Deaf Ministry of El Salvador

June – July 2011

First of all, I want to thank the Lord for giving me an opportunity to help out at the deaf school. Thank God that there is a language through which the deaf can also learn to know Him.

It is very interesting to watch the children speak this language. At first, I didn’t understand anything but have now learned to communicate with them.

My job is to take care of the maintenance in this place. I keep the grass mowed and keep the fence lines cleaned and repaired. These are things I do in the morning. In the afternoon, I’m responsible to keep work projects going for the three boys that board here during the week: Carlos, Kevin, and Manuel.

I ask you to please keep praying for this ministry, that God would provide for our needs.
May the Lord bless you!

Amílcar Vásquez


The Willard Mast family that lived in Las Delicias were the ones that let us know about Beatriz. She was living alone with her mom, as her dad was living in the USA. Willard and Sharon brought Beatriz and her mom to the deaf school one day so they could see how it
was, but at that point, we didn’t have enough teachers to be able to take her in.DSC_0260

The following year, we had Beatriz and two other
girls wanting to start school and God blessed us with
another teacher, so she was able to come. The year she
started school, her dad was back in El Salvador.

Beatriz is fairly soft-hearted and sentimental. Her
eyes are very expressive and she often seems to say more with her eyes than with her hands. Because she lives so far away, she stays at the school during the week and goes home on weekends. Her parents bring her back and forth by public transportation.

As we learned to know her, we discovered that after being at home, she wasn’t herself at the beginning of the week. She was unmotivated and more quiet than usual. She often seemed to be lost in thought. With time, however, she started to communicate more and told us of the problems in her home.

Her dad was a drunk and he didn’t treat her mother very kindly. At times she didn’t come to school because there was no money to pay the bus fare. This caused her to feel insecure and she often cried when her mom brought her.

At the beginning of this year, we went to see if she was going to come to school this year and found out that her parents had separated. She had lived with her mom at first, but then went to live with her dad. We weren’t sure if she was going to come, but Praise the
Lord, her parents got back together and Beatriz was able to continue coming to school. She is learning a lot and does well in writing.DSC_0170-1

Please pray for her family; there are still problems and it does affect her. Our desire is that through our contact with Beatriz, her family would come to know the Lord.

Becky Aguilar

Newsletter June-July 2011

How time does fly. Our school year is half over and we welcomed the rainy season and visitors and vacation days! The rain has made the fields and mountains very green! I love seeing the corn sprouting all over the hillsides and fields nearby. This year we aren’t planting corn so our fields are empty. It rains almost every day. Some days, I can only hope and pray that the wash will dry, and other days, finds us running out at lunch to bring the wash in. My favorite part of rainy season is hearing the thunder and the downpours at night.
My sister, Lynita Beachy, and a friend, Esther Brenneman, both from OH, visited us the first two weeks in June. Lois Ann Weaver from PA visited María Eva the end of June. They worked with each other a few years ago in the orphanage in Honduras.
We all headed to the Youth Retreat at La Palma June 16-18. We also had off for national teacher’s day on June 24. Wesley surprised his family and friends by showing up at his cousin’s wedding in Ohio in mid-June.
So what are some things that make life at the deaf school special and makes working here fulfilling? Let me tell you a few stories:
It’s so encouraging to see the children change and learn to enjoy life. When Silvia came, she cried at nights and didn’t know how to play and always was asking for her mom. Now she can’t wait to get her work done to play with the other children and she doesn’t even ask for her mom every day. I’m convinced she’s even cuter now that she is enjoying life more, as she can express herself better and is learning to work, play and obey.
Deaf children are amazing actors and use lots of expression. I love to see them enjoying their favorite foods like cinnamon rolls and donuts we get at the bakery and sweet and sour dressing for their salad. They are great dramatizing a Bible story and their faces light up over receiving a piece of candy or a little jar of bubbles. Lots of jokes are played in the deaf culture. It’s definitely a common thing to be told to look behind you and then it was nothing. The children also love to creep up behind you then poke you and scare you badly!
I noticed Elmer, 18 years old, seemed a little preoccupied and a few times noticed he had his eyes closed as he was in the hammock or doing the dishes. When I asked him why, he said he was praying and thinking about God. One night I noticed the light was on in school and looked out and saw Elmer out praying with Wesley. He just asked to join the church here. What joy to see the children making choices to follow God!
Silvia and Beatriz love to pray. Usually they take turns to pray at nights but sometimes they both want to. A typical prayer is something like this: God, thanks for everything, for food, school is over, thanks for everything, thanks for the teachers, it is bad to not play nicely, now its time to sleep. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Thank you for your interest in the mission here. May God bless you!

