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Thanksgiving Week 2021

November 22nd, 2021

During the month of November, we have been writing our THANKFULNESS on leaves and hanging them in the school chapel. The challenge was to NOT REPEAT but to write something new everyday.  Today, Monday November 22, the leaves are being removed by a work team from Arrowhead Bible Camp and replaced with Christmas lights and decorations because SCHOOL IS CLOSED for the week of American Thanksgiving and we have a work team to do this job for us.

We celebrated THANKSGIVING on Thursday November 18 when friends from the Palmas Community Church brought us turkey and the WORKS! We are still respecting Covid19 restrictions but allowed those who felt comfortable to sit together indoors. Some of our Deaf ladies have found the stash of perler beads and are enjoying making crafts with them – they took time to eat but then returned to the craft table in a classroom.

Our workteam visitors are WORKING – and we are THANKFUL for the sound of pressure washers and trimmers and mowers and the scent of paint on the gate and the laughter coming from the ladies. Jack, the team leader, is working solo and so far, not laughing.

I pray that YOUR weeks are always filled with giving thanks and that as you take time this week (for our USA friends) to Give Thanks with your families, you will remember to THANK GOD for everything – because even pandemics, natural disasters and unplanned events can be used by God to bring about blessings above and beyond all that we could dream of.

 

How is it possible that we are in the last full week of September already?

September 22nd, 2021

Our NEWEST NEWS as of September 22, 2021:

Roxy is no longer with us.  She lost her vision in July and was suffering loss of mobility, weakening due to internal issues, and was taken to the vet for a peaceful euthanisation on 21 September.

Flowers continue to bloom and bring us peace.

We got an air fryer and the students made french fries from real potatoes.  We need to practice and try again to get the setting just right but ketchup was a good cover for our attempt.

During our Lockdown, termites moved into our book cupboards in the science and math classroom. Our handyman, Valie, took on the challenge of repairing the classroom.  A summer work team painted it and now we have new shelves (made in PVC board) and are preparing to set up the classroom for use again!

A close up of the wood from the door frame shows how horrible the situation was.  New we have a new aluminum door frame, new door and less concern about the termites.  Also we can SEE them coming now – we hope.

The grounds are looking good also thanks to our handyman who is enjoying a new lawn tractor. So much grass and so few hands to work at keeping it trimmed led us to purchase a new lawn tractor in June.  As one who has been responsible for the grass work, Betsy is SO thankful for the men who come to help out and the new lawn mower.

THANK YOU for your prayers and if you want to come to work on any of our projects – get in touch!

 

2021-22 school year Week Four

August 30th, 2021

 

We have completed three weeks of classes and are happy to say that our students have been attending IN PERSON consistently!

This year, we have only THREE students – the two boys pictured above are 17 and 18 years old and attend full time (8 a.m. to 2 and 3:30 respectively) and our little girl comes Tuesday and Thursdays from 2:30 to 4:30 for ASL/language development instruction.

From these photos, you can see we are working to maintain safe distances while still being able to talk easily without masks.  For our students, it is SO important that they SEE our facial expressions and read lips.  While working with them, we are maintaining air flow and safe distance protocols, using clear face shields and desk shields are necessary. We are thankful for our outside spaces and the free flow of air through the classrooms plus an amazing supply of alcohol to spray the desks and floors and keep things as Covid-Free as possible.

We continue to have our Deaf Fellowship time on the Second Saturday of each month. (third photo above). Our next event is scheduled for Sept 11. Pray that our deaf friends will be able to come – many are aging and find it difficult to drive at night so we have changed our meeting time to afternoon.  We are so glad that our friends in the area have been coming and we are glad to be able to sit and talk with them.

Thank you for praying for our students, our staff and our ministry here in Luquillo.  Times are weird but God is FAITHFUL.  Praise Him!

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!