In 1957, U.S. missionaries who were ministering to the deaf in Jamaica answered God’s call to bring the Gospel to the deaf in Puerto Rico. These new missionaries quickly learned that most of the deaf were illiterate. Without a written language, how could these deaf read and study and learn from the Bible? Their vision continues today.
We desire to nurture Deaf children to live and think biblically. We do this through education and living out the values of God’s Word. We desire to see Deaf Adults growing in the Word of God. We address this by friendship evangelism, one-on-one tutoring and discipleship.
God’s Word is our guide. God’s Love is our reason. God’s Strength is our joy. God and God alone holds our purpose.
Christian School and Chapel for the Deaf - What We Do
We use a natural approach to language development. First offering an environment which is visually and linguistically rich – words, signs, posters, pictures, interactive representational materials (flashcards, slot charts, puzzles, pictures, videos, books, magazines).
Then we try to create ‘natural’ setting in which to use the language – play, cooking, cleaning, working, writing, coloring, games – in which the child is brought into the activity. We try to force communication by presenting choices at all turns and by not letting the child dictate too much of what happens.
In the beginning, we will follow the child around talking about the things we are doing and seeing – SWING! YES YOU SWING. I LIKE SWINGS. THIS SWING RED. YOU SIT-ON BLUE SWING. etc. All along the way, we impose some structure: Flags, Chapel, Calendar time, Prayer, Printing, Math, Counting, Computers, Story telling. The goal is to model language and stimulate expressive language. Receptive language skills precede expressive language skills so there are multiple models of language happening all around in classrooms, between staff, with other students – each instance of seeing language signed will impact the mind of our new students.
This is as true for a 4 year old as it is for a 14 year old. Our ultimate goal is to use language to discuss, teach, explain and help our students to know God, to understand the message of salvation and their need of a Saviour. Many language studies presuppose that language developed without the intervention of God. We know that language is a gift from God and we love to see our students use this gift to know Him.