Deaf Ministry of El Salvador


All of the posts under the "Volunteers" category.

Paty Vásquez

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I want to tell you a bit about my experience working at CICS. At first when I came here I didn’t know anything about sign language, but I was very interested in learning since I was to be one of the teachers. I had a challenge ahead of me. I began to teach new students who didn’t know any sign language either, so we learned together. The other teachers and students have been a great help in learning sign language and now it is a language in which I can converse with the deaf people.

It is a blessing to help in this ministry. Most of all, the purpose is to teach the children the stories of Jesus and how He can be our personal Saviour.

I thank God that we have sign language, so that the deaf, as well as the hearing, can communicate and learn more about Him.

May God bless you!

Elmer Montano

IMG - 5When I began studying at CICS, I was thirteen years old. I was very rebellious and disobedient and many times needed to be corrected by my teachers. As the years went by, I began to understand that it was necessary to change and with God’s help, I have changed. I studied at CICS until I was eighteen years old.

After leaving CICS, I began to look for construction work in Aguilares (which is where I live). I had a very difficult time finding work, but eventually I found some jobs, but the bosses repeatedly fired me.

I always liked visiting CICS even after I left, to see the other deaf, and I wanted to someday work with them. So it happened that IMG_0257after Darin (a young man who worked at CICS a few years ago) left, I took his place, taking care of the deaf boys that stayed at school throughout the week. At first it was Carlos, José, Kevin, and Miguel. Now that José and Kevin left, I only take care of Carlos and Miguel. It’s now my third year working here.

My work consists of getting up early each morning with the boys to do some routine chorese, taking care of the animals, cleaning and maintenance of CICS, sending them to school in the mornings and then continuing to help them develop vocational abilities in the afternoons. My favorite part about my work is talking with them in the evenings, giving advice and praying with them.
I desire that God would bless the school here and that I could do my best with my work for the glory of God.

Andrea Hershberger

Some journeys lead us far from home. Some adventures lead us to our destiny. – C.S. Lewis

IMG_6249_revIt has certainly been an adventure! I had no idea what the journey would be like when I arrived in El Salvador just over a year ago. I knew very little of either language I would need to communicate, the people I would be working with, or the culture I would be living in. Yet, it didn’t take long until the kids had wrapped themselves all the way around my heart and I knew I was where I belonged.

Some things I’ve learned since coming here…

  1. There is beauty in every culture and language. I have found it fascinating to watch people communicate in IMG_1556_revtheir native language, each understanding the other perfectly and responding accordingly. Cultures were created to be unique in their own place, yet people from other places can learn to live with and appreciate each other for who they are and where they’ve come from.
  2. Children are important. Children are the next generation. What you are doing today in the life of a child is building or tearing down the next generation. Live wisely.
  3. God uses every circumstance to teach us something. You are where you are for a reason. In being here, God showed me my passion. My passion is to work with trauma children. These children have no choice as to what situation they were born into, yet they must forgive their abusers to be able to live a fulfilling life. I want to help them decide to rise above the challenges, learn to forgive, and go on to be builders in the lives of the people around them.

My time here at CICS is coming to a close. Please pray for me as I continue to follow God’s dreams for my life. Thank you for supporting the mission we have here.

Andrea Hershberger

Samuel Stoltzfus

Ever since I was a teenager, it had been my vision to work in a Hispanic country. This desire was compounded after taking four years of Spanish in high school and learning some of the language and culture. My teacher, Daniel Lapp, had been a missionary at an orphanage here at this location, before CICS ever came into being. Hearing about all his stories piqued my interest. Last summer I was also able to come visit CICS for a few days, during an El Salvador trip with Daniel. I had never felt a “yes” or “no” from God about serving here, but the way seemed clear, and I decided to try it. God would let me know if He had other ideas, right? The best way to have an adventure is to “jump off” and see what happens!

IMG_0027And the adventure part sure has been forthcoming! Although it helped that I knew some Spanish and a little ASL before I came, I still have a lot of learning to do. But, the teaching part is the most challenging for me, being a first-time teacher and all. I had substituted before for my teacher friends, but that’s just a very small piece of being an actual teacher. I’ve often had to ask questions from all the veterans around here, but hey I’m learning! (I hope) And I don’t care how much experience you have, seeing a child have a “light-bulb moment” makes the hours of repetition and head-pounding worth it. Hopefully someday I can even change a child’s life for Christ. Wouldn’t that be awesome!