May 2011

It is a pleasure to be able to greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus and at the same time, wish the Lord’s blessing on each one of you.
I want to tell you a little of my experiences here at CICS; it is such a blessing and a privilege to be able to help others that have need of learning to know God. I believe that in the short time I’ve been here, it has been a great blessing in my life and I have experienced the blessing of God, especially how he works in our lives so that through this we can help others find salvation in Christ Jesus.
It is interesting to be able to speak sign language. I never imagined that I would work in a place of ministry but God worked in my life and I am grateful for everything that He has done. I enjoy the time with the deaf children and am very happy to be able to cook and am also glad that nobody has gotten sick by my cooking. I feel blessed to be used of the Lord and be able to give my services to people who are in need.
I ask for your prayers on behalf of this ministry. Pray that We as the staff could be good examples and leave a good testimony. Pray also for the children, that each day they could learn more and more of Christ and His infinite love. Blessings!image
~Mayra Berrios


imageWe learned to know Paola through Luis (a deaf man). He told us one day that in his neighborhood there is a deaf girl that is about 3 years old. We went to visit her and invited her to a getting acquainted activity that we had planned with all the deaf children that we knew from the area.
She came with her dad and sat the whole time, on the lap of a girl who had come to help. She seemed very timid and we felt that it would be wise to wait a while before she started to come to school.image
Three years later, we again went to visit Paola. We found out that her dad had died and her mom had gotten married again.
We talked with her mom and she consented to having Paola come to the school; but the most interesting thing for us was to see how enthusiastic her step-father was in wanting her to come to the school.
We discovered that Paola was not at all timid but very active and even a bit hard to control. But she soon adapted and then started to learn. We soon noticed that she is very gifted in math.
imagePaola is a living example, of the fact, that it is easier and faster for a young child to learn sign language and also academics.
Praise God, that even though her dad died, her new dad loves her and supports her in her learning.
Paola is now 7 years old and this is the second year that she is in school.

~Becky Aguilar

Newsletter May 2011

A new student
Her mother actually heard about the school from someone in the States. Some of her cousins worked with Loncho Ramos in the States and happened to mention their deaf cousin and how she doesn’t ha
ve a school to attend as she was kicked out from the government school for bad behavior. So Silvia’s mom came one weekend to visit and immediately wanted to send her daughter. We awaited Silvia’s arrival with some trepidation but also excitement because as Becky says it’s a wonderful thing to see the students change and grow as they learn how to communicate and behave! Silvia is 10 years old but quite big for her age. She is strong willed and used to getting her own way, but she is learning that there are limits here! She can learn fast if she wants to and her behavior is slowly improving, though sometimes it seems for every step forward she takes two backwards. Pray for Silvia and for the workers who take care of her and teach her.


Butchering day – Students
were a little surprised when they came to school in the morning only to find out that they would helpwith butchering a steer instead. It was a nice diversion and in the evening we invited the committee of the CICS over for a BBQ.

We have a new van! One morning we all went outside and received instructions from Nata about how to take care of the van. Now it’s not necessary to slam the door shut and we no longer need to push the van to get it started.
We have off a whole week for Semana Santa (Holy Week/Easter). On Friday, everyone was acting rather hyper. By 2 pm, all the students and most of the staff were gone. There was so little activity with only Nata’s family here that some bees were able to start building a nest on the front porch.
Some former staff visited for a few days – Naoma Lee and Liliana. Wesley’s cousin, Hosea Miller, also came for a visit during Semana Santa and stayed till April 28th.

