ruach Hakodesh (the Spirit of God) Over the years, there have been many miraculous testimonies from people who have found one of Jamie’s seashells, or have received one in the mail or in person.
There was Rose…who had just been diagnosed with cancer and went to the beach with her husband. He found a shell with the message “Faith in God moves mountains. Only believe.” She wanted to find a shell, believing that perhaps God could give HER a message and touch her body. They came back to the beach the next day – same spot (opposite where we lived) and Rose found a shell…with a ROSE on it, and a message of LOVE for her. They rushed home from the beach (before cell phones) and called the number on the inside of the shell. Jamie answered the phone and a very excited Rose told Jamie that she had only seen a shell like the one she found once before – when a relative of hers took her to a “Gospel dinner.”
The speakers at the “Gospel dinner” that night happened to be Jamie and Neil, and Jamie happened to hide seashell messages under each napkin at the banquet (about 100 of them). Then Rose “happened” to find another shell right in front of OUR home on the beach. So Jamie told Rose that Yeshua was revealing to her that He is the Messiah. Rose agreed, prayed to receive her Messiah, and when she went back to the doctor, found that the cancer was disappearing. Rose died a few years later, of something entirely different. (She was in her 70’s) In her will, Rose left her seashell to the niece who took her to the “Gospel dinner.” Never underestimate the lengths to which God will go to bring a soul home!
July 25,2010: Neil and Jamie went to the beach in Fort Lauderdale to “cast” 10 seashell messages in celebration of the 31st. anniversary of the Seashell Ministry. The shells were carefully places on the sand or along the shoreline where people were walking, looking for shells.
On the way home from the beach, Jamie’s cell phone rang. A 19 yr. old man, Joey, from Holland, had found one of the seashells. Joey, totally non-religious, had been thinking about the meaning and purpose of life, when he tripped over a shell on the beach with a message about God’s love. Joey said that he was open to read the Bible, so Jamie sent him one. He appeared with Bible in hand, the following week at a Friday night temple service. That night, there “just happened” to be a mother and daughter from Holland at the service, Jewish believers, who shared the gospel with Joey in Dutch. Isn’t God amazing? Pray for Joey – that God will continue to draw him to the TRUTH.
A few days after that, Jamie received another call on her cell phone. This time it was from the religion editor of our local newspaper, the Sun Sentinel. Jim left a message that he had in his possession a beautiful seashell with a message from God and wanted to know more about it. When Jamie called the newspaper, she found out that someone who works for the paper found a shell and gave it to the religion editor, saying that there might be a story behind it. So…Jamie was interviewed for about an hour by phone and told that a story might be forth coming.
One Sunday, during the Days of Awe, Jamie was reading the Sunday paper. On the front page of the Lifestyles Section, an article proclaimed: Woman’s Seashell Ministry from Out of the Blue. Jamie thought: “That must be me!” It was, and that was the beginning of many phone calls from people who read the article (or actually found one of the shells).
There was Gail…who “just happened” to have a jar of lucina shells in her garage, and met Jamie to give them to her. Jamie gave Gail her book, A Kiss a Day, and presented the Gospel to her.
There was Dianne…who read the article five times, and each time “something came over her”. She had been consulting crystals when she called Jamie on the phone. Jamie prayed for Dianne, the Holy Spirit moved, and Dianne asked if they could be in touch. During a final conversation, before Dianne left for her home in Tennessee, Dianne prayed with Jamie to receive Yeshua as Savior and Lord.
There was Rachel…who called before returning to her home in Kentucky. She found a shell that said: “Don’t be afraid. God wants to help” while on vacation in Fort Lauderdale.
There was Carol…a local woman who loved the idea of the seashells and wanted to talk about faith, salvation by grace, and the role of God in healing cancer. Jamie sent her three shells.
There was Margo…who loved the seashell article and offered Jamie more shells that she had been collecting.
ALL THIS FROM 10 SHELLS SCATTERED ON THE BEACH DURING A ONE-HOUR STROLL.
The stories throughout the years go on and on…a real testimony to a God who longs to reach people where they are, even through a simple seashell.