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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.