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Tag Archives: missionary

40th annual World Mission to the Deaf Conference

April 18th, 2019

WMD Conference June 8 2019

Click above link for a printable flyer.

June 8, 2019. 3:30 p.m.

Bob Rumball Centre of Excellence for the Deaf

Toronto Ontario Canada

Speaker: Gilberto Martinez,

former student of the Evangelical School for the Deaf

sick kids’ month

March 29th, 2019

This month, I have had more time on my hands to do office and school administration work.  We have only 4 students!  HOW can I have so much admin to do?!

School insurance needs to be kept up.  The school license documents need to be prepared for our renewal of license. Reports need to be written.  IEP (Individual Educational Profiles) need to be kept current. And then there is the accountant and his questions about accounts and payments. Tax season!

So the extra time has been good for the administrator (me) but the extra time has meant that the teacher (me) is not as content as she would normally like to be.

THIS GIRL above pictured has been in a hospital for 2+ weeks now.  She was in hospital 1 for a week, released for 24 hours, returned to the emergency room and was ambulanced to hospital 2 which has better facilities to take care of the complications.  She’s in the Pediatric ICU. I’ve been doing “relief” work so her mom can get home to take care of the other kids a little.  The ICU has good nursing care too which makes it easier for her mom to feel secure in leaving her alone in the hospital for a few hours.

This one thing I KNOW:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

So as I drive to hospital 2 (it’s an hour’s drive away) and as I stand in hospital corridors or sit in hospital chairs and listen to whomever is nearby or talk with Larimar (sometimes she just wants a story and I love to story-tell) this is in my head, in my heart pounding away – the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases… so even though the new results seem worse than the previous study’s results, we are trusting the heart of our ever loving Father in Heaven.

In addition to this saga, my boys are both not in school today due to medical appointments and/or health issues.

Well, Deaf children are often multiply-challenged and so are these. Part of this day and age of working with children is addressing their specific needs in individual ways.  Working out how to get a boy who gets dizzy from lights to do online-work from home… maybe we need to resort to paper and pencil but he’s often too weak or dizzy to use his eyes… so I resort to prayer and seeking God’s peace for HIM (my student and his family) and me.

Pray for me as I walk alongside these families and their children with special SPECIAL needs. May I bring God’s peace and love to the situation. May “a merry heart do good like medicine” (Prov 17:22) and may my merriness not insult the gravity of the situations.

Yesterday I was kidding with Larimar and she started to cry!  NO!  Then her mom said, “What did you say?”

I had said, ” seriously, if you wanted to avoid a book report, we could have made a different plan”

Her mom said, “Don’t lie!  What did you say to upset her?

Larimar said, “She’s telling the truth! (cry cry cry)”

So I found a new subject and we had some more smiles… I left her smiling last night!

Pray that she continues to smile today!

Betsy

 

February: visitors’ month

March 1st, 2019

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!

 

 

ye faithful

December 24th, 2017

As I sit here in the school chapel, with two dogs snoozing on the platform and the generator purring around the corner, I am contemplating Christmas Eves of the past…

  • snowy ones as a kid in Pennsylvania
  • warm ones as I came to be at home here
  • packing and cleaning ones when I realized that Christmas DAY flights are a little cheaper
  • content ones as I learned to enjoy whatever place I was in and to be content
  • discontent ones as I wanted to be where I was not
  • sad ones as I became reminiscent over deaths during the past year and who was missing
  • happy ones as I enjoyed the antics of new little relatives or friends’ babies

Today, I am of mixed emotions. Our hurricanes of September still effect us today – hence the generator purring in the background.  My gift bag is packed and I am contentedly digesting the church’s Christmas lunch and mentally processing the  evening’s possible foods at the Christmas Eve party I will be attending.

I am a little on the melancholy side thinking of

  • Students who left in the past year, in the past month, who were not here on Friday for our end of the year luncheon,
  • Staff who left and relocated in the past year,
  • Huge blessings of YE FAITHFUL who have prayed for us through this year, these YEARS, these hurricane recovery times…
  • God’s wisdom, goodness, and infinite love and peace to hold up this ministry through the recent economic tough times and hurricane recovery times…

As I think of YE FAITHFUL – I know there are readers whose relationship to the school precedes mine and I’ve been around 33 years. I think of YE FAITHFUL who have prayed and cared for this ministry since 1957. I think of YE FAITHFUL who were praying for Deaf ministries before that! I think of YE FAITHFUL who have responded to hearing about a hurricane by sending supplies and money for more supplies and calling to volunteer your hands and sweat to work with us.

I think of YE new FAITHFUL who are praying TODAY about serving God and about when and about where. Here’s the challenge: we need YE new FAITHFUL for the next thing God is doing here.

  • We need teachers who will come and stay and teach Deaf adults Spanish literacy skills and disciple Deaf young people for our Saviour;
  • We need support workers who will maintain the grounds and vehicles and buildings so that the others can do the discipleship work;
  • We need YE new FAITHFUL to build a team that is united in the vision of seeing Deaf Youth and Adults grow in Christ.

As I think of the song, O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL… Well, is it YOU who God is calling to come here?  And what has kept you from responding? Is now the time to send that e-mail (emhoke@cscdluquillo.com) or make the contact (well, other means are so less reliable these days so stick to e-mail for now? or snail mail HC-01 Box 7111, Luquillo PR 00773).

I am SO thankful for YE FAITHFUL and praising God already for His work to bring in the YE new FAITHFUL who will carry this work into the next 60 years (because our first documents are dated 1957 so that was the first 60 years.) God is preparing this property for YE new FAITHFUL who will be coming.  Kind of like John the Baptizer preparing the way for Jesus’ ministry years. The preparations are happening, now, who is coming to carry on the work?

That’s my Christmas Eve 2017 pondering. Pray with us for YE new FAITHFUL ones and their coming.

Excited to see what God does with us, through us and around us in the coming weeks, I am your servant and the school director, Betsy Hoke

Now, we could use your hands…

December 11th, 2017

The island and infrastructure is beginning to recover. A small percentage has electricity.  We do not.  But we have a generator and hope for the day when those trucks come here and restore our lights.

What we really could use are small self sufficient teams of 6 or less WORKers.

  • We need to pressure wash and paint parts of the buildings.
  • We need to remove dead trees from the field and perimeter where we left them after the storm.
  • We need to do some indoor painting.
  • We need to put up new rain spouts.
  • We need to build a new wall and block in a door that blows out too often.
  • We need to do general maintenance on the grounds and buildings – repairing leaky places and revisiting the hot water solar heating units.

But we don’t have electricity yet.  So keep that in mind.

The dorms are your choice of (a) smelly and noisy from the generator but you’d have lights and fans or (b) dark and quiet with an extension cord to run some appliances.

The school kitchen has limited refrigeration space but you could share. And we have a propane gas stove for cooking (i.e. boiling water to add to dehydrated meals).

Contact Betsy at emhoke@cscdluquillo.com or cscdluquillo@gmail.com to arrange a date for your hard workers to come and lend a hand with us.

approaching Christmas

December 4th, 2017

Christmas is a time for JOY!

Our island is regaining GREEN as trees and plants regrow their leaves. The streets and school grounds still bear the scars of the hurricanes from September.  Our electricity is reliable – because we are on a large generator supplied by FEMA with daily deliveries of diesel. We have moved our classes to the school chapel which is powered by the FEMA generator (the classroom is on a small generator for which we buy the gas and oil and take care of maintenance).

With all of that still happening around us, we are trying to embrace CHRISTmas – the celebration of Christ’s incarnation, the promised Saviour born to a virgin at last has come! I say TRYING because, with all that was happening in September and October, as a teacher, I got behind in my planning ahead for Christmas. I failed to order supplies for Christmas crafts and activities.  I have been otherwise occupied with LIFE such that I was not thinking into November and December.

But God, in His goodness, provided through YOU who sent and are sending parcels of supplies.  Suddenly, when someone asked, I thought, “Please send some Christmas crafts for the students. I have nothing planned.  I lost a few months!”

And so the Christmas craft supply boxes have arrived from Wisconsin and Florida and Maine just to name a few.  We started last week by putting a few Christmas lights in the school chapel to brighten our days.  (We have solar powered Christmas lights outside for our evening enjoyment. And some friends have sent more so that the students can take home some solar powered lights for their homes!)

The students and visitors are enjoying making origami stars, candle holders, wee Christmas trees and various painted decorations. TWO people sent us JOY ornaments (see above).  I think God is reminding us that even with the changes we have experienced and continue to live with, His JOY is always available.  With Nehemiah, we can say:

the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Handbell Choir

April 12th, 2017

April 7 2017 we had our first and only spring performance for the handbell choir.  It’s been interesting getting our two younger boys to multi-task as required by musical instruments.  Looking at the director.  Looking at the music.  Remember which hand is which color according to the color code we use to teach note reading. THEN remembering no matter who is in the audience, still watching and focusing on the director and the music. Serious skills required!

These two did well and so thoroughly enjoyed the snack box provided by the group we performed for. The other members of the bell choir were packing the bells and van while these younger guys were hanging out. The largest issue of the day was Edgar’s tie which had some smudges on it. Yep.  Not acceptable to him.  We’ll try to get those cleaned before they are needed the next time.

How many more coconuts would be able to be in this truck before the tires pop? As we drove, we passed cautiously lest the tailgate let go and the coconuts cascade out.  Driving here is always a challenge.  Praise God that day, there was no challenge other than passing safely on the highway.

Thanks for your prayers for our ministry!

Learning at Lunch

August 27th, 2016

Learning At Lunch

This year, we began with 5 students so rather than open the entire dining room for 7 diners (5 students and 2 staff), we are having lunch together in a staff apartment, family style.

The students are learning to serve themselves a reasonable portion of food, pass the serving bowls and platters and share in amiable conversation. After lunch, they take turns doing the dishes and clearing the table. So far, the students are enjoying the change of pace.

One day 13 of the school year, we added a new student to our student body when we welcomed Edgar back into our classroom.  Edgar had been with us when he was 3 to 5 years old and has been away for 7 years.  Returning at 12 years of age, he is sadly behind his former classmates even though he had been ahead of several.  The system of education here is lacking in resources and though this boy has had an interpreter, his language skills are still not what they could be. He is also unable to write and read. So we are VERY excited to have him back with us. Please pray with us for this little boy’s attention span. Please pray for more teachers so that we are able to meet the needs of the students we have and also to accept others.

We look forward to a new student joining us in October as we have accepted an adult learner who is interested in studying English and his third language so that he is able to do more online learning and perhaps attend university in the States. Again, pray for the potential we see and for God’s wisdom in accepting or denying students.

thinking ahead

August 14th, 2016

With the first week of classes behind us, we are getting ready for a four day school week with our visiting Missions Team from Calvary Bible Church of Hanover PA.  Keep up with their team blog to see what their team members think of their time here.  P1220052

Team leader Steve with his head submerged in the waves 🙂

The four day week was planned by our principal – the school staff can use a break; the three dorm students can use the long weekend to be at home a little longer; and the work team needs some time to debrief, pray, think and then clean the dorms and gather their belongings into suitcases for their trip home on Saturday.

Two of the residential students have already expressed their opinion that they should stay to hang out with the team on Friday. Yea.  Relationships are growing and good-byes are so hard. So this week as you are praying,

  • pray for those relationships between team members and staff members,
  • between team members and students, and
  • between all of the humans interfacing at CSCD.

As far as we KNOW there are no issues, but prayer helps to prevent potential issues 🙂 you know what I mean.

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The SUBMERGED theme of the week is beautiful!  The students enjoyed the introduction to the Bible school program on Friday.    Our principal particularly liked the way God led us to a fun Wednesday afternoon of pier jumping in which we were physically SUBMERGED in the ocean as many overcame fears so that on Friday we could discuss what it means to be SUBMERGED in God’s will  and word.Read Betsy’s Blog to stay up to date with her musings too.

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Thanks for taking time to dive into our news this week!

 

2016 08 08 is now history

August 9th, 2016

God is so good!

This school year, He provided us with a team of families and friends to help with getting our students excited for learning. Monday August 8 was our first day of the school year. The students enjoyed getting to know the teens in the group and working closely together to carry out some fun and exciting activities which included using quizizz to review information recently learned.

In the afternoon, the teens (both hearing and Deaf) worked together to come up with names and flags for their “countries” and then we began our own Olympic Games. Fun fun fun.

We look forward to many more fun days with the work team from Calvary Bible Church of Hanover PA and to the many blessings God will use them to pour into our lives.