My name is Cyndie Imfeld, and I help interpret at the Cincinnati Church of Christ. I
became a disciple in the summer of 1982. While taking summer classes at the Cincinnati
Conservatory of Music in my hometown of Cincinnati, a classmate, Robyn Church, reached
out to me and invited me to a commuter bible talk. I noticed immediately that Christianity
was real for the students in this bible talk. They shared openly about their lives and how
they were putting the scriptures into practice. I wanted what they had, and I expressed to
Robyn how Romans 7:15 described my life completely (…what I want to do I do not do, but
what I hate I do.) After about 3 weeks of personal bible study, I was baptized into Christ.
During my last year of college I took an ASL class for a language credit. Not long after
I graduated, a sister, Cindy Schneider told me that she had Neurofibromatosis, a disease that caused tumors to grow inside her body. Two of those tumors were in her ears and she knew their removal would cause her to be completely deaf. Together we took several sign
language classes to help her to transition into the deaf community and me to learn how to
interpret for her at church. Through the years we met and studied with several deaf people
and at least two became disciples. One, a deaf-blind woman named Donna LePiors, remained a faithful member of the Cincinnati Church of Christ for more than 20 years. About five years ago she moved to Michigan for health reasons but remains in contact with us. Cindy Schneider passed away around 2006. For several years we had no deaf ministry. This past summer, I reconnected with a deaf man, Charles, who had come out to church several times when I was first learning sign language. I hadn’t seen him for nearly 20 years but noticed him at a “deaf take-over” event downtown and invited him to visit church again. He came and liked it so much that he told his sister’s friend, Robin Edwards about it. Robin was new to Cincinnati and looking for a church. She showed up one Sunday in November and was baptized in March. It brought tears to our eyes to look up and see Robin rise out of the water. There were hundreds of arms waving in deaf applause and praise from the congregation!
After being in the singles ministry for several years, I married Kevin Imfeld, in 1989.
We recently became “empty nesters”. We have two daughters who are both disciples. Our
oldest, Stephanie, 21, was married to Kyle Pollock in December, and our youngest, Samantha, is 19 and active in the campus ministry at the University of Cincinnati. Kevin has learned some sign language from me and is enrolled in an ASL class to begin in May. Samantha has also taken an interest and is enrolled in ASL class next semester at U.C.
What inspires me most about the Deaf Ministry ICOC is being able to go to a seminar anywhere in the country and enjoy an instant connection with deaf disciples and interpreters. It’s not a connection based on a common language, but one based on a common relationship with Jesus Christ. I love how God has allowed modern technology to strengthen our communication. Skype, Face Time and texting make it even easier for deaf disciples and interpreters to encourage one another.
One of my favorite scriptures is Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to him who is able to do
immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Because of God’s power, I believe that the Cincinnati Church of Christ Deaf Ministry is going to grow tremendously in number, in faith and in unit. I also believe that there will soon be more interpreters and deaf people of all ages and backgrounds praising God in ASL! To God be the glory!