Hello fellow brothers and sisters! My name is Kiana Gonzalez and I’m a disciple from Jacksonville, Florida. I’ve been a disciple for almost two and a half years. I’m currently at the University of North Florida getting a dual degree in ASL/English interpretation and Spanish. My dream is to one day start a Deaf ministry in Florida. I don’t have any Deaf relatives or friends, so how did I get interested in Deaf ministry? Well, it is all part of my spiritual journey that started when I was a junior in high school.
When I started my junior year of high school, my mom and my step-dad started going to the Orlando Church of Christ and soon after my mom became a disciple. After my mom became a disciple, I started to study the Bible. During the school year, I took an ASL (American Sign Language) class, where a whole new world was opened up to me about Deaf culture and the beauty of ASL. I quickly became passionate for ASL, as well as for the Word of God. When I finished the Cross study, I suddenly realized that not many people take the time to learn ASL and share it with Deaf people. I knew I didn’t want to be like most people, I wanted to make an impact with my life. When I became a disciple (December 21, 2011) I started to think about how I could make my dream happen.
Once I started my senior year of high school, I researched universities in Florida that offered ASL/English interpretation as a major. That’s how I ended up here in Jacksonville; I turned down an opportunity to play collegiate softball and moved two and half hours away from home to pursue my dream of working with Deaf people. God has blessed my move to Jacksonville! I have been able to make an impact in the campus ministry where I am part of a student-lead leadership group, (we don’t have full-time ministers for campus ministry). God is continually training and transforming me to be more like Christ.
God has given me the gift of grace, the gift of the Holy Spirit and the opportunity to do the good works that He has set out for me long ago (Ephesians 2:10). One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” The only thing that can stop me from achieving my goals in myself. I strive to make a difference with the life I live because Christ has saved me from my sin; and this awesome, incredible news is worth sharing with EVERYONE. Nothing should stop us from sharing the gospel! I want to be a bridge in the language barrier with Deaf and hearing, English and Spanish speakers. My dream is to see people unified, despite language barriers. I know that I will achieve this goal; “If God is for [me], who can be against [me]?” (Roman 8:31.)