Hearing Aids for Seminary
Organized by: Lindsey Bartell
Dear family and friends,
I have a new vocation now. It is the vocation to speak and write…into the many places of my own and other people’s restless lives. I have to kneel before the Father, put my ear against his chest and listen, without interruption, to the heartbeat of God. Then, and only then, can I say carefully and very gently what I hear. I know now that I have to speak from eternity into time, from the lasting joy into the passing realities of our short existence into this world, from the house of love into the house of fear, from God’s abode into the dwellings of human beings. I am well aware of the enormity of this vocation. Still, I am confident that it is the only way for me. One could call it the “prophetic” vision: looking at people and this world through the eyes of God. -Henri Nouwen
My body is a nonconventional one—meaning my body with deaf ears is surviving in a American culture with perfect body ideals. The nonconventional body God has given me led to my vocation: to see all worlds’ different, nonconventional bodies with God’s eyes; to speak, write and educate Churches how to view and accommodate differently abled bodies; to minister to those who may have misperceptions of theirs and others’ God-given bodies.
Seven years of detours and shut doors has brought me to an open one: Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. The full-ride Columbia scholarship, merited to five recipients, was kindly gifted to me. Now I see: God knows my deepest desire—a vocation that speaks into the world that God so loves.
Objectively, I am not any more blessed, or “special,” or loved by God than the next person living a different course. Subjectively, I feel blessed and special, knowing God has wired me to love God, and to enjoy reading and writing. My love for God colliding with my language abilities is simply a tool, a way for God’s name and character to be known.
I do not only want to share the news, and ask you to pray over my journey, but also to express my biggest need for seminary: hearing aids. The ones I currently have are not sufficient. My hearing loss is profound, requiring stronger hearing aids. I have test-tried ReSound’s ENZO hearing aids and they have superior sound quality, and come with microphone accessories enhancing voices further. The ENZO costs $5,800 for a pair—a dizzying price tag making me catch my breath and want to dig a hole somewhere.
But with seminary in the horizon and a big God besides me, before me, behind me, above me and below me—I am confident and hopeful in asking for your help. After prayer and consideration, and if should you feel the desire, any financial amount would be helpful!