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Category Archives: Staff

February 2024

February 17th, 2024

We had a lot of rain at the end of January.

Our Wednesday student is picked up after school at her mainstreamed school and we work on ASL and speech and awareness of environmental sounds and CRAFTS!

 

 

 

In addition to tutoring this little girl, Betsy spends time online with ZOOM classes for other students too remote to come in person. We also have 9 ASL classes for a variety of groups through the week.  Betsy is working on a variety of projects including videos of the book  aprende señas conmigo and the Hear-Me-Read Bible. (videos available here)

We are down to ONE teacher – BETSY HOKE – who is taking care of her mother who is slowly sliding into dementia.  Betsy is thankful she can fulfill this role and asks your prayer for her as she serves both her mother and the Deaf community here. Betsy continues to teach those students who come and we are praying for new younger teachers – turning away students in need because of distance or lack of hands to work with them is sad.  GOD KNOWS and in His time, He will provide for these precious ones. She also works through her church in Fajardo with the Deaf Ministry there – interpreting services and Bible studies and meeting the Deaf adults for fellowship.

We also have a maintenance man – Dave Markle – on staff as a missionary. Dave serves the school and his local church with his skills at fixing things.  Dave has taken on the role of Work Team Coordinator/Host and we are seeing the return of mission groups, interpreter training groups and others interested in supporting Puerto Rico and her churches.  We are SO THANKFUL for Dave and God’s timing in bringing him to CSCD.

 

Every month we have Second and Fourth Saturday activities with the Adult Deaf community:   We have movie day on the Fourth Saturday and Fellowship day on the Second Saturday.  We open at 10 a.m. for Adult literacy classes – pray for these – many say they want to learn but most do not make it a priority. Have lunch together around 12:30 and then the afternoon activity. It’s a fun day and we are thankful we can do this.

 

 

 

 

Recently, a volunteer helped us make Valentine Cards – even the Deaf men joined in on this one!

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for praying along with us for the Deaf in Puerto Rico.  The needs may seem small but to those who have them the needs are pressing and scary. We are so thankful that our God knows and provides for each one and that FAITH is grown as we discern His Hand at work to protect, guide and provide.

 

Language Deprivation IS REAL

October 26th, 2023

Nothing changes here, it seems.

We continue to do the same old things week in week out and are SO THANKFUL for this cycle of working for our Saviour.

Read about Language Deprivation

Lives are changed here. One by one.

There are two guys in this picture: one is 4 and one is more than 4 😊 They are learning together. I, the head teacher and blog writer, am getting older and have a shoulder and thumb weakness now that are sometimes painful.  I asked our maintenance guy, Dave Markle (pictured), to help with this little boy’s first one on one time.

My previous experience with the little guy was very physically trying! So was this one until he settled down into some activities.

SO THANKFUL for a man on staff who is willing to work with kids. Little boys need men in their lives. And this gave me time to take ONE picture before our next activity.

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Read about our past students with Language Deprivation

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The lady on the left in this picture is Letty.  Letty never was allowed to go to school as a child. Parental concerns. Well, now she is learning.  She comes two Saturday mornings each month to learn with other deaf ladies and she comes every Tuesday to work on her own.

Letty’s husband is also Deaf.  He said, “Thank you!  My wife is starting to sign more clearly and talking about other things! She is spending less time paging through facebook videos and seems more alert!”

The lady teaching Letty is also Deaf.  She was so excited to be teaching. Seeing her abilities with Letty leads me to think, could she help with our little 4 year-old?   Now to try to get some transportation for her.

 

Language functions much like the Holy Spirit.

We can’t see the force behind it but we can see the impact of it. Someday, I would like to write the book about this.  Maybe one of you will do it for me.

There is so much we don’t know about the impact of language, but we see language deprivation at work in the two students mentioned above: A 4-year-old without language and a 74-year-old who has only minimal language skills.

 

Our ministry is to the few and the outcasts.

We call them marginalized today.

The ones that society doesn’t have time for but that Jesus still loves.

We need your prayers.  We need TEACHERS to come and work one on one with little biting children (to teach them to no bite and to be language role models) and with older adults who never had the opportunity.

Imagine seeing them READing God’s Word one day.  Then imagine that they can’t because there were not enough resources.  Then ask God what role you can play in this work. There where you are today or HERE where God may be calling you

 
This little boy is profoundly deaf and beginning to learn ASL with us.

Round and round we go!

September 20th, 2023

And so begins another round of education!

We are going back to PreK! In fact, Betsy is reviewing our webpages observing  Language  Development from  YEARS ago to remember how this works!

Read about a 4-year-old who came without functional language and then PRAY for this new boy and Betsy as they develop a relationship.  That little boy is now a senior in high school.

