Friday, July 25, 2014

Deaf VBS July 21-25

Every summer our church has two VBS programs.  The first is for primarily Deaf people who are ages 10 and up.  We also include hearing siblings in that age-range who want to come.  The second VBS is for young deaf children and deaf parents who have young hearing children.  We call that CODA VBS. That program will August 4-8.  Last week was Deaf VBS. We had 14 to 15 participants each day.

 It was a 9 AM - 3:30 PM program.  The theme came from an old Mennonite curriculum called, "Resolving Conflict the Jesus Way".  I heavily supplemented with conflict resolution activities and concepts from Adventures in Peacemaking by Kreidler and Furlong.  I praise God for leading me to this theme because it was the perfect way and time to teach this age group about conflict resolution.
The schedule was basically:
  • Worship
  • reciting memory verses
  • the new teaching (Bible story and thematic lesson).  This usually included some kind of drama to make it clear.
  • a new memory verse and game to learn it
  • a craft
  • outdoor activities while I prepared lunch
  • lunch
  • swimming
  • We ended about 3:30 when I drove everyone home.
I have included lot of photos. I hope you enjoy seeing the fun we had.



Gabriel wanted to stay inside to be part of the fun, but was kind of in the way so he hid under the table to keep from getting stepped on.

8 possible strategies for resolving conflict.

Gineli singing

"Tie us together Lord. Ties us together with cords that cannot be broken." Illustration of how the Holy Spirit binds us together with love.


Six people learned all four memory verses.  Several others learned two or three of them. Everyone learned at least one. Below Monico and Kristel are signing their verses.


In addition to dramatizing the Bible stories, we also did a lot of conflict resolution role-playing where the children were presented with a conflict.  They acted it out and then demonstrated stopping to think about which strategy to use to resolve it. We did this "fish bowl" style and let other people jump into the fish bowl if they had a different way to resolve it or if the actors got stuck.


Crafts were a favorite part of the program.


The Final Day Ice Cream Outing

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Such a Blessing!

In Fiddler on the Roof Motel and Tzeitel feel elated when a sewing machine is delivered to Annatevka.

I felt the same way when the men delivered a dryer to my house yesterday.

What a thrill!  For ten years we have been hanging our clothes outside.  That is great on a sunny day, but when it rains here in Belize for 8 months, the clothes end up being hung inside the house on lines in Sulmi's room, the guest room and my closet, over chairs and anywhere there is room. It's so humid, that in damp weather it takes two days and sometimes three days to dry inside.  Sometimes, by that time, the shirts smell like mildew. So...if the sun comes out, we dash around to hang the clothes on the line outside so they will dry faster and not mildew.  But if it rains while they are on the line we dash around, once again, to bring them inside to hang them anywhere there is space.   This procedure of hanging the clothes outside, then inside, then outside is exhausting and frustrating.  We will continue to air dry the clothes on the line outside, but it the rains begin to fall, hooray for the dryer!  A big, big thanks to Kathy for gifting the dryer to us!

Friday, July 4, 2014


     About a year ago we started to have a monthly fun fellowship time because we just needed a chance to "BE" with each other and enjoy each other outside of worship and Bible study. It has been a time when Deaf people who do not normally come to church, feel safe being among other Deaf people without making a commitment to church attendance.  Last week we had two Deaf visitors.  One came came for the first time and one for the second.  

Our Fun Fridays always begin with food :-)
It's usually Belizean dip and tortilla chips, veggies for the dip, something sweet like cookies or bars, and juice.

Jadin likes the cheese dip.

We invite all of the brothers and sisters of the deaf child to come as well.  Maybe they will learn some sign language.  Many have become a part of our fellowship even on Sundays. In the picture above sitting with Kristel are Lupita, Yuhayna, and Mauricio.  The last three are Alejandro's siblings.

Ah!  BINGO!  This was definitely a more low key night than our usual relays and "Minute-to-Win It" games!
Even so there was lots of laughter and fun.  Everyone could participate.  With the more raucous activities, the older women tend to sit it out.

Bingo wasn't fun or interesting for the youngest CODA children so Kathy set up a table of things they could play with.  I appreciate Kathy's help with the children.  ARGH! I wonder what we will do when she leaves in two weeks ?!!

Bierta has always liked to play with dolls.  Another big thanks goes to Kathy for buying these Barbies.