My name is Sammie Sheppard, and I am so excited to be returning to Jamaica this summer to work with CCCD. Along with my teammates, I will be going to work with the teachers of the CCCD campuses during their in-service time. I cannot tell you how very blessed I feel to be going on this trip to work with the amazing folks at CCCD again, both those I know and those I will get to meet for the first time, and with the great ladies I will be serving with.
Just a little about my background. I am wife to a wonderful man named Fred Sheppard and mom to three great kids; Kaity who will be a senior this year, Hanah, who will be a sophomore, and Ben who will be in 8th grade. Our entire family went to Jamaica last year to work with the Knockpatrick campus, and all are very enthusiastic about the work of CCCD.
I have been saved since the summer before my 8th grade year when I asked Christ to live in my heart and be the center of my life. And although I have stumbled on the journey at times, I know that God has always been there with me to guide my steps. When I was in college at Stephen F. Austin State University, I know without a doubt that God called me to missions one afternoon in my dorm room. During that time He used a verse from Isaiaih "...whom shall We send, and who will go for Us? And I answered, "Here am I Lord, send me." From that day forward, I knew that I wanted to serve the Lord with some type of missions. In 1984, I began working with the Deaf and interpreting, and after Fred and I moved to Fort Worth, I went back to school at Tarrant County College and got a second degree in Interpreting for the Deaf. Since that time I have earned interpeting certifications in Texas and with the National RID. I began teaching as an adjunct at TCC in August of 1992, and in 2003 began teaching ASL as a foriegn langauge to high school students. One of the greatest experiences I have had teaching is working with Deaf students from other countries who have not had any form of language previously. Working in conjunction with another teacher, we were able not only to be a tool to give them the gift of language, but this year I had the priviledge of watching them graduate from high school, fully intergrated into society. What a blessing for God to let me be part of that process. I have also been involved in Deaf minsitry for 2o years.
To that end, I have a passion and love for teaching Deaf students language so that they can communicate effectively and show that "Deaf people can do anything except hear". I will be working with Laura as we lay the foundation in teaching language and tying that directly into reading.
CCCD has been in my heart for 13 years. It began when I was helping prep the orginial team that went from our church, but could not go myself due to pregnancy. For 12 years I have prayed to be able to go to Jamaica and work with CCCD, and last year God granted that opportunity. And as a true bonus blessing, our whole family was able to meet and get to know the student we have been sponsoring for the last several years! We have been so blessed by everyone we have met at CCCD. I am completely energized about returning to Jamaica and meeting with the wonderful teachers who are giving their all for these precious children. I pray to truly be used by God to meet any needs they haave.
Please pray for us as we prepare for our trip, for strong relationships with those in Jamaica, and for unity among our team. Thank you for partnering with us! We couldn't do it without you! :)