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God’s blessings are abundant

April 19th, 2021

In February, a random person stopped by the school and said he wanted to make our school the recipient of the proceeds of a local 5K run. As long as I was not expected to run 5K,  SURE  why not!?

In addition to the blessing of financial proceeds, he is recruiting volunteers to PAINT and  help with our outdoor upkeep.  WOW!  Seriously, the SOUND of 4 power washers running for 2 days was unbearable (that is why they make noise-cancelling ear plugs – which my little student Diego thinks are super cool!)

we are feeling very BLUE as the painting continues

In this case feeling BLUE is a good thing…. it’s our color!

While all of that is happening OUTSIDE we are still learning INSIDE.  The day I broke out the origami paper and started cutting it into fraction lessons was joyful for me and actually made one student cry.  Not because I was destroying origami paper but because he really wanted to do anything but think about parts of a whole.  I mean, who knew that turning that page in the math book would cause deep grief?

We are taking advantage of nice weather to sit outside when possible – reading class, art class, and we hung up some rings to begin to develop some gym class moments. Maybe CSCD will see a gymnast arise from the carport!

Thank you my praying friends for your prayers, your letters, your emails of encouragement.  May you too have a lovely BLUE SKY and know the joy of God’s great blessings today.

Ministry Continues

January 23rd, 2021

Our 2021 year began with offering a community ASL class.  We are excited to have several families and mothers attending the class and look forward to God working through this to reach more with His love.  Mizael appears above – as our model for the activities we are planning for the class.   You can play the game here! (only through Feb 192021)

We have left our First Friday evening activity time in 2020 and moved to a Second Saturday activity for our Deaf Adult Fellowship.  As our population ages, we have to accommodate.  Night vision problems were inhibiting some attendees. So now, on the Second Saturday of each month at 1 p.m., we hope to gather in small numbers for indoor or outdoor games – horseshoes?  frisbee? dominos in the pergola? Come join us for an afternoon of fellowship in safe numbers and a safe setting.

TUTORING BEGINS TUESDAY

August 10th, 2020

While we all are under the Covid19Cloud, we are still working to get our students back into the school year schedule as soon as possible.

Our original plan had been to have full-time classes beginning TOMORROW, Tuesday 11 August.  BUT we will be continuing our tutoring schedule for this semester.  One student at a time.  No mingling. Working from distance of 6 feet as often as possible.

Today, we are doing last minute preparations – locating the missing math book, trying to figure out phonics for our partially hearing children, making horizontal spaces empty so they are easier to clean between tutoring sessions. We are trusting God that all things will come together for His glory even as I feel like I am stumbling around in the clutter of the classroom today!

In an effort to help our students learn at home (they LOVE youtube!)  we have been preparing videos as part of review and homework. Praying that parents will join them in watching and will learn the signs too. Pray with us for this school year. We are praying for the other schools on the island and the restrictions on numbers.

Personally, I am thanking God that our numbers are limited and our ability to serve the young students is excellent.  We have three adult deaf learners waiting for their turn in the tutoring schedule so pray with me for willing signing Spanish-English speaking volunteers to help out with those desiring to improve their skill sets.

 

Tutoring Begins

May 10th, 2020

10 days ago, I sat in the library and thought, “We can create an air flow to protect a student and a teacher with or without masks.”  Masks are so in the way of reading lips, eh?  (and breathing sometimes)

So I arranged a table in line with the air conditioner and a fan in line with the table so that the a.c. and fan make perpendicular flows. Then I invited my eldest student to come. His mother quickly agreed (oh the stress of homeschool with a 17 year old addicted to social gaming).

Delilah is SO happy to have Mizael back part time.  So am I.

I took some pictures and then invited Diego to come.  His mother also agreed quickly.  He in fact

wanted to come to Saturday school.  Yea… NO.  I am dedicated to my students but I also have some things to do for myself and my church.

 

And we have part time classes, one at a time, and the boys are doing some work at home [sic] and learning much about virus and quarantine and healthy habits.   SOAP and WATER beat hand sanitizer. Wanna try ROCK PAPER SOAP?

Thank you for praying for our students through this period of uncertainty.  We are NOT certain what August looks like but if we have to continue with our tutoring and one-on-one learning, we will do that. The best news is not NEWs… it is God’s character.  In His Sovereignty, God knows what August will look like and knows when Covid19 will peter out and knows when our resources need to be refilled. I am not saying the world stopped just so I could get totally rested but it is a nice side-effect.

May your days be filled with His praise.

week 8 of our semester

March 4th, 2020

To be seriously honest, not much has changed in the past few weeks.  Students come to school.  They learn.  They go home.  They return. It’s the cycle of school days and learning experiences.

