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June 17, 2004

KUAM Personal Journeys: Helping Hands, Part 1

From: KUAM-TV, Guam - Jun 17, 2004

by Fredalynn Mortera Hecita, KUAM News
Thursday, June 17, 2004

For over 14 years I've been actively involved working with the deaf community of Guam. Her first exposure to the deaf was signing music for my church's services. It eventually led to interpreting for services for the community, government and private business. As part of my voluntary service to the deaf, I print, write and distribute a deaf newsletter on a quarterly basis.

My goal is to give the opportunity to the hearing impaired to learn about God's word and to be a friend and counsel.

My personal journey began more than 15 years ago when I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior. It was in college when I first met Rodney Anulao and Katie Ola. They invited me to a bible study and for the first time I really learned and understood that Jesus died on the cross for me, saved me from sin and all I had to do was believe in him and I will be forgiven. In the Bible, I read Acts 16:31, which says, "And they said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved, and thy house."

After the bible study I believed and accepted the greatest gift and that was eternal life through Jesus Christ. It was that night my journey began. Although I had a great joy in my heart it was at the same time a very lonely and sad experience for me. You see, I come from a loving family with strong Catholic values. I've always been close to my parents and my four older brothers and being the only girl and baby of the family my choice to turn away from years of upbringing was difficult for them to accept.

My brother Manfred, who became a Christian before me, recollects those trying times. "I felt that I didn't do enough. You're right, I was saved at a much, much earlier age but I kept it more or less a very private decision. I did not make it nearly as public as you did. In doing so you took the brunt of what folks call it a conversion of faith and I didn't," he said.

But I didn't quit and eventually I was no longer alone in my struggle. It was through my faith and love of God I was led to a man that loves the lord and wanted to serve God, Robin Hecita. We met Pastor Dan Doresk from the Family Baptist Church, who married us and encouraged us to get involved with church activities. It was at FBC we would have our first encounter with the deaf community.

Pastor Dan's wife Brenda had a small group of deaf adults that she would sign, interpret and teach the word of God to. Robin and I would try to copy her as she signed the songs. The deaf saw our interest and patiently began training us to interpret hymns and choruses. Little did we know the deaf group today would be a major part of our Christian walk and maturity which my brother says he saw in both of us. "I think your participation in the Deaf Ministry has definitely helped both you and Robin's personal growth," Pastor explained.

"I saw Robin's personal growth. I saw particular Robin go from being a very shy person a very introverted person to somebody who enjoyed working with other people. People with challenges and he was able to do; something like things like public address much easier after entering the Deaf Ministry." Manfred says a major change he's observed was my attitude. "I saw the growth in you with the Deaf Ministry as well. I remember you the bratty little sister who did everything for just herself and then giving up everything for others."

Now that you know how God has changed my life and how the Deaf became a part of my ministry for the next several weeks I'll share with you some of things my family and I do to be an encouragement for a very important part of our community. So I hope you join me, my husband and my sons for the next Personal Journey.

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