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.
While I know each school week is 5 days, some feel so FULL! Last week was a full week! We are doing more “silent” reading this year – trying to get in at least 15 minutes of independent reading daily and it’s fun to watch the students examine the bookshelves and find hidden treasures. Also sweet to watch the more able to read students introduce books and love of reading to the ones who are not able to read on their own yet. Pray that literacy will be a skill they love and each student will exercise a passion for WORDS and sharing God’s Word!
We were excited to see Nathan and Deborah visiting from Canada! This lovely Deaf couple stopped by with their three hearing daughters. We always love seeing them and enjoyed some games and relaxing time together.
This year, we are making cursive writing a priority. Every afternoon before we dive into our learning logs, we do some structured writing. Betsy, our only teacher this year, has developed this framework for teaching cursive – using the data projector to shine guidelines onto the white board and then writing on them. The students love showing off their skills too though they still do better on paper than on the board.
Thanks for praying along with us for the ministry of our school and chapel. We look forward to next week when we will be practicing conversational skills and learning how fractions work.
The mission statement of the Christian School and Chapel for the Deaf, Inc. is to “Nurture Deaf Children to Think and Live Biblically.” We can only begin to do this. And we can only begin to DO this as we ourselves explore biblical precepts.
This summer, Lora, Tess and Betsy (three ladies in the center of the photo) are reading Discipling Nations by Darrow L. Miller for their summer THINKing material. Of course, we hope they will be reading their Bibles and other edifying literature as well.
During the past school year, the CSCD lady staff (those ladies picture above PLUS a few others) worked through the book How People Change by Timothy Lane and Paul David Tripp in a weekly evening Bible study. Some weeks we had lively discussions. Other weeks we were drown into thoughtful and prayerful moments as we discussed personal struggles and our perceptions of how God would help us to overcome, grow deeper into His character and live out the biblical standards we were learning.
We completed that book at the end of March and then began a series of readings related to Ending Well (as three of our six Bible study members were leaving and all of us were ending the school year). Our studies included reading the Ken Boa’s Finishing Well series, and excerpts from Coming Home by Howard and Bonnie Lisech. Spending this time together perpared us to say “goodbye” to our good friends and co-workers as well as helped us to see that our school year’s end was simply a transition into the NEXT thing that God is preparing for us.
Twice during the past school year (November and April/May), we prayed through Andrew Murray’s Helps to Intercession guide. Rosa commented that having repeated this guide several times during her three years of serving at CSCD had helped her prayer life in that Mr. Murray reminds us to pray for things that we often don’t pray about.
If you are looking for something to read this summer, and you should choose Discipling Nations, let us know. We would love to hear how God is working on your worldview and how you are learning to think and live in a more biblical manner. Also, if you have a favorite book/Bible study to recommend, please let us know!
As a SCHOOL staff, we make sure to never step away from learning for ourselves. As Christians working in full-time ministry, we make sure never to step away from our Lord Jesus Christ and His awesomeness. As teachers desiring to instill a hunger for learning into our students, we constantly discuss ways things that impede our learning and understanding and we attempt to plan our classroom, dorm and study times so that we can remove obstacles to our students’ learning as well.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? – Mark 8:36
Classes resumed on January 20, 2015 after a four week break for Christmas/New Years/Kings Day/DeHostos Day. The students came with their minds ready and smiles on their faces.
We welcomed Dawn and Jon O’Dell as our new snowbirds – Dawn is teaching math and Jon is making lunch, doing odd jobs and working with teaching the students some skills like fingerprinting. Rosa continues to be at Juan’s side – mostly in the classroom this semester.
Philip Tomlinson has joined us for the semester – he is helping in the dorm and handling maintenance for us. Carlos Motta continues to present a Bible lesson on Thursdays. Yvonne Yancy, retired reading specialist is with us part time again this year.
If you are on the island, send us an e-mail and let’s make a date for a visit!
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
– Mark Twain
One year. That’s what I was given but what I have received will last me a lifetime. I will always remember Kioney’s ecstatic laughter, Mizael’s bear hugs and the enthusiasm in Saúl’s eye when he is leading me to his newest discovery. These moments I will cherish forever. These children I will never forget.
How Stefanie Came to ESD
In 2007, Stefanie Beals graduated from high school and the next fall began traveling with Encounter Revival Ministries. Through a few deaf-interaction opportunities during the two years with ERM, her heart became greatly burdened for the deaf. She learned about E.S.D. while visiting friends and contacted the school. God’s direction for Stef’s coming to E.S.D. was clearly seen as He quickly opened the E.S.D. door to her.
Stefanie joined the ESD team at the end of August 2009 for a one year commitment as our junior missionary. Stefanie came to us from Honesdale PA where she attends Honesdale Gospel Tabernacle. For the two years prior to her year at ESD , she traveled and served with Encounter Revival Ministry. She returned in August 2012 for another school year – this time as the Kindergarten teacher and kitchen helper.
On two occasions (2005 and 2007) Elizabeth came to ESD with ministry teams from her home/sending church. Early in 2010, Elizabeth felt God leading her to return to ESD as a full-time teacher. She graduated from Pace University in May 2010 and joined the ESD staff in July of that same year. She left ESD in June 2013 and is now working….
Judy’s association with ESD began in 2005 when Judy received a copy of the school newsletter With These Hands from a colleague at Van Asch in New Zealand. Judy read the newsletter and contacted the ESD principal to see how or if a teacher of the Deaf from New Zealand could be of any use to the ESD ministry. IN January 2006, Judy came to ESD to carry out some teacher training and workshops. She stayed on a few weeks to assist in the classrooms.
Visits in 2007 and 2009 on a tourist visa convinced Judy that God wanted her to make a longer commitment. She arrived in January 2010 on a religious worker’s visa and is permitted to remain in PR through May 2012. Pray with us for Judy’s application for an extension and for God’s will to be done.
Judy and co-workers out for a fish dinner in 2005 during an early visit to the school.
Sent to ESD by:
Glendora Friends Church of Glendora California
How Jen Came to ESD
Jennifer Johnson visited a friend working at E.S.D. in 2006. After visiting for a month, Jen left, sure that she would not be returning any time soon. In a matter of weeks, God changed her heart and Jen applied to work at E.S.D. as a teacher.
Jen had not complete the degree necessary for her to obtain her certification as a teacher in Puerto Rico so returned to that task quickly finishing off the required work for an Associate’s degree and occupying a classroom at ESD. She is completing her work towards a Bachelor’s degree and is contemplating her next step in academia from her classroom in Luquillo.
Jim O’Brien, ESD’s California-located maintenance man, accompanied the team of college girls what came with Jen on her first visit. Since that time, Jim, a retired San Dimas police officer, has continued to visit the school at irregular intervals working along with teams to coordinate the efforts to keep the buildings and grounds in good shape.
Adriana finished her time of study at ESD in May 2009 and then returned to work with us as a multi-purpose helper in August 2009. Adriana performs many vital jobs around the school and we are thankful for her hard work as she helps us.The 2009 – 2010 school year saw Adriana trying out a number of jobs around the school. During the 2010-2011 school year Adriana worked as Betsy’s in-class assistant and our kitchen supervisor. She continued into the 2011-2012 school year as our kitchen supervisor but due to health problems has been unable to return to work in a part-time capacity. Adriana continues to visit and help out at the school as she is able.