Brooke Christie, American Sign Language
I believe that there is one God, triune, who created all things perfectly. Through Adam and Eve’s sin, the curse of sin tainted everything and separated us from God. The Old Testament describes the devastating effects of sin and God’s great grace and mercy by giving us His law and a sacrificial system to atone for our sins. However, this atonement could not save us. In God’s perfect plan, however, He provided His Son, both divine and human, to redeem us from death. Jesus Christ’s blood covers my sins, and all those who repent and believe in Him. God, in His great grace, saved me at a young age and has sovereignly ordained my life to equip and lead me to teaching American Sign Language here at NorthPointe. I am not so naive as to assume that all of my students have submitted their lives to Christ and so it is my mission to plant seeds of truth in the lives of those whom God has placed in my class.
Image Mandate (Gen 1.26-28). God is clear in His word that He has created every man in His image. This means that we are all created on purpose, for a purpose, to reflect His glory. This plays so heavily into the study of American Sign Language as it is a language and culture born of what man often sees as brokenness. Nothing is outside of God’s sovereign plan; it is our duty to see great worth in all humans, especially in those whom God has created to look and/or function differently than many of us. For me, that means I will uphold the Deaf community as image bearers by teaching their language, educating my students on their culture, and spreading the good news of the gospel.
Love Mandate (Matt 22.37-38). The greatest commandment given to us, the one bearing the greatest import, is to love. We are commanded to love God above all things and to love others greater than we love ourselves. In learning American Sign Language, we are purposing to better love the Deaf community. By learning their language, we are putting in the effort necessary to truly present the Gospel how they can best understand it. There is nothing more loving than that. It is also imperative that we love each other by extending patience and grace and by challenging one another toward excellence in glorifying our Lord in our studies and our conversations.
Mission Mandate (Matt 28.18-20). We are all called to mission: in our homes, in our schools, in our jobs, or in other countries. Each day in American Sign Language class I will seek to prepare students for whatever mission field to which God calls the. From our prayer at the beginning of class to our final exams, my goal is to explore the avenues in which God has gifted us to spread the Good News. For some, this may be simply the relationships cultivated in this class. For others, diving into the language and culture of the Deaf community may point them toward ministry in the Deaf world. My passion is that this class will be a tool God uses for His glory and the furthering of His kingdom.