All posts by Betsy Hoke

after the storm

October 20th, 2017

it’s been a while.  but from the photo you can see that we are alive and well.  living without electricity is interesting.  41 days since it went off after hurricane Irma… and counting.

on Thursday October 19, FEMA brought us a large generator  and Sprint plans to set us up as comunication hub for the deaf community.  Wow.

let me post this while i can…from a wifi Hotspot in town.  in the country we are still in the dark many times!

survived Hurricane Irma

September 10th, 2017

Classes will resume Monday September 11,2017 without electricity. We have a small generator being used until we have consumed the food in the freezer.

The buildings are ok. The people are ok.

Pray for continued safety in cleaning the grounds of fallen objects.

Thanks for your prayers.

hurricane Irma closes CSCD for the week of 5 September

September 5th, 2017

Three weeks into the school year and we have a MAJOR HOLIDAY on our hands.  What was to be long weekend for Labor Day has become a longer break due to Hurricane Irma.

Predictions include 175 mph sustained winds and the word “catastrophe” is being used a lot. At least our students don’t KNOW the word CATASTROPHE yet.  (what a teachable moment we are having without them here – booo) They are looking forward to life without electricity so they can see the stars better! That made me smile when a student told me that!

Other predictions include not having electricity restored to the entire island for 4 to 8 months. We normally have 40 days without electricity.  Hopefully that will be the norm again this time.  Asking the parents, they all agree that school can happen in the cool of the dark classroom and that life without iPads can happen.

We hope to be in class again on Monday morning, September 11, 2017.  Betsy, our main teacher, is preparing lessons which rely on BOOKS and PAPER rather than electronic devices.

Thanks for your prayers.

Since some have asked, our link for donations for hurricane relief is HERE.  Or at the top right corner of this page where the word DONATE resides.  Our policy is to use your gifts first for repairs at the SCHOOL and if there are designated hurricane relief funds above those needs, we will pass those donations on to student families or neighbors of the school or other Deaf families in need of financial aid.  Sometimes, we will make the purchases for the families in need so that we can KNOW the money is being used for THAT purpose and not for other things.  You understand.  Anyway, if you want to help, that’s the easy way.  A little harder, you write a check and mail it.  Scroll down on that page for the mailing address.

Of course, you can always just send a letter.  The mail box is a huge encourager when the electronic mail box is inaccessible.

We hope to update you as soon as electricity is restored.  If that’s in a week or a month… then it will happen.  Of course, we can always go to an access point that HAS electricity even when our campus out in the country still is without that blessing.

Thanks for your prayers for our safety and for our students’ and friends’ safety as well.

 

Make your Meal Mondays!

August 31st, 2017

We have begun a “Make your Meal Monday” program to involve the students in learning to cook. Seems to be a hit so far.  Of course, it’s still early in the school year.  And the coming Monday is a holiday so we have a little break from that part of planning for a week.

This past week the students Made 18 eggs muffins – that link will take you to our recipe write-up.  You can put anything into those. We added a yellow pepper and two kinds of onions so that everyone had something to chop/cut/dice/handle.  The students all seemed to like them (see commentary at end of the recipe) though some said they don’t have those things at home.  We were talking about fast easy breakfast things they could make ahead and warm up when wanted.

The photo on the right shows how happy Delilah is to have her students back.  She rejoices everyday that they are here and mopes around every weekend day. Sweet lady dog.  Edgar has a special attachment to her and I am always happy to see him content.

Thanks for your prayers for our students, our ministry and the light that God is shining through each of us here. Pray that we will bless His name and give Him the praise and glory.

 

back to school 2017

August 18th, 2017

August 14 – first day of school!

We had one student.  The other three were at appointments or simply had difficulties arriving in a timely fashion.  Nonetheless, we were blessed by the Palmas Community Church as they brought backpacks for our students and their siblings. (picture on left below)

August 15 – second day of school!

Everyone was present!  We kicked off the first day of full attendance with our Science emphasis focusing on the eclipse that will be happening on August 21.  All week (well except for Day 4 which saw only one student again as the others were flooded away from the school) we have been talking about galaxies, sun, rotation, revolutions, stars, planets… It has been a fun week in the classroom.  While speaking of creation and God’s workmanship, we visited the apartment kitchen above the classrooms to see the workmanship of new cupboards that took place during the summer (center photo above).

