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February ending already?

February 24th, 2018

February began in the dark (still on generator) but by the night of the 6th we were running on real electricity again.  Now we are in the stage of most Puerto Ricans… off again on again. The generator is still here and we use it weekly at least. But SO happy to have electricity flowing most of the time.

The lights came on in time for Sam and Marty Mosely and children to come stay with us for a week.  Sam (Phelps) had worked here in 2002-2003 so she was familiar.  They worked on a new sports room wall and other chores around the school.

We are excited to see hurricane repairs beginning… still working on estimates for the insurance company and hoping that our insurance pays for most of the fixes.  The list is shrinking bit by bit and we look forward to a team of skilled workers coming in March.

We are not having the usual Spring Break teen/college groups this year.  Too much to be done that is requiring skilled workers.  If you happen to know an electrician, welder, carpenter, painter(s), landscaper/tree removal persons, floor tiler… bring them down!  (But let us know so we can have things ready for that particular job and make sure we have beds and pillows ready. – Send an e-mail to and you will get a quick reply… if the Internet is working… because well, that line has not been re-attached to the grid yet.)

This weekend, Sprint (who has supplied the Deaf community and CSCD with a generator and satellite internet service) brought us a party!  How fun to gather with our friends and students and families and just relax.  Chef Vivoni (Puerto Rican Star Chef) created a yummy rice dish that was not a paella even though made in a paella pan.

We had a lovely time relaxing on the freshly cleaned basketball court under the Sprint tents and with our own umbrellas and picnic tables. Even a few vehicles stuck in the mud did not dampen the joy of the day.

Continue to pray for the people of Puerto Rico as many are still without electrical service. This link will take you to the Authority of Electric Energy (AEE) website if you want to have a go at understanding what is happening.  It’s in Spanish (FYI).

In English, THESE sites have some information: (good article but I don’t KNOW this group or their financial policies so don’t donate unless you check them out and are in agreement with them.)

Thanks for reading along today and praying along daily for us.





Back to school in 2018

January 20th, 2018

We returned to the CLASSROOM on January 8 2018 after a 2 week Christmas+Holidays Break.

In November and December, we were using the back of the chapel as our classroom due to the absence of electricity and the FEMA generator powering the classroom and chapel. It was a lovely change for us (rather than working in the dark or running a smaller generator to get some lights in the classroom) but it’s good to be back in the classroom at last.

We were able to get things running more normally again by purchasing a solar energy system for the classroom building. We were only able to do that because of YOU who sent donations to help us in our time of need. As we are still without electricity from the street, we are SO thankful for solar energy and how it has enabled us to continue our work.

Our telephone landline and our internet cable are still coiled and dangling in front of the school dining room entrance which is in need of replacement or repairs (a carpenter will know what is needed there) so we are again thankful for the FEMA and SPRINT response of satellite internet for the Deaf community to have a communications alternative.

This semester so far has had a Home Ec focus as the students pitch in daily for Make Your Meals. Friday afternoons we have spent time with visitors practicing social skills, communication skills and hospitality skills (oh do I have some blogs to write!). It’s been a good return to learning and we look forward to more cooking and sharing.

Yesterday, we ate a salad made entirely by Edgar and had birthday cake made entirely by Larimar.  We also had spaghetti and we served it to our returned snow bird Philip and his new wife Norma Elena, our Deaf friends Lourdes and Chris, Deborah and her family visiting for the moment and our daily helpers Valie and Jerry. Edgar was surprised when he was asked to SERVE the cake, not just eat it.  WHAT ABOUT ME? he asked.  He was told, FIRST HELP LAST EAT.  He did. It is never too early to teach children that service with a smile is a good rule of life.

While we waited for our guest of honor to arrive and after lunch also, we played some card games. So interesting to watch as students and visitors play together. At one time, Edgar said, THAT LITTLE GIRL KNOWS SIGN LANGUAGE I said, “Yes, her mom is Deaf and so she talks to her mom.”

