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.
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) !!
Since school started in August, we have been busily studying and creating some poster projects for friends at the San Juan Community Library. We deliver the projects on Monday September 24, 2015.
The students have been learning WHERE in the world our island is located and how it was first settled by Native Tribes from North America. The Taino People who met Columbus in 1493 were originally from South America. After the Native People, Spaniards (Europe) arrived, then came slaves from Africa. Our little island is a crossroads for FOUR continents.
Some of the students are still mis-labelling the world map exercise we do in Social Studies as part of our regular review (name the 7 continents and Puerto Rico on this map) but they are beginning to have a more global knowledge.
We are studying the refugee emigration crisis in Europe and learning about some of the associated countries in Europe, Africa and Asia. As we learn about our place in the world, I am praying that the children will begin to understand that GOD LOVED THE WORLD SO MUCH THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY SON (John 3:16).
We are also working on NOUNS and VERBS and sentence structure; a wide variety of math concepts; how to understand what we are reading (WHO? WHAT DID –DO? WHERE did it happen?) and the time line of the Bible.
We estimate that the first Native People arrived from South America around the time that Abraham and Sarah lived. We estimate that the Tainos arrived around the time of Jesus’ birth. It has been a fun first month of school and I (a teacher) am excited to see what comes along in the next month!
Thanks for praying for us. PRINT THIS staff students 2015 09 if you want to know the names of those for whom you are praying.
We are ending the month of August 2015 and the students are still smiling 🙂 As you can see from the photos above, we have 5 students at this time. We are working on place value and trying to improve memory (hence the bottle of glue pouring into a brain cavity).
Five students – and days often feel overwhelming as each of these students could use a full-time tutor. Each has special needs in addition to requiring that their coursework be presented in visual means. So much out of the classroom time goes into preparing powerpoint and worksheets and captioning pictures and developing specific for THIS child activities to help them learn.
Christie Hoeksema just joined us last week. She is proving to be a valuable resource – (1) because she is fresh and new and has energy! and (2) because she can use technology to make worksheets, flashcards, and materials that are time consuming and (3) because she is Deaf herself and can offer insights when all of the Hearies are rather at a loss for WHAT? is being signed to us by our low language learners.
Thanks for praying along with us this school year.
Larimar and Mizael joined Betsy this year at St Croix Deaf Camp. The three of them traveled to STX on July 6 (because their July 5th flight was canceled). They spent 4 wonderful days with the Deaf camp of STX making new friends and loving every minute of it.
Betsy praises God for the opportunity for the team of three to go. The CSCD students were able to share their faith in private conversations and in Wednesday morning devotional time before the camp day began.
The students loved the whole adventure – from billiards to jumping off the cruise ship pier to eating termites under the supervision of Discovery Grove nature trail staff. They are already asking if they can return next summer. Pray with us as we pray for the Deaf of St Croix – that maybe next summer at Deaf camp, we will see some Deaf adults and have more opportunities to share God’s amazing love.
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!
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).
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.
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.
We have been blessed this week with a Spring Break group from Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster PA. Can I tell you – this group “complained” that they had three days of not WORKing on the front end of their mission trip!
What WORK they did once they got started. I think our TO DO list has diminished by 70%. Some things are just in need of skilled electricians and plumbers, eh?
But the paint has gone on. White trim that was overlooked last spring is now white for real and a classroom that had last been painted in 2005 was painted a lovely shade of lavender.
Some of the team are Phys. Ed. majors and they tortured us, I mean treated us with love and care and WORK OUTS and even made us our own 15 minute work out DVD! We did it on Monday for the first time and today, everyone is finally NOT stiff so we will have another go at it tomorrow.
The group was not afraid to sing at two churches. They were not afraid to go onto the roof. They were not afraid to tutor Deaf kids. They were great examples of what it means to be a Joshua 1:9 disciple of Christ:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Pictured above is a group of young men and women from Hanover PA who came to serve with us November 2 – 8. Having them was a blessing as they came with three teachers who were able to substitute for Betsy so that she was able to attend a conference for educators of the Deaf.
In addition to cleaning, they painted a dorm room, scraped ceilings and enjoyed several inches of rain. The team was predominantly teens and their leaders were ever present faithful servants during the week. It was a joy to get to know them and to see how God used them in the lives of our staff and students.
Our next work team is not scheduled until March 2015. There will be lots for them to do!