To be SERIOUSLY honest, I think I, Betsy, the director, am learning the most in recent days.  I have been learning to listen to that quiet voice of God… sometimes I mistake MY INNER YELLING for His Voice so I am constantly trying to remain in prayer and discern WHAT is God doing, WHERE is He leading, WHAT would He have me to do or to say? Life with Christ is an amazing adventure and I am so thankful to be walking the journey of LIFE in His Way and Truth.

Yesterday (March 3)  I, Betsy, had minor surgery to remove a not really small but not worth a skin transplant basal cell carcinoma on my cheek. I did not announce it much beforehand.  I didn’t want to be asked  “WHERE is it?  Can I see it? Oooh Eeew” So I canceled our youngest student for the day and got a crew of others to handle the classroom. I drove myself to the office.  Had the procedure and drove back to the school in time to enjoy Tacos on Tuesday ( a regular menu item so come any Tuesday and join us!)

Today, I had a full classroom (THREE students – ages 7,16 and 28) who each had their own glitches to handle. One could not remember the letter R.  Another could not remember when or how to use a chair.  The other was lost in wonder over a pendulum experiment.  I spent much of the morning holding a cold pack on my bandage/incision as I felt rather pained.

But we learned together and eventually, the one remembered how to print an R and spell that word. The other found a chair and SAT on it.  And the pendulum student?  Well, there is much to be learned in physics and I am praying that happens!

Mostly, I am praying that my staff and I are able to show God’s constant LOVE and LIGHT in the lives of our children. Even when we are feeling pained by a surgical incision or the lack of memory for a word having the letter R, we can still be LOVING and sharing His light. With great JOY I hear my students say, “I MISSED YOU on the weekend”.  With great sadness, I hear my students say, “I missed you on the weekend”.  For our students, many times the only person listening, really listening to them, is one of the staff here. Families are busy places.  Parents are wrapped up in their stuff. But for a few minutes daily, we are able to take time to say, “What are you concerned about?  Let’s pray together.”  Our students KNOW we are here for them.

In the light of eternity, THAT is what we are meant to be doing.

October Fridays

October 18th, 2019

Friday, October 11, we were blessed to have only ONE student in attendance. That student took an interest in this millipede so millipedes became the focus of the day.  Today is October 18 and we are blessed to have only TWO students in attendance. They were given the opportunity for FIX YOUR FOOD FRIDAY and learned (or helped) to make chili for today’s lunch.

Sometimes, having a small number of students is a blessing.  We are able to spend time to chat about THEIR specific lives and needs and trials and joys. Often we have too many children and not enough hands to put into their learning.  More and more students coming to us, as a special school, have multiple needs in addition to being Deaf. What a joy when we have one on one time and can share in their lives specifically, learn more about them and pray with them alone.

Pray with us for the special needs of the Deaf in Puerto Rico.

We are excited to have our regular Friday handbell rehearsals and the dedication of the adult Deaf persons who are participating in that. They have their work and their families and yet have this desire for music.  One of them told me, “I work and I am stressed all week but I have THIS BELL TIME in my mind and look forward to this time all week.”

Praise God that through the ministry of handbells, this person’s emotional needs are being cared for.

August 2019

August 27th, 2019

Mizael came back to school

Check out the link above to read more about THAT topic.

Look who is hanging out at the school these days:

Gizmo the iguana!

Natalia – her broken arm has healed 100% without any apparent defect!

Zuleika who is learning and helping and growing in God’s amazing grace,

Diego who has an amazing smile and super-intelligent mind,

Mizael who is still having headaches (which are lessening in intensity) and he is pushing through them to have more time in school.

These are the regulars.  We have 4 students – one full-time teacher and two full-time volunteers.  Both of the volunteers help in the classroom as well as cooking and doing maintenance respectively.  As school principal, Betsy is so thankful for the faithful helpers who work alongside her to allow the school to have continuity and dependability.  Our students are all special needs and could be taught one on one all day if we had the resources.  Without the resources, we do a lot of  One Room Schoolhouse work.  The benefits are so cool as the older ones see how the younger ones think and the younger ones are challenged by the older students’ thinking.

Continue to pray for the school, for the students, the workers, the weather… a storm is in the area this week and we are hopeful that we will not have any lasting effects from it. Keep an eye on the weather and remember to pray for us.

Thanks!

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

Mizael’s story

April 14th, 2019

Mizael has been diagnosed with a vestibular disorder that is associated with his deafness. Mizael has missed a great portion of the school year due to dizziness, nausea, medical appointments, motion sickness, and headaches.

With all of the analyses, the doctor suggests doing a cochlear implant so that his health will improve and his dizziness will lessen. Some of the medical costs and costs of therapy and recovery will not be covered by the insurance and we are praying for your cooperation to help us with this.

Please feel free to share with others for prayer support as well as possible financial support through GOFUNDME.Thanks!

 

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