Ask Lisa


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Both Lisa and her Mom, Vicki enjoy the opportunities to answer your questions about who she is and how she got started as a stage performer...

What prompted you to learn sign language?

I wanted to sing just like Sandi Patty, but my Mom says I can't sing. So my Mom talked to our friend, Marla who was a Sign Language teacher at our school. She asked Marla if she would teach me one song.  I picked Sandi Patty'€™s song, "In Heaven's Eyes". I had one lesson and learned the whole song. Marla told my Mom I had a gift, a gift from God, because I learned the song so fast. Now I know over 300 songs.

How did you begin signing with Sandi Patty?

We went to Sandi's concerts and I always sit in the front row and sign to her songs. KCBI radio let me come to meet Sandi in 2003. I told Sandi that I wish I could sign with her. Sandi came to Denton, TX for a Christmas concert in 2004. Sandi used her finger to called me up on stage. She asked me if I knew 2 of her songs and I told Sandi I know ALL your songs! Sandi said "come on, let's go... take a deep breath". All the people clapped and clapped and stood up on their feet. I love Sandi very much.

Do you like traveling?

You got to go to a lot of WOF conferences, you traveled with David Foster and now for Best Buddies, as well as, traveling to other events on your own.  Do you like traveling?
I loved traveling with Women of Faith. They were  like my other family. When I traveled with David Foster, I met a lot of other awesome singers too...especially The Tenors!  They are really cool and now I've gotten to perform with them too on their tours or at special events like Best Buddies.  Now I travel by myself, well with my Mom too, to events that I'm invited to perform.  I love it and I never get tired.  The Lord is always with me and helps me when I get nervous.
I practice everyday so I can travel and do good and sign with both professional singers and non-professional singers, or to perform just by myself with music that I select for the event.  God is so good to me and I keep praying He will open more doors for me so I can sign for Him. I love to meet all my fans and give them hugs. They always ask me if they can give me a hug and I tell them go right ahead. I love hugs. I never get tired and I love to laugh and have fun with all the people.  

My Mom likes to talk to all the mothers about me. Sometimes she tells them funny stories and sometimes she cries with them. But they are not sad tears...they are tears of joy.

Lisa's Mom answers your Questions

 

What is it like to see your daughter used to minister to so many people?

First, you love to see that your child is happy and doing what they believe they are meant to do. I'm so proud of Lisa because she has worked so hard and never gave up on God answering her prayers. She knew she was going to sign with Sandi some day "because God told her". 
Her faith is strong, which is what every Mom desires. Our God is full of surprises and we should never take Him for granted and think that He can't use us. He loves us with such unconditional love and He gives each of us a gift or talent that can be used for His glory, whether we're disabled or not. 
All we need to do is surrender our will for His... have a heart to serve Him... and He will do the rest. God is faithful and He is faithful to Lisa. I couldn't be more proud of her and that God has chosen to use her to touch so many in such a unique way. I stand amazed and yet...why??

Our God is an awesome God... nothing is impossible with Him!

 

How did Lisa learn to sign?

Lisa had just one, 1½ hour lesson with a sign language teacher, a friend of ours named Marla. Marla taught her to write out the lyrics; look each word up in the sign language book, and write the page number of the sign over the word for her reference. She did that for many of the first songs she learned. As she began to learn more and more songs and signs, she no longer needed to write out the lyrics. She uses six signing books, a dictionary, a thesaurus and aslpro.com to assist her in finding the signs she looking for. If she can't find the exact sign, she looks up the word in the dictionary and thesaurus until she can find a match. Now, occasionally, she has challenges with distinguishing between "can" (able) and "can" (a drink) or "there" and "their". Words like that which sound the same but have different meanings. Occasionally, she has to contact two friends who are like her signing coaches when she is stuck on a word or phrase.  But once she has the signs of the song, she puts the music with it and practices over and over, hours every day. When she has the song finished, (in her heart), you can usually hear her squealing throughout the house.

She'll come running telling me she knows it! God helped her and put it in her heart and she is READY to do it! People have asked if she has taken ballet or drama because of her artist ability to move with the song and express the meaning of the song, but she has not taken either. She has a gift from the Lord that is unique, angelic.... making most people move to tears.

Vicki on Lisa's Down Syndrome

When you learned that Lisa had Down's syndrome, how did that affect your dreams for her?

Of course, my hopes and dreams for her included her becoming a productive young woman, one that could be as self-sufficient as she could be. Learning that she had Down syndrome initially saddened me. We cried... but just literally for minutes. We had 8 weeks of loving on this special child before it was confirmed... not seeing her as anything but a special baby girl that I wanted so badly after having three miscarriages. Her having Down syndrome was just part of life now.

After reading and learning about Down syndrome, I had a desire that no one see Lisa as a burden, should I not be around.  I wanted people to see that Lisa had value. Lisa was special and she was unique in her own way. Once I became a believer, I saw she was unique in God's own way. A friend shared with me and taught me how to look up scripture and pray God's Word earnestly for my children. His Word does not return void. I prayed that Lisa would grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. When Lisa graduated from High School I believed it would be real easy for her to obtain a job because she functioned at such a high level. We worked with Mental Health and Mental Retardation for 8 years and I couldn't understand why God did not open any doors for employment. But in the mean time, Lisa continued to practice her signing for hours each day. Now, I can see, the Lord never opened those doors for such a time as this. I believe God was preparing Lisa to be the little minister she has become...to bring joy and laughter and hope to all those she's been privileged to meet. Did she exceed my expectations... well, I'd say God answered my prayers exceedingly, abundantly above all that I asked or even thought would be possible for Lisa!