My name is McCall Finnerty and I was born in Zimbabwe on September 6, 1992 to Kevin and Andrea Finnerty. My parents were newlyweds who were on a mission team serving our sister church in Harare. A year later God moved us to New York, where I grew up going to church. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school, however, that I truly saw my need for God. I had been living a double life, trying to please both my church family and find myself amongst my friends at school. I had been caught up with friends and boyfriends, idolizing them, until I finally opened up to my teen worker at camp. I told her about how unhappy I was with lying all through life and feeling guilty; I knew there had to be more to life than what I was deceived into believing it was all about. After teen camp we began studying the Bible and I started to know God on a personal level, falling in love with Him. Therefore, on August 10, 2008, I made the decision to die to myself and live for God and was baptized.
There are so many scriptures that stand out to me, but one of my favorites is Isaiah 43:1-4. I adore it just because it summarizes everything; don’t be afraid, God knows me by name, he’ll never leave me even though I feel like life gets hard, and that he has saved me because he loves me. It is everything a disicple needs to hear to be special, encouraged and spurred on.
As a junior and senior I made it my priority to look for the college I was going to based on whether or not it had a great campus ministry. I also desired a school with a great Speech and Language Pathology program, since I knew that’s what I wanted my major to be. By closing doors to other schools financially, and opening the doors of Towson University, God made it crystal clear that that’s where I belonged. My first semester of my freshman year I was put in an ASL1 class and despite initial fear since I didn’t know any Sign Language, it quickly became my favorite class! I was not only learning the beautiful language, but about a culture that I had never been exposed. Before the end of that semester I chose to double major, excited to learn all I could through the Deaf Studies program. The Deaf community and ASL have now become one of my biggest passions. It has been so much fun to have another campus sister at Towson University pursing Deaf Studies and Early Elementary Education. As often as we can, we go to Deaf events with other girls in our program, striving to do all we can with the large Deaf communities around us in Baltimore and in DC at Gallaudet University. Whenever we go to Gallaudet it has been amazing because Gabe, a disciple getting his Phd there, joins us. While we get the chance to fellowship, we learn more ASL and about the Deaf community, as well as meet students, professors, and once even met the president of the university!
The more I am around the community, the more I want to become fluent and indulge myself in the culture. While I’m not sure where God will take me with this new interest, I do know that I’ve been so encouraged by the little I know about our Deaf ministries. The story that inspired me the most to know more about the Deaf ministries was reading about my brothers and sisters over in Ukraine. That story showed me that I truly can make a difference in the community, just as the leaders Slava and Julia did, even though they previously knew no sign language. I am therefore excited to be used in whatever ways God has in store for me!