For the last few years, Mosaic has supported Hands of Joy, a ministry to deaf children in the Caribbean. Each June, they hold a summer camp for deaf children, who are chronically under-served in the Caribbean. According to Hands of Joy:
Because severe language barriers exclude them from the surrounding Spanish speaking world, these kids are often left feeling isolated and alone. For the most part they are ignored, being viewed as unreachable or even unteachable. Little money or effort is spent to treat them like their hearing counterparts. While there have been some efforts made by government, a few international agencies, and religious ministries to help educate these kids, they are still left with little access to the everyday enjoyable activities and fun which are common to other children of their age. [Read more...]
Our former children's director, Julie Salmon, volunteers at the camp each year. She is an experienced sign language interpreter with years of experience teaching children, and she has been able to offer invaluable investments of both time and skill. She works with the campers and also provides training to local educators of deaf students. This year, Julie is serving for two weeks as the camp's co-director. She says:
This year we are running two camps back to back since there are so many new children from villages all over the Dominican. One is for kids up to age 15, the other is for 15 and over. Since we had about 185 campers last year (double the number from the first couple of years I went), we had thought we might have 100 or so at each camp. We recently got word that a couple of the itinerant pastors have located isolated Deaf children from numerous rural areas where they don't even have schools or much language and we will probably have 150 or more campers at each of the camps. Funding 300 plus Deaf children is a challenge, but God is faithful and His people are responding. So thank you again for being such a faithful partner in this endeavor and thank you for your prayers for each camper that their hearts will be touched by the power of Christ and His love for them. Pray also for our staff workers as we were not expecting so many children and will need His strength and wisdom every moment of the day.
Julie leaves on June 12 and returns on the 25th. Please pray with us for the campers, the staff, and for Julie.
Hands of Joy is also seeking sponsors who can help defray the cost of camp for the kids. A full sponsorship is $85, which pays for transportation, food, supplies, and everything else that's needed to bring one kid to camp for a week. Both full and partial sponsorships are welcome.