We’ve been enjoying some change in our routine!image
May 10th, the children all piled into the van with their teachers and off they went to Texistepeque to pick mangos at Joseph and Connie Miller’s house. The children and staff filled 16 feed sacks full of mangos. The van was so full of people there was no room for mangos so Mark Yoder had to bring the seven big sacks over in the truck and also gave nine sacks to the children’s home.
May 16th we had a big mango canning day. I was kind of excited about the day and wondered why all the others were kind of groaning at the thought of all the work, but I soon found out that making mango sauce takes a lot of time!! The children helped
wash, peel, and cut up the mangos. We cooked them in huge kettles, put them through the Victoria strainer, and then added sugar. We then poured the sauce in jars and canned them over the fires outside. After we all worked many hours and five of us cut our fingers, we ended up with 73 quarts ofmango sauce on our shelves and 30 bags of mangos in the freezer.

May 10th was also Mother’s day. Ester Pacheco came for a few days to help the children with art projects so they would have something to give to their mother.
May 16th we welcomed Ruth Schlabach from Shipshewana, IN to the finca. A few days later, Yamilet Lima joined her. They are staying in the Casa Twila for a few weeks as they are helping start a bakery in Aguilares. Ruth is teaching a few native ladies how to bake whoopee pies, donuts, and cookies.
imageOne week Jose didn’t come to school as he had fallen from a tree and hurt his legs. His parents thought maybe they were broken. One day most of the children walked over to his house to visit. As his parents weren’t taking him to the doctor, Nata took him one Saturday and here his ankles were just sprained. Jose is back now and at first hobbled around with a cane but now seems to be doing pretty well.
We can tell rainy season is just around the corner. There were a few afternoons when it rained and the bug population has already soared.
Thank you to everyone who helped pay for the van! Thank you for your prayers! A few of the older children have recently been thinking a lot about accepting Jesus into their hearts. Pray for us as staff, that we would remember why we are here and could also be good examples. Thank you for your interest in the mission here! God is GOOD!
~Margretta Beachy

April 2011

I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus. May His grace and peace be multiplied in your lives. I want to share a little of my experience here in CICS. It has been a year of many blessings, seeing the hand of God strengthening and helping me in everything. I thank God because I have had the privilege of being the teacher of a couple new girls. When they arrived at the school they didn’t know any sign language and I didn’t know how to start teaching them. But thanks to God they have learned and now they can communicate with the other deaf children. It is wonderful to see what they have learned and that they can begin to express their feelings in correct ways. I can’t understand God’s greatness in that he has given this means (sign language) of reaching their hearts.
imageI remember a question that a deaf boy asked, “Why am I deaf?” He himself answered that God knows and that made me think of heaven where everything will be perfect. When I am in heaven I know that I will meet with some of these deaf children that I have taught about the Creator God who made everything perfect. Then it will no longer be necessary to use our hands to communicate and the question will be answered “Why am I deaf?”
For this reason I am voluntarily working with the deaf children and
may the results glorify God in their lives.
Pray for us that God would give us of His grace. God bless you.
~Eva Quintanilla


imageWe asked the government agency that looks after the welfare of children, if they had any deaf children in their homes; they answered us with, “we would need to search the system”, but they soon let us know that they had a boy that was approximately 6 or 7 years old, and that is how Carlos came to our school.
Nothing is known of his parents, as he was abandoned in a housing development. Apparently his parents decided to move to another place with the intention of leaving him behind, which they did.
For a time, Carlos lived on the street, eating what the neighbors would give him. When the police were informed of this, they placed him in an orphanage. For some time, he lived being moved from one orphanage to another, as he was always escaping. Since he came here, he has not tried to run away.
imageCarlos has a ready smile and people easily fall in love with him, but because of what he suffered, the sunny smile and the reality of what he is feeling in his heart, are often not the same. He lives behind some pretty high barriers.
Those who have cared for him have had many frustrations, but God is slowly changing his heart and we now begin to see the fruits of our patience and hard work.image
He has learned a lot in school, including how to behave properly, imagebut above all to have the fear of the Lord in his heart.
Pray for us that God will guide us to know how to train Carlos.
Pray also for the future of Carlos and that his heart can be completely healed.
~Becky Aguilar

