All posts by Betsy Hoke

Pray for more than 5 minutes? Are you kidding me??

May 4th, 2021

In chapel the other day, PRAYER came up as a topic of discussion.  Mizael, our oldest student, was surprised when I mentioned that some people have a goal of praying for long periods of time. The next day, four of us sat together and each prayed.  How quickly time goes when you pray with a group.

This week, the USA is celebrating the National Day of Prayer 

Mizael and I are signed up for three time slots on the Presidential Prayer Team webpage.

And I have prepared a handout/prayer guide from the HOW TO PRAY FOR AMERICA webpage.  If you are reading this, you KNOW American needs prayer.

JOIN US! Maybe your prayer life will find a new vigor as you join with others to pray for our country.  Only GOD can turn the divisions we are seeing into DIVINE APPOINTMENTS for His Grace.

2021 NATIONAL PRAYER FOR AMERICA

Lord, we look up and see the billions of stars

You created, and we praise You. We look

around and see the billions of people You

created in Your image; uniquely, fearfully,

wonderfully, and we thank You. Wrap us in Your

Spirit and unite us in Your family, Lord.

Thank You for loving us first. In Your love for the

whole world, You sent Your Son to save us.

Jesus, in You alone we have abundant and

everlasting life. Thank you for teaching and

leading us to love and live, fruitful, and faithful.

In Your life, death, resurrection, and ascension

You are our Lord, our love, our life, and our

liberty. You came to “bind up the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to captives and

freedom to prisoners.” You have freed us from

the penalty and shame of our sin; free to live

life as You designed and Your destiny for our Nation.

Spirit search us, convict us, as we repent for

our sin and the sins of America. Please cleanse,

fill, and send us. We rejoice, knowing that Your

forgiveness makes us acceptable and effective

vessels for Your love, life and liberty in our

family, church, education, workplace, military,

government, art, entertainment, and media.

We pray that America will be united in love to

serve You with all our hearts, all our ways, and

all of our days. Unite us to pray, love; to live and

walk by the Spirit. Conform and transform us

as we pray and proclaim, “Now the Lord is the

Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

We pray this is the name of Jesus, Amen.

Kathy Branzell
President, National Day of Prayer Task Force

God’s blessings are abundant

April 19th, 2021

In February, a random person stopped by the school and said he wanted to make our school the recipient of the proceeds of a local 5K run. As long as I was not expected to run 5K,  SURE  why not!?

In addition to the blessing of financial proceeds, he is recruiting volunteers to PAINT and  help with our outdoor upkeep.  WOW!  Seriously, the SOUND of 4 power washers running for 2 days was unbearable (that is why they make noise-cancelling ear plugs – which my little student Diego thinks are super cool!)

we are feeling very BLUE as the painting continues

In this case feeling BLUE is a good thing…. it’s our color!

While all of that is happening OUTSIDE we are still learning INSIDE.  The day I broke out the origami paper and started cutting it into fraction lessons was joyful for me and actually made one student cry.  Not because I was destroying origami paper but because he really wanted to do anything but think about parts of a whole.  I mean, who knew that turning that page in the math book would cause deep grief?

We are taking advantage of nice weather to sit outside when possible – reading class, art class, and we hung up some rings to begin to develop some gym class moments. Maybe CSCD will see a gymnast arise from the carport!

Thank you my praying friends for your prayers, your letters, your emails of encouragement.  May you too have a lovely BLUE SKY and know the joy of God’s great blessings today.

Ministry Continues

January 23rd, 2021

Our 2021 year began with offering a community ASL class.  We are excited to have several families and mothers attending the class and look forward to God working through this to reach more with His love.  Mizael appears above – as our model for the activities we are planning for the class.   You can play the game here! (only through Feb 192021)

We have left our First Friday evening activity time in 2020 and moved to a Second Saturday activity for our Deaf Adult Fellowship.  As our population ages, we have to accommodate.  Night vision problems were inhibiting some attendees. So now, on the Second Saturday of each month at 1 p.m., we hope to gather in small numbers for indoor or outdoor games – horseshoes?  frisbee? dominos in the pergola? Come join us for an afternoon of fellowship in safe numbers and a safe setting.

Christmas Craft Room Open!

December 1st, 2020

It has taken some planning and thinking but we have had our first small group for Christmas Crafts and it went well.

We are praying for more opportunities to have in members of our area’s Deaf community so that we can work together and create something fun for their homes.  Pray with us for the isolated, lonely, and marginalized Deaf people in our area.  We so want to reach them for Christ.

Happy Thanksgiving 2020

November 15th, 2020

Well, next week we will be closed to celebrate American Thanksgiving but I am likely to not update again  so…

We have continued our semester with very quiet days one child at a time. They are getting LOTS of intense and focused instruction but remember, they are children so we are balancing the ACADEMICS with learning games and physical activity.