He looked at the mom. I said, “You and she are both Deaf.  Both talk with hands not with voice.” She smiled at him and said, “Yes I am Deaf. My children sign to me. You are Deaf, you sign too.”

All kinds of learning are happening.

Thanks for your prayers as we continue to generate power and as we continue to learn more about ourselves and our Almighty God!

ye faithful

December 24th, 2017

As I sit here in the school chapel, with two dogs snoozing on the platform and the generator purring around the corner, I am contemplating Christmas Eves of the past…

  • snowy ones as a kid in Pennsylvania
  • warm ones as I came to be at home here
  • packing and cleaning ones when I realized that Christmas DAY flights are a little cheaper
  • content ones as I learned to enjoy whatever place I was in and to be content
  • discontent ones as I wanted to be where I was not
  • sad ones as I became reminiscent over deaths during the past year and who was missing
  • happy ones as I enjoyed the antics of new little relatives or friends’ babies

Today, I am of mixed emotions. Our hurricanes of September still effect us today – hence the generator purring in the background.  My gift bag is packed and I am contentedly digesting the church’s Christmas lunch and mentally processing the  evening’s possible foods at the Christmas Eve party I will be attending.

I am a little on the melancholy side thinking of

  • Students who left in the past year, in the past month, who were not here on Friday for our end of the year luncheon,
  • Staff who left and relocated in the past year,
  • Huge blessings of YE FAITHFUL who have prayed for us through this year, these YEARS, these hurricane recovery times…
  • God’s wisdom, goodness, and infinite love and peace to hold up this ministry through the recent economic tough times and hurricane recovery times…

As I think of YE FAITHFUL – I know there are readers whose relationship to the school precedes mine and I’ve been around 33 years. I think of YE FAITHFUL who have prayed and cared for this ministry since 1957. I think of YE FAITHFUL who were praying for Deaf ministries before that! I think of YE FAITHFUL who have responded to hearing about a hurricane by sending supplies and money for more supplies and calling to volunteer your hands and sweat to work with us.

I think of YE new FAITHFUL who are praying TODAY about serving God and about when and about where. Here’s the challenge: we need YE new FAITHFUL for the next thing God is doing here.

  • We need teachers who will come and stay and teach Deaf adults Spanish literacy skills and disciple Deaf young people for our Saviour;
  • We need support workers who will maintain the grounds and vehicles and buildings so that the others can do the discipleship work;
  • We need YE new FAITHFUL to build a team that is united in the vision of seeing Deaf Youth and Adults grow in Christ.

As I think of the song, O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL… Well, is it YOU who God is calling to come here?  And what has kept you from responding? Is now the time to send that e-mail ( or make the contact (well, other means are so less reliable these days so stick to e-mail for now? or snail mail HC-01 Box 7111, Luquillo PR 00773).

I am SO thankful for YE FAITHFUL and praising God already for His work to bring in the YE new FAITHFUL who will carry this work into the next 60 years (because our first documents are dated 1957 so that was the first 60 years.) God is preparing this property for YE new FAITHFUL who will be coming.  Kind of like John the Baptizer preparing the way for Jesus’ ministry years. The preparations are happening, now, who is coming to carry on the work?

That’s my Christmas Eve 2017 pondering. Pray with us for YE new FAITHFUL ones and their coming.

Excited to see what God does with us, through us and around us in the coming weeks, I am your servant and the school director, Betsy Hoke

Student Author: Larimar

October 26th, 2017

Larimar wrote this in English class today as we were practicing the verbs JUGGLE, JOT, JUMP, JOIN, JOKE  and JEER:

In the morning, the man jumps up from the bed. He goes to the bathroom and he sees his face in the mirror and then he washes his face in the bathroom.

Next, he will have a new job and he will try to join the job as a writer. He will jot smartly.  And he will have a lot to juggle as a writer.

