We went to visit Carolina our new friend who is deaf. Carolina does not yet sign, does not yet communicate, does not keep her focus for more than a few seconds on one thing. Carolina is our friend.
Last week we asked her mother if we could come every Friday and just be with her, let her get to know our faces and our hearts. Eventually the plan is to not only teach her LSM but also how to take care of herself as a 21 year old woman who has a daughter with 1 or 2 years. One -step -at -a -time.
Yesterday, Friday, I was given the responsibility this week to "teach" her. I brought with me 4x6 notecards with pictures of everyday life things glued to the cards. In this case, everyday life would include corn, tortillas, dogs, flowers... very very simple NOT a polar bear or "top fashion".
I thought I would have our former student Isabel do most of the teaching because she is deaf and was recently in the same shoes as Carolina. As a human that can communicate AND who is now a Christ follower, Isabel is hope to the lost and broken, a voice with her hands to the voiceless. Able to disciple Carolina better than I ever could. : )
Well showed up at the house and it seemed that no one was home. Walking around the back Carolina was there sitting in the grass alone. Carolina saw us and she mimicked what everyone else does, a hand shake. A few of us woman including Isabel's mom (who is Otomi) sat down next to Carolina. She kept looking around at different things very distracted. I really didn't know how to start so we prayed and I played worship music on my phone and left it on the whole time. I pulled out the flash cards and Isabel, who was very patient and who with us was learning on the spot, tried to get Carolina's attention and would sign. Carolina did not understand any of it EXCEPT that with each new picture she would put her face down and SMELL/KISS the photo! It seemed that she had never seen a photo and was determining what to do with it. When we got to the flower/ plant photo Carolina did the coolest thing. She looked around the grass which we sat on and pulled grass and flowers and put them onto the flash card. Making the connection that they were the same we all nodded yes and smiled with her, that was cool. When we got to the corn photo we pulled out some of my rice cake and tried to make the connection with her-food. She recognized that both were food and she wanted some, haha, We signed "food" and tried to help her form the hand shape but it didn't really happen...
that was alright. We DID see however that she was hungry and well, we brought one extra torta : ) she saw it gave a hungry hopeful smile. She was very thankful and trusting (without words we could still clearly see these emotions).
What happened next was a woah moment for all of us. She lay her head down onto my lap and ate. I was shocked. Here such a trusting, precious, and vulnerable woman lay almost in featle position on my lap... what do I do? I looked around and while she ate we prayed a prayer of thanks to Jesus. Thanksgiving and praise. With her head in my lap I started to stroke her hair, remembering my mom stroking my hair. This simple touch is needed, something so simple that we all long for, love. When I would stop playing with her hair she would sit up and look at me like, "hey, why did you stop?"
We sat there with her and every few bites Carolina would offer a piece to us but we told her to eat it and she did. One thing I saw is that this girl knows how to share. Next time we will have to bring more food and eat along with her.
In this time with Carolina we all forgot about the lice and dirt in all the wrong places. I asked Isabel to help me braid the hair out of Carolina's face and then it was time to go. Leaving her was difficult. But at least she will see us coming every Friday to spend time with her and to give her a future and a hope. Its not pity but rather hope for this child of God and anticipation to see many miracles.
Later that evening we went to the church and taught a class to 20 something kids about Jesus.
The kids learned Rev 4:8 from the Bible in LSM, it was a fun time.
|Marisela Laura helping to sign the verse|
|coloring what they think Rev 4:8 looks like|
|night time in Amealco|
The other day on a walk, Laura and I
|looking to the city|
|This is the amazing Laura/Marisela who I am and will be living with this year. She has learned LSM in one year and had a heart for deaf people and for God's love. I am happy to come along side of her as a team.|