Christian celebrity Sue Thomas, 64, who made history when she became the first deaf person to ever work as an undercover FBI investigator, says she was blindsided by former deaf pastor-turned-atheist Justin Vollmar's decision to publicly renounce Jesus and wants the deaf community to know that God is real.
In an interview with The Christian Post Thursday, Thomas highlighted that the deaf population is one of the largest groups of people unreached by the Gospel in the world.
She acknowledged that while it is a difficult task reaching the deaf community today, the church needs to do more in reaching out. Vollmar's experience, she says, is a prime example of how difficult it is to minister to the deaf community.
While she expressed concern over how Vollmar's apostasy will "affect other deaf people who do not know the truth," she said she wanted to serve as a light of encouragement and inspiration, and shared her lightly edited testimony in an email below.
I have been profoundly deaf since the age of 18 months, and was raised in a family where we attended church on Sunday, and was taught in the home that there is a God and there's a difference between right and wrong. My parents instilled in me the belief that there is a God and that He didn't make a mistake, and as a child, I believed them.
My childhood days were filled with torments from school bullies and the loneliness of being left out and not understanding due to my deafness. Yes, there were times when God brought that glimmer of hope amidst despair through classical music felt with vibrations or a skating rink where I became a champion skater.
Though there were rays of sun at times, my life was always tossed among the stormy dark skies and the question would begin to surface: Did God make a mistake?
My love for people was taken from me when the silence over took me - as much as I thrive and want to be with people, I can't, as with groups of people I cannot understand and always feel left out - the very thing that I want, I can't have. Yes, the older I got, the more the question became stronger, as well as the answer - God does make mistakes.
My story is an interesting one, as my deafness caused me to become a skilled lip reader and the skill took me to the FBI as an undercover special assistant. Who could have imagined the girl that was laughed at and despised for talking so poorly would be in demand at the FBI?
It was in Washington, D.C. where years of simmering anger turned to rage against God. How could He give me a good job, but not give me the peace to live with my deafness? I hated it! I despised it. My deafness was destroying my inner being, my deafness was seriously doubting God and Him not making mistakes.
The rage became so over-powering that I left the FBI to search for God. It was a search that would take me to Columbia Bible College and Seminary in South Carolina where it is known today as Columbia International University. Most people go to seminary to become pastors, missionaries, teachers or counselors. I did not. I went to seminary for one purpose - to find God and to make Him confess, He made a mistake.
My journey ended 30 years ago on that seminary campus where I met God and wrestled. He won.
That is a story in itself, a story of lies, of deceit, and living in it until I loathed my life and became physically ill. God's hand was heavy on me. The college was praying for my healing, but they thought it was for a physical healing. God gave me a spiritual healing.
At the age of 35, I finally surrendered my all and asked for His forgiveness. Yes, there is a transformation in a life that truly repents and comes to the foot of the cross in brokenness and shame. In my case, the transformation of the hatred and bitterness over my deafness led to not just the acceptance, but the embracing of what I once despised.
The silence would become my best friend. It is only in the silence we truly hear the still small voice of God. The silence will teach us, if we listen.
The story did end at the cross, or should I rather say it truly began there. The FBI days made its way to Hollywood where the TV series, "Sue Thomas: FBEye" was created and syndicated throughout 65 nations around the world.
The story continues as I am afflicted with multiple sclerosis but continue to speak around the world proclaiming the one and living God who makes no mistakes.
For this deaf man who has made your post to bear no witness unto Him, my heart is saddened. Will CNN not rather seek the miracles of life for which much has been given or will they, too, be deaf, and be dead to those who are alive?
The deaf man screams that there is no God. Well, he never knew Him. He is spiritually dead and He is deaf as a stone to the voice of a living God.
I can attest that God does speak in a voice that even the deaf can hear, if they will listen.
I receive The Christian Post regularly, and cannot remain silent after reading this article about the deaf pastor.
I'm simply a woman that bears witness. I'm simply a voice in the silence.
Wishing you God speed,