D2S Ministry Team
Mike Ver Velde
I am the Deaf guy directly serving the Cuban Deaf and Hard of Hearing in partnership with individual churches with deaf ministries. A little bit about myself… I started my career as an Outdoor Educator, then moved into and up the leadership ladder in the non-profit and education fields related to serving the Deaf and Disabled communities. After many years and a relocation due to my wife’s job change, I felt a very strong calling to shift gears. Call it a mid-life crisis... I wanted to step up doing something meaningful and live out my faith more than I was as I enjoy making a difference in people's lives. I felt called to combine that with my growing passion for Humanitarian Photography. This led to my involvement with another ministry as a photographer. One of those mission trips took me to Cuba, where a divine appointment with the Deaf Ministry at the church we served, took place. Before I knew it, God had clearly put a conviction in my heart to serve in Cuba and that led to launching Deaf 2 Sordos.
Ami Ver Velde
Ami, crazy enough to be Mike's wife of 13+ years, is a Physician who continues practicing medicine full time and makes it possible for Mike to travel and serve in Cuba as part of Deaf 2 Sordos Ministry. She has long felt that she wanted to do something more than just being a Doctor and financially supporting other missionaries. This time she gets to be part of it. Ami plans to travel to Cuba with Mike at least once per year in a support role to meet with those involved in the Church's Deaf Ministry and to develop a better understanding of the situation inside Cuba. Her insight being involved in christian ministries and mission support for many years helps advise and steer our ministry in the right direction as we serve.
Ayler was a Medical University Professor in Guantánamo, Cuba for 15 years teaching Medical English. She also provides Spanish-English translation services for many Evangelism teams traveling to Cuba. Ayler is a lifelong member of the Guantánamo Church and also served in leadership roles there for a time. When she felt God calling her into a new ministry serving the Cuban Deaf with D2S, she started to learn American Sign Language and left her position at the University to accept the role as Mike's translator during his ministry visits to Cuba. She is also the In-Country Coordinator who takes care of all the logistical details, meetings & ministry activities that allows us to serve effectively in making a difference for the Cuban Deaf and their families. Her involvement with her church has allowed her to develop many contacts with different churches in the region and has been instrumental in getting this ministry moving in the right direction within Cuba rather quickly.