Friday, November 17, 2017 we had our last school day before Thanksgiving. Yep. Even with the days missed for hurricanes (we did not take off for Columbus Day or Veteran’s Day or other three day weekend holidays) we are taking a break for Thanksgiving.
The parents of the students are looking forward to not driving our worsening road for a week – pot holes do not get filled, more electric lines are descending onto the roads as the broken poles shift. The staff is looking forward to not making creative lunches for the students – dehydrated meals are lovely but how do you add veggies and balance when there are so few choices around?
We SO appreciate your parcels – sent with such thoughtfulness! Today we received cans of pulled pork and spaghetti sauce, crackers, acrylic paints, solar powered Christmas lights (well, they are nice year round but our students still want to celebrate Christmas at home and so this was a request we made), etc.
One of our senders sent some great craft paper and supplies. We all practiced creating a 3 by 3 grid on the 12 by 12 inch square paper and then used paper folding and glue to create little boxes to which we affixed felt turkeys and ornaments. We stuffed the boxes with things many supporters sent – peanuts, granola, trail mix, gummy candies, beef jerky, candles, etc. and each student took home two or more boxes. They were instructed to SHARE or GIVE these to their parents and grandparents with words of THANKS. Hopefully that will happen!
Friday, November 17 also found us saying GOODBYE FOR NOW to a student of ours who has been with us since nursery school. Mizael and his mom and brother are moving to the States for a little while… well, that is the plan. Mizael will be continuing his education with us through Google documents, Skype, and online learning with his present teacher, Betsy, as his supervisor. They have been practicing in person and on days Mizael has missed for dental appointments. When his house has had BOTH electricity and Internet connections he has been able to continue his educational learning from home. We celebrated an early Christmas with Mizael and after hugs and prayers, sent him on his way.
Pray with us for the needs of
- teachers – B.S. in education or interpreting/ASL as a minimum requirement; knowledgeable in ASL and Deaf children or willing to learn on the job; servant-hearted and willing to go the extra hundred miles or minutes or hours depending on the need at the time.
- support workers – meal prep; dorm supervisor; maintenance worker –
- STUDENTS – we will be down to TWO in person students in January and one remote student. We are prayerfully before the Throne of Grace awaiting God’s direction, praising Him for His blessings through this time of storms and the way He has provided for us to continue in spite of what seems at times to be insurmountable odds.
Someone asked, “are you actively recruiting students?” and our answer was NOT AT THIS TIME. With only ONE teacher full time, and the special needs of our present students – their need for much time spent one on one, even just one teacher with 4 students has been short-staffed. We are seeking God’s direction – are these our last 3 students? Does God have another plan for the ministry?
God shall supply all our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
So many Deaf Adults have asked about literacy classes and we know that could lead into Bible classes, financial planning and budgeting classes, mathematics, child care, etc. We know if we begin on that track, we will need social workers and independent living support workers, nutrition counselors or medically informed people who would be able to help with teaching biology and addressing personal medical issues.
But before we can launch a NEW program, we need to have the workers to DO THAT and so we are praying for God to send people with hearts to serve 24/7; prepared to do what is needed to reach the Deaf of the east end of Puerto Rico or further- if we can accommodate Deaf adults in our dorms for short terms or longer terms, if God opens a way to do that, we want to be open and ready for His leading.
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
And with so many schools closing since the hurricanes, with so many people leaving the island, we anticipate the parents of Deaf children finding that their child is suddenly without an interpreter, without support in the public schools, and will consider bringing them to CSCD. We don’t want to turn away any child or their family. We want to serve the community as God has called us to serve Him – joyfully and thankfully.
Pray with us for all of this.
Ephesians 3: 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.