Diego has been learning long division and is mastering the multiplication tables with slow progress. He enjoys some quiet independent time daily  reading La Biblia en Accion and asking questions about the various accounts of the Bible. It’s a joy to sit with him and  answer his questions – often just by finding a Bible verse that helps him to see HOW to apply that to his own situation.  We also use lots of YouTube videos ( How did I ever teach without YouTube?) and have been watching Veggie Tales and Super Libro renditions of the classic Biblical accounts. All dubbed and captioned in Spanish. Because I really want him to KNOW the Bible and we focus on English later.  Other topics besides English grammar, ASL, and Math have included the Dead Sea and Salt Crystals, where teeth come from, gymnastics and the Olympics, and other random subjects that Diego has caught a glimpse of and asks about.  Such a curious mind!  Thank God for this boy and pray for him.

Natalia  is with us two afternoons each week.  We are working on Sign Language and communication skills (turn taking, asking, telling, answering, clarifying information). The other day, her mother reported that Natalia tried to fingerspell TJ Maxx to her!  I am guessing, she signed the T and J and then maybe added a few other letter motions to complete the word. loves to get out there to run and play and swing and is learning to ASK for these things with formal signs rather than just motions.

We still have Mizael coming most afternoons and enjoy his quick mind, desire to learn and his help with technical things like setting up our OSB and green screen as  Betsy works on teaching videos for ASL students and specific learning videos for other Deaf children.

Pray for these three.  Pray also for our new student who needs to have full-time learning and HOW can we accommodate his needs in this time of isolating students and maintaining  healthy distances from one another.

Pray also for our Adult Deaf Friends – we chat by video means but there is NOTHING like sitting in a room and having a real conversation.  With American Thanksgiving break coming up, Betsy will have some extra time to invite Deaf friends one (family) at a time for crafts and snacks and games – all must happen indoors because we are having a plague of MOSQUITOS – which necessitated the purchase of a screen door for the classroom. Nonetheless, we are planning for some Christmas crafts and special activities to help to meet the needs of our Deaf friends in the area.

Thank you for praying for us!

 

TUTORING BEGINS TUESDAY

August 10th, 2020

While we all are under the Covid19Cloud, we are still working to get our students back into the school year schedule as soon as possible.

Our original plan had been to have full-time classes beginning TOMORROW, Tuesday 11 August.  BUT we will be continuing our tutoring schedule for this semester.  One student at a time.  No mingling. Working from distance of 6 feet as often as possible.

Today, we are doing last minute preparations – locating the missing math book, trying to figure out phonics for our partially hearing children, making horizontal spaces empty so they are easier to clean between tutoring sessions. We are trusting God that all things will come together for His glory even as I feel like I am stumbling around in the clutter of the classroom today!

In an effort to help our students learn at home (they LOVE youtube!)  we have been preparing videos as part of review and homework. Praying that parents will join them in watching and will learn the signs too. Pray with us for this school year. We are praying for the other schools on the island and the restrictions on numbers.

Personally, I am thanking God that our numbers are limited and our ability to serve the young students is excellent.  We have three adult deaf learners waiting for their turn in the tutoring schedule so pray with me for willing signing Spanish-English speaking volunteers to help out with those desiring to improve their skill sets.

 

Tutoring Begins

May 10th, 2020

10 days ago, I sat in the library and thought, “We can create an air flow to protect a student and a teacher with or without masks.”  Masks are so in the way of reading lips, eh?  (and breathing sometimes)

So I arranged a table in line with the air conditioner and a fan in line with the table so that the a.c. and fan make perpendicular flows. Then I invited my eldest student to come. His mother quickly agreed (oh the stress of homeschool with a 17 year old addicted to social gaming).

Delilah is SO happy to have Mizael back part time.  So am I.

I took some pictures and then invited Diego to come.  His mother also agreed quickly.  He in fact

wanted to come to Saturday school.  Yea… NO.  I am dedicated to my students but I also have some things to do for myself and my church.

 

And we have part time classes, one at a time, and the boys are doing some work at home [sic] and learning much about virus and quarantine and healthy habits.   SOAP and WATER beat hand sanitizer. Wanna try ROCK PAPER SOAP?

Thank you for praying for our students through this period of uncertainty.  We are NOT certain what August looks like but if we have to continue with our tutoring and one-on-one learning, we will do that. The best news is not NEWs… it is God’s character.  In His Sovereignty, God knows what August will look like and knows when Covid19 will peter out and knows when our resources need to be refilled. I am not saying the world stopped just so I could get totally rested but it is a nice side-effect.

May your days be filled with His praise.

Still Working from Home

April 16th, 2020

Our students are doing their school work independently at home – with support by Video Conference. It’s not ideal but because we are texting a lot, we are seeing them use more English!

Our principal has been spending much time with the Adult Deaf of the area – on videophone and in group chats. Check out her report on her blog to learn more about how she is doing this. 

We are trying to stay on top of developments and issues as they arise.  Thankfully, our friends and surrounding area here in Luquillo have been safely staying in their homes and have enough supplies to keep them well and protected.

May you stay healthy and happy as you walk through this interesting time.