I am thankful that the family is involved in this boy’s learning – two sets of parents came for family ASL class.  The step-father knows a former student from here as a neighbor.  That is encouraging as the family can see a Deaf man who is successfully working, responsible and happy in his life and know that their son has a bright future.

His mom texted to say that the flashcards they have are posted around the house now and the little boy is excited to be looking at them and seeing the signs and learning them.

PRAY for Betsy as she is the age of a grandmother now. Chasing, wrestling, running, climbing off the floor, sitting in pre-school sized chairs are stretching her in physical ways! She is also developing some videos to help to teach this little boy and his family.  Pray for her creativity.

PRAY also for the next generation of teachers.  We have turned away students this semester due to not having teachers in the classrooms.  We would love to have Mikael as a full-time student. We have those two little girls (ages 5 and 6) who are mainstreamed right now but who are missing much of the spoken material that their teachers are trying to communicate. They will be in need of individualized education or small group teaching in the next few years.

GOD KNOWS and we are trusting Him with these needs.  Thanks for interceding for the Deaf of Puerto Rico!

 
the beginning of adult life!

2022-23 school year ends!

May 24th, 2023

In 2005 we met this little boy. He has been attending classes for 18 years – for real – preprepreschool preschool kindergarten thirteen years of grades 1 to 12 (there was a repeat when he had health issues and missed a school year) and finally  GRADUATION!

What joy to celebrate Mizael’s triumphs and growth academically, spiritually, and in character.

This roomful of friends and family gathered to support him in his victory and to pray with him for the NEXT thing.  As he makes his plans and shares them, we too will share with you.  Our celebration day included handbell pieces, awards, spiritual challenges and many tears as we said GOODBYE and GOD BLESS YOU to Mizael and his family.

Because ministry is never FINISHED, we are already making plans for the summer ministry season – in-person and remote ASL classes are lining up for many parents of Deaf infants – THANK GOD that they are learning ASL NOW as their Deaf babies need to see their families signing!  Pray for these parents and for our ability to reach them from a distance – pray for volunteers who would be willing to be paired as an ASL tutor with a Spanish-language Puerto Rico-living parent of a Deaf child.  Pray also for volunteers who would be willing to work with an adult Deaf person (or teenaged Deaf kid) to teach English and ASL skills. Distance is not a problem now – we are all learning ZOOM and video chat methods to meet from anywhere! Send an e-mail to cscdluquillo@gmail.com and let’s make a plan for YOU to get involved!

Our online giving platform is working for us – we made a change in April and are now up and running at

 

MidOctober Days’ work

October 15th, 2022

You can check out the newest newsletter here: WTH_Fall2022 (1)

The middle of October and we are still feeling the summer humidity. Someone thought playing outside on Friday was a good idea.  And it was.  But getting back into the school chapel was a better idea!

We always enjoy our friends from Young Life come for some fun and games and the challenge from God’s Word. Jerry and Christina are amazing and we love having them and our friends from the Palmas Community Church.

There are four of us on staff now – we welcomed Dave Markle (white shirt) as our maintenance and Go To Guy for all things dysfunctional. Valie is enjoying having another guy around who knows how to fix things.  Last week Dave installed a new hard drive on the school ZOOM CLASS laptop.  This week he fixed leaks in the east wall that allowed Hurricane Fiona waters to enter the preschool classroom and kitchen.  Imagine finding water in the breaker box! Only God knows what next week will bring to his plate!

Similarly in the classrooms – as teachers, we can know ourselves and prepare but we never know what will be behind the faces that enter. Our morning students are pretty settled into their studies and arrive knowing we will be doing SCHOOL work. Afternoons, we face ZOOM class with a teenaged girl and Tuesday Thursday with a Kindergartener girl.  Oh dear.  Pray in the afternoons if you think of it!

We love a weekend to do prep work and gardening but one Saturday each month we have Deaf Fellowship Day.  The ladies have taken an interest in Diamond Art which is very tiny work. They got a little competition going to see who can complete the Christmas pieces they are working on.  For me (Betsy), this project is too small and I took the paper sample to the printer and made an enlargement to help explain what we were doing.

There are already plans for more Christmas themed projects.

We also enjoy a night at the movies each month – coming up November 4 will be MOSES by Sight and Sound Theaters. Love their productions and the way the play shows us more of the character of the Bible person and times.

Pray with us for more opportunities and more hands to help with reaching out to the Adult Deaf community. Thanks for stopping by today!

 

Read the Fall 2022 newsletter at our webpage: https://cscdluquillo.com/with-these-hands/

 

 

2021-22 school year has ENDED!

June 1st, 2022

To end the school year, we had THREE year end events as pictured above – the all school party, a small games and pool party, and a bowling outing for the handbell choir members.

After the fun and games and lunch time on May 23, we entered the school chapel and had a dessert and a bell recital.  The students signed some songs and were given their certificates and we said ADIOS and HASTA AGOSTO!

