Greetings again from CICS. Just a few lines to let you know what has happened in recent months.
We ended the 2015 school year and at the closing program the students acted out the story of the Biblical character, Naaman. Our desire was that all those in attendance could learn of God’s great power. It was a joint effort of both the students and teachers that turned out well.
Mauricio, who was a student since he was eight years old, graduated this past year. He will be greatly missed as he was a model student. I think none of his teachers had complaints about him. We are glad that he is a young man that loves the Lord and is faithful in attending services at the local Mennonite Church and hope to see more of him.
Sadly, because of bad conduct, two of our students were suspended from school and didn’t finish out the year, namely Silvia and Carlos.
Silvia struggled with wanting to take her own way and after talking with her mom, we decided it was better to have her terminate before the school year ended.
Carlos decided that a life of freedom would be best and left the Strong Tower Children’s Home. At sixteen he feels old enough to live on his own; things haven’t really worked out for him and he has lived with some of his former classmates but does not want to be responsible in helping out with anything, so his stays have been short-lived.
Also three of our volunteer staff terminated at the end of 2015: Matthias Beachy, Melody Eash and Lidia Alfaro. Their respective service was: four, three, and one year. We appreciate their effort and dedication and desire the Lord’s blessings on their lives; may He add His reward for the service.
This brings us into the 2016 school year.
We thank God for the opportunity of another year. Classes started on February 8 with 9 students; 8 have been part of the school, before, and one new girl. 3 more students were expected to attend, but unfortunately their parents decided not to send them. Hopefully by next year their parents will see the value of their children receiving an education.
We have 6 volunteer staff for this year. Four served already last year (Veronica, Elmer, Samuel and Paty) to those were added two young ladies, (Liz Jara and Bethany Thompson)
There are three different classes being taught this year:
The teacher of the first class is Liz Jara. It consists of two students: Maria who is 17 years old, but is attending school for the first time, and Antony, a 7 year old. This is a big age difference, but they are almost on the same academic level. Antony studied last year, but unfortunately he missed a lot of classes and that delayed his learning. Maria is in her first year at school, but is eager to learn, attends school every day and is very attentive in class; it seems as if she wants to learn everything she missed out on, in previous years.
Paty Vasquez is the teacher of the second class and this is her second year teaching at the Deaf School. Her students are: Joel, Jairo and Miguel, and they are between eight and ten years old. These boys keep their teacher hopping. They are all high energy and need lots of love, discipline, correction, and teaching.
And for the third class, the teacher is Samuel Stoltzfus and his students are: Teresa, Paola, Beatriz and Eduardo. Teresa is at a more advanced level, then Beatriz and Paola are on the same level, and Eduardo is the less advanced of the class. That gives you an idea of how much effort the teacher puts into preparing classes that are relevant for the different levels of learning; but he does very well and, although the students say he is very strict, I think they’re learning a lot.
Bethany Thompson is the Dorm Mother and this is her first year at the school, which means that she is learning Spanish and expanding her Sign Language abilities. She is responsible for Beatriz’s care in the afternoon and helps her develop life skills.
Veronica is again back in the kitchen this year and has the big job of feeding many hungry people.
Elmer is again in charge of maintenance and in the afternoon is responsible for Miguel, helping him learn different skills.
Thanks to each of you for your prayers and financial support, it is a great blessing to have what we need for each day. May God reward you greatly!