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They heard the BELLS before Christmas day!

December 19th, 2015

Christmas 2015 17 (1)

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.

Christmas 2015 18 (1)

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.

 

Juan 2015 11

With These Hands

June 11th, 2015

Male and Deaf role models and volunteers! This semester we were blessed to have two Christian deaf men, Philip Tomlinson and Valie Carrillo, working at our school. Philip is from Canada and worked in the dorms in the 1980s. He returned this semester with the hope of being a frequent long-term visitor. In his time here, he was able to accomplish many odd maintenance jobs around the school and counsel with many Deaf people who are seeking God’s Word. What a blessing he has been to us and other people!

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Valie lives close to the school, attends a local church, and is a skilled carpenter. He has recently started volunteering with us. He is a big help both with grounds maintenance and in the classroom teaching math and assisting our students with their class work.

We are very thankful to both Philip and Valie for their work around the school and the relationships that they have formed with our students. They have been wonderful role models, especially for our young male students, of Christian Deaf adults who are growing in God’s Word.

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Additionally, we are thankful for Brendan Yoder who has been our resident maintenance man. Brendan and Rebekah and their kids are great models of what a Christian family can be. The Yoders also help with chapel time where Brendan has been using creative powerpoints to help to transmit the Gospel of John to our students.

Surf the Bible and Sins forgiven

NUMBERS!

Which was more important, the one thief on the next cross (Luke 23:40) or the 5000 gathered on the mountainside (Matthew 14:13)? The 99 sheep in the fold or the 1 that strayed (Luke 15:4)? The widow’s mite (Luke 21:1&2) or the gifts of the wealthy?

Many people are concerned with numbers. We count the number of days in our school year. We count the number of students in the classroom. Right now, we have less than a handful of students. Is a low student population any reason to serve less joyfully? Are these few students not of value in God’s sight?

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Deaf ministry is a one to one ministry. When Jesus Christ healed a deaf person (Mark 7:31), the Bible tells us Jesus “took him aside, away from the crowd” (Mark 7:33). That is exactly what we do daily – take these few deaf children aside, away from the crowd and minister to them in Jesus’ name. At CSCD, our students find acceptance and an environment conducive to communication where in the hearing world they are often marginalized and isolated. At CSCD, we let our students know they are loved by God and created for His purposes in their lives.

He reveals the deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him! Daniel 2:22

Times are changing but God has not changed. He continues to provide for the needs of the ministry and the workers. He continues to bring students and workers. Few people are willing to give up the comforts of home to serve the Lord with gladness. This month there are three full-time workers where last year there were only two. We are told to “Ask the Lord of the Harvest to send out workers” (Matthew 9:38).

A few years ago, our ministry submitted to a review by an outside ministry consultant. He described the ministry as “reaching the least and the lost”. We will continue with God’s grace to reach the least of these for His glory. And we will continue to pray that the Lord of the Harvest will strength our hands to work in this field and provide new hands to continue and to grow the work. Thank you for praying with us.

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Parent ASL classes! We are honored to congratulate Deynira Matos and Mariela de la Cruz  for completing one semester of American Sign Language classes! It is estimated that about 90% of parents who have deaf children never learn Sign Language and sadly have very minimal communication with their children. This semester, two of the mothers of our students accepted the challenge and came to weekly Sign Language classes. Deynira has been taking classes on and off for the past several years and knows a good amount of Sign Language. This was Mariela’s first Sign Language course and she is learning at a rapid speed- she even asked to continue the course through the summer! CONGRATULATIONS DEYNIRA AND MAIRELA!!!

Students receive awards

Meet our longest attending student! Mizael is 12 years old. He began school with us when he was about 2 years old giving him 10 years of learning already. His recent job goal relates to FBI and spying. Mizael won the Surf the Bible challenge this year.

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Meet our newest student/visitor! Yajaira, 16, is a member of the Santos family who lives in Orocovis. She arrived to our school on April 18 and was with us until May 23. Yajaira has been in the public school system and has not yet learned how to read, write, or do basic arithmetic. In the short time that she has been here, we have noticed that she has a deep desire to learn to read books! We are thankful that God has placed her here for a visit and are prayerfully looking forward to her possible return in August for the new school year if that is God’s will. Please pray for the Santos family in Orocovis and how God would use us to make an eternal impact on their lives for Him.

Meet our youngest student! Juan is 9 years old and has been a full-time student with us since he was 7. Before that, Juan came to school part-time as we had no dorm staff and his family lives on a neighboring island. We are thankful for short-term workers who have made it possible for Juan to stay in the dorm. Juan has been helping a Deaf dairy farmer with his cows on Tuesdays as we introduce him to career options.

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Meet our oldest student! Larimar, 14 years old (above right), loves God, dogs and cats and children. She came to us at the age of 7 with minimal linguistic skills. She once said she would like to be a veterinary technician until she found out she may have to cut into an animal in order to fix it. More recently, Larimar has declared a job at PetSmart as her career goal.

Box Tops for Education!

This year our school won the award for the most box tops collected in Puerto Rico! This school year we received a total of $2,128.20 from the Boxtop redemption program. This is over $700 more than we raised last school year! THANK YOU to all who faithfully send us your Boxtops; our school, staff and students are all blessed by your contribution.

The Newcomers Club of San Juan

We are pleased to be on the list of charitable organizations helped by the Newcomers Club of San Juan. The Newcomers Club of San Juan was established over 45 years ago to give people new to the area the opportunity to meet and develop friendship with others who live on the island. Membership is open to new arrivals as well as to established Puerto Rico residents. The Newcomers Club partners with us by providing volunteers and material support for the work of the school.

