We are heading into the last week of term two and we continue to be thankful for the many times God has blessed us over the term. While some of the children have had colds, boils, and other mild illnesses, we are thankful that we have had no major health issues and everyone has been kept safe. We have had three couples from Christchurch NZ, another group from Wellington NZ, and a handyman from England, who have done programmes with the children and maintenance work around the main hostel – God is good.
Fijians are very generous people and we have had several meals provided by groups who just want to give. Recently a taxi driver arrived at the main hostel to arrange to provide a Sunday lunch for the children. He had dropped one of our hearing staff off previously and had learned about the children. He and a group of other drivers wanted to celebrate the first birthday of their car club called “The Low Riders”, by providing food for our children. Yesterday our neighbour and a group of his friends who used to meet to drink kava, but had decided they would be better doing something useful, cooked a BBQ and everyone enjoyed a piece of chicken and a sausage along with vegetables and bread. This was topped off with a cup cake - Christmas had come early and seconds were available if anyone wished!!
Six weeks ago, our first ever student from Vanuatu arrived with his dad and teacher. Dad stayed a week and then flew home to leave a sad Michael behind in the hostel. Michael soon found his place and is now enjoying life with our children, and is quickly learning to sign. His teacher has an amazing ability to pick up sign language, and will hopefully be able to teach other deaf children in Vanuatu. Currently there is no official sign language in Vanuatu and no specialist schooling for the deaf. We will work together with them to help establish both.
Our hostel staff were recently invited to visit the blind school and hostels. We were most impressed with everything and everyone, and like our teachers, their teachers were patient and kind to the children. We were treated to some lovely singing and it was quite emotional for us to see the joy on the children’s faces, when they themselves couldn’t see us. I came away being thankful that our children are deaf and not blind – life is so much more difficult for the blind.
After a suggestion from Liti that it would be great for our children to sit at tables, rather than eat on the floor, we bought some chairs, put up the folding tables, and meal times have become less of a challenge. Chairs and tables can be stacked away again and the dining room becomes the living room, gym, play area and all the other areas again!! This is far more hygienic for everyone!!
A week ago, our senior girls had a cooking lesson and learned to make chocolate fudge cake. We cut it up into 15 pieces and they intended selling it to the teachers at school on Monday. However, it was all sold by Sunday night! After purchasing the ingredients from the profits, another batch was made and more sales negotiated. Three further batches were made throughout the week and hopefully this “new business” may develop further.
Tomorrow we will all attend the CEACOSIE Games 2019. “Disability Is Not Inability” is the moto on the back of our BRIGHT orange tee-shirts, which are sponsored by McDonalds. Only some children will get placings but everyone will have a fun day, even if the weather isn’t looking good. We have had many days of rain and we have the promise of more to come.
Please pray for the safety of our children as they travel home to their villages for the holidays at the end of the week, and for our teachers and hostel staff, that they will enjoy a well-earned break
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