Culture-wise, things haven’t been too drastic and I’ve found it pretty easy to handle. I love the food! A meal won’t seem like a meal at home without a tortilla and an avocado to eat. I find the slow paced life probably the hardest to get accustomed to. IMG_0166Previously living in fast-paced Lancaster County probably doesn’t help matters much in that regard. 🙂 Cold showers are also something to get used to, but after a while you won’t want anything else due to the heat.

As I said before I still have MANY things to learn, and I haven’t been living here without any problems, but it am confident that God will help be me, and I can always go to him when I am feeling discouraged. As the Bible says in Jeremiah 29, God has a plan for me. All I need to do is trust and go along for the ride! I would appreciate it very much if you would pray for me as I attempt to do that. God bless you!

Samuel Stoltzfus

Melody Eash

I was told to write about my experience here. What I was expecting… What I found… Was I disappointed, or pleasantly surprised? Were my expectations met? Exceeded? Or maybe not met?

Screenshot 2015-02-27 22.17.56To tell you the truth, I’m not totally sure what I was expecting. I came here pretty naive. Maybe I was expecting to fulfill my couple months of service like a good Mennonite. And maybe along the way I hoped to make some really cool friends and touch the lives of a few children and maybe even get the chance to say I changed a child’s life. How cool would that be? Oh yes, I knew I would be far away from my family and have a new culture to adjust to, but life is all about new adventures, right? And yes, I had been warned that I would have to deal with humans, but I had been through that before. I mean, you don’t teach for three years without having a few run-ins with that kind.

Little did I know what I was signing up for! In the last eight months I have learned two new languages and experienced the extremely frustrating and lonely feeling of being surrounded by a chattering group of people and not being able to talk to anyone.

I have missed my mother mountains and mountaineers of West Virginia, but at the same time I have fallen in love with a land where the people frustrate you with their tardiness while teaching you to relax and enjoy each moment as it passes.

I have missed my family and friends at home more than I thought possible, but in the meantime God gave me a group of people who constantly challenge me in my relationships with God and those around me as well as constantly amaze me with how much fun we can have together.

I have met children whom I am not sure I have taught anything, but who have taught me more about myself than I ever thought there was to know, and not all of it was pretty. Children that I want to strangle one day, but the next day I would give my life for. Children that I am not sure how I will be able to say good-bye in a month.

Screenshot 2015-02-27 22.18.21I have learned that a warm shower is a luxury, not a necessity, and that it is possible to take three showers a day and need every single one. I have learned that toilet paper is a luxury and if you want it you better plan on supplying your own. I have learned that geckos are less frightening if you give them names, even the ones that run across your feet during the night. I have learned that in the absence of a car you can usually find a bus that will get you where you need to go. And you’ll have a better story afterwards.

So were my expectations met? I would have to say they were exceeded in every way, because no joke about it, it was hard. Harder than I though tit would be. And the rewards? Yes, I see the rewards every day. The little miracle in my kids when they finally connect the dots; in my own life when I realize that I’ve actually made it to that point I thought I wouldn’t survive. But the big ones, the big rewards of seeing these kids succeed in life–someone else will get to see that. But what I can see now is enough for me, and the promise that one day I will have the opportunity to see these kids in heaven. That is enough for me, and that is why I’m not finished yet.

Melody Eash

Matthias Beachy

CICS 2014 - Samuel Stoltzfus -- 2014-03-03.jpgAddition, subtraction, Spanish, sign language. Energy is poured into teaching the students about the world and continents, about nouns and adjectives, about colors and animals, about counting from 1 to 100. Preparation for the year end drama: three boys, hot fire, big idol, and an even bigger God. Thanks Wesley, Matthias, Rosanna, and Melody.

Lawn mowed, pig fed, dog’s kennel cleaned. Lots of biking in and out the lane. The guys kept out of trouble and taught the value of work first, then play. Thanks Elmer.CICS 2014 - Samuel Stoltzfus -- 2014-04-15.jpg

Clothes cleaned. Floors swept and mopped. A little girl kept busy and taught about making bread. Thanks Andrea.

The smell of fresh bread drifts by. It’s 5:30pm. Half an hour until supper. Food will be ready soon. Excellent cooking. Thanks Verónica.

It’s life at the deaf school.

After supper, there will be spelling words to study, games to play, dishes to be washed, and time spent together with the deaf children. Pray for us. We desire to influence these deaf children towards God.

Matthias Beachy

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