February is often a month of guests and Feb 2019 was just that.
We started with 8 visitors from Pennsylvania (we enjoyed an afternoon with them at the beach and lots of fun times in the dining room)
followed by our principal’s mother (above photo far right, lady in the center in the white sweatshirt) and sister who also came to visit (purple shirt person). While they were staying at the school, our friends Tim (center photo adult red shirt) and Pam also came to the island (they rented a place off of the school grounds) and while they were hanging out with us, we had our own Bible Challenge Week with Brother Dan Knickerbocker and his lovely wife Anne Marie.
Brother Dan spoke with us the last four afternoons of February – challenging us to think wisely, speak Biblically, and to share our faith effectively. We enjoyed having Dan and AnneMarie for lunches during the week and some time to chat with them. Dan and AnneMarie have been ministering to churches on the island having been invited to Maranatha Baptist Church for a weekend of special services.
God’s goodness to us is amazing over and over again. We are SO THANKFUL for the ways He provides and protects our ministry here. Continue to pray for workers – teachers, a cook, people to work along with us as we develop outreach programs with our Deaf adult friends and for teens in need of tutoring and discipleship. The work is great and the laborers are few and aging! We are trusting God to send younger workers who will carry the ministry forward as our older workers begin to think about lightening their workload.
Meanwhile, we are praising God for the strength He gives our bones and our muscles!
thanks for visiting today!
The first Friday of every month, we have OPEN HOUSE and invite ANYONE in to play games with us in the school multi-purpose building. WHAT FUN it is to catch up with our friends in the area!
Our games night in January was led by Mike and Glenda Coupe – our new Outreach and Chapel Program Director. We had loads of fun games and plenty of conversation and snacks when the group games ended. Already we are looking at the next games night this coming Friday (February 1).
How did that happen? It seems we just had our first social night… time surely does fly.
“For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” (Psalm 90:4)
Thanks for praying for our school and our other ministry programs. We are seeing God at work as He answers prayers prayed since 1957 (or before) for the Deaf of the island to have churches that teach His Word in a way that is accessible for the Deaf. Pray for our students as they have opportunity to learn from the Bible and have opportunity to shine His light in their homes. Pray for our island as crime is increasing and many are still rebuilding their homes and lives 16 months post-hurricanes.
We take time to pray for our supporters – if you have a request, please send it along (by e-mail or snail mail) so that we may pray for YOU.
The BIG NEWS of the day is NO CLASSES NEXT WEEK! Monday, November 19 is the celebration of Columbus’ arriving to Puerto Rico, thus we are closed. Thursday is American Thanksgiving so we are closed Thursday and Friday. The public school system did not see it necessary to open for 2 days so we are closed for the week. SO Friday, November 16 we had a small Thanksgiving lunch with the students. Diego was underwhelmed…he thought we were having a grand party. THAT will be November 30. If you in the area, come on by!
Now for an entertaining moment:
A theme around the school is NOT TO PLAY WITH. We use it regularly. Natalia, our tiniest student, has learned that Roxy the brown dog is NOT TO PLAY WITH. While doing a photo shoot for the school calendar (see ABOUT US/OUR CALENDAR), Roxy snuck up on Natalia and licked her cheek. Look at those pictures. Does Roxy look like she was trying to get away with something there?
Later Natalia was seen closing herself into the classroom behind the security bars. We thank God that she was inside the NEXT day as it was rainy. The large bull seen in the next picture frolicked in a panic through the courtyard mid afternoon. He is still in the lower field… maybe we don’t need to buy a new lawn mower after all!
For your amusement, our puppy Hephzibah (we call her Zyba) was last seen gnawing on conch shells she has removed from the plant beds. We toss them back into the foliage, she wrangles them back to the courtyard. Funny pup.
Some of our friends have let me know that the goodsearch.com service is not working. Yep. They changed their site to goodsearch.ORG. https://www.goodshop.com/nonprofit/christian-school-and-chapel-for-the-deaf-inc-
I see that link says goodSHOP.com which is an extension of goodSEARCH.org – if you buy online, they give a % back to us also. So if you buy online, consider the possibilities.
Check out the earnings YOU and US together have made for the school! CLICK HERE
So go to the goodsearch.org website and enter our name as the charity of your preference so your online searches can benefit our ministry here.
For more photos, visit our Facebook page.
Today is Tuesday April 9, 2018.
