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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

birthday 15 40 2016

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.

birthday 15 40 irma maria

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

silent workshop 2016 05

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

silent workshop 2016 05 staff

 

 

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.

silent workshop 2016 05 b

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!)

 

Talking to your returning Missionary Friend

May 25th, 2016

I copied this from another blog:

Suggested Questions for Parents/Friends

  1. What was the biggest highlight of your trip?
  2. What was the hardest thing you faced on your trip?
  3. What did that hard experience teach you?
  4. What things surprised you the most?
  5. Do you feel like you were prepared for your trip?
  6. If you could do it all over again, what would you change?
  7. Do you have any regrets?
  8. What was the food like?
  9. Where did you sleep?
  10. Tell me about the people you met and ministered to.
  11. Did you connect with anyone that you might keep in touch with?
  12. Did you get a chance to share your faith?
  13. Does your view of the world and your life look any differently now?
  14. Do you see Jesus any differently now?
  15. Did you see anything gross?
  16. Did you get sick?
  17. What was the scariest thing you experienced?
  18. What was the weirdest thing you ate?
  19. What was the church you worked with like?
  20. How was their form of worship different from ours?
  21. Did you get a chance to meet anyone’s practical needs?
  22. Was there ever a time that you really felt like God was directing you?
  23. What was the funniest thing you experienced?
  24. How did you work out any differences you had with your team?
  25. What was it like in the evenings? What did you do?
  26. What were your worship times with your team like?
  27. Did you miss me?
  28. Did you pack enough stuff?
  29. Did you really miss me?
  30. What was the weather like?
  31. Did you cry when you thought about me because you missed me?
  32. Would you ever want to go back?
  33. Do you think you would consider being a full-time missionary?
  34. What was the biggest thing you saw God do?
  35. Do you think you’ll go on a short-term mission trip again?
  36. What’s going to be the toughest thing about being home now?
  37. Do you think anything will change with your friends that weren’t on the trip?
  38. Do you think you have changed in any way? How?
  39. Is there anything you smelled on your trip that you’ll never forget?
  40. Are you tired?
  41. Has this changed anything in your relationship with Jesus?
  42. What were some of the ways you ministered on your trip?
  43. Did you get to share your story of how you met Jesus with anyone?
  44. Did you get any ideas of how you could minister here at home?
  45. Was there anything you saw that just broke your heart?
  46. Did you give anything away?
  47. Is there anything you HAVE to do this week after experiencing what you did?
  48. Was there ever a time you felt completely out of control in a situation?
  49. What’s the number one thing you are thankful for?
  50. Did you catch yourself praising God for things? Like what?

December Schedule 2015

December 4th, 2015

We have such a busy schedule for the next two weeks:

Tuesday (8 Dec) and Wednesday (9 Dec) the handbell choir will be performing for some organizations who have been very helpful to our school.

Sunday (13 December) the combined efforts of our NEW ADULT Handbell Choir and our student handbell choir will be performing in Bible Baptist Church of Luquillo at 10  a.m.

Wednesday (16 December) the students on bells and guitars will be performing at the Palmas Community Church in Humacao in the evenings (7 p.m. I think)

And our Christmas celebration party will be 18 December at some time before 3 p.m.

With all of these dates and busy events in front of us, it would be easy to forget that Christmas is a time to think more carefully about God and enjoy the peace that He can give us.  To help each of us keep our focus on GOD (and not on receiving gift and playing bells), we have just completed “40” days of thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving through American Thanksgiving) during which time, we talked daily about things we are thankful for.  One of the students wasn’t sure that AIR was something we needed to give thanks for… but she soon decided that it could be on the list,

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During this Advent season, we are doing 15 school days of meditating on God’s character and how God changes our lives. The theme “adORN your life with ORNaments pleasing to God” has translated into ASL as “Decorate your life for God’s glory”.  As we decorate the chapel Christmas tree with Bible verses written on cards placed inside clear Christmas ornament balls, we each write our own observation about the verses and place them onto decorations that each has made – a wreath, a wee Christmas tree, a light box, a poster.

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Busy busy busy

November 21st, 2015

The students have been learning so much.  It’s been a fun season of seeing them as they refine their skills socially and academically.

blokus 2015 11

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.

chemistry 2015 10

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.

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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.

 

Juan 2015 11

Hispanic Heritage research

September 13th, 2015

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.

Progressing

August 31st, 2015

Class 2 2015 08

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).

Class 2015 08

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.

2015 school year celebration

May 31st, 2015

May 21 was our Closing the Year/Awards Program.

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!

Students receive awards

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).

Surf the Bible and Sins forgiven

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.

We ended our program with What a Friend We Have In Jesus (this link is not our video)signed by Carlos, played by guitars and violins, sung in harmony by Rosa and Hector.

And then we had lunch and time to chat and enjoy the students and their guests. It was a lovely relaxing time and I thank God for the peaceful end to this school year.

Pray for the students as they are at home and as we see them in the summer. Ask God to help them to remember His Word and draw closer to Him.

Facelift for the school

April 1st, 2015

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The LAST bit of paint has been painted (I hope) and our buildings are as blue and white as they will ever be thanks to the last efforts of our recent work team. How nice to look out and see the soffits and edges are white.

 

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A work team of two came up with the idea of re-painting our street sign sign and used our new logo. Our own Rosa finished off the signs by adding SIGNS 🙂 announcing DEAF SCHOOL.

 

school sign new 2015 03

And finally on March 26, 2015, our sign guy came and installed our new sign on the front of the building. His instructions include trimming the tree on the right more regularly so that the sign is more visible.

Additionally, we received the document declaring Christian School and Chapel for the Deaf Inc to be a tax-exempt/charitable institution by the Puerto Rican government.  We had received this notification by the USA Internal Revenue service previously and are thankful that we have been granted this status by Puerto Rico as well.

This week (March 30 to April 3) is Holy Week in Puerto Rico.  We are closed for Easter Break and some time to rest and regroup before the last 35 days of classes.  We are looking forward to a visit by a group of ASL students from Highpoint Christian Academy Saturday April 4 through Thursday April 9.

Pray for our students.  Pray for the needs of the Deaf in Puerto Rico.

Check out other web pages as additions and changes have been made today!  Thanks for praying and thanks for stopping by our website.