The dance therapist author who is inspiring others with the Joy of Jesus

By Danielle Jarvis
happy woman

Yumi Schaefer is one amazing woman. Born and raised in Japan as a third generation Korean, she had a vision to change the world.

While Yumi had a carefree upbringing as a child in the beautiful town of Miyazu in Kyoto prefecture, which has beaches in front and mountains in the back, being a Korean in Japan saw her face a series of difficulties and heartbreaks as she hit her teen years.

Yumi became a front line human rights activist for social justice that led her to complete her BA (hon,.) study in social justice in USA.

“My goal was to become an international public speaker for social justice, conducting speaking tours around the world,” Yumi stated. “Then, I had severe burn-out, which incapacitated me physically and mentally. I found out that I couldn’t change the world in my own strength, which was exactly how I was operating.

“In my darkest point, Jesus became real and I became a born-again Christian. I started to reclaim what I had forgotten – JOY in life. God gave me an audible direction to become a dance therapist. I moved to Australia with His divine leading in 1998 to study and attain a qualification in dance therapy, which has been my passionate profession for 20 years, using dance and creative arts.

“The joy of the Lord has become my strength and life force. It is my calling to spread the joy of the Lord! The Christian life is the most exciting and joyful way of living above all and I want the world to know it.”

Yumi has just released a new book titled Sparking Joy, in which she shares the joy of the Lord through creative expressions of faith. Her vision is to see Christians enjoy God and have joy as their birthright.

“I have been a born again Christian for about 25 years,” she said. “I have discovered worshipping and praising God in creative expressions like dancing, drawing, painting… even pottery art is joy and happiness giving to our life. I felt it is my calling to create a book in which fellow Christians discover fun and the joy of the Lord through their own creative and artistic expressions.

“I feel I am the happiest, healthiest and fittest person for my age group. Doing what I love and loving what I do, I am passionate about joyful and healthy living. If there is a book that makes you happy by holding, this book is it.” The message from the book is positively contagious. It is a Christian mindfulness book, which draws us to the Father. This book will lead you to enjoy God and enrich your Christian life.

“Light the spark of praise and thanksgiving – that is what this book is about. It is not a skill or talent-based book; it is about playfulness and spontaneity, which will keep the readers captivated. One is the Joy of discovering your own dormant creative energy and playfulness given from our Creator and the other is the Joy of discovering God in an intimate and fun way.

“It has been set out as a 30 day devotional journal which captivates the readers over time of 30 days… or more however long people want to take to go through it. Each day also has a ‘Gratitude’ page to have Emmanuel time – “God is always with us” with thanksgiving.  It will enrich Christians’ daily life across all age range – children, teenagers, adults and the elderly.”

Yumi believes that it will also be an ‘ice breaker’ to introduce Christianity to new people.

This, however, is not her first book. Her first book is titled ‘Renew Me – The Art of Living Well – 7 Steps to your Optimal Wellness’. It was self-published in 2009, with a second edition released in 2015. It is a fruit of her study, research and her own experience from her healing journey to a life of optimal health and fitness. She told me that this book is “God’s guided content as to how to take care of our temple and enjoy our precious life”.

In a serious world, where our media consumes us with depressing story after story, Sparking Joy offers a refreshing Christian experience. So often, we think of Christianity as ‘picking up our Cross’ needing ‘, when there is in fact so much freedom in the Christian life. As Yumi told me, “Have fun with Jesus!!  Find gems of sparking joy in your daily life.”

Sparking Joy is now available globally.