Tyson Snedeker and Judy Rooks

From Tyson:

My name is Tyson Snedeker, and I live in Florida with my parents, Steve and Julie, and my sister Paige. I am 25 years old, profoundly deaf, legally blind and dependent on a ventilator, a feeding tube and a motorized wheelchair. Most of all, I am totally dependent on my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for my physical and spiritual life.  It is because of God’s amazing grace that I have joy in my life.

Biblical Training Institute is a great program for me because it offers exactly what I need at this time in my life; sound biblical training on-line and at no cost. Because of my unique challenges this program ideally allows me to work at home at my own pace.  My pastor, Brian Shealy, recommended it to me. The courses offered have lectures that are transcribed so I can read them on my Closed Circuit TV with help from my nurse. I have access to B.T.I. for help if I need it.  I have a wonderful mentor, Pastor John Eichholz, who visits weekly to go over what I am studying and answer questions.  I am blessed!

My first class, Life is a Journey, is helping me better understand the deeper meaning of my faith.  As a small boy I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, because I didn’t want to be separated from Him.  I knew I was a sinner, so I repented and began to follow Jesus Christ.  I was baptized in obedience to Christ having been reconciled to Him.  Since then I have learned that before I was a Christian I was spiritually dead. I was in the kingdom of darkness, separated from God. Now I better understand that Baptism is an act of obedience and does not merit salvation. Instead shows that my old life is buried.  I have been raised to a new life in Christ.

Now, I am not Tyson Snedeker; I am a follower of Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit drew me to God and gave me the ability to obey Him.  My behavior has changed. I have learned through the first course how the Holy Spirit works in me.  I understand more the fruits of the Spirit and how the Spirit of God gives me new desires that change my behavior. Now I have more control of my temper and anger with His help.  The Holy Spirit gives me the power to turn away from sin and experience more joy and self-control.  As I learn more I enjoy this new life of discipleship that much more. 

Praise God!  Thank you B.T.I.

Click here to see the news story on Tyson done by Joni and Friends.

Click here to see read Joni's blog on Tyson and BiblicalTraining.

From Judy:

My name is Judy Rooks, Tyson’s nurse; we have known each other for 16 years.   I accompanied Tyson and his twin brother David everyday in elementary school, (starting with the second half of 3rd grade).  I was with both boys through middle school, until David passed having just turned 15 years old.  Tyson continued on through high school until the last 3 months of his senior year, when he experienced an exacerbation of his disease process that kept him at home more than at school. He was still able to graduate with his class.

After graduation Tyson had a deep desire to continue being challenged academically, so we began doing bible studies together.  He has always loved the Lord, has a deep interest in his faith and a desire to learn more, making bible studies a natural choice.  He has completed several studies from Lifeway and received certificates of completion. He has completed other studies as well, with worn books and memory cards as evidence of his efforts.

Assisting Tyson with his studies is challenging due to Tyson’s being deaf and legally blind (visually impaired).  Along with his physical challenges Tyson has struggled to this day with infections and other very uncomfortable symptoms of his disease process.  This slows and sometimes stops his studying for unknown periods of time. It is however important to know that whatever Tyson studies, he memorizes; it is locked in his mind, book, chapter, verse and cross references.  His mind is amazing.

Many English words and phrases do not make sense to him so time and effort is required to help Tyson decipher the meaning of the text.  Tyson will tell you he thinks and understands in American Sign Language more than English.  To communicate, I sign and he responds with lip movements and an almost inaudible voice because of his trach. Then I sign back to him to be sure I understand him.

To do these studies Tyson and I use a closed circuit TV (CCTV) system.  Printed material is passed under a camera which enlarges and projects the material to a large screen television; which allows him to see and read his material. As he is reading I watch his face and lips to ensure I go at the right speed for him to read.  We stop many times to check that he has understood what we have read, often times we may go off on a bunny trail….  For example:  The 23rd psalm.  Tyson had minimal understanding of a shepherd’s relationship to his animals. We used this opportunity to deepen his understanding of this subject.  Now he is making the comparison of how the Good Shepherd cares for and tends his flock.  Tyson is a very literal thinker and has difficulty understanding concepts and metaphors due to his multiple challenges. 

Through it all he has gone to church faithfully, he is not ashamed of the gospel.  His parents are wonderfully involved and supportive.  He has a happy spirit and a compelling smile that wins hearts and souls all on its own. Tyson has a passion for lost souls; in his heart he is a Billy Sunday.  Patient and Nurse are on a spiritual journey together. This journey continues to have an awesome impact on both of us.

God is good, all the time!  All the time God is good!