Linda Znachko is the founder of He Knows Your Name, a ministry set in motion by a news story about an abandoned baby. Now, in conjunction with local and regional media, Linda works to bring attention to the problem of abandoned, unwanted, and marginalized children.
A sought-after speaker at churches, conferences, and retreats, for more than two decades Linda has discipled women. Along with her husband, Steve, she founded Zacchaeus Foundation. They are also dedicated advocates of Safe Families for Children of Indiana.
Linda and Steve live in Indiana, where they raised four children.
A headline in a news story set you on a “Divine Detour.” Please tell us more about that.
Most of the time when a detour is about to happen there are warning signs, not only showing a change is coming, but that a new path is already in place. I saw neither! After seeing a breaking news story on my computer news stream I felt compelled to make a phone call so the questions burning in my heart could be answered. It wasn’t until a few months later that I realized I was traveling in uncharted waters and that something much bigger than me was developing.
Why was it so important to you to give that baby a name?
Naming places identity on a child. It brings worth and value to a human life. It is important to me because I see how important it is to families of loss to name a child. Healing is transformational in them when they are encouraged to name their child. The scriptures tell us in so many places that God knows our name and that He calls us, in the womb, by that name. The name also gives us a title of honor.
Let’s talk about your new book, He Knows Your Name: How One Abandoned Baby Inspired Me to Say Yes to God (Kregel Publications, September 2016). At what point did you decide to “write” your story?
As definitively as I felt called to the ministry of HKYN, I felt I was called to write the stories in a book. God gave me the burden to write them down in detail through journaling. When I knew with deep conviction that I was to pursue a book, I didn’t feel qualified. As I shared the stories with others, and local media started pursuing me to share my stories, it became clear that they were having a powerful impact. In my “Hem time” with Jesus, I pressed harder into God’s heart for more vision to understand how it might happen. Doors started to open in places that I couldn’t deny were ordained from Him, so I walked through them as I saw confirmation after confirmation. This was a long journey of “yeses” but with each one the decision was clear for me.
You have said that “time is the most precious of all gifts.” Please explain what that means to you.
Time requires presence. Time allows for listening and friendship to grow. Relationship can only develop with time, not money. Discipleship requires relationship. The Great Commission compels me to build into people by giving them me. I believe it will be followers of Jesus, not money or talent, that will change the world. And we need to be world changers.