“. . .we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” ~Romans 5:3-5
By Amanda Compton
“Sometimes God calms the storms and other times He lets the storms rage, which is only strengthening my faith.”
These are the wise words of Mrs. Silvia Simakoff, who had to say said goodbye after nine years of teaching Spanish at Twin Oaks Christian School.
Silvia’s husband, Don, suffered a cardiac arrest in March that left him cognitively impaired and unable to work. It didn’t take long for Silvia to realize that Don’s recovery would be a long and complicated process and that, in the meantime, she would have to provide for the family.
So in August, Silvia submitted her resignation at TOCS to pursue a Spanish medical interpreting position in which she facilitates communication between Hispanic immigrants and their doctors and medical providers.
“Just imagine having a medical need and not being able to tell the doctor what is wrong. This is where I come in,” said Simakoff, who learned of the position from a Korean friend at church who works for the same agency. “My goal is to get on board with other agencies and get more work but at the same time have flexibility so that I can also be a part of my husband’s recovery.”
Simakoff said she will miss the TOCS community, especially the time she spent teaching students and building relationships with their families.
“One of my most memorable moments was when one of my seventh grade students made up a rap about me,” recalled Silvia. “That brought happy tears to my eyes. I will never forget how much I was loved and how it was shown in such a vivid way.”
To celebrate Simakoff’s nine years at TOCS and her new job as a Spanish interpreter, staff and faculty met at The Corner Pub in late September for fellowship as well as to bless Silvia with a monetary gift. TOCS parents also blessed Silvia with a “love basket” packed full of her favorite treats, gift cards and even handmade gifts that she can keep forever.
“God has shown me how gracious He is through His children and have seen first hand God provide for our needs over and over again,” said Simakoff. “I now have had to depend more on God than on myself for my needs. Honestly, I have never had this kind of faith.”
Silvia added that she has relied on Hebrews 11:1 for strength during this extremely trying time: “Now faith is the substance of all things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. All things are possible if you have faith.”
Silvia and Don have two children, Elizabeth, who works for a marketing company in New York City, and Carl, who plays soccer for Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia.
Join us in thanking Mrs. Simakoff for her years of service at Twin Oaks Christian School!
To learn more about the Simakoff family including what brought Silvia and Don to the United States from Peru, click HERE.
Twin Oaks Christian School, a ministry of Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church