As a child, I was told a story of my Granny
(great-grandmother), Vesta, who was
a God fearing woman. The story goes that she told my mom shortly after my twin sister
and I were born prematurely that, "They are going to be doing great things." My
sister and I should have never made it. I was born 3 pounds, 5 ounces, my sister
was 2 pounds, 10 ounces, and we spent the first month of our lives in the hospital.
Looking at us now, you wouldn't be able to tell we were "preemies". My parents found
a church when my sister and I were toddlers and we continued to attend and learn
there through our junior year of high school, where I found a church that fit me
Looking back on my life
--I should have realized God wanted me to minister/help the
Deaf. In third grade, my teacher Miss H. had taught my class a song in American
Sign Language and we performed it in front of the community on the high school's
stage. I never thought much about sign language until I was about to start eight
grade. It was summer vacation, my Granny Vesta, had just passed away, and I was
very upset at God because I was close to her. The newly appointed Youth Pastor,
Jody, was getting a group of middle and high school students to go to Centrifuge,
a Christian camp in central California. If we could memorize ten Bible verses before
the start of camp, we could go for free. I memorized the verses and I got to go
for free. The first day we were there we picked our "classes" we had to pick two
different subjects to study for the week. One class read the book of James; the
second was learning Rachael Lampa's song "My Father's Heart" in American Sign Language.
On performance night, the group of about 12-15 students worshipped God in ASL in
front of 500 people at the camp. After we finished the song and went back to our
seats, I noticed I couldn't hear anything—no clapping, no talking, no anything—it
was as if I was Deaf. Then God's voice filled the silence and He told me "Cody,
I want you to minister to those who cannot hear." And just as quickly as His voice
came, it left and my hearing restored. At first I was stunned and wasn't sure if
it really happened, but it did. Even that couldn't keep me from being angry at God
and I still walked away from God for a year, before I came back to Him. God hadn't
forgotten about me, and placed a hard-of-hearing girl in one of my freshman classes.
We have been friends ever since.
During my Junior year of high school I tried to get into a Sign Language
the local community college with Jody. Class was full before I could get the money
to pay for it. I tried again my senior year of high school and couldn't get into
it. At that point, I was getting frustrated, because I knew God wanted me to help
the Deaf, but the roadblocks were frustrating. However, during my first year of
college, I became a Deaf Studies major, took Sign Language I, and joined the ASL
club on campus. Three years later, I graduated Sierra College with an AA Degree
in Deaf Studies.
Now, with one semester down
at Northwest Nazarene University, I am excited to accept
the position of Adoptions Coordinator for CB Deaf Ministry and know this is finally
the start of my career ministering and helping the Deaf. I am excited because I
love working with children, and although I may not meet the children who need to
be adopted, but I know I am bridging the gap between them and the people that want
to adopt them.