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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.

 

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.

 

our new year is starting slowly

January 12th, 2017

Someone’s family member died.  Someone’s car is not working. Someone has a medical appointment.  Someone has an appointment for educational testing.  But TWO students have been in school this week.  Since these two are a little ahead of the others in their linguistic development, we have been taking the time to work on problem solving skills, musical literacy skills and handbells, Bible and life skills, and of course written language skills. It has been a nice quiet calm week. Of course tomorrow is Friday and God alone knows what Friday will hold for us!

Tomorrow night is social night and we are hopeful to have a full house of friends coming by for games and conversation.  The Adult Bell Choir will be rehearsing and hopefully honing our skills.

And then there is the weekend.  We have been under a rain cloud for several days now.  We also have a team of workers who were hoping for some sunshine. Sorry.  Today we sent them to the south side of the island.  Tomorrow they may hit the north-west corner. Saturday they may WORK doing some odd jobs that have accumulated.  If there is any break in the rain, maybe they will hike into the rainforest and enjoy the wetness there.

For now, we are thankful that God is sovereign and has given us a peaceful start to our semester.  Pray for the broken car, the medical appointments, the educational opportunities, the understanding of our students in the face of these situation. Many times, they navigate without an interpreter.  Many times, they come back with questions and want some help with figuring things out. Pray for our insights and wisdom into situations we do not understand!

See you next time!

Model Letter to Request Interpreter

November 16th, 2016

Too often recently, I have heard a complaint that a governmental entity has not called for an interpreter for a Deaf person in need.  Too often recently, I have seen video of such interactions.  Too often recently, I have received a phone call from an agency asking WHY an interpreter was needed…

And so to have this at my fingertips, here is a PDF of a model letter for a Deaf person to give to an agency or office explaining the law and requesting an interpreter be called. I did not write this.  It was given to me by someone who knows more about this than I do.  Yet it is so needed.  It is in Spanish.

Modelo Carta para Persona Sorda  a Entidades

Disponible aqui:

modelo-carta-persona-sorda-a-entidades-pdf

week of November 04 2016

November 6th, 2016

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Our week started with students who wanted to “celebrate” Halloween.  Well, I am not opposed to candy but I am opposed to many aspects of Halloween’s “religious” traditions.  So we got around it by doing “Crazy Hair” and playing some games.

Thanks to our two stylists to their crazy input on the activity!

This year’s handbell choir did their first performance on November 1 with a surprisingly good repertoire. With three fairly young and new ringers, the director of the troupe was nervous but everyone came through with bells on!

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We had some workers around this week – installing a new white board, installing a generator interface for power outages, and power washing everything it seemed.

How beautiful are the feet that bring good news! Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:15 both remind us that Good News comes by way of personal delivery.  How eager we were to receive our guest workers and their news of jobs well-done!  How eager we are to continue to teach the Good News to our students and plant the seeds of God’s Word in their hearts! Pray with us for their hearts to be fertile fields as we plant that precious seed.  Pray for their minds to desire to obey Him always.

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.

Silent Workshop 2016 (first edition)

June 2nd, 2016

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For many years, the staff of our ministry has been praying about beginning Interpreter Development Workshops. We see the struggle of many interpreters in churches (and in paid positions) and want to come alongside them, encourage, develop their skills and see them communicate as effectively as possible with the Deaf people they meet.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14

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This year, our principal found herself surrounded by people who had the time, energy, ideas and desire to help to launch this ministry. We had 12 people who attended all three days and several others who came for one or two days of the three day event.

 

 

It was fun to work together to develop the schedule for the workshops – to see how each person had a different angle on the classes and time frames – and then to see how God brought it all together from paper to action.

silent workshop 2016 05 a We were able to have lots of small group interactions to complement the group teaching sessions. Many of the participants attend churches where there are Deaf members and while they are not interpreting, they simply wanted to learn how to communicate better – both in understanding and in expressing themselves.

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Our third day was all about the fluidity and artistry of signing.  Various groups and several individuals prepared songs to show the things they had learned and could incorporate in their signing.  It was great to see them incorporating new ASL skills into their songs and their conversations.

Check out the schedule: ASL immersion workshop 2016 05 -summary (well, it’s mostly in Spanish but you are welcome to take a look!)

 

ending January 2016

January 24th, 2016

2016 01 students back at the school

So far, 2016 has been a wonderfully peaceful year.  Students are learning – on all levels of learning – academically, spiritually, emotionally, physically.  We love to see this.

Below, you will see Larimar working in class and also hanging out in a hammock.  One day when she was the last student in the classrooms, we tried out the hammock lounge under the new deck. Larimar enjoyed hanging out with the new workers, sharing jokes and stories and enjoying some relaxed time.

In the other photo, Larimar is working on story telling by creating a “quadrama” (like a diorama with four open corners).  She is such a creative young lady and we are so pleased to see her using her talents in ways that honor God. Continue to pray for her and our other students as they learn and grow in His grace.

2016 hammocks