This post is part of the 31 Days to Believe series in October 2015. Please welcome, Micheal Hammons, a deaf man who has allowed God to stir his heart for something more within the elderly & deaf communities in Haiti. Thank you for reading as His story unfolds.

When I was asked by Jolene if I could write an article for her, I said yes. This is really my first time to write. I have done a short blog on art, but never a personal experience article. I thought about this and wrote many drafts. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do a life story, or about how I cope with being deaf.

I decided to write what God is telling me to write, about how God led me to do something I never thought would happen two years ago. I call it My Spiritual Journey. I have always believed in God and the salvation of Jesus, but never truly thought about the impact of God’s purposes and plans for me. You see, I always went to church, taught Sunday School, and worked with youth. But I never went on a missions trip to serve.

My youngest daughter went on several and always came back with amazing stories to tell. I thought it was awesome, but for someone else. Not me. Growing up we never talked about serving. We should support, but serving is for someone with a calling.

Until one year ago. My calling came and it clicked that God had a purpose and plan for me which is so much better than I dreamed.

Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Romans 12:2 NLT {in part}

Believe When God Says Go #31DaystoBelieve #write31days Haiti deaf missions

I have been deaf since I was about three to five years old, but I was mainstream. I was taught to lip read, speak and never sign. My family never used the word deaf. It was “hearing impaired” instead. I have struggled growing up, but learned to manage. I graduated high school, went to college, got married and had two daughters. I did what everyone does, go with the flow of life.

One of my deaf students encouraged me to learn American Sign Language (ASL) at the Austin Community College. I had every excuse to not go. I was too busy. Too old. To God, it was no excuse. He was right.

After 2 1/2 years of taking classes I became involved with the deaf community & deaf ministry so that I could keep ASL strong by using it. I developed an art class for deaf kids. I also looked into a deaf school in Belize. Some ask, why Belize? I chose it because for me it was safe, democratic, English speaking and they have beaches. It wasn’t out of my comfort zone and only required 1-2 weeks of volunteering. This was my dream!

A team leader from our church asked if I would like to go on a missions trip with the team serving in Haiti. They have a deaf community there and I would be the first deaf person who knows signing to visit. They wanted me to speak for the church as a partner of Mission of Hope.

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At first I thought, “But what about Belize? Why Haiti?”

I have heard stories about Haiti and I wasn’t so sure about traveling there, but somehow there a little voice telling me to say yes. To Go. So I did.

“Oh well, Belize can come later I told myself.”

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I had four months to prepare myself which included getting a passport, raising funds and getting shots. During this time, I was excited and nervous about what about to take place. I had no idea why this was coming about. I prayed, “God, if this is not what you want let me know.”

God was working on me. I decided that if I was supposed to do this then, at least I’ll know what a missions trip is about. It will be one more thing I can take off the bucket list.

PREPARING

I began to research Haiti and their culture so I could be prepared. I learned so much about their history, their politics and more. It helped me have a different perspective and my mind and heart were more at ease. But, there was still fear in me about what I was to face.

No matter what you are facing, remember two things. God is with you and He is in control.

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One of the things we had to do before the trip was to take a test on spiritual gifts. I found out my main three gifts are: faith, pastoral, and mercy. My team leader warned me that since mercy was one of my main gifts I would want to take all the children home with me. I was told I’d want to give everything I have to them.

I laughed about it. What was she talking about?

ARRIVING

The big day arrived for me to leave. As I said goodbye to my wife and oldest daughter, I thought, “Surely, someone will talk me out of it.” But it wasn’t meant to be. My wife said, “I’m so proud of you!”

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Once we gathered together at the airport my anxiety was gone. We joked and laughed. Except for our leader, this team of 16 people had never been to Haiti. We shared the same emotions of fear and excitement which made it easier to face.

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It was a great flight and as we came closer to Haiti, I became more excited for this new adventure I was about to take. Once we landed it became stressful quickly. We had to hurry to find our bags and keep telling men we didn’t need their help. They expected a tip if they helped.

The first culture shock came as soon as we reached the exit doors. I wanted to turn around and get back on the plane. There were people everywhere, including UN peace keepers with rifles and policemen with guns. We crammed into our bus like sardines; all of us pretty worn out.

Going through the country and outlying villages showed me things I couldn’t fathom. So much trash, poverty, people, vendors and motos (small motorcycles). I knew I had a lot to experience in the next week and that I was safe with my team.


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READ MORE OF MICHEAL'S JOURNEY TOMORROW AS 31 DAYS TO BELIEVE CONTINUES WITH THIS SPECIAL GUEST.  FIND OUT WHAT GOD IS CALLING HIM TO DO TODAY.

#31DaystoBelieve #Write31DaysThank you for joining me in #31DaystoBelieve as we pursue what we believe and how it impacts our lives.
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May we learn to #livewell.



with love,
 Jolene

 

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