Love has no sound for the students of Con Mis Manos. Translated to English, “Con Mis Manos” means “with my hands”. And the people at Con Mis Manos use their hands for the glory of God and the good of the deaf community in Matamoros, Mexico.
Their hands love.
Their hands speak.
Their hands deliver medication.
Their hands learn job skills.
Their hands create friendships.
Their hands shape tortillas.
Their hands teach.
Their hands drive to students’ homes.
Their hands give them a voice.
Their hands give them a home.
Their hands show Jesus.
When I heard that Con Mis Manos (CMM) is a school for kids who are deaf, I thought, “Wow I’m so glad our church supports them.” But after visiting, I can tell you that CMM is so much more than just a school.
It’s a safe place. It’s a voice. It’s a sanctuary. It’s a kitchen. It’s a training program. It’s a community. It’s a bumpy van ride. It’s a prayer. It’s a home.
There is no place for students who are deaf to learn in Matamoros. There are no services provided to them in the public schools or special education schools. Chuy and Michelle are standing in a huge gap for a population who have no other option.
I could try to list all of the things Chuy and Michelle, along with their team, are doing daily through CMM, but I honestly don’t think I would have believed it before I saw it for myself.
The team is preparing meals and snacks for kids. They’re teaching from a curriculum that does not exist. They’re sending home pantry staples to the families. They’re giving kids communication who have never had it. They’re providing physical therapy for students. They’re getting teachers certified, and all while running an actual school.
I had no idea that the culture and laws in Matamoros provided so many barriers to those who are deaf. They cannot be seen in hospitals. They cannot testify in court. They cannot go to a school that will meet their needs. Most of their families don’t know how to communicate with them or where to send them. The CMM team provides a landing place for people who have been overlooked or forgotten about.
The staff, teachers, and drivers are so incredibly hardworking. They are the pioneers of this work – no one has gone before them to show them the way. The Zunigas and their team are paving the way to provide a home and a voice to a people group who had none. When I went to visit, I shared a small word of encouragement from one teacher to another while we were serving them breakfast. With tired tears in their eyes, these teachers told me how they don’t feel qualified to do their jobs.
Church, do any of us? Better yet – should we wait on feeling adequately prepared in order to do good work? The faithfulness of God is shown when we say yes despite not knowing the way.
Now I will tell you these people were teaching, coordinating, disciplining, and loving these students with everything they had in the tank. These people pick up and drop off students each day. They feed them meals. They continue to correct behaviors day after day.
I want our church to know that our support of Con Mis Manos is going toward some of the hardest working and most faithful people I have met in my life.
But they are tired. Bone-tired. Galatians 6:9 says, “let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap the harvest if we do not give up.”
Pray that this team would continue to do this beautiful, challenging, good work and not give up. God is here and God is there. God speaks English and God speaks Spanish.
God speaks with His voice and with His hands.
Written by Andrea Holderman who visited Con Mis Manos in February of 2022.
Con Mis Manos
Con Mis Manos is a ministry that reaches out to those who are deaf in Matamoros, Mexico. Chuy & Michelle Zuniga, founders and leaders of Con Mis Manos, provide a safe place where the deaf can live, learn valuable skills and experience the family of Christ.
Hear stories from Con Mis Manos by listening to the latest episodes from our Impact ministry podcast.