Hi everyone! My name is Gaby Duke, and I sign it like this.
Discovering American Sign Language
I was born hard of hearing and grew up attending school, where I mostly read lips. My family can all hear. Through the years, my hearing slowly deteriorated. Around the time of college, I lost my hearing completely. At that time, I realized I had to learn sign language. When I started learning sign language in an ASL 1 course, I realized that this language was pretty amazing, and it was then that I fell in love with the language and the Deaf community. I wanted to learn more and be able to communicate with Deaf people.
Connecting with God’s Word
At that time, I was a Christian. I learned, however, that many Deaf people are not. I was studying the written Bible and I realized that there were parts that I didn’t understand. The first time I saw a person signing the Gospel message, the Bible in ASL, and worship really hit home with me. He really touched my heart, and I understood more about His grace. That was my first time really feeling connected to the Word of God. It helped me a lot because it painted a picture that actually showed me. It’s one thing to read words on a page, but it’s another thing to show me – those are two very different things. I can understand!
The power of sign language
Today, I am a Deaf mom. My boys need to see me signing – using my language. It’s so powerful, and they can have conversations with my husband and me. To see my sign language in action and see God’s love for us through the natural body movements and ASL expression. Those are the moments when I feel that God is with me. So, ASL is a powerful way to communicate, not only with other Deaf people, but also with God, and to experience God more deeply with ASL.