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September 2019!

September 11th, 2019

I have attempted several times to update this blog and every time, some internet monkey stops my progress.  Hoping today will be different and hoping that you have been praying for the ministry in spite of our lack of updates.

Last Wednesday after lunch, the two older students decided to try volleyball while the two little boys were trying baseball. Carlos, our groundskeeper was trimming and three dogs played nicely together.  Will wonders never cease!

Our days are HOT and we are so thankful for the tropical storms passing by out of our range.  A small breeze would be welcome but let me tell you, I am happy to not have had the BIG storm here.

We are praying for the people in the Bahamas who are now experiencing WORSE conditions than we had in 2017. We cannot imagine having a storm sitting on us for 36 hours… incessantly pounding.  WOW.  The pictures we are seeing make all of us thankful here for the mountains that block winds and the cement structures which are most common. If you are interested in giving to someone who is already working for Kingdom Purposes in the Bahamas, I can recommend PRAYING PELICANS MINISTRY  OR CHAMPS MISSIONS .  Both of these ministries have connections already established with churches and people in the Bahamas.  I know the Praying Pelican ministry and a friend recommends the Champs Mission group. You can look into those or other places if you have a heart to help that island nation.

Check out Mike and Glenda Coupe’s most recent newsletter  to see what they are up to.  Right now, (Wednesday at 4:30) , Glenda is working with Natalia – 3 year old deaf girl – on ASL/language development while Mike is in the States.

Pray for our new student JJ – he is 8 years old and works hard to keep us working harder! Pray for wisdom as we will have him only for a few weeks – his dad is military and deployed somewhere so he and his mom are visiting family here until dad is home to be helpful with that hard work I mentioned in the last sentence!

thanks for your many prayers

 

 

 

Summer Workshop 2019

August 7th, 2019

Last week, we held a week-long ASL workshop.  We were pleased with the attendance and outcomes – more people signing with a little more confidence and new connections we have made with a pre-school were our little student Natalia will be attending!

Our school director, Betsy, was assisted by Valie Carrillo (our maintenance man) and Jennifer Woods (visiting ASL teacher from the States). With the occasional assist of Mike and Glenda Coupe, the class had plenty of models for great signing.  We played lots of games to keep everyone’s attention – the morning sessions were 3 hours – and to keep everyone learning. What a great week!

We are already thinking and scheduling for the 2020 version of the workshop so if you are interested in learning ASL and wanted to join us, let me know!

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

 

Pray for some little friends

March 7th, 2019

 

Needed:  one (or more) 7(ish) year old hearing-impaired or Deaf children to accompany Diego on his educational journey.

His teacher is older than his grandmother and she needs some help in the PLAY department… The other students are older too and don’t exactly want to swing and play baseball during recess time. Pray with us for the next group of little ones to join in the learning fun.

Needed: one (or more) 2ish something hearing-impaired or Deaf children to accompany Natalie on her educational journey.

It’s just more fun to learn with a friend and have someone to talk with other than the older people around you.

We truly know that language is best learned in community.  We have established an environment that is linguistically rich and visually accessible for our students. Pray with us for the little ones in the area – we hear of some in public schools where they are not linguistically stimulated, where they are developing delays in their linguistic development due to the non-accessibility of a visual stimulus accompanying their language experience. Deaf children learn by SEEing and DOing.  Hearing children learn by hearing.   English and Spanish are but auditory languages.  They do not reach into the brains of a child who has a hearing loss of any significant levels.

And hearing aids don’t FIX things the same way glasses can fix things. My students all have hearing losses into the orange region of the audiogram at this LINK. They do not hear most of the speech sounds without extra help – that means raising my voice, using a hearing aid or other amplification. Most parents don’t take the time to look their hard-of-hearing/Deaf child in the face to have a conversation.  So the child misses out on 82.9% (totally off the cuff estimation) of what is said. They are left wondering, guessing, trying to fill in the blanks.

On the other hand, most parents don’t raise a HAND to help their hearing-impaired child:

About 90%of the deaf population has two hearing parents and 88% of those parents do not know sign language. LINK HERE

And so I know there are children experiencing LANGUAGE DEPRIVATION simply because someone told their parents that having an interpreter is the answer.  Suppose you don’t know ASL (American Sign Language) and you travel to China and you are given an ASL-Chinese interpreter.  How much are you going to learn about China from watching the ASL interpreter?

Exactly what a child who doesn’t KNOW ASL faces when watching someone batting their hands around in first grade.  The child MUST be in a place to learn the language so that they can then access the materials of learning. How does one learn a language? Come on, you know.  You learned a language.  You are reading this.  YES!  You learned by listening to your world from the time your ears developed (about week 16 of gestation inside your mom) you were learning the language of your world. But a child born deaf missed out on even that opportunity. Of course, some babies are born hearing and then lose the sense through trauma… but alas, without a language, they are left behind.

And so, would you pray for those children who are in this area, on this island?  Because we have some lovely little ones here beginning to learn ASL and speaking and communicating in glorious ways… and my heart breaks every time I meet a small child who is SO isolated because the significant forces at work for the child haven’t grasped the idea that LANGUAGE development is IMPERATIVE to life experience and learning.

Thanks for praying.  Thanks for your interest.

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!

 

 

THAT was a fast month!

January 30th, 2019

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.

Welcome to 2019!

January 3rd, 2019
January 1 2019, meeting of the board of directors

We started 2019 with prayer. God is at work in our area and we are SO excited to see HOW God will carry out His plan using us.

You can read this at http://cscdluquillo.com/with-these-hands/ – we have been praying for quite some time now for God to show us His plan for this facility and for the Deaf of this part of the island to be reached for Him.

“Continue to pray with us for workers to realize an adult Deaf ministry on our northeast corner of Puerto Rico with CSCD as the home base.

The SAME needs that the first workers discussed in 1957 and 1958 before opening the Evangelical Deaf Mission are still the needs of today:

  1. the need for Bible teaching among the Deaf population (there are presently less than 10 Bible-teaching churches for the Deaf on the island),
  2. the lack of literacy skills among the Deaf population (how can God’s Word speak if God’s Word is not accessible?)”

We look forward to classes resuming on January 14. We have two new volunteers on our list of workers- pray that they will be consistent workers and willing to adapt to the needs of the Deaf children they will be working with.

We are SO thankful for God’s faithfulness to this ministry as we enter our 60th year here. None of the present workers has even been alive for 60 years- we draw on the heritage of the ministry and thank God for His vision in the beginning and through the years until NOW. He continues to provide and we continue to be blessed by His provision.

Happy New Year to all !

15 school days into the 2018-2019 session

August 31st, 2018

This year, we have three students every morning.  Two are doing High School work and we are thankful to have English and Math volunteers working with them.  Our English tutor meets with the students two hours each week by Facetime while our Math tutor walks into the classroom when he has time free to do so. We are thankful for the ways God provides for morning assistance so that our principal, Betsy Hoke can work with our new 6 year-old student who is learning the alphabet, learning to sit in class, learning to ask before taking or doing things, learning to use his hands to communicate, learning so many life skills!

Pray for teachers as Diego (6) and the two older students all need full time teachers to be present in their learning times. We also have a little 18 month old girl who we would love to have full time – again the need of someone to be her guide and language model through the day is holding us back.

In our next blog entry, I will introduce you to our missionary staff for this school year. Busy busy busy days prevent me from getting the photos I want to post!

Next Friday, September 7 is Deaf Social Night – come if you are able and join in games and fun with us!

Day 3 of the 2018-2019 school year

August 13th, 2018

The work continues – for the visiting team, they are pushing to get things DONE now that their work days are down to 3 days. Tammi Wolfe is doing things in the chapel to help out the school year while Joe Landis continues to weld in the carport.  And yes, we hang out the clothes the old-fashioned way. After more than a week here, everyone is in need of something being washed – even if it’s just to prevent the dorm rooms from becoming too scented by sweaty clothes.

Hayley and Shanna started a rhythm group today while the gentlemen started to put the panels on the carport.  Just a few minutes ago it rained quite hard so I am guessing the men on the roof were pushed to take a break.  God knows when they NEED to stop to prevent them from overdoing it.

Annette has been presenting some really good lessons in the morning chapel time.  We are thankful for her hard work in preparing – very different than for a hearing class.  OOPS  there is that rhythm photo again! Pray for Betsy’s attention deficit – she has a cold/cough this week and the medication is not helping her to focus!

Lastly, the older students are spending time with Danny Vidal, former student who graduated in May 1986 from ESD.  Danny has been on a recent mission trip to a Deaf church in Portugal and the students are learning some Portuguese signs and about life after high school… maybe one or both of them will catch the vision of serving God as missionaries or at least serving God in their local churches.

Pray for all of these and all else that God puts on your heart for our school.  Without your prayers and support, we would be struggling.  WITH your prayers and support, we are praising God and strengthened for more again tomorrow.

Goodsearch.ORG

June 7th, 2018

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.