I am hearing and grew up in Georgetown, Kentucky. I grew up in church, but never really understood that I could have a personal relationship with Jesus until one day my world came crashing down. I met Jesus face to face, and my life was never the same. Even before I had a personal relationship with Jesus, I felt God calling me to the Great Commission work. After meeting Jesus, my life drastically changed and God confirmed that was the reason He had made me.
I met my first Deaf people in 1985, just before graduating high school. I promised them that I would learn sign language so that I could communicate with them without an interpreter. In college, I took my first signed English course and met many other Deaf people. When I met the 3 Deaf girls and began talking with them in sign language, they were amazed. It was at that point that I knew my life-long work would be with Deaf people.
I received a BS degree in Deaf Education and became a certified interpreter with Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. I taught Deaf children for 7 years and was a freelance interpreter for another 7 years before moving overseas.
After falling in love with Jesus, I began looking for opportunities to serve Him overseas and ended up going to Kyrgyzstan in 2001. God confirmed that was the place, and I stayed there until September 2013, working with the Deaf population. That is where I met my Deaf daughters: Olya and Alona. In 2010, they came to live with me and both became followers of Jesus and were baptized. Olya married in April 2013 and resides in Kyrgyzstan with her husband. Alona lives with me in Kenya, and has been working closely on making drafts for the Russian Sign Language translation and preparing the Russian translation team to arrive for their training.
In 2011, I was introduced to Mike Buus, President of D.O.O.R. International, and was invited to go to Kenya to see how they were translating the Bible in Deaf sign languages. I was so amazed and knew how important it was for the Deaf people to have the Scriptures in their own language, so I began praying about moving to Kenya to become a Bible Consultant for the Deaf. God confirmed this plan and in September 2013 Alona and I moved to Kenya and began our training.
We are very excited and motivated to share God’s Word in the heart language of the Deaf – sign language.