A Match Made In Heaven
Storytellers: Jake and Jasmine Skoll
Writer: Sheila Holliday
Newlyweds Jake and Jasmine met on a mission trip to Guatemala in late 2016. They went intending to share brotherly love with poverty-stricken families. They hadn’t expected to find romantic love as well.
“A running joke I’d heard was that mission trips are great matchmakers,” says Jake, who was a senior in college at the time. “On two previous mission trips I took I’d kept my eyes open. But honestly, at the time when I went on this one, I was content being single and serving the Lord.”
Jasmine and Jake were both involved in their church’s young adult group which included well over 100 people. They attribute the group’s size and their erratic school and work schedules as the reason why they hadn’t met previously, even in the mission planning meetings.
In 2016, the Zika virus was spreading through the Americas and the sending church decided it was prudent to cancel the mission trip. “Tyler, a friend who is a good organizer, decided we were going anyway, and 13 other people decided to go without the church’s support,” Jake recalls.
The group was hosted for a week by the non-profit Hope of Life International. Its compound includes a hospital, school, homes for the elderly and disabled and an orphanage. The team’s days would be spent hanging out with the children and planting roughly 200 thigh-high mango and breadfruit trees on a hill about half an hour outside of the Hope of Life compound.
Jake continues, “When we got to the airport, I spotted Jasmine for the first time. I asked Tyler who she was. She was the prettiest lady I’d ever seen.
“That night after we were all in our rooms, Tyler asked if any of us had trip crushes, and I mentioned that I thought Jasmine was really cute. Tyler told his wife and she told her best friend, who is a bucket mouth. She asked Jasmine if she would ever think of dating me,” says Jake.
“I immediately answered, ‘Yeah!’” says Jasmine, a smile in her voice.
Later that week, word got back to Tyler, who suggested with a big smile on his face that he and Jake take a short walk. Jake relays, “He told me, ‘You should pursue this!’ I said, ‘Oh man. Alright!’ I was all kinds of excited. I started sitting next to her at meals and always making sure her glass was full. On the way home, we exchanged phone numbers.”
Since 2018, Jake has enjoyed working as a police officer in Downey. He and his two older brothers grew up in a Christian home in Long Beach, and Jake has personally known Christ since he was a child. He’ll never forget the pact he and his brothers made while Jake was in his early teens.
“Our faith is important to us, and we made a commitment to each other to remain pure until marriage. I kept that mentality, and to symbolize it I wore a silver chain necklace through middle school, high school and into college. On my wedding night, I gave that chain to Jasmine and told her, ‘This is yours now.’”
Jasmine shares, “I so admire that Jake saved himself for me. I wish I’d known more about that growing up.”
Jasmine grew up in a broken home, where loved ones struggled with addiction. She and her mom moved from Wisconsin to Southern California when she was 9 years of age.
“I had to raise myself from an early age. I learned to do my own laundry and cook for myself. I’ve been working since I was 15. I’m thankful that my family is sober now, and that genetically I don’t have an addictive personality. Alcohol overtook and destroyed my past relationships.”
After high school, Jasmine began forming a relationship with Christ. She started attending a church, made likeminded friends, and eventually walked away from relationships that weren’t Christ-centered.
“Even though I don’t fully understand the struggle of addiction, I do understand the need for forgiveness,” says Jasmine. “I find myself still holding on to the hurt, so forgiveness has become a continuous process for me.
“I’m still learning a lot from the scriptures. One of the verses that has spoken to me is I Corinthians 10:13 – ‘No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.’”
Jasmine, now an X-ray tech at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, had always wanted a career in which she could help people. Last spring, she graduated from an X-ray technology program, while planning her wedding. But her joy was depleted. Her biological father had become ill and passed away, just a week before her wedding.
“I admit it strained my relationship with God, but I never stopped having faith,” she says. “Jake and I are so thankful to know that even though we may not understand His ways, we have a loving and patient God who knows the bigger picture of any situation.”
Building a Life Together
In 2019, almost three years after they met, Jake and Jasmine were married. “From the beginning we saw a lot of qualities in each other that we wanted in a spouse,” says Jasmine. “We always knew our relationship would lead to marriage.
“I appreciate Jake’s outlook on life. It’s great having a best friend with a different perspective who shows me what is important and what’s not. We were single for so long, and we’re still learning to be flexible and compromise,” she says.
“Before marrying Jasmine, I could count on one hand the number of times I’d made my bed. Since we’ve been married, there’s not a day when I haven’t, although my side of the bedroom is a lot messier than hers,” quips Jake.
One of the couple’s top priorities is to keep strengthening their relationship. Together they’ve been using The Marriage Journal, a tool with specific questions to spark spouses’ conversations for greater understanding and communication.
Jasmine shares, “One of my biggest challenges used to be not feeling worthy of Jake, but I know it was the enemy and not Jake making me feel that way. I prayed about it a lot. God has so much good for us, and he’s shown me I’m more than worthy.”
Someday, Jake and Jasmine hope to return to Guatemala and serve in other international short-term missions. Both are sponsoring young boys so that they can receive nourishment, attend school and see the love of Christ in action.
One of the challenges the couple has is finding enough quality time together, in a regular Bible study or in a worship service, due to opposite work schedules. They’ve had more time with each other to cook, take walks near their home in Seal Beach, or just watch a Netflix show since the coronavirus quarantine.
To endure this crisis – as well as past challenges such as getting through the police academy’s rigorous physical and psychological training – Jake has taken Romans 8:18 to heart:
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us.”
Jasmine adds confidently, “God has a plan for us. He’s in control!”
Share this Story