This week, there is only one student in the classroom, and she is not feeling well so we are taking some time to have water and mint tea and rest. Our other student is presently on a vacation with his family. Pray for our students and their families–
- pray for their health
- pray for their vehicles
- pray for their jobs
- pray for their children and the special needs of the deaf child in particular
- pray for their desire to know and serve God.
Pray for our witness to them as we come alongside and pray for them, talk with them, encourage them, cry with them, share God’s love with them.
In the pictures above:
- a digger was doing some work removing debris in the parking area across from the school. We asked if he could move this tree trunk for us and he did. In exchange, we provided housing for the digger for two nights 🙂
- the sky has been so blue and clear. We are having the Spring dryness that precedes the wet weeks of May. In May we tend to have some flooding… nothing spectacular but with so many people still living with blue tarp roofs, I know we could use less rain. Though the plants are wanting more rain. Thank God that HE KNOWS and in His sovereignty, He will provide.
- First Friday Fun! The first Friday evening of every month, we have a games and fellowship night for the Deaf and those interested in practicing sign language. This month our regular group of attendees showed up and we rejoiced with those that have had their power restored recently.
Continue to pray for Puerto Rico as we approach Hurricane Season 2018 and continue to recover from Hurricane Season 2017. It’s been a rough ride and God has been our Provider of grace in time of need.
Pray with us about:
- the need for teachers so that we can take in new students
- the need for workers so that we can reach out to families around the island – with home Bible studies, friendship, discipleship
- the need for workers so that we can begin a Literacy Course for Deaf Adults.
- the need for workers to help begin Adult Education Classes for the Deaf (plus provide child care)
The needs may seem small but for the isolated community of Deaf persons spread about Puerto Rico, the loneliness and lack of support is huge. Pray with us as we seek to be God’s Hands to this community.
Most schoolday mornings, I hear HOOT HOOT from the mail man and say RUN!
The kids love charging to the gate and carrying back the parcels that are coming in.
I have to tell you, YOU and your boxes are making these kids lives (and MINE) so much fun. And FUN seems to be a little lacking. We are still in the shadow of the storm… trees are just beginning to grow leaves again. Stores are beginning to have meat again. Some people have electricity —intermittently as it shuts down again for another reason or fault in the line.
But a box arrives and WOW! LOOK! Beef jerky was once a foreign word and now it’s a great delicious surprise inside the larger box. Trail mix!! Who knew that would go over so well? And we mix our own from the tins and jars you send when there is no “trail mix” in the box. A few nuts from New York. Some dried apricots from Kansas. M&Ms from Pennsylvania. Cashews from Maryland. All tossed into the classroom container. Then someone’s mother says, “Hey that looks good…” and a ziplock baggie of it is given to the family!
Batteries! We still collect them – AA for some flashlights, AAA for others, D for the larger lanterns. When our collection overflows the confines we have delineated, we give the overflow to people in our churches, the students’ families, random visitors who mention the need.
I took several packages to church one Sunday with baggies of Starburst candy. Imagine a child being more excited for the batteries than the candy! One little girl held up the 4 pack of AA batteries and said, “Mommy look. My flashlight stopped working last night and now I have new batteries for it!” Praise God for YOUR generosity in sending.
Stores are not stocking up on batteries. They are sold out almost as soon as the boxes are opened. School lunches are most often dehydrated foods or rice and beans supplemented with canned meats or ‘refrigerate after opening’ meats.
Thanks for making the morning mail run so much fun! You brighten the lives of our students as you serve God with your creative parcel making. We are trying to respond to each parcel received – the students are practicing HOW TO WRITE A LETTER and so is their teacher because while is it more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), we as receivers feel SO blessed and want to give you our thanks.
Larimar wrote this in English class today as we were practicing the verbs JUGGLE, JOT, JUMP, JOIN, JOKE and JEER:
In the morning, the man jumps up from the bed. He goes to the bathroom and he sees his face in the mirror and then he washes his face in the bathroom.
Next, he will have a new job and he will try to join the job as a writer. He will jot smartly. And he will have a lot to juggle as a writer.
So one night, the writers told him, “Hey, we were writers so now you are the new writer?”
He said, “Yes, I am the new writer.”
Then the writers tried to joke with him about being the new writer. They said, “Will you come with s to go for beer?”
He said, “No. I am not going to drink beer and I am a Christian and I am the follower of God.”
So the writers laughed and jeered at him. But he knew they are not good writers for the people. He knew he will tell people about God’s love for them and that God is with you.
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.
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.