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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 readworks.org

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.

Thanks!

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!

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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.

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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

 

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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

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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.

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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.

Merry Christmas in Puerto Rico

December 23rd, 2015

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December 18: we celebrated our end of semester with the families of the students and the Palmas Community Church Outreach Committee. The student handbell choir performed at their best ever much to the delight of the director and those listening.

We had a wonderful leisurely celebration, enjoyed the food and fellowship, enjoyed the culmination of our Godly Ornaments advent series, and exchanged hugs and waves of “See you next year!” as students and guests drove away.

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And then we were ready for some Christmas light sightings: Old San Juan and Fajardo both have light displays worth the effort.  Saturday some of the staff went into Old San Juan and others went to Fajardo. How lovely to see that the Light of the World is celebrated in our country.  Continue to pray that the doors and lights will remain open and onto God and His Word.

Challenging times are coming as policies change and the world responds to godless influences. Pray that Puerto Rican Christians can be a strong influence for God-honoring practices and teachings to remain in the mainstream.

They heard the BELLS before Christmas day!

December 19th, 2015

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The student handbell choir performed EIGHT times in the past three weeks!

Our NEW Adult Deaf Handbell Choir also performed TWICE in the past week.

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Our school Christmas party was lovely – the children signed songs, the bells rang, the parents cried at appropriate times, the food was massive in quantity and in flavor, no one hurried away and the cleanup happened.

We thank God for each of you and your prayers for our ministry to the Deaf here in Luquillo. Look forward to seeing you again in January 2016!  Happy Holidays (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Epiphany/Kings’ Day) !!

 

 

December Schedule 2015

December 4th, 2015

We have such a busy schedule for the next two weeks:

Tuesday (8 Dec) and Wednesday (9 Dec) the handbell choir will be performing for some organizations who have been very helpful to our school.

Sunday (13 December) the combined efforts of our NEW ADULT Handbell Choir and our student handbell choir will be performing in Bible Baptist Church of Luquillo at 10  a.m.

Wednesday (16 December) the students on bells and guitars will be performing at the Palmas Community Church in Humacao in the evenings (7 p.m. I think)

And our Christmas celebration party will be 18 December at some time before 3 p.m.

With all of these dates and busy events in front of us, it would be easy to forget that Christmas is a time to think more carefully about God and enjoy the peace that He can give us.  To help each of us keep our focus on GOD (and not on receiving gift and playing bells), we have just completed “40” days of thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving through American Thanksgiving) during which time, we talked daily about things we are thankful for.  One of the students wasn’t sure that AIR was something we needed to give thanks for… but she soon decided that it could be on the list,

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During this Advent season, we are doing 15 school days of meditating on God’s character and how God changes our lives. The theme “adORN your life with ORNaments pleasing to God” has translated into ASL as “Decorate your life for God’s glory”.  As we decorate the chapel Christmas tree with Bible verses written on cards placed inside clear Christmas ornament balls, we each write our own observation about the verses and place them onto decorations that each has made – a wreath, a wee Christmas tree, a light box, a poster.

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Busy busy busy

November 21st, 2015

The students have been learning so much.  It’s been a fun season of seeing them as they refine their skills socially and academically.

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In October, we visited Dr. Suarez at the University of Puerto Rico in Humacao for National Chemistry month.  We LOVE being in his lab and seeing science in action. It’s always amazing.

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Philip Tomlinson returned at the end of October and got into repairing the front fence/gate. Seems a post had rotted and the fence was laying on the gate thereby rendering the gate non-functional. Philip and Valie got it repaired in short order.

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Juan is learning and growing and always so happy.  Please pray for the students and workers as we continue to strive together to learn more about the world and about its Creator.

 

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