While we all love summer and a change of pace, the students actually said, “Can’t we just come and hang out.” SERIOUSLY?  Yea – play DUTCH BLITZ and SKYJO and SCRABBLE and DUOLINGO [yep they think that is play] and do crafts and maybe sing in the chapel and watch movies together. Well, that is fun but the staff have other chores.

BETSY has been working on plans for the NEXT school term.  AMBER just took off to visit family and friends.  VALIE is repairing the deck stairs.

There is a mission/work team coming on Saturday and as we were touring the grounds with the group leader, we noticed the stair supports were splitting.  OOPS – safety FIRST. So before the group comes to do maintenance, Valie is maintenancing this issue. We just didn’t want 12 healthy young men stomping UP and crashing through! Does mission work team insurance cover that or would it be the school insurance? Let’s not find out.

Valie has found a nice shady place to do this job. Thankfully there is no rain in the sky today. We have a leak in the office and a few in the chapel roof that the group next week will be repairing – PLEASE PRAY for sunny days for those roof repairs!  If there are other work teams interested, we have the list of maintenance needs – a fence that came down with Hurricane Season 2017 that is droopier every year, some windows that need to be removed and replaced (cement work required), power washing and painting, a roof seal job on the girls dorm building, general upkeep on the basketball court. Get in touch and maybe YOUR missions work team can lend a hand!

 

Happy Thanksgiving 2020

November 15th, 2020

Well, next week we will be closed to celebrate American Thanksgiving but I am likely to not update again  so…

We have continued our semester with very quiet days one child at a time. They are getting LOTS of intense and focused instruction but remember, they are children so we are balancing the ACADEMICS with learning games and physical activity.

Diego has been learning long division and is mastering the multiplication tables with slow progress. He enjoys some quiet independent time daily  reading La Biblia en Accion and asking questions about the various accounts of the Bible. It’s a joy to sit with him and  answer his questions – often just by finding a Bible verse that helps him to see HOW to apply that to his own situation.  We also use lots of YouTube videos ( How did I ever teach without YouTube?) and have been watching Veggie Tales and Super Libro renditions of the classic Biblical accounts. All dubbed and captioned in Spanish. Because I really want him to KNOW the Bible and we focus on English later.  Other topics besides English grammar, ASL, and Math have included the Dead Sea and Salt Crystals, where teeth come from, gymnastics and the Olympics, and other random subjects that Diego has caught a glimpse of and asks about.  Such a curious mind!  Thank God for this boy and pray for him.

Natalia  is with us two afternoons each week.  We are working on Sign Language and communication skills (turn taking, asking, telling, answering, clarifying information). The other day, her mother reported that Natalia tried to fingerspell TJ Maxx to her!  I am guessing, she signed the T and J and then maybe added a few other letter motions to complete the word. loves to get out there to run and play and swing and is learning to ASK for these things with formal signs rather than just motions.

We still have Mizael coming most afternoons and enjoy his quick mind, desire to learn and his help with technical things like setting up our OSB and green screen as  Betsy works on teaching videos for ASL students and specific learning videos for other Deaf children.

Pray for these three.  Pray also for our new student who needs to have full-time learning and HOW can we accommodate his needs in this time of isolating students and maintaining  healthy distances from one another.

Pray also for our Adult Deaf Friends – we chat by video means but there is NOTHING like sitting in a room and having a real conversation.  With American Thanksgiving break coming up, Betsy will have some extra time to invite Deaf friends one (family) at a time for crafts and snacks and games – all must happen indoors because we are having a plague of MOSQUITOS – which necessitated the purchase of a screen door for the classroom. Nonetheless, we are planning for some Christmas crafts and special activities to help to meet the needs of our Deaf friends in the area.

Thank you for praying for us!

 

 

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.

 

Was last week only 5 school days long?

September 3rd, 2016

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While I know each school week is 5 days, some feel so FULL!  Last week was a full week!  We are doing more “silent” reading this year – trying to get in at least 15 minutes of independent reading daily and it’s fun to watch the students examine the bookshelves and find hidden treasures. Also sweet to watch the more able to read students introduce books and love of reading to the ones who are not able to read on their own yet.  Pray that literacy will be a skill they love and each student will exercise a passion for WORDS and sharing God’s Word!

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We were excited to see Nathan and Deborah visiting from Canada! This lovely Deaf couple stopped by with their three hearing daughters.  We always love seeing them and enjoyed some games and relaxing time together.

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This year, we are making cursive writing a priority. Every afternoon before we dive into our learning logs, we do some structured writing.  Betsy, our only teacher this year, has developed this framework for teaching cursive – using the data projector to shine guidelines onto the white board and then writing on them. The students love showing off their skills  too though they still do better on paper than on the board.

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Thanks for praying along with us for the ministry of our school and chapel.  We look forward to next week when we will be practicing conversational skills and learning how fractions work.

 

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