Ever since God called me to leave my life and plans for the future to come here and be a teacher to the deaf, I have often wondered why He called me. There are so many people better qualified to do this job than I am. I have no formal education in teaching (much less special education), I have very little formal education in American Sign Language, I don't speak Spanish, I have never been evangelistic, my knowledge in theology is rather lacking, and the list goes on and on. But the longer I'm here, the more I am starting to believe all of those reasons are exactly why He called me. Any success I have and any impact I make could only be possible through Him. There is no way that any human ability or institution can take credit for what I do while I am here. All of the glory is to Him and for Him. If you ever find yourself wondering why God has placed you where He has, just remember that if He put you there, He will provide everything you need to be able to serve Him as He intended.
One thing I have learned about Dominicans is that they celebrate EVERYTHING! There are so many special days and each one is recognized and talked about in the schools. For example, just this month we have had the Day of Alphabetization, the International Day of Peace, the Day of the Bible, the Day of Children's Rights, and the Day of the Deaf. The Day of the Bible was celebrated with songs and dramas presented by each grade teaching about the Bible and its power.
Things at the school are going pretty well overall. Teaching is going great and each of my students (even the more challenging ones) is such a blessing to me. The director's son comes in once a week to teach the older students about technology and computers, and his new project is to teach them how to fix computers, which could be a wonderful way for them to make some money in the future. If any of you have any old computers, laptops, or cell phones that are damaged and you are looking to get rid of, let me know and I can get them from you in late December to bring back with me to help out with this amazing learning opportunity.
However, the water business that runs out of the school and provides some income for the school has been struggling due to the lack of electricity in the last month. For the past month, the electricity at the school has been off more than it has been on. And without electricity, we can't run the water purification system and can't sell water. That money not only pays the incomes of those who work in the water business, but also for the gas and driver for the school van. The school van was purchased thanks to a lot of hard work in fundraising done by members of the team that comes to put on the camp every summer. This van picks up and takes home children who have no transportation to get to and from school and can't afford any public transportation, and it has been such an incredible blessing. Without income from the water business, the van can't run and those kids can't come to school. Thanks for God's incredible provision through generous donations, we were able to keep the van running this last week. However, once that money is gone, we're not sure what we are going to do. We definitely need prayers in this area. If you are interested in donating to this cause, you can visit http://www.handsofjoyforthedeaf.com/donate.html. All money donated to the Hands of Joy organization gets sent to an account for the school and will be used to meet its financial needs in order to give these children a better education. There is so much power in prayer and in coming together as the body of Christ in order to help our brothers and sisters who are less fortunate.