Hi, Everyone –
I thought I would give you a little background on all that has been happening concerning the starting of a children’s home in Honduras. If you already know this from previous conversations, just skip down to the part you haven’t heard yet.
When I came to Honduras initially, I was looking to do evangelism or women’s Bible studies, etc., but God showed me when I moved into the mountain villages of Yoro that those were the people I was to minister to and also that the work would be an orphanage. I only had those two pieces of the puzzle for some time, and when I was returning to the States lat year, I asked God to confirm that I was on the right track – He confirmed quickly. The next day as I had a lay-over in Guatemala City, I met a man from integrity Music that was traveling and when he found out that God had told me to start an orphanage in Honduras, he asked me to write him because Integrity Music has a part of its program for helping orphanages, and he would like to help me. The next day, God again confirmed, as I sat by a lady in Dallas/Fort Worth airport and she ended up being with Heifer project International and by the time we finished our conversation, she told me she wanted to give us our livestock and to train us in the program.
When I returned to Georgia for my visit, God began to work a lot of things in my life which will better prepare me to hear only Him and to lean ONLY on Him for this plan for me He has started. I thought that I would begin by taking in a few street kids in a little house and then try to work out my credentials with the local Judge of Minors. I had met some men from my former church in Houston while they were drilling wells in Honduras — after talking to me, they mentioned casually that they might want their church to help me with the orphanage. I hadn’t spoken to them since Septemeber, but they called while I was in Georgia and said their church and missions committee were very eager to help start building the orphanage with me. I didn’t, at this point, understand why God would have the buildings going up before I had children, but I just continued to walk in the light I had. God kept confirming in my heart that He was directing ALL things. I had already talked to the mayor in September and found him to be a Christian and he had been eagerly trying to have land donated to me for the orphanage. I had called and visited him so many times and he always encouraged me to wait a little longer and that he was trying to find the tight land for free. As the time approached for me to go speak to the missions group in Texas about my plans, I still didn’t have land and didn’t have a lot of direction other then knowing the people I was to reach and that it was an orphanage. I knew that the people in the mountain villages around Yoro are unable to feed their children, and because of their lack of education and training in job skills, have no hope that their children will be able to better provide for their children either. They are so needy and yet cannot put their children actual orphanages. So I was aware that God was probably going to give me children who actually had parents but who could not care for them or give them hope for the future. At one point, in the early months of God revealing to me that was to have an orphanage, He told me that I was to have a place for the parents to visit their children and not have the children return to the mountain frequently.
One night before I left Georgia and after asking God to please work out the land and at least give me more direction to share with the people in Houston, my friend Emily and I were discussing possible names for the children’s home. She mentioned Hannah’s House, after a home for unwed mothers we had earlier had in our city. When she said that, my heart kind of grabbed me and I knew there was something in that name. I went home that night and prayed and the Lord began revealing His plan for the home al through the night and into the early morning hours. By the next morning, I knew exactly what He wanted me to do. The house for the parents to stay in during their visits is the “Hannah House” and it will double as a staff house for workmen to stay in when they come to build another building.Each house of children will be named after one of the persons in the Old Testament who, by Gods design, were reared by others and not their own families to bring about the purposes of God. Many of them were destined to actually be put in the king’s palaces for bringing hope to their people — Moses, Ester, Daniel, Joseph, Shadrach, Meshach, etc. etc. On each house is to be a full wall mural of that particular character and with scripture to remind the children of God’s purposes in others lives to bring hope to their people. These children need to be taught the perfect plan of God in bringing them out of the darkness and godlessness and hopelessness of the mountain villages to prepare them to bring light back into their mountains and hopefully, some will go into other parts of the world with the gospel also. As the parents visit their children each time, we will also be ministering to them with the gospel and taking care of their physical needs, and in that way the Light of the Gospel will begin growing in the mountains even before their children graduate from out home — I battled with the name for a long time, but now know it is to be Destino del Reino (Destiny of the Kingdom, or Kingdom Destiny) — they will be reared by others than their parents for the sake of the Kingdom of God
My only question at this point was, ” If I have the home right there in Yoro where the mayor was finding the land for me, how was I to keep the parents from continually coming to us for food, as they would live within a few hours of our home?” We might become a 24-hour food bank and never have time to train children. God knows though and I just didn’t worry about it at that point. The next day though, I called my friend Betty in Siguatepeque. She had been calling the mayor in Yoro for me and checking on the land. She was unable to get him and continued trying. But this day she said, “Rhonda, another man has given you land in Siguatepeque.” I just cordially thanked her and asked her to keep trying the mayor in Yoro. I felt so rebellious about living in Siguatepeque — it has so many missionaries right there, it is so beautiful and the food is so plentious and I think I thought I was supposed to suffer a little more than that. Also, I didn’t like the idea of me not living right there with the really poor people. After about 24 hours of wrestling with God, I finally asked Him what HIS plan was. He showed me the perfection of His providing the land in Siguatepeque because it is 12 hours by bus for the parents to travel, and also that He was providing me with so much Christian support and availability of resources. Now, I am so excited that God would allow me to return to Siguatepeque where I had lived for my first 5 months in Honduras and to my church there that prays for me daily and so many precious Christians. There is an evangelical hospital and