At meal time we each take turns praying in sign language. As you might image, the prayers are simple, short and to the point. Sometimes as short as “Thank you, God, Food, Amen!” Last night I volunteered since I hadn’t had a turn yet. At the end I said “Thank you God for our food” but instead of the sign for food, I signed “more”. We all had a good laugh but I was thinking about that today. I am thankful for more; more than I expected. Here are some ways that this trip is more…
I am more tolerant of the heat and humidity than I thought. I love air conditioning …and love is not too strong of a word! Maybe ‘adore’ is better? I love being cool. I hate being hot and sticky – a Puerto Rican specialty! After a 10 days here I really don’t mind the climate that much. That said, the Spanish word seco (dry) has no legitimate usage in Puerto Rico …nothing is every truly dry!
We have been able to do more than I anticipated. I’ve split my time between working with the students and making repairs and improvements to the facilities. While we never get everything check off the list there is much being accomplished. Additionally we have also been able to do more fun things with the students and as a team. Jumping off a 15 ft pier, snorkeling, the beach every other night, Bio Bay, old San Juan and the rain forest – twice!
I can communicate far more than I ever would have thought. The deaf students and adults we’ve met are very patient and are willing to work with us to get ideas across. Sunday we attended a deaf church in San Jaun. The “singing” was beautiful. I talked with the song leader and was able to accurately communicate “I like your singing. It blessed my heart.” I know he understood because he blushed.
We are being used by God in more ways than I expected. I was in charge of games – mostly because someone had to be and you don’t want me doing craft! I was surprised at how the students really – I meant really, truly – enjoyed playing with our teens. The games were simple and sometimes lame/funny. Everyone got into them. The students were very proud of the Olympic metals they won. Some wore them for quite awhile after game time.
We have had more discussion in our devotions that I thought. With some exceptions, our team didn’t know each other very well. Our devotional time each night has been very interactive moving beyond the “right” answer to the questions.
The students are leaving tomorrow and we will miss them and I know they will miss us.