So one night, the writers told him, “Hey, we were writers so now you are the new writer?”

He said, “Yes, I am the new writer.”

Then the writers tried to joke with him about being the new writer. They said, “Will you come with s to go for beer?”

He said, “No. I am not going to drink beer and I am a Christian and I am the follower of God.”

So the writers laughed and jeered at him.  But he knew they are not good writers for the people.  He knew he will tell people about God’s love for them and that God is with you.

The End

hurricane Irma closes CSCD for the week of 5 September

September 5th, 2017

Three weeks into the school year and we have a MAJOR HOLIDAY on our hands.  What was to be long weekend for Labor Day has become a longer break due to Hurricane Irma.

Predictions include 175 mph sustained winds and the word “catastrophe” is being used a lot. At least our students don’t KNOW the word CATASTROPHE yet.  (what a teachable moment we are having without them here – booo) They are looking forward to life without electricity so they can see the stars better! That made me smile when a student told me that!

Other predictions include not having electricity restored to the entire island for 4 to 8 months. We normally have 40 days without electricity.  Hopefully that will be the norm again this time.  Asking the parents, they all agree that school can happen in the cool of the dark classroom and that life without iPads can happen.

We hope to be in class again on Monday morning, September 11, 2017.  Betsy, our main teacher, is preparing lessons which rely on BOOKS and PAPER rather than electronic devices.

Thanks for your prayers.

Since some have asked, our link for donations for hurricane relief is HERE.  Or at the top right corner of this page where the word DONATE resides.  Our policy is to use your gifts first for repairs at the SCHOOL and if there are designated hurricane relief funds above those needs, we will pass those donations on to student families or neighbors of the school or other Deaf families in need of financial aid.  Sometimes, we will make the purchases for the families in need so that we can KNOW the money is being used for THAT purpose and not for other things.  You understand.  Anyway, if you want to help, that’s the easy way.  A little harder, you write a check and mail it.  Scroll down on that page for the mailing address.

Of course, you can always just send a letter.  The mail box is a huge encourager when the electronic mail box is inaccessible.

We hope to update you as soon as electricity is restored.  If that’s in a week or a month… then it will happen.  Of course, we can always go to an access point that HAS electricity even when our campus out in the country still is without that blessing.

Thanks for your prayers for our safety and for our students’ and friends’ safety as well.


back to school 2017

August 18th, 2017

August 14 – first day of school!

We had one student.  The other three were at appointments or simply had difficulties arriving in a timely fashion.  Nonetheless, we were blessed by the Palmas Community Church as they brought backpacks for our students and their siblings. (picture on left below)

August 15 – second day of school!

Everyone was present!  We kicked off the first day of full attendance with our Science emphasis focusing on the eclipse that will be happening on August 21.  All week (well except for Day 4 which saw only one student again as the others were flooded away from the school) we have been talking about galaxies, sun, rotation, revolutions, stars, planets… It has been a fun week in the classroom.  While speaking of creation and God’s workmanship, we visited the apartment kitchen above the classrooms to see the workmanship of new cupboards that took place during the summer (center photo above).

We have explored the age of the universe by reading the Bible, created models of the sun, earth and moon to walk through what is a solar eclipse and had a guest speaker who has an interest in astronomy.  Our chapel is decorated as if we are walking in outer space (see backgrounds in the photos above and below)— heads in the stars and hopefully provoking the imagination of the endlessness of our universe as well as the endlessness of God’s love.

We created our own stars by making constellations of nails and then wrapping string around them in patterns or in arrays.  We read articles about the solar system at

We have downloaded various apps to our devices so that we can “view” constellations in daylight and watch as the moon moves closer and closer to the sun.  Excitement is mounting as we await the eclipse on Monday at 2:11 our time.  We have had some RAIN this week so homework assignments of “observe the stars” were incomplete but we are hopeful that Monday will bring sunshine and blue skies for the event we have been hoping to witness.

