Congratulations, School of the Deaf!

19Dec12

“For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.” Psalm 139:13-14

One of the gems associated with the Disciples of Christ in Paraguay and Argentina is the Primera Escuela Paraguaya de Sordos (First Paraguayan School of the Deaf).  The school began in 1962 as a series of classes at the Misión de Amistad, then under the direction of Rev. Ray and Betty Mills. Marcial Godoy, a young deaf Disciple, traveled to Buenos Aires and Montevideo to learn about the latest techniques in instruction for the deaf. Upon his return, he partnered with the Mills to secure a suitable facility and in 1964 the School was born.

Escuela_Sordos_Shirt

In the following decades, the school has flourished, moving to a larger campus and increasing in class size. In the 1980’s a carpentry business took shape in the manualidades (trades) section of the school, through which the school served neighborhood businesses and homes.

Lucy_Rivas_de_Godoy

Lucy Godoy address the assembly.

Today, under the capable leadership of Marcial’s widow, Lucy Rivas de Godoy, there are 150 students, a training program for special education specialists, athletic events, and various partnerships with the Department of Education. The school has even risen to such prominence that last week, the First Lady sponsored an official act in the national Congress to celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary!

Palacio_Legislativo

Here, members of the Godoy family are arriving at the National Congress to participate in the event.

We join the Congress in congratulating the Godoy family and the entire school on this special occasion, and thank them for their dedicated ministry in the spirit of loving service. Here’s to 50 more years!

signing_a_song

The chorus of the school performed several well-known Paraguayan songs. Some of the signs they used were similar to the ones I studied in my two years of American Sign Language (ASL) classes. I learned that Spanish sign language is not only distinct from ASL, but that there are even different dialects among Spanish-speaking countries.

 

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