Newsletter April 2011

This year we have twelve students and three teachers. Our teachers this year are Wesley Mast from IN, María Eva Pacheco, and Eva Quintanilla, from here in El Salvador. We have three new workers this year: Mayra Berrios, who daily cooks three meals for us; Margretta Beachy from OH, the dorm mother and housekeeper; and Amilcar Vásquez, the dorm father. Nata and Becky Aguilar and family are beginning their sixth year as house parents/director. Abel Quinteros and Joseph Miller worked hard here the first weeks of school. We are quite grateful for the two new bathrooms they added to the mission house. Outdoors they built bigger, better restroom facilities. The reason for all the added bathrooms was because March 1-3 the Central American Minister’s Meetings were held here. The students had a whole week of vacation as the school rooms were used as bedrooms and the big front yard now held hundreds of missionaries who came to hear the Word of God and to be instructed and refreshed. Instead of teaching and doing their normal work, the teachers and workers helped cook three meals a day for the hungry crowds! March 7, school began again. By this time all the staff had arrived and everyone was ready for normal life again! The first day back, the students got to help with cleaning up. If you were to visit here, these are some of the sights you would see: Mangos!! Everyone is greatly enjoying mango season. Our huge trees are just loaded with mangos. Some like the ripe, juicy orange ones, some like the tart green ones with salt, some like them all. It’s not unusual to see the children wandering the nearby fields or climbing trees to find mangos. Children or staff pushing the van out the lane till it starts! The sight really is rather funny, but it does remind us again of the fact that we need another more dependable van around here! (We have since purchased another one. Thank-you to those of you that made this possible!). image Children signing to each other and to the staff. It’s evident that the children enjoy their time here at the school and being able to communicate with people as most of their families do not know sign language so communication is limited. And no, it is not quiet around here even though the children are deaf. They cannot hear themselves, but they still laugh, yell, and make noises to get your attention. A highlight in our day is a time of singing and Bible story after lunch. Even after the children go home, we still have much activity here as three children stay for the night.Please pray that we could share God’s love with the children. Also especially pray for our safety as there seems to be more unrest in the area these days.                      ~ Margretta Beachy

August 2010

” Wow! My God is amazing…and He has
done amazing things for me! After many prayers
and the Hand of God at work in a Divine way, I
ended up here in El Salvador at a deaf school,
not knowing any Spanish or sign language. So far
I have daily been learning new
words and signs and it’s been
fun, although at times very
overwhelming trying t o
remember it all. I feel like I
have adapted very well and
am really enjoying life here.
My job description
here at CICS is summed up as
being the dorm Mother, which
I have come to discover
involves a variety of things.
Caring for the deaf little girls that stay here
during the week is the main thing. Right now I
only have one, as Yosselin hasn’t been here for
awhile. Beatriz has a few chores to help with after
school, namely sweeping and mopping, folding
laundry, setting the table and etc. I am
also responsible to make sure the boys
have a clean room and clothes. It has
been something for me to get used to
how quickly things get dusty and dirty
around here, and sometimes it seems
like an endless cycle. But the reward of a satisfied
feeling at seeing it nice and clean is always worth
the hard efforts!
It has proved to be very much of a
growing experience and a time of drawing nearer
to God. He has blessed me with so much and
interacting with the deaf kids has shown it to me
in a different way. As I realize the challenges they
face, not only in not being able to hear,
but also many of the sad home situations and
environments they come from, it makes me feel
humbled; and with God, I want to do all I can to
make a difference in their lives and let them feel
true love. Please pray that somehow God can
touch their lives through us, so as they grow older
they will live for Him!
Isaiah 43 has become very meaningful to
me in the past weeks. Especially verse 7; “Even
every one that is called by my name: for I have
created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea,
I have made him.” God has created us all for a
unique purpose and may all I do be for the glory
of my Creator!
-Julia Miller


* Julia & Beatriz *