This semester I have been doing a little bit of everything; teaching math, cooking lunch, office work, and dorm work- which has its challenges but I enjoy it:)
This week appears to be the week of doctor appointments, today with s coworker and Wednesday with a family member of one of our students. This leads to countless hours of sitting and waiting and thinking!
Please pray for successful appointments, health, that the hours spent waiting world be of benefit to myself and relationships with others, and that the waits wouldn’t be too lon- we are currently on hour 4 and the second time watching the same movie:)
One of my many responsabilities here at the deaf school is to exercise with the 8 yearold who stays in the dorm. Every afternoon, Monday through Thrusday, we go outside and play from 3:30-5:30.
On Mondays and Thursdays we usually stay at school and play on the playground and with the balls and play toys.
One of our games after a hard workout of running 🙂
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays we go off campus and play and learn with our friends from the community!
Every Tuesday we go to a farm and help clean and milk cows! The farmer is Joselito, a Puerto Rican Deaf man, who studied and worked as an engineer. A little over a year ago, he decided to get some cows, start a farm, and make cheese. So little by little he is making his home and land into a cattle raising farm and a cheese factory!
On Tuesdays, Joselito and the dorm student do some homework together and then work on the farm. The student and Joseltio both love it!
Learning how to spell the names of the cows.
Milking the cow!
On Wednedays we go to the track and exercise with a lady from my church and her three boys. We play soccer together, run around the track (or jump around the track or skip around the track), and we use the outdoor gym exercise equiptment. It is fun to see all the kids play together regardless of if they speak Sign Language, Spanish or English 🙂
Well, this week every last ounce of my strength was GONE Thrusday at 5:30pm. But, life and situations did not stop then, they were just getting started. So, l have been completely depending on God’s strength these past 32 hours. It is a really good place to be, but a really hard place to be.
Please pray for the staff of the Chrsitian School and Chapel for the Deaf (CSCD) here in Puerto Rico, as we are constantly on call. Pray that we have wisdom in decision making, the right words/ signs in any/all of the 3 languages we encounter daily, the words that will point people to God and the forgiveness and peace and rest that he gives us.
Pray that as staff we all support eachother and can encourage eachother in our earth relationships and with our relationship with our Father who loves us so much more immensly than we can ever understand.
Pray that we lean on God more and more to get us thorugh these times and that our relationship with him is strenthened.
Yesterday a good friend accompanied me on the 13 hour unpredictable trip to visit a deaf family that lives in the mountains and on the way home these words of the song “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” really hit home. They are sooo true!
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
Also, the song “Does Jesus Care?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kheJYjttzY4
In other news, as of 11:30 yesterday l am officially a licenced social worker in Puerto Rico!
Thanks for praying, much of what has been happening is confidential (even more so now that l am officially a social worker) so the details have been spared.
THANK YOU for your prayers.
I spent the last 3 days of Christmas break working and in the car. Along with the school prinicpal, l went to Ponce (for lunch with a former student), Orocovis (to drop off marriage papers and make arrangements so a young couple can start attending the Deaf school), Aibonito (to introduce a new worker to a chruch and Deaf friends), and San Juan twice (to pick up a returning worker at the airport and visit my pastor’s wife in the hospital who had her appendix out). Puerto Rico only measures 177km by 64km, so 1,000 kilometers is FAR for us!
This week, school started and there was no easing into the semester! On the first day of classes, the inspector for the school licence renewal came. We are waiting for two more inspections and the board’s decision, but things are looking good. We also have various visitors who have been keeping us busy playing games and having fun with them!
This semester l am working part time in the office and part time in the dorm. There is an 8 year old boy and after school my job is to EXERCISE him. In a few minutes we will be going to the community track and meeting a family with 3 elementary school age boys- new playmates are always fun 🙂
There is A LOT of work to do here! Please pray for me as l get settled into a new schedule and figure out how to fit in all my new (and old) responsibilities 🙂
I arrived back in Puerto Rico just in time for the last week of school before Christmas break. It was a busy week with much work, many visitors and delicious Puerto Rican food!
Over Christmas break, l have been unpacking/ cleaning/ settling in, doing some office work and errands, seeing friends, and meeting people!
A family from Sweeden is vacationing in Puerto Rico and thier 21 year old daughter is deaf. She contacted the deaf school where l work and they were able to come for a tour of the school and a visit to a local cheese farm! (I’m so happy that l found good, home-made cheese in PR:)
The owner of the cheese farm is a Deaf man who has become my friend due to our shared love for cheese! He is in the process of establishing a cheese factory on his property. Right now he has about 20 cows and uses the milk he gets from them to make cheese.
Last week l went to the cheese farm twice! On Monday l took a group of Spanish speaking friends- we enjoyed the time 🙂 On Tuesday l took the Sweedish girl (with her family) and two of the students from the Deaf school. We had a really good time learning about the farm and cows, helping with chores, and eating lunch with the farmer and another friend of mine who showed up at the farm! The students loved getting to meet other Deaf adults and seing the animals- the farmer invited us back in June to see the birth of 3 calves!
I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas season! We are still celebrating here in Puerto Rico as tomorrow is “3 Kings Day” where we celebrate the wise men bringing gifts to baby Jesus. The 3 kings kind of serve as a santa clause as they bring gifts to the children and their horses/camels eat the grass that the kids leave for thm
The 3 Kings decorations in my town
I have been in Wisconsin for about 2 1/2 months. During this time, l have been visiting family and raising prayer and financial support to work as the office/ social worker at the Christian School and Chapel for the Deaf (CSCD)/ ESD in Puerto Rico. http://www.cscdluquillo.com
While l have been in Wisconsin, l have really enjoyed spending time with my family. It has been nice to be here for a longer time and get to visit extended family members and friends more than once. In July and August I helped at two local Vacation Bible School programs. I have been working as a substitute at the local daycare and teaching a community Sign Language class at the library. I have also been doing some Spanish tutoring in exchange for violin lessons!
I was able to visit a trilingual church. The East Delavan Baptist Church is about two hours away from my family’s house. They have an English group with an English-speaking pastor, a Spanish group with a Spanish-speaking pastor, and a Deaf group with a Deaf pastor. I have attended both the Spanish and Deaf morning services and have also been to their evening service that is interpreted into all three languages. I have really enjoyed their teaching, getting to know some of the people in the church, and the feeling of “home” with all three languages and cultures together.
I have been enjoying reconnecting with family and friends, but l am still eager to get back to Puerto Rico and begin working at CSCD. In addition to working with the students that are currently attending the school, we are looking into starting an outreach of an afterschool tutoring program for Deaf children in the area. This would give them an opportunity to meet other deaf children, receive help with their academic homework and get involved in CSCD and build relationships in a Christian environment.
I really appreciate your continued prayers for both the school and myself as l raise the last part of the monthly support needed in order to return to Puerto Rico and start serving full-time at the Deaf school.