We have explored the age of the universe by reading the Bible, created models of the sun, earth and moon to walk through what is a solar eclipse and had a guest speaker who has an interest in astronomy.  Our chapel is decorated as if we are walking in outer space (see backgrounds in the photos above and below)— heads in the stars and hopefully provoking the imagination of the endlessness of our universe as well as the endlessness of God’s love.

We created our own stars by making constellations of nails and then wrapping string around them in patterns or in arrays.  We read articles about the solar system at readworks.org

We have downloaded various apps to our devices so that we can “view” constellations in daylight and watch as the moon moves closer and closer to the sun.  Excitement is mounting as we await the eclipse on Monday at 2:11 our time.  We have had some RAIN this week so homework assignments of “observe the stars” were incomplete but we are hopeful that Monday will bring sunshine and blue skies for the event we have been hoping to witness.

Friday afternoons are often a little messy here as students go home early and our adult handbell ringers arrive for practice. This Friday, the students asked questions they had been formulating all week – Aliens? Diamond planets? Blue stars? – which we looked up on the Internet and youtube. How wonderful to have access to those resources! We also had art class and drew very inaccurate representations of the solar system.

All in all, the school year was kicked off and celebrated well. We are thankful for the students we have and prayerful about the staff we need to be able to reach more Deaf children for Christ.  The task is daunting as we meet Deaf adults and children with very limited understanding of signed and printed languages… there is the need to begin with the basics of WHO?  WHAT?  WHERE?  before we can begin to speak of GOD and SALVATION.  Pray with us for the continuing ministry among the Deaf here.

Thanks!

getting to work!

August 5th, 2017

Well, we are on our way to the new school year. Normally, we have a work team scheduled to help with Back To School preparations and our First Week is a Vacation Bible School program… This year, we are missing the work team but we have the plans for Galactic Starveyoring as we study up on the solar eclipse on 21 August. (we will have 80% sun coverage here.) There are some activities on the island for 21 August and we have a local amateur astronomer theologian who will come to our school and talk to us about all of this!  So while we are doing it ourselves, I am excited how God is bringing it together for us!

There is also a lunar eclipse happening on August 7 if you are in the right place on the planet.

In the meantime, Friday, August 4 was busy with the adult bell choir practicing some new music and reviewing some older pieces. Followed by everyone have a tool and assignment and helping with getting the front area of the school looking beautiful! Followed by dinner together for the workers and then our social/games night! All went smoothly and we praise God for those who participated in each event!  Thanks for praying along with us for the coming school year!

the dog days of summer

August 2nd, 2017

Roxy and Delilah are getting a little bored with summer.  They are so excited when visitors come and when the students come for a visit. We begin back to school on August 14.  BUT this Friday, August 4, we are having our traditional first Friday of the month open house/games and fellowship night.  Oh yes, excitement for the dogs.  And the staff!

Summer 2017 Handbell Ensemble

June 7th, 2017

We are getting ready to go North to share our music with some friends in the Toronto area. Exciting to have done our last rehearsal and to be packing our bags! Pray with us for contacts we have made, for the opportunity to praise God with other Believers and to take some of our hard workers to a new place.

When we return from our trip, we will begin to assemble new pieces to rehearse.  Pray for other Deaf persons in our area who are interested in joining in the handbell ensemble.

Pray also for the Deaf people in our area who are desiring to improve their Spanish reading skills.  We are in search of curriculum, books, prepared materials in Spanish and have had difficulty in locating these materials.

 

Science Fair 2017

May 28th, 2017

Oh I wish you could have seen the kids on Thursday, May 25. They were magnificent in their presentations of their science projects. I was excited and amazed by them. The two boys pictured above presented Plants and Colors respectively. Great stuff there.

The older two students presented their findings on Bows and Arrows  and Bamboo Music. Very good work all around. The families enjoyed watching and learning along with their students. And Edgar, pictured below with his brand new glasses, could not keep his eyes off his awards and his science project. His smile and enthusiasm were priceless.

Pray for the students at home this summer.  Pray for the bell choir as we prepare to leave on Thursday June 8 for our trip to Toronto Ontario.  Maybe we will see YOU there?