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Tag Archives: ASL PR

Pray for some little friends

March 7th, 2019

 

Needed:  one (or more) 7(ish) year old hearing-impaired or Deaf children to accompany Diego on his educational journey.

His teacher is older than his grandmother and she needs some help in the PLAY department… The other students are older too and don’t exactly want to swing and play baseball during recess time. Pray with us for the next group of little ones to join in the learning fun.

Needed: one (or more) 2ish something hearing-impaired or Deaf children to accompany Natalie on her educational journey.

It’s just more fun to learn with a friend and have someone to talk with other than the older people around you.

We truly know that language is best learned in community.  We have established an environment that is linguistically rich and visually accessible for our students. Pray with us for the little ones in the area – we hear of some in public schools where they are not linguistically stimulated, where they are developing delays in their linguistic development due to the non-accessibility of a visual stimulus accompanying their language experience. Deaf children learn by SEEing and DOing.  Hearing children learn by hearing.   English and Spanish are but auditory languages.  They do not reach into the brains of a child who has a hearing loss of any significant levels.

And hearing aids don’t FIX things the same way glasses can fix things. My students all have hearing losses into the orange region of the audiogram at this LINK. They do not hear most of the speech sounds without extra help – that means raising my voice, using a hearing aid or other amplification. Most parents don’t take the time to look their hard-of-hearing/Deaf child in the face to have a conversation.  So the child misses out on 82.9% (totally off the cuff estimation) of what is said. They are left wondering, guessing, trying to fill in the blanks.

On the other hand, most parents don’t raise a HAND to help their hearing-impaired child:

About 90%of the deaf population has two hearing parents and 88% of those parents do not know sign language. LINK HERE

And so I know there are children experiencing LANGUAGE DEPRIVATION simply because someone told their parents that having an interpreter is the answer.  Suppose you don’t know ASL (American Sign Language) and you travel to China and you are given an ASL-Chinese interpreter.  How much are you going to learn about China from watching the ASL interpreter?

Exactly what a child who doesn’t KNOW ASL faces when watching someone batting their hands around in first grade.  The child MUST be in a place to learn the language so that they can then access the materials of learning. How does one learn a language? Come on, you know.  You learned a language.  You are reading this.  YES!  You learned by listening to your world from the time your ears developed (about week 16 of gestation inside your mom) you were learning the language of your world. But a child born deaf missed out on even that opportunity. Of course, some babies are born hearing and then lose the sense through trauma… but alas, without a language, they are left behind.

And so, would you pray for those children who are in this area, on this island?  Because we have some lovely little ones here beginning to learn ASL and speaking and communicating in glorious ways… and my heart breaks every time I meet a small child who is SO isolated because the significant forces at work for the child haven’t grasped the idea that LANGUAGE development is IMPERATIVE to life experience and learning.

Thanks for praying.  Thanks for your interest.

February: visitors’ month

March 1st, 2019

February is often a month of guests and Feb 2019 was just that.

We started with 8 visitors from Pennsylvania (we enjoyed an afternoon with them at the beach and lots of fun times in the dining room)

followed by our principal’s mother (above photo far right, lady in the center in the white sweatshirt) and sister who also came to visit (purple shirt person). While they were staying at the school, our friends Tim (center photo adult red shirt) and Pam also came to the island (they rented a place off of the school grounds) and while they were hanging out with us, we had our own Bible Challenge Week with Brother Dan Knickerbocker and his lovely wife Anne Marie.

Brother Dan spoke with us the last four afternoons of February – challenging us to think wisely, speak Biblically, and to share our faith effectively. We enjoyed having Dan and AnneMarie for lunches during the week and some time to chat with them.  Dan and AnneMarie have been ministering to churches on the island having been invited to Maranatha Baptist Church for a weekend of special services.

God’s goodness to us is amazing over and over again. We are SO THANKFUL for the ways He provides and protects our ministry here. Continue to pray for workers – teachers, a cook, people to work along with us as we develop outreach programs with our Deaf adult friends and for teens in need of tutoring and discipleship. The work is great and the laborers are few and aging! We are trusting God to send younger workers who will carry the ministry forward as our older workers begin to think about lightening their workload.

Meanwhile, we are praising God for the strength He gives our bones and our muscles!

thanks for visiting today!

 

 

THAT was a fast month!

January 30th, 2019

The first Friday of every month, we have OPEN HOUSE and invite ANYONE in to play games with us in the school multi-purpose building. WHAT FUN it is to catch up with our friends in the area!

Our games night in January was led by Mike and Glenda Coupe – our new Outreach and Chapel Program Director. We had loads of fun games and plenty of conversation and snacks when the group games ended.  Already we are looking at the next games night this coming Friday (February 1).

How did that happen?  It seems we just had our first social night… time surely does fly.

“For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” (Psalm 90:4)

Thanks for praying for our school and our other ministry programs. We are seeing God at work as He answers prayers prayed since 1957 (or before) for the Deaf of the island to have churches that teach His Word in a way that is accessible for the Deaf. Pray for our students as they have opportunity to learn from the Bible and have opportunity to shine His light in their homes. Pray for our island as crime is increasing and many are still rebuilding their homes and lives 16 months post-hurricanes.

We take time to pray for our supporters – if you have a request, please send it along (by e-mail or snail mail) so that we may pray for YOU.

Give Thanks

November 9th, 2018

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.

 

a happy little family

September 29th, 2018

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.

standing in AWE

September 3rd, 2018

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.

15 school days into the 2018-2019 session

August 31st, 2018

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!

Day 3 of the 2018-2019 school year

August 13th, 2018

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.

April 2018

April 10th, 2018

For more photos, visit our Facebook page.

Today is Tuesday April 9, 2018.

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:

  1. 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 🙂
  2. 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.
  3. 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.