Friday afternoons are often a little messy here as students go home early and our adult handbell ringers arrive for practice. This Friday, the students asked questions they had been formulating all week – Aliens? Diamond planets? Blue stars? – which we looked up on the Internet and youtube. How wonderful to have access to those resources! We also had art class and drew very inaccurate representations of the solar system.

All in all, the school year was kicked off and celebrated well. We are thankful for the students we have and prayerful about the staff we need to be able to reach more Deaf children for Christ.  The task is daunting as we meet Deaf adults and children with very limited understanding of signed and printed languages… there is the need to begin with the basics of WHO?  WHAT?  WHERE?  before we can begin to speak of GOD and SALVATION.  Pray with us for the continuing ministry among the Deaf here.


School Chapel Time

March 3rd, 2017

We have been SO BUSY with school that I am afraid I went the entire month of February without a blog entry!  I hope you are remembering to pray even when I am lax in blogging.

In February, Betsy, our principal and teacher, was out several days with an allergic reaction on her arm.  Of course she did not know that until antibiotics failed and a dermatologist was seen. With the right medications, her arm cleared up quickly and she was able to be back in the classroom.

The students learned 40 adjectives in 2 weeks and completed a 100 item spelling test on Monday February 27.  In celebration, we had lunch from Domino’s pizza and also went to a local pool with some visiting friends to work off excess energy. (Photos above.)

Our daily routine includes lots of singing in chapel.  The students enjoy choosing their favorite songs on Fridays (#favoritesongfriday ) and today was no exception.  There were no less than 8 songs as several students chose more than one favorite.  One of the songs today was a NEW song that surprised us all but when someone chooses, we attempt!

Thanks for your faithfulness in praying along with us and in praising God for His continued blessings.


Was last week only 5 school days long?

September 3rd, 2016

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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.

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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.

Summer Reading 2016

June 17th, 2016



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

Celebrating Milestones

June 7th, 2016

birthday 15 40 2016

Friday, June 3 was our monthly scheduled Social Night.  We love having people over and sharing games, growing friendships and seeing some of our ‘once a month’ visitors.

This month, we celebrated two birthdays – Maria who is now 15 and Irma who is at an age we don’t advertise any longer – though if you look at the photo, you will see her age :-).

Irma was a student here between 1988- 1991 and is active in her local church.  Her husband Valie volunteers with us daily helping by advising as well as in maintaining the property. Irma and Valie are cherished members of our ministry community and we were thankful to be able to celebrate her _0 birthday with her.

Maria is a present student in the school. Turning 15, celebrating her QUINCEANERA is a big deal.  One of our staff drove to Orocovis to bring Maria and her sister and parents to the school for an overnight.  We celebrated her birthday and another staff member drove them home the following morning.

The party times were sweet with cakes, games, friends, and conversation. We were super happy to see Chris Monahan, our CSCD Board President back with us after having been sidelined by a stroke in late April. He is doing well – improving with physical therapy and a patient family who help him.

birthday 15 40 irma maria

Continue to pray for the summer activities around the school and throughout the ministry.  We will be carrying out the basic office work that needs to happen, doing grounds work, and spending time in prayer and preparation for the school year that begins on August 8, 2016.

We are still praying for teachers who are familiar with the Deaf and who know ASL.  In our planning meeting, we have discussed

  • a 9 days every two weeks school schedule, the 10th day to be kept for taking our students to visit Deaf people in remote areas of the island with the intention of befriending, evangelizing, assisting in any way that is needed. We have also discussed
  • further ministry with the Santos Family – what do the parents need and how can we encourage them spiritually, emotionally, and materially?  We want to continue
  • the ASL Silent Workshop teaching and outreach to interpreters and workers in Deaf ministries.

Pray with us for these ministries and for hands to grow the ministries so that more Deaf can be reached for Christ.