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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.

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.