Friday, January 21, 2011

Chess Anyone?

Sulmi and Kristel are learning how to play chess. They are in our school's Chess Club. They were pretty frustrated because we don't have anyone to interpret for them during the club. (I have to teach a sign language club that meets at the same time, so I can't help them.) Last Friday they said they didn't understand and wanted to quit. I talked with Molly, the club leader, and tried to figure out how to make this work. I thought, gee, if they could just learn how to play the game with each other, they would not really need to have someone interpret. They could spend the club period playing together. That would relieve some stress on Molly. She has 29 children all trying to learn at the same time.

So we brought a mat and bag of game pieces home, learned the signs for the pieces and how they move...and then we played a game. It was fun. I was impressed how both Sulmi and Kristel were able to plan and think ahead sometimes, but it was hard to get them to understand the objective. No matter what I said they were focused on trying to get as many of their opponent's pieces as they could. Finally when I captured Sulmi's King and said, "Game over", they had an "aha!" moment. Immediately they wanted to play again and told me to go away and let them give it a go. This is a picture from their unsupervised game.

Special OlympicsFootball

We are training a team for the International Special Olympics event which will be held in Greece this summer. It is inspiring how far these kids have come from the first days we had a Special Olympics Football training. This practice was at a beautiful field in Belmopan, Belize's capital city. We will practice together once a month until the team of 8 children is selected. Christen, a Peace Corps worker and Elodia, a teacher in our program, do most of the day to day coaching. My role? (as little as ) . I try to be an encouraging fan, and drive them to the practice.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Jesus Is the Way

It's been a long time since I have shown pictures from church so here are some from this morning to give you an idea of how God is maturing our little group and leading us on the Way. The theme this morning was John 14:6. This is Yelitza (She is deaf and the mother of a 5 year old who attends St. Peter's. Yelitza used to come to our Girl's Night Friday Night Bible Study but when she and her husband moved to Carmelita, it was too far for her to travel at night.) In the picture above she is leading a song during worship.
Here Edgar is leading the song"Where He Leads Me I Will Follow". Edgar is now 17. He works full time at a lumberyard, primarily sweeping up the saw dust and loading the lumber onto trucks. He also does some sanding. I am so thankful that the Lord gave him this job. He has moments when he has strayed from the Way that Jesus showed him to walk but so far he has always made a confession and come home. It's hard. There are lots of temptations out there for independent 17 year old boys. Edgar is one of our 7 baptized members. He faithfully attends the Friday Night Bible Study.

Here we are...the whole gang for a group shot. We're missing Misael and Hipolito...but this is most of us. Pray that God continues to raise up leaders from our group. Thank God that we continue to mature in faith and courage to witness to the Gospel. Pray that we all can resist the temptations that are everywhere. Pray that we grow in grace and tolerance ...extending love and mercy to everyone in our fellowship, a reflection of the LOVE and mercy God has so generously extended to us through Jesus. Praise God that the two women who had worked as prostitutes for 12 years are now working at day jobs and back home living with their mothers. (The two remind me to "never give up" on anyone). Pray that they can continue to fend off this addiction even if it means a loss of income. Thank God for Juan's 27 weeks of perfect sobriety, new love for his wife, and the way he is helping the teenage boys to avoid alcohol. Pray that the Holy Spirit will burn within us and guide us with God's wisdom.
Thanks for caring about Jesus' Deaf Church.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Don't You Paint Your Garbage Can?

In Orange Walk some of the garbage cans have words on them that advertise a store or political candidate. Sulmi, Kristel and I took advantage of our vacation from school to paint mine. I painted the Bible verse and the girls painted all of the flowers.

Doing a Vanna Pose.

Praise God for taking care of our garden! It is growing so nicely. In these pictures Sulmi and Kristel are striking a Vanna (Wheel of Fortune) show off the tomatoes and lettuce.

The radishes are HUGE. Last year they were too close together and never got larger than a gumball. They weren't very tasty either. This year I thinned them out more and transplanted some of them. When the girls and I picked a few we thought , Oh no! They are too big. I used to think that all radishes are better when they are small. But this variety is so yummy and crunchy, even though they are big.

Gardening is so rewarding. In this tropical climate my students can watch things grow year round. Cool, huh?