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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
38 days remain in the 2015-2016 school year. The students have been enthusiastic learners and recently we had seen fruit from their labors:
Maria has learned to smile and say “Please” when asking questions. Mizael noticed that the hours of sunshine are lengthening and explained the tilt and rotation and revolution of the planet. Juan has begun to work faster on his written work and is telling amazing stories (truth and fiction mixed). Larimar is increasing her vocabulary and holding onto the words. The teachers are all excited to see these fruits in the lives of the students.
Paying attention IS a job skill and seeing the students give their undivided attention during class time is also an encouragement.
Of course, we continue to include hands-on learning. After reading Mr Ferris and His Wheel, Juan and Maria built a k-nex ferris wheel as part of their science class. Learning to work together, to follow directions, and to trouble shoot difficulties are also great skills to develop in life.
Pray for the next 38 class days – that the students will continue to grow in knowledge and in application of God’s Word in their lives.
Lancaster Bible College has come to us with a work team again this March. These people KNOW how to work! In fact, they worked so much during the past five rainy days, they earned an extra half day of sight seeing. This morning, (Thursday 10 March) they are off to see El Yunque and then Old San Juan for the afternoon. Tomorrow, we are all going to the beach for some fun and playing together. Saturday evening they leave – so we are not sure of the Saturday plans. Probably a little more sleep and then some cleaning of their dorms.
It’s been a good week with them – seeing the Bible stories they have presented in clever and entertaining ways, learning more of those characters presented – Joseph, Ruth, Samuel – to name a few.
Several of the girls served as substitute teacher for Betsy who was out with a cold a few days. Most have been working on grounds work, painting, scraping, cleaning, and generally helping in a variety in places. We are excited to see God work in their lives and in our lives as we spend time together.
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.
The students have been learning so much. It’s been a fun season of seeing them as they refine their skills socially and academically.
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.
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.
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.
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.