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Family Spreads Message Without Being Heard, Just Seen

By Liz Collin, WCCO-TV

BIG LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) -- A Minnesota family is making it much easier for people to understand what's going on in churches around the world.

Mark and Lulu Sorenson have spent 15 years taking their message as missionaries to churches across the country and the world.

"I just thought how many deaf people in the world don't understand what's going on in church? It just really made me want to teach deaf people in their own language," Mark Sorenson said through sign language.

It's when all of the Sorenson's take the stage that an audience will be most moved.

"When I first met Lulu we talked about how many children she wanted. She wanted two and that was it," said Mark.

They had seven children. They're all unable to hear.

They go by "The Deaf Von Trapps," just like -- the seven kids from musical, "The Sound of Music".

"A lot of deaf people think they can't sing. That only hearing people can sing but I say hey, you have hands. We can express things through our hands," Lulu said.

They've been in TV shows and movies and lived in Costa Rica, Thailand and Budapest before coming back to Minnesota.

The basement of their home serves as a classroom for the children. And their mother, Lulu, is their teacher.

"I just love to see their eyes light up when they learn new things," she said.

The family has traveled to Austria to walk the same path the cast of that famous musical once did.

"It's a fun challenge. It's an adventure," Lulu said.

They're not sure what adventure is next. But it's their message of faith they'll continue to spread whether at Bible study or on stage -- one you don't need to hear when it's so easy to see.

Usually only 10 percent of deaf couples will have deaf children but the Sorenson's said they both have a gene called Connexin 26 which means all of their children will be deaf.

Right now, the family is working on a video sign language translation of the Bible they hope to pass out to churches across the country.

WCCO-TV's Liz Collin Reports

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