This is our senior boys hostel (left). It has served us well, but the landlord is selling, and has asked the boys to move out by the end of April--- just about two and a half weeks away. Jim and I return to the states in less two weeks, and hope to find a home for the boys by then. One option is for the older boys move into our house when we leave, but that would mean our Assistant Head Teacher would not have use of it, and we’d have a major move to do just before leaving. It would however, save on rent money, so we’re still waiting and praying on that one. This hostel has only four boys at the moment, with a family of four who supervise.
The seven junior boys, plus three adult trainees and the couple who serve as parents, live in the house
on the campus property (right), owned by the Gospel Trust, which we also rent. We’re trying to get permission to build a new, larger hostel there, and are still hoping to acquire that by the time of the
annual meeting next Saturday. Again, we are waiting and praying on that one.
Our senior girls, who also had to move recently, are now just down the street from the main hostel.
Their new place is a bit tighter, with twelve women living there now. The landlord has graciously put in a second shower for them. Storage is somewhat limited there, so the girls are literally living out of suitcases tucked under their bunks. But the rent is manageable, and for now, their hostel mom, “Mother Teresa”, as Jim calls her, says “We are thankful to have a roof over our heads.”
The main The main hostel too, is bursting at the seams. Volunteer Libby counted 29 plates set for breakfast the other day. Another new girl, age 4, arrived yesterday, along with her mom. Her mom will stay in the hostel with he hostel with her for aweek or so, making 31 plates for breakfast! A few are sleeping on the floor---but that’s nothing out of the ordinary here. In most villages just about everyone sleeps on the floor, on a woven mat.
The good news is that the main hostel got a face lift this week. APTC (Australia Pacific Technical College) volunteered to paint the inside of the whole hostel, including the tables and chairs. The staff chose a light blue, with accenting salmon colored cupboards, and a full wall mural of roses, which is everyone’s favorite! When all was completed, there was a special ‘thank you’ tea for the twelve workmen, with the children performing mimes. The event made the 6 pm TV news, where Jim got to talk about the deaf ministry. Last week, one of the TV stations also did a children’s show on communication, which featured our school, and sign language. We’ve been getting some good media press lately.
Last week, a woman stopped by the office to tell us that she had heard there were many deaf children who were not in school, on Koro Island. Jim has already arranged for Iowane, our resident ‘child find’ person, and Avikesh, our Form 7 (college prep) deaf student, to travel there at the end of April, during school vacation. I’m sure they’ll come back with more students. Yes, we desperately need to get that new hostel building program off the ground! Please pray that permission to use the land is forthcoming soon!
Here is new student Mereadrani Tuvou (left), on her first day of school, with classmates Tavaita, Barbara, and Ema. When she arrived at the hostel Sunday evening, she pretty much took over the place, and started organizing all the students for a picture. She eagerly jumped right into all the activities with the other children. I believe we have a budding leader in the group! And as you can see, we continue to grow!