2015 school year celebration

May 31st, 2015

May 21 was our Closing the Year/Awards Program.

We had a great end of the school year.  The students worked to help decorate the chapel and practice the handbells. Tuesday we completed final exams.  Wednesday someone invited us to their pool for a relaxing fun day. And Thursday we CELEBRATED!

Students receive awards

It was wonderful to present awards to the students for their hard work during the school year.

We had been trying to help Juan understand that doing wrong things brings consequences. We had the idea to write Juan’s misdeeds on little pieces of paper and put them into a jar. The goal was to torch the papers as an illustration of how God forgives our sins — tramples them (Micah 7:19), removes them as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12), buries them in the deepest sea (again, Micah 7:19).

Surf the Bible and Sins forgiven

I looked at Juan as I pulled out the “sin jar” and his face was priceless – surprise, shame, wanting the jar to disappear. Brendan made sure to torch the papers and remove the fire from the chapel before something bad happened. And Juan was RELIEVED.

We ended our program with What a Friend We Have In Jesus (this link is not our video)signed by Carlos, played by guitars and violins, sung in harmony by Rosa and Hector.

And then we had lunch and time to chat and enjoy the students and their guests. It was a lovely relaxing time and I thank God for the peaceful end to this school year.

Pray for the students as they are at home and as we see them in the summer. Ask God to help them to remember His Word and draw closer to Him.

Tree-lined Adventure

May 1st, 2015

tree lined road 2015 05 01

For so long, we have wanted to walk a piece of closed road at the beginning of road 983. This morning, after Favorite Song Friday chapel time, Betsy drove the students and three staff members to the road and dropped them off.

What a beautiful walk from one end to the other! The students and staff enjoyed the small adventure and returned to class to their spelling test of the week. They all passed with flying colors.

We have 3 weeks left in this school year.  Pray for the students and their attention spans and their teachers also.  Pray that no time would be wasted but that each of us will be good stewards of the time God gives us together.

Visitors from Camuy

April 24th, 2015

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A great week is ending. We started on Monday with a group of signing (hearing and Deaf) visitors from Camuy PR. The rest of the week, we enjoyed the company of David and Mary Chase who are repeat visitors. It has been a refreshing and learning experience all around as we have enjoyed new and old friends.

Pray with us for the remaining 19 days of classes and our closing of the school year activities on May 21.

Facelift for the school

April 1st, 2015

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The LAST bit of paint has been painted (I hope) and our buildings are as blue and white as they will ever be thanks to the last efforts of our recent work team. How nice to look out and see the soffits and edges are white.

 

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A work team of two came up with the idea of re-painting our street sign sign and used our new logo. Our own Rosa finished off the signs by adding SIGNS 🙂 announcing DEAF SCHOOL.

 

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And finally on March 26, 2015, our sign guy came and installed our new sign on the front of the building. His instructions include trimming the tree on the right more regularly so that the sign is more visible.

Additionally, we received the document declaring Christian School and Chapel for the Deaf Inc to be a tax-exempt/charitable institution by the Puerto Rican government.  We had received this notification by the USA Internal Revenue service previously and are thankful that we have been granted this status by Puerto Rico as well.

This week (March 30 to April 3) is Holy Week in Puerto Rico.  We are closed for Easter Break and some time to rest and regroup before the last 35 days of classes.  We are looking forward to a visit by a group of ASL students from Highpoint Christian Academy Saturday April 4 through Thursday April 9.

Pray for our students.  Pray for the needs of the Deaf in Puerto Rico.

Check out other web pages as additions and changes have been made today!  Thanks for praying and thanks for stopping by our website.

Super Deafy Day!

October 29th, 2014

WOW  Friday October 24 was so FUN!

Since we were having visitors from everywhere who had come a few days early to go on a Deaf Freedom Cruise leaving October 25, we had an open house and invited lots of Deaf from the island as well.

Here you see Juan – our youngest student at this time at 8 years old – and his Deaf distant cousin who was one of the first students here back in 1960. (to see any photos in a larger format, click on the pictures)

The string of people are students frooldest youngestm the past lined up by date of departure.  It was great to see them and to know that these folks are doing well in their adult lives thanks to the staff of missionaries who helped them along the way.

(Below left) The students did a little story telling prompted by Peppy – a Deaf visitor who was helping them to learn a Number Story in ASL.

(center) A Sprint representative whose name I never did catch shared some news from Sprint introduced several other famsuper deafy day 2014ous deaf people like the iDeaf News guys.

(right) Super Deafy shared his story and moderated a time of celebrating success stories and encouraging my students to be all that they can be. Look for his movie – No Ordinary Hero!  Let me know if you see it because we want to but it’s not around here.

We had lunch together.  Some of the former students gathered in a classroom and shared stories. More visitors came.  visitors 2014 10Our students showed them around and answered questions. It was great fun.

Even though we are a small ministry this year, we can see that God is using us for His glory. Our resident maintenance man and part-time cook pretty much ran the lunch program on Friday.  Rosa, our dorm counselor, was all over the place keeping track of the 8 year old and helping with this and that.  Betsy, our principal and teacher, was fielding questions, helping taxi drivers locate the school, delegating students to groups of visitors for tours and running her feet off.

We  praise God for this little spot of time we had and pray that as our guests came and went they will have seen God’s hand at work here.