The BIG NEWS of the day is NO CLASSES NEXT WEEK! Monday, November 19 is the celebration of Columbus’ arriving to Puerto Rico, thus we are closed. Thursday is American Thanksgiving so we are closed Thursday and Friday. The public school system did not see it necessary to open for 2 days so we are closed for the week. SO Friday, November 16 we had a small Thanksgiving lunch with the students. Diego was underwhelmed…he thought we were having a grand party. THAT will be November 30. If you in the area, come on by!
Now for an entertaining moment:
A theme around the school is NOT TO PLAY WITH. We use it regularly. Natalia, our tiniest student, has learned that Roxy the brown dog is NOT TO PLAY WITH. While doing a photo shoot for the school calendar (see ABOUT US/OUR CALENDAR), Roxy snuck up on Natalia and licked her cheek. Look at those pictures. Does Roxy look like she was trying to get away with something there?
Later Natalia was seen closing herself into the classroom behind the security bars. We thank God that she was inside the NEXT day as it was rainy. The large bull seen in the next picture frolicked in a panic through the courtyard mid afternoon. He is still in the lower field… maybe we don’t need to buy a new lawn mower after all!
For your amusement, our puppy Hephzibah (we call her Zyba) was last seen gnawing on conch shells she has removed from the plant beds. We toss them back into the foliage, she wrangles them back to the courtyard. Funny pup.
We are gearing up for Thanksgiving WITH turkey this year! After last year’s hurricanes and lack of turkey around the island, we are all excited for “real” holiday meals followed by decorating with Christmas lights galore!
Some of our supporters brought us some “paper pumpkin” craft boxes which we used to create our Give Thanks frame seen above. Thanks!
We enjoyed two visits to hearing schools to teach some ASL and tell the students about deafness.
Mike and Glenda Coupe are working with us this year. Such a blessing they are as they do this and that. Mike adds a male role model to our work – and the boys love hearing his stories about life and his challenges to live as godly men. Glenda is our lunch room manager and preprepre-school teacher – we have no idea why the photos prefer to be in landscape position so just tilt your head!
Betsy is teaching an ASL class at her church. Learning and practicing more Spanish as she does so. And just for frights’ sake, Mizael donned a live tarantula a day before Halloween… YUCK! brave or foolish?? The spider was safely released under supervision and Mizael was not harmed by the friendly critter.
Thanks for your prayers, your letters, and your BOXTOPS 4 Education – we are awaiting the arrival of a check for just over $300 in December. Remember also to use GOODSEARCH.org as your search engine to bring more pennies for searches to our ministry. it’s true. We get paid when you do a search using this Yahoo based search engine. There is also a shopping benefactor through this site- check it out, enroll, do your Christmas shopping using their coupons and a % comes to the school.
Every weekend, when I have a little time to sit quietly, I stop to look back to recent days and reflect on what’s been happening. This week, I’ve been so thankful for the little family we have here at CSCD. Mizael is now the older brother to our young Diego and even younger Natalia. Glenda and Mike Coupe, Valie, and I are the elders- watching over, teaching, guiding – our young charges. Larimar is the older sister – a little above the children, keeping herself distant, not to be too annoyed by the little ones.
Teaching a little Deaf child takes so many hands. While one plays with the littlest, another is needed to insert the language of the activity. In the above photo, you wee Glenda swinging with Natalia while Mizael tells Natalia about her experience. I love the way our age groups work together naturally to create a linguistic environment in which language is accessible to everyone. Of course, it takes time.
Diego still needs to be reminded to “use your hands to talk.” But he is more often signing and trying to make his thoughts known to the signing/Deaf people around him. He is also becoming more alert visually – using his eyes to take in what his ears are missing, using his creativity to come up with signs when he doesn’t know one, using his Spanish vocabulary to explain new ideas for which he is lacking words… it’s an amazing honor to be a part of this little boy’s learning.
Thank you for your prayers for our school and thank you for continuing to support us with your boxtops for education, your goodsearch.com support and your prayers.
God’s goodness never ceases to amaze me. I stand in AWE of our great God and His wonderful works. There is a link to a song there if you are interested in listening as you read.
As we organized the newsletter (late because May was just too busy and honestly, overwhelmed by the past school year, it was difficult to know what to write in a newsletter) God brought SO MANY amazing memories of His great provision and strength to our minds. It was hard to know what to include and then what would be left out… so we included very little other than praise for God and what He is doing here.
This past week, seeing our new little 6 year old begin to understand that LETTERS make WORDS and WRITTEN WORDS have meaning was another AWEinspiring moment. We are made in God’s likeness… what DOES that mean? Our ability to communicate on a level deeper than sniffs and barks? Our ability to use WORDS to express our thoughts? Our ability to love beyond words? Nonetheless, watching little Diego learning about WORDS has brought “The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us” to my mind again and again.
In the Beginning was the Word…
In Diego’s beginning here, he has many words he can say. But when the words are written, they hold no meaning for him. He is slowly learning that the sounds of the words he is saying are paired with letters… and he got 100% on his 4 word spelling test on Thursday. WOOHOO!
Pray for Diego. He is in class part-time simply because with only 1 teacher, she can’t teach him and the high schoolers at the same time. And so he comes part time. While he is here, the high school duo are working semi-independently on reading and writing. They have a video vocabulary tutor twice each week. They have a math tutor who comes in as he is free to do this. Their other lessons are all in the after lunch times when Diego has gone home. As Diego learns to do some things on his own, the teacher will be able to do more with the high school students in the mornings. We will be able to do some group activities. But until Diego understands that the planet really revolves around the sun and not him, things will be more structured and less spontaneous!
Thank you for your prayers. Please keep an eye and a prayer on the Atlantic Satellite during hurricane season. If you see something developing, please ask God to spare the little islanders who still are living with blue tarp roofs and no electricity. While most of PR has electricity, Dominica for example is still repairing their infrastructure. And many roofs have been unrepaired here due to lack of supplies and slowness of FEMA and insurance companies.
Thanks again for stopping by, for reading, for praying.
This year, we have three students every morning. Two are doing High School work and we are thankful to have English and Math volunteers working with them. Our English tutor meets with the students two hours each week by Facetime while our Math tutor walks into the classroom when he has time free to do so. We are thankful for the ways God provides for morning assistance so that our principal, Betsy Hoke can work with our new 6 year-old student who is learning the alphabet, learning to sit in class, learning to ask before taking or doing things, learning to use his hands to communicate, learning so many life skills!
Pray for teachers as Diego (6) and the two older students all need full time teachers to be present in their learning times. We also have a little 18 month old girl who we would love to have full time – again the need of someone to be her guide and language model through the day is holding us back.
In our next blog entry, I will introduce you to our missionary staff for this school year. Busy busy busy days prevent me from getting the photos I want to post!
Next Friday, September 7 is Deaf Social Night – come if you are able and join in games and fun with us!
The work continues – for the visiting team, they are pushing to get things DONE now that their work days are down to 3 days. Tammi Wolfe is doing things in the chapel to help out the school year while Joe Landis continues to weld in the carport. And yes, we hang out the clothes the old-fashioned way. After more than a week here, everyone is in need of something being washed – even if it’s just to prevent the dorm rooms from becoming too scented by sweaty clothes.
Hayley and Shanna started a rhythm group today while the gentlemen started to put the panels on the carport. Just a few minutes ago it rained quite hard so I am guessing the men on the roof were pushed to take a break. God knows when they NEED to stop to prevent them from overdoing it.
Annette has been presenting some really good lessons in the morning chapel time. We are thankful for her hard work in preparing – very different than for a hearing class. OOPS there is that rhythm photo again! Pray for Betsy’s attention deficit – she has a cold/cough this week and the medication is not helping her to focus!
Lastly, the older students are spending time with Danny Vidal, former student who graduated in May 1986 from ESD. Danny has been on a recent mission trip to a Deaf church in Portugal and the students are learning some Portuguese signs and about life after high school… maybe one or both of them will catch the vision of serving God as missionaries or at least serving God in their local churches.
Pray for all of these and all else that God puts on your heart for our school. Without your prayers and support, we would be struggling. WITH your prayers and support, we are praising God and strengthened for more again tomorrow.
We had a soft opening this year with a new 6-year-old student coming on Monday and a trial run for an 18-month-old student on Wednesday. The full compliment of students arrived on Thursday.
How fun to have a Calvary Bible Church-HanoverPA work team here with us. As the tough guys work in the carport roof rebuild the rest are working on gardening, nurturing students, and creating meals for everyone.
It’s been a great week and we are SO THANKFUL to God for His provision at this time of Back to School!
We look forward to a great school year and many more happy photos to share the work that God is doing here.
On Thursday May 24, we ended our school year with a day of tests and finishing reports and lunch at Sizzler followed by a nice time enjoying the students and their families in the school chapel.
We were delighted that each of our volunteers was able to attend the closing activity. Our adult sign language class performed a song and our newest smallest student joined in with trying to sign!
Now, we are closed for the summer. Our principal is taking a 6 week break and visiting friends and family. We re-start on August 6 with preparations for the beginning of the NEXT school year. Pray with us through the summer for the workers we need to expand our outreach and tutoring services. Pray with us for the vision God has shown our board of directors for the future of this place and ministry. We are excited to be His hands and feet doing this work.
This week, there is only one student in the classroom, and she is not feeling well so we are taking some time to have water and mint tea and rest. Our other student is presently on a vacation with his family. Pray for our students and their families–
pray for their health
pray for their vehicles
pray for their jobs
pray for their children and the special needs of the deaf child in particular
pray for their desire to know and serve God.
Pray for our witness to them as we come alongside and pray for them, talk with them, encourage them, cry with them, share God’s love with them.
In the pictures above:
a digger was doing some work removing debris in the parking area across from the school. We asked if he could move this tree trunk for us and he did. In exchange, we provided housing for the digger for two nights 🙂
the sky has been so blue and clear. We are having the Spring dryness that precedes the wet weeks of May. In May we tend to have some flooding… nothing spectacular but with so many people still living with blue tarp roofs, I know we could use less rain. Though the plants are wanting more rain. Thank God that HE KNOWS and in His sovereignty, He will provide.
First Friday Fun! The first Friday evening of every month, we have a games and fellowship night for the Deaf and those interested in practicing sign language. This month our regular group of attendees showed up and we rejoiced with those that have had their power restored recently.
Continue to pray for Puerto Rico as we approach Hurricane Season 2018 and continue to recover from Hurricane Season 2017. It’s been a rough ride and God has been our Provider of grace in time of need.
Pray with us about:
the need for teachers so that we can take in new students
the need for workers so that we can reach out to families around the island – with home Bible studies, friendship, discipleship
the need for workers so that we can begin a Literacy Course for Deaf Adults.
the need for workers to help begin Adult Education Classes for the Deaf (plus provide child care)
The needs may seem small but for the isolated community of Deaf persons spread about Puerto Rico, the loneliness and lack of support is huge. Pray with us as we seek to be God’s Hands to this community.