All posts by Betsy Hoke

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.

Toque de Queda / Stay at Home Restriction

March 16th, 2020

The governor has spoken. You can listen here if you want to. 

 

We are CLOSED until March 30 – and if all goes well, we will open that day with everyone healthy and happy.  In the meantime, we are doing this and that – cutting grass, painting walls, preparing lunch for the residents and our guests, working on classes by ON-Line.

Pray that we will see our students soon and all will be protected from CoVid19. Our prayers are before the Throne of Grace for you as well.

week 8 of our semester

March 4th, 2020

To be seriously honest, not much has changed in the past few weeks.  Students come to school.  They learn.  They go home.  They return. It’s the cycle of school days and learning experiences.

To be SERIOUSLY honest, I think I, Betsy, the director, am learning the most in recent days.  I have been learning to listen to that quiet voice of God… sometimes I mistake MY INNER YELLING for His Voice so I am constantly trying to remain in prayer and discern WHAT is God doing, WHERE is He leading, WHAT would He have me to do or to say? Life with Christ is an amazing adventure and I am so thankful to be walking the journey of LIFE in His Way and Truth.

Yesterday (March 3)  I, Betsy, had minor surgery to remove a not really small but not worth a skin transplant basal cell carcinoma on my cheek. I did not announce it much beforehand.  I didn’t want to be asked  “WHERE is it?  Can I see it? Oooh Eeew” So I canceled our youngest student for the day and got a crew of others to handle the classroom. I drove myself to the office.  Had the procedure and drove back to the school in time to enjoy Tacos on Tuesday ( a regular menu item so come any Tuesday and join us!)

Today, I had a full classroom (THREE students – ages 7,16 and 28) who each had their own glitches to handle. One could not remember the letter R.  Another could not remember when or how to use a chair.  The other was lost in wonder over a pendulum experiment.  I spent much of the morning holding a cold pack on my bandage/incision as I felt rather pained.

But we learned together and eventually, the one remembered how to print an R and spell that word. The other found a chair and SAT on it.  And the pendulum student?  Well, there is much to be learned in physics and I am praying that happens!

Mostly, I am praying that my staff and I are able to show God’s constant LOVE and LIGHT in the lives of our children. Even when we are feeling pained by a surgical incision or the lack of memory for a word having the letter R, we can still be LOVING and sharing His light. With great JOY I hear my students say, “I MISSED YOU on the weekend”.  With great sadness, I hear my students say, “I missed you on the weekend”.  For our students, many times the only person listening, really listening to them, is one of the staff here. Families are busy places.  Parents are wrapped up in their stuff. But for a few minutes daily, we are able to take time to say, “What are you concerned about?  Let’s pray together.”  Our students KNOW we are here for them.

In the light of eternity, THAT is what we are meant to be doing.

February!

February 18th, 2020

Always so much fun to have former students stop by.  This month, we met Angela and her daughter.  They brought pictures of her father and brother who were students here in 1965!  Wow!  They had fun seeing the classrooms and dining room.  We had fun hearing her stories that her father had related to her.

We are preparing for our next Fun and Games night on March 6. The first Friday of each month, we have a social time.  Dominos, card games, board games, group games. Always something to keep our brains working.  Many times we see new people and that makes it even more fun.

The school grounds are looking good these days.  Flowers blooming. Green plants growing. Helen and Philip have been busy on the yard work and we are so appreciative of their handiwork.

Thanks for praying for our students -many are out with influenza and we want to see them WELL before they return to classes. May God bless you as you serve Him in your areas today.

January 2020

January 31st, 2020

2020 started off with a rumble as Puerto Rico’s plate began to shift. From the map below (or by clicking the link), you can see the USGS earthquake map of the recent activity.  The school is on the NorthEast corner, so our earthquake experience has been of the very slight variety.  We have felt a few of the more powerful jolts – if it’s over 4.? we usually feel it happening. Our school passed inspection and we have been in classes since January 21.

We were honored to have a table at Maranatha Baptist Church’s missions conference in January. The church has been supporting our principal in prayer and financially for several years now and it was a blessing for Betsy to give back to the church by playing the piano during their missions’ conference.

On January 31, we were visited by Nate (last name unknown) who brought some bags of sports equipment and tossed the baseball to the little kids present.  We will keep the things we feel we will use and pass the rest onto some local churches who are visiting the earthquake zone in support of those who are living in tent cities, at their homes under tarps outside or in temporary shelters waiting to get insurance money to purchase a new home. While the people of the south-west of our island are shaken daily, we pray that they are not stirred from peace with God but rather moved to a firmer belief in His goodness to His Children.

 

December!?

December 11th, 2019

The pictures above are from NOVEMBER.  What was happening that month that prevented us from updating you!?

Oh yea!  we were preparing for a visiting work team from Arrowhead Bible Camp and then enjoying the team from Arrowhead Bible Camp.  WORKERS they were! Our project was to paint and refresh our school chapel which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020. While here the Arrowhead team did it ALL – finished the project, finished other projects, went to 3 different beaches, kayaked the biobay, had and early Thanksgiving dinner with the school kids, made Diego cry, zipped over Toro Verde in Orocovis, attended the Deaf church in Hato Rey, rode horses at Hacienda Carabali and enjoyed a private afternoon as Las Paylas. In a week.

If you cruise the site, you will see BEFORE photos of the chapel.  here are the AFTER ones:

On the day the Arrowhead team left, our school principal received a phone call that Pam Eadie Mowbray had died. Pam was our principal from 1986 through 1996.  Pam came to PR and began working at the school in January 1971.  She culminated her teaching career here with us 2005(?).  Betsy, our principal, has been helping Pam’s husband Alan with odds and ends to tasks.  If anyone would like to send him a card or message:  Alan Mowbray, Condo Playa Azul1, Apt 1304, Luquillo PR 00773

And now we are preparing for the end of this semester:

October Fridays

October 18th, 2019

Friday, October 11, we were blessed to have only ONE student in attendance. That student took an interest in this millipede so millipedes became the focus of the day.  Today is October 18 and we are blessed to have only TWO students in attendance. They were given the opportunity for FIX YOUR FOOD FRIDAY and learned (or helped) to make chili for today’s lunch.

Sometimes, having a small number of students is a blessing.  We are able to spend time to chat about THEIR specific lives and needs and trials and joys. Often we have too many children and not enough hands to put into their learning.  More and more students coming to us, as a special school, have multiple needs in addition to being Deaf. What a joy when we have one on one time and can share in their lives specifically, learn more about them and pray with them alone.

Pray with us for the special needs of the Deaf in Puerto Rico.

We are excited to have our regular Friday handbell rehearsals and the dedication of the adult Deaf persons who are participating in that. They have their work and their families and yet have this desire for music.  One of them told me, “I work and I am stressed all week but I have THIS BELL TIME in my mind and look forward to this time all week.”

Praise God that through the ministry of handbells, this person’s emotional needs are being cared for.

September 2019!

September 11th, 2019

I have attempted several times to update this blog and every time, some internet monkey stops my progress.  Hoping today will be different and hoping that you have been praying for the ministry in spite of our lack of updates.

Last Wednesday after lunch, the two older students decided to try volleyball while the two little boys were trying baseball. Carlos, our groundskeeper was trimming and three dogs played nicely together.  Will wonders never cease!

Our days are HOT and we are so thankful for the tropical storms passing by out of our range.  A small breeze would be welcome but let me tell you, I am happy to not have had the BIG storm here.

We are praying for the people in the Bahamas who are now experiencing WORSE conditions than we had in 2017. We cannot imagine having a storm sitting on us for 36 hours… incessantly pounding.  WOW.  The pictures we are seeing make all of us thankful here for the mountains that block winds and the cement structures which are most common. If you are interested in giving to someone who is already working for Kingdom Purposes in the Bahamas, I can recommend PRAYING PELICANS MINISTRY  OR CHAMPS MISSIONS .  Both of these ministries have connections already established with churches and people in the Bahamas.  I know the Praying Pelican ministry and a friend recommends the Champs Mission group. You can look into those or other places if you have a heart to help that island nation.

Check out Mike and Glenda Coupe’s most recent newsletter  to see what they are up to.  Right now, (Wednesday at 4:30) , Glenda is working with Natalia – 3 year old deaf girl – on ASL/language development while Mike is in the States.

Pray for our new student JJ – he is 8 years old and works hard to keep us working harder! Pray for wisdom as we will have him only for a few weeks – his dad is military and deployed somewhere so he and his mom are visiting family here until dad is home to be helpful with that hard work I mentioned in the last sentence!

thanks for your many prayers

 

 

 

August 2019

August 27th, 2019

Mizael came back to school

Check out the link above to read more about THAT topic.

Look who is hanging out at the school these days:

Gizmo the iguana!

Natalia – her broken arm has healed 100% without any apparent defect!

Zuleika who is learning and helping and growing in God’s amazing grace,

Diego who has an amazing smile and super-intelligent mind,

Mizael who is still having headaches (which are lessening in intensity) and he is pushing through them to have more time in school.

These are the regulars.  We have 4 students – one full-time teacher and two full-time volunteers.  Both of the volunteers help in the classroom as well as cooking and doing maintenance respectively.  As school principal, Betsy is so thankful for the faithful helpers who work alongside her to allow the school to have continuity and dependability.  Our students are all special needs and could be taught one on one all day if we had the resources.  Without the resources, we do a lot of  One Room Schoolhouse work.  The benefits are so cool as the older ones see how the younger ones think and the younger ones are challenged by the older students’ thinking.

Continue to pray for the school, for the students, the workers, the weather… a storm is in the area this week and we are hopeful that we will not have any lasting effects from it. Keep an eye on the weather and remember to pray for us.

Thanks!