My name is Lucas Everett, and I am considered a third generation missionary here in Mexico. My grandparents moved to Mexico from NC in 1969 to start a Christian boarding school for the Deaf (RSM), which has been passed on to my father & uncle. My father is hard of hearing and my mother is Deaf, which makes me and my two younger brothers CODAs. In 2009, I decided to study at Eternity Bible College in Simi Valley, CA, in order to figure out what I truly believed apart from my family's faith. In 2013, I graduated from EBC with a Bachelors of Biblical Studies debt free, which was one of the main reasons I enrolled into EBC. Before and during college, I struggled with bouts of depression and anxiety until I had an encounter with the grace of God and began to only and truly believe what God says about me through Jesus Christ: "I am His beloved son, and He is very pleased with me." This realization of my identity in Christ, coupled with my passion for social justice issues, stirred in me the desire to work with the Deaf community in showing Jesus' love through advocacy, interpreting, and education in order for the Deaf to have the same rights, access, and opportunities as any hearing person. I recently graduated (2020) with a Bachelors in Translation from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California in the city of Ensenada, Mexico. My prayer for anyone reading this is that you have a deeper encounter with the Father's love and that you realize no matter your current circumstances in life, He is in a continuous pursuit of you.
My name is Frances Vázquez. I was born and raised Los Angeles, CA. I grew up in a ministry family. As a little girl, my father was a pastor and planted home churches with my mother, who was a public school teacher for 36 years. Growing up, ministry was a way of life. As a family, we regularly served together while leading church services at the Union Rescue Mission and my grandfather’s convalescent home, taking part in various community outreaches and on different teams at our home church. My parent’s influence and decision for me to have a Christian education taught me to value the Word of God and pursue Jesus in every way. At 18-years-old, while attending an A.W.A.N.A. youth camp, God opened my heart for missions by giving me the desire to “travel the world for Jesus” and see people’s lives transformed by encountering His truth and love. Throughout my life, I have sought out mission trips and volunteer opportunities in my church. As an adult, I was on my church’s leadership team as we took a leap of faith to reach our local community. I have served on missions teams around Southern California, in Utah, Mexico and Cuba. With all of these experiences, the Lord was breaking my heart for what broke His.
In 2015, while on an APU Mexico Outreach trip to Ensenada, God used my friends and ministry mentors to lovingly insist I visit a school for Deaf children (RSM). I was stubborn and resistant, but complied. It was there, God reminded me of my identity and purpose in Him. He made it clear I had been created for such a time and place. He softened my heart and I stepped out in faith and obedience. 5 months later, I moved to Mexico and fulfilled my dream of being a missionary. I trained to be a teacher and, within 7 months, became proficient enough in my Mexican Sign Language to have my own class of lower level students and, later, a daily chapel class with the older teens. Although I struggled with pride, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and self-doubt, God’s love and grace continued to bring me to my knees in obedient submission to Him. As my languages improved, I grew in relationship with my Deaf students. I wanted to learn more about their lives. I was excited to share how I had been forever changed by my own encounter with the love of Jesus.
Due to my 3 years of living with and teaching the Deaf, I developed a passion to see the Deaf community fully understand God’s love for them and what it means to live in relationship with Jesus. I am continuing my Mexican Sign Language education and will soon begin Spanish classes to further my development as a missionary to the Deaf in Mexico. One of my interpreting goals is to learn worship songs in hopes the Deaf may have transformative Holy Spirit encounters and grow in intimacy with the Father.
My name is Gabriela Suarez. I have a a ten year old daughter, and I moved to Ensenada from La Paz (Baja California South) about 18 years ago.
My involvement in the Deaf world began at home with my two brothers and a younger sister who are all Deaf. While I was studying Accounting in college, my father passed away, so in order to improve my communication with my siblings, my mother suggested that I go work for three months at RSM School for the Deaf. I moved to RSM in the year 2000 and ended up working in that beautiful place that I now call my second home for 9 years.
Currently, I am the financial administrator of Horizonte Ensenada (my church), which has a Deaf ministry, where I also serve as a sign language interpreter. In addition, I serve and help out at Casa Josué with the administration of its budget, and making sure the needs of the house and the Deaf men are being met. I am the only hearing adult living in that ministry.
I hope to always be able to serve both the Deaf living at Casa Josué and the Deaf community of Ensenada as a bridge for communicating different topics, but most importantly to be able to communicate the Word of God.