Listen: Darlene Zschech chats to Hope 103.2 about her new album, and her journey through cancer.
She’s in remission from breast cancer, leading a church and a global charity, and now, releasing yet another worship album.
It’s no great surprise—because when it comes to worshipping God, Darlene Zschech can’t hold herself back. The international recording star has just launched Here I Am Send Me, her first album on the healthy side of cancer.
In a chat with Hope 103.2’s Laura and Duncan, Darlene said she felt compelled to record a new album of praise to God and that the project was “was alive like fire in her belly”.
“I take my medicine and I take the word of God…and I trust God with those things over which I have no power.”
“I had been through a long journey of going deeper in theology of healing,” she said. “After the Revealing Jesus album [of 2013], and then going through that journey [of cancer], I was just like, ‘There is no way cancer is having the last word here – I have to bring songs of praise, I have to do this’.”
While the medical world avoids using the term ‘healed’, instead saying that Darlene is in ‘remission’, Darlene said she “believes God’s report over her life” and speaks Psalm 91 from the Bible myself every day.
“I take my medicine and I take the word of God and I do my best with what I can do in the natural, and trust God with those things over which I have no power,” Darlene has said.
Collaborations with Martin Smith, Jenn Jonson, Leeland Mooring
Watch: The ‘Here I Am Send Me’ album trailer.
The seeds of the new worship album were sown when Darlene’s friend and fellow worship leader Martin Smith (former frontman of the UK band Delirious) flew to Australia to see Darlene and her family.
“I was really sick going through chemo, he came over to spend time with us, and he said ‘We’ve got to write [songs] Darls, what do you want to say?’
“Martin Smith really helped me find my song again in this season.”
“And I’m lying down on the couch and I said, ‘I just want to say that God is great, I need to declare his greatness and bring my experience up to what the word of God says’. And so he really helped me find my song again in this season. He helped me get my training wheels back on, and then off we went.”
Songs on the album have been co-written with artists like Martin Smith, Paul Baloche, Jenn Johnson of Bethel Church, Leeland Mooring of the band Leeland. One of the tracks, Love and Wonder, was written by the Zschech’s teen daughter, Zoe, and Bonnie Gray from Darlene and Mark Zschech’s church, Hope UC.
The title track, Here I Am Send Me, was written based out of the inspiration Darlene gained while reading Genesis 22 in the Bible, where Abraham says to God ‘Hineni’ – meaning, ‘here I am Lord, whatever you ask, my answer is yes’.
Worshipping God in the Storm
Darlene said that her church “worshipped hard” through her season of cancer treatment.
“Often on the Sunday night before I went back to have chemo on the Monday morning, I would lead worship – even if I was sitting on a stool,” she said. “I couldn’t bob my head around [or I would] have my wig fly off!
“I felt like I needed to, almost as much as breathing. I needed to keep singing these songs of praise. And that was really helpful also for our church. In the natural I want to lay down and run away, but there’s something in me that needs to give glory to God. “I think what was forged in our church during that season in prayer is actually quite phenomenal.”
‘Get On Your Knees’ in Your Tough Times
Having a great faith in Jesus for healing, and with a church that feels the same way, Darlene said that new people are constantly visiting her church looking for a dose of that same faith.
While she is welcoming of all comers, Darlene encourages people to “go to God themselves”.
“What I say to people is you should go to God yourself, you don’t need to come here,” she said. “If you need people to gather around you and bring our faith in we will; I know that I needed that.
“[But I also] teach people to ‘dig their own wells’, get on your knees at home, let’s see this work out in our own lives, so we can then go and help lead others in our own community.
Darlene said that worship and prayer and stirring up faith are things that anyone can do in their own time and place.
“Worship is not an event, it’s not something we go to,” she said. “We carry his presence wherever we go. So I teach people the strength of being active in your everyday life on a spiritual level.”
Join Darlene’s Walk of Hope
To help Darlene’s international charity Hope Global, join in the Walk of Hope on March 25 at Long Jetty, an annual fundraiser. Funds raised will go towards a leadership training facility in Rwanda.