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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

With These Hands

June 11th, 2015

Male and Deaf role models and volunteers! This semester we were blessed to have two Christian deaf men, Philip Tomlinson and Valie Carrillo, working at our school. Philip is from Canada and worked in the dorms in the 1980s. He returned this semester with the hope of being a frequent long-term visitor. In his time here, he was able to accomplish many odd maintenance jobs around the school and counsel with many Deaf people who are seeking God’s Word. What a blessing he has been to us and other people!

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Valie lives close to the school, attends a local church, and is a skilled carpenter. He has recently started volunteering with us. He is a big help both with grounds maintenance and in the classroom teaching math and assisting our students with their class work.

We are very thankful to both Philip and Valie for their work around the school and the relationships that they have formed with our students. They have been wonderful role models, especially for our young male students, of Christian Deaf adults who are growing in God’s Word.

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Additionally, we are thankful for Brendan Yoder who has been our resident maintenance man. Brendan and Rebekah and their kids are great models of what a Christian family can be. The Yoders also help with chapel time where Brendan has been using creative powerpoints to help to transmit the Gospel of John to our students.

Surf the Bible and Sins forgiven

NUMBERS!

Which was more important, the one thief on the next cross (Luke 23:40) or the 5000 gathered on the mountainside (Matthew 14:13)? The 99 sheep in the fold or the 1 that strayed (Luke 15:4)? The widow’s mite (Luke 21:1&2) or the gifts of the wealthy?

Many people are concerned with numbers. We count the number of days in our school year. We count the number of students in the classroom. Right now, we have less than a handful of students. Is a low student population any reason to serve less joyfully? Are these few students not of value in God’s sight?

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Deaf ministry is a one to one ministry. When Jesus Christ healed a deaf person (Mark 7:31), the Bible tells us Jesus “took him aside, away from the crowd” (Mark 7:33). That is exactly what we do daily – take these few deaf children aside, away from the crowd and minister to them in Jesus’ name. At CSCD, our students find acceptance and an environment conducive to communication where in the hearing world they are often marginalized and isolated. At CSCD, we let our students know they are loved by God and created for His purposes in their lives.

He reveals the deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him! Daniel 2:22

Times are changing but God has not changed. He continues to provide for the needs of the ministry and the workers. He continues to bring students and workers. Few people are willing to give up the comforts of home to serve the Lord with gladness. This month there are three full-time workers where last year there were only two. We are told to “Ask the Lord of the Harvest to send out workers” (Matthew 9:38).

A few years ago, our ministry submitted to a review by an outside ministry consultant. He described the ministry as “reaching the least and the lost”. We will continue with God’s grace to reach the least of these for His glory. And we will continue to pray that the Lord of the Harvest will strength our hands to work in this field and provide new hands to continue and to grow the work. Thank you for praying with us.

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Parent ASL classes! We are honored to congratulate Deynira Matos and Mariela de la Cruz  for completing one semester of American Sign Language classes! It is estimated that about 90% of parents who have deaf children never learn Sign Language and sadly have very minimal communication with their children. This semester, two of the mothers of our students accepted the challenge and came to weekly Sign Language classes. Deynira has been taking classes on and off for the past several years and knows a good amount of Sign Language. This was Mariela’s first Sign Language course and she is learning at a rapid speed- she even asked to continue the course through the summer! CONGRATULATIONS DEYNIRA AND MAIRELA!!!

Students receive awards

Meet our longest attending student! Mizael is 12 years old. He began school with us when he was about 2 years old giving him 10 years of learning already. His recent job goal relates to FBI and spying. Mizael won the Surf the Bible challenge this year.

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Meet our newest student/visitor! Yajaira, 16, is a member of the Santos family who lives in Orocovis. She arrived to our school on April 18 and was with us until May 23. Yajaira has been in the public school system and has not yet learned how to read, write, or do basic arithmetic. In the short time that she has been here, we have noticed that she has a deep desire to learn to read books! We are thankful that God has placed her here for a visit and are prayerfully looking forward to her possible return in August for the new school year if that is God’s will. Please pray for the Santos family in Orocovis and how God would use us to make an eternal impact on their lives for Him.

Meet our youngest student! Juan is 9 years old and has been a full-time student with us since he was 7. Before that, Juan came to school part-time as we had no dorm staff and his family lives on a neighboring island. We are thankful for short-term workers who have made it possible for Juan to stay in the dorm. Juan has been helping a Deaf dairy farmer with his cows on Tuesdays as we introduce him to career options.

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Meet our oldest student! Larimar, 14 years old (above right), loves God, dogs and cats and children. She came to us at the age of 7 with minimal linguistic skills. She once said she would like to be a veterinary technician until she found out she may have to cut into an animal in order to fix it. More recently, Larimar has declared a job at PetSmart as her career goal.

Box Tops for Education!

This year our school won the award for the most box tops collected in Puerto Rico! This school year we received a total of $2,128.20 from the Boxtop redemption program. This is over $700 more than we raised last school year! THANK YOU to all who faithfully send us your Boxtops; our school, staff and students are all blessed by your contribution.

The Newcomers Club of San Juan

We are pleased to be on the list of charitable organizations helped by the Newcomers Club of San Juan. The Newcomers Club of San Juan was established over 45 years ago to give people new to the area the opportunity to meet and develop friendship with others who live on the island. Membership is open to new arrivals as well as to established Puerto Rico residents. The Newcomers Club partners with us by providing volunteers and material support for the work of the school.

Tree-lined Adventure

May 1st, 2015

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For so long, we have wanted to walk a piece of closed road at the beginning of road 983. This morning, after Favorite Song Friday chapel time, Betsy drove the students and three staff members to the road and dropped them off.

What a beautiful walk from one end to the other! The students and staff enjoyed the small adventure and returned to class to their spelling test of the week. They all passed with flying colors.

We have 3 weeks left in this school year.  Pray for the students and their attention spans and their teachers also.  Pray that no time would be wasted but that each of us will be good stewards of the time God gives us together.

Visitors from Camuy

April 24th, 2015

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A great week is ending. We started on Monday with a group of signing (hearing and Deaf) visitors from Camuy PR. The rest of the week, we enjoyed the company of David and Mary Chase who are repeat visitors. It has been a refreshing and learning experience all around as we have enjoyed new and old friends.

Pray with us for the remaining 19 days of classes and our closing of the school year activities on May 21.

Super Deafy Day!

October 29th, 2014

WOW  Friday October 24 was so FUN!

Since we were having visitors from everywhere who had come a few days early to go on a Deaf Freedom Cruise leaving October 25, we had an open house and invited lots of Deaf from the island as well.

Here you see Juan – our youngest student at this time at 8 years old – and his Deaf distant cousin who was one of the first students here back in 1960. (to see any photos in a larger format, click on the pictures)

The string of people are students frooldest youngestm the past lined up by date of departure.  It was great to see them and to know that these folks are doing well in their adult lives thanks to the staff of missionaries who helped them along the way.

(Below left) The students did a little story telling prompted by Peppy – a Deaf visitor who was helping them to learn a Number Story in ASL.

(center) A Sprint representative whose name I never did catch shared some news from Sprint introduced several other famsuper deafy day 2014ous deaf people like the iDeaf News guys.

(right) Super Deafy shared his story and moderated a time of celebrating success stories and encouraging my students to be all that they can be. Look for his movie – No Ordinary Hero!  Let me know if you see it because we want to but it’s not around here.

We had lunch together.  Some of the former students gathered in a classroom and shared stories. More visitors came.  visitors 2014 10Our students showed them around and answered questions. It was great fun.

Even though we are a small ministry this year, we can see that God is using us for His glory. Our resident maintenance man and part-time cook pretty much ran the lunch program on Friday.  Rosa, our dorm counselor, was all over the place keeping track of the 8 year old and helping with this and that.  Betsy, our principal and teacher, was fielding questions, helping taxi drivers locate the school, delegating students to groups of visitors for tours and running her feet off.

We  praise God for this little spot of time we had and pray that as our guests came and went they will have seen God’s hand at work here.

Friday October 24 :-)

October 20th, 2014

Next week there is a Deaf Cruise going out of San Juan.  We get the pre-cruise visitors 🙂  how cool is this!?

Just had a phone call from a super hero!  Super Deafy is coming to our school on Friday at 10 a.m.!  And we are collecting Deaf people from the island and other places to join us for lunch 🙂

If you are around, COME ALONG!  But do call or text to let Betsy know.  She has to buy enough food for everyone.

Thanks!