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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!

 

 

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.

the work continues

March 24th, 2018

While many people don’t understand it, or believe it, Puerto Rico DOES have a “winter” season. We don’t have snow but our temperatures do go down… on the average to the high 70Fs (21C) in Luquillo and to the low 40Fs (4.4 C) in the mountain areas. Some lovely quilters from New York state sent us three boxes of quilted blankets and throws and wall hangings. In the photo about, you will see how one student immediately adopted a blanket as her own.  One former student took a quilted blanket home for his mother who hugged it and cried. Thank you quilters for your gifts of love!

The work to return the school campus to it’s pre-hurricanes (P2H) state of functioning is continuing. As God brings us workers (from left above) from various places like Calvary Chapel,  independent families, and the local Internet installer, we are slowly beginning to get the grounds and infrastructure back to P2H normal.

A special group of workers has worked this past month to rebuild our sport/storage room as well as our awning at the dining room entrance. Additionally, some of the men in the group from Ontario Canada had some electrical savvy – they were able to work through the wires and restore power to parts of the dorm that were not powered up and were able to configure a solar backup for the school kitchen (not for every day purposes but in case of a power outage, we can now use the solar power system to run the fridges and freezer).  Their inventiveness will save us many headaches from generator issues in coming years… assuming their power cord remains aloft.

Oh and the phone line to the school office is now working again! AND the CableTV company has restored the service to the TV in the school library – a donation of their service for educational purposes.

Mail is arriving as it had been P2H and our little corner of the world is fairly back to normal.

Please do not misunderstand me, the rest of the island (and our little part) still carries the scars and still has delays.  Since the FEMA satellite link ended, it has taken a few weeks to get back online so our e-giving donors have not heard from us this month (yet).  We will be working on that this coming week.

Trees remain broken and the ones that will grow new leaves are working on it. The DTOP guys are out there trying to get the traffic lights working to restore order – yesterday I was in Carolina and after a few blocks of non-functional traffic lights on the business roads, I was glad to get back to the autopista and take the bypass from all of the tangle.

Some stores have not re-opened and some have announced that they are not planning to reopen. OurSam’s Club is one of them.  The two nearest Sam’s are both about an hour’s drive away so we will have to rethink the cost effectiveness of that choice. But, meanwhile, we have plenty of fresh produce again.  Plenty of meat in the grocery stores.  Plenty of options to enjoy choosing from.  And the students have been enjoying choosing the Monday Make Your Meal Menu option that has been given to them this year.

Thank you for your prayers and for your assistance and your parcels and your partnership in our ministry.

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.

week of November 04 2016

November 6th, 2016

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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!

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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.

Science Month!

October 23rd, 2016

if a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ve already said too much!

Hope you enjoyed looking at the October Update.  Pray for the students and workers – everyone is learning more daily.  Pray that we will continue to serve the Lord with gladness.

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

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?

St Croix Camp 2015

July 15th, 2015

STX 2015 1

Larimar and Mizael joined Betsy this year at St Croix Deaf Camp. The three of them traveled to STX on July 6 (because their July 5th flight was canceled).  They spent 4 wonderful days with the Deaf camp of STX making new friends and loving every minute of it.

STX 2015 billiards

Betsy praises God for the opportunity for the team of three to go. The CSCD students were able to share their faith in private conversations and in Wednesday morning devotional time before the camp day began.

STX 2015 termites

The students loved the whole adventure – from billiards to jumping off the cruise ship pier to eating termites under the supervision of Discovery Grove nature trail staff. They are already asking if they can return next summer.  Pray with us as we pray for the Deaf of St Croix – that maybe next summer at Deaf camp, we will see some Deaf adults and have more opportunities to share God’s amazing love.