, director of Adventist Deaf Ministries, Spanish Union
Every night as I fall asleep, my breathing penetrates my entire body. I feel my heart pumping blood through my being. I doze off surrounded by silence.
This occurs every second of every day of my life.
It's strange to speak of silence when I don't even know the meaning of the absence of noise. I say this because I have not been able to hear since I was born.
I am deaf. I was born deaf, and I will probably die deaf.
But there is something you need to understand: Being deaf does not mean being ignorant.
Quite the contrary.
I understand the world around me through my eyes. Every day I see various faces. Faces that sometimes show excitement and sometimes disappointment. These faces help me understand. Faces radiating joy at the birth of a baby. Faces of anguish not knowing if they will have a job tomorrow. Faces of despair at not being able to put a meal on the table. Being born deaf makes a person more sensitive.
It's so difficult to be understood, trying to express myself yet nobody understands. But something motivates me to continue: my children. Being deaf has not stopped me from getting married and raising a family, although we do not communicate like other families. We talk, but we do it quietly and with our hands.
There are times when this silence is frustrating. There are so many barriers in society, even in our church, that inadvertently and unknowingly obstruct my knowledge of the Creator.
I thank God that He has helped open the eyes of many people, including my children and especially my youngest daughter. She has seen the limitations that deaf people have in our churches every Sabbath. It's sad to see those who live in a world of silence, desperate to know the gospel despite many barriers. It is so sad to want to know more and yet not being able to.
Everyday we ask God to open eyes — not ears, but eyes. Sign language is visual. It is our language, our culture. We cannot spend hours reading because, often, we don't understand what we read. In my case, I wasn't taught to read or write. Therefore, reading the Bible in the 21st century has been impossible for me. However, God has put people in my church with special gifts to help me meet my Savior.
I just hope that when my Creator comes looking for me to take me home to heaven, many other people who are deaf will be with me. Together we will experience the miracle God performed in us and in the churches that helped us understand His message.
Dear friends, deaf people need you to open your eyes and you hands to help them know Jesus. Two eyes to understand — that is what we need.
Adventist Deaf Ministries International strongly believes that the deaf have an active part to play in the final sharing of the” everlasting gospel” as described in Revelation 14:6, 7. To learn more, visit adventistdeaf.org.