January 20, 2011

TESTIMONY OF DAWN DEPOORTER

FINDING MY JEWISH IDENTITY LATE IN LIFE

I was born in Detroit Michigan on the same day when the movie Ben Hur came out in 1959.  My deafness was caused by the Rubella measles that my mother carried when she was pregnant with me.  

My father's family were originally from Belgium.   My grandfather's mother, Helene was a Belgian Jew and his father, Camiel came from a generation of Jewish bloodline.  Both of his grandparents were forced to convert from Judaism to Catholic because of the Spanish Inquisition in 1642.  Camiel's wife's parents decided to convert from Judaism to Catholic before they were born.  Camiel moved to America with his wife and children to Illinois where there used to be a farmland.  They never spoke English after they immigrated to USA but they raised six children.  My grandfather Alfonso "Al" was the last baby to be born 20 years later.  Alfonso worked for factory somewhere in Chicago and married a gentile.  They had a son Gary but in 1933 they got divorced. Alfonso heard about better job opportunities in Detroit and decided to move there.  His siblings decided to follow him to Detroit, Michigan and his parents followed him to be closer to their children. Al worked for Chrysler for many years until his retirement.

When Al settled down in Detroit, Michigan, he met another lady, Gertrude or "Trudy" for short at a dance hall. Her parents were both from Germany. They also converted from Judaism to Catholic. Trudy and Al got married in 1938.  My father Douglas was born in 1939 and then my aunt Dianne and uncle Carl.  My father met my mother Janet at High School prom through mutual friends.

My mother came from both royal bloodline and Jewish.  Her father's ancestors were of royal bloodline from Finland and her mother's ancestors were all Jewish from Caspian and Rome.  They also converted from Judaism, to Lutheran.  There was no explanation for that decision, but it might have something to do with what was going on at that time.  My parents got married in 1958 in Detroit, Michigan., then in 1959 I was born.    I did not grow up in a "typical Jewish" family because my parents knew they were Jewish but hide their true identity to survive.  They raised me as Lutheran and Catholic.  I felt mixed up because my parents divorced later.  I was Lutheran when I was living with my mother. When I saw my father during his visiting rights on weekend and went to his Catholic church.  I was never member of either churches. I just went to make my parents happy.  I grew up somewhat neglected and did not have good family moral values.

My childhood was very difficult.  I didn't learn to talk until I was 7 years old because my mother did not know how to teach me to speak.  She had difficult time understanding my needs as a Deaf person.   I learned sign language at age 8 but my mother was totally against the idea because she felt it would fail my speech.  She also believe that sign language belonged to the devil but later, she has changed her view when I got older.   She realized sign language was beautiful when I sang a song with it and she regretted the things she said about it later.  I use lip reading and home body language with my family and sign language with my Deaf friends. I have two communication methods all my life.

The first time I heard about Yeshua was when somebody sang about Him. I was invited to a Messianic worship service on a Friday night. I did not know who Yeshua was.  I was told it's Jesus in Hebrew. I quickly accepted it.  It was not hard for me to learn at all. I just learned fast and adapted very well.  I was drawn to the warmth He represented through His people who became my good friends.  I fell in love with the music, it was so powerful and I got lot of goose bumps... and after listening to the preaching, it touched my heart and stirred me.  I felt excited and inspired and wanted to belong to Yeshua and his family. 

Later, I accepted Yeshua as my Messiah in Rochester NY on September, 18 1993.  This was the day of my spiritual birth.  The day I felt moved to accept Yeshua in my life, the Rabbi asked if anyone wanted to accept Yeshua in their heart to be saved and baptized.  I was sitting down and felt "someone" push me in the back.  It was the Holy Spirit.  I felt the urge to accept Yeshua and got up with courage toward the Rabbi and his wife. I told them I would love to do this. They were very thrilled and excited to make arrangement immediately, I was baptized in a swimming pool.  I was blessed that day. 

My life after I accepted Yeshua immediately changed.  I worked very hard to pass all my courses as a student at NTID.  I am still having obstacles in my life but it just made me stronger and made me an "overcomer."  My life before and after Yeshua was very different.  Before Yeshua I had messed up life with the "wrong crowd."  I had many issues with roommates and people mistreating me etc.  After Yeshua, I did not have anymore desire of to get involved with the wrong peers.  I still have challenges in my life but it changed me to become a better person. I remain single... and that's ok!  I'm just humbled that God protected me as far as He did and I was never involved with drugs or alcohol. 

My family and friends saw some difference in my life but did not understand it at all.  My old friends don't contact me anymore, they were surprised but don't seem to care about my newfound faith.  When I accepted Yeshua in my life, my father told me to use my spiritual gifts but not to share them with the family.  I respected his wish but later found out that I am not the only the only member of the family who have accepted Jesus/Yeshua.   My grand aunt Hilde and my Uncle Carl are Christians and also another grand aunt, Annie. 

My father never told me while I was growing up that our family was Jewish.  When I was in college during my 3rd year, my Jewish friend who was also a believer suspected that I was Jewish.  The next time I went home to visit my family, I asked my father.  That was in 1993 I was 33 years old at the time.  During Christmas dinner, I asked my father, "Dad, I have a friend who suspect that I am part Jewish.  Is it true?  I need to know the true answer."  He was shocked and stopped eating.  At first he wouldn't answer immediately but told my stepmother.  "I have to tell her the truth... I'm sorry."  My step mother stayed quiet.   "Dawn.. yes, you have Jewish blood in you and my ancestors who are your ancestors too... they were all Jewish, even on your mother's side." 

I had several other supernatural experiences.  I had one in 1988 after an hectic day in St. Paul Minnesota, I had a vision of Yeshua on his stake and dripping of blood about to pour on me, it was a shaking moment in my body, my eyes blinking.  It was a good thing I was sitting down on a chair and didn't fall.  I had several other supernatural experiences and another time, I heard the angel spoke to me in dream ... she said "You are beautiful Dawn."  In 2008, I had clear prophetic dream in which I hear, "King David, King David. You are descendant of King David! You must hide!"  That confirmed my Jewish identity.

God has blessed me many ways... housing, foods, money, even small things, He is always with me, even I can see him around. The spiritual gifts God has given me to equip me to grow the Kingdom of God are discernment of spirits and once in a while prophetic dreams.  My spirit grows slowly closer to kingdom of God.  I am 100 percent single, never married.  No children.  I am currently studying photography at a community college.

Notes from the editor:  Dawn's story is a beautiful example of God restoring back everything to His people lost through persecution and the diaspora.  God is restoring back their Jewish/Hebraic roots, which have been kept secret because of intense persecution.  People like Dawn's family converted because of fear, but now God has given them a spirit of power and not fear.  (2 Timothy 1:7)  "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Through Yeshua, Dawn is rightfully restored back to her Jewish roots and the royal position her family had lost she regained when she made Yeshua a big part of her life, she is now a part of God's royal family and priesthood, as are all believers who have accepted Yeshua as their Messiah!  © Copyright 2010. Signs & Wonders Ministry. All Rights Reserved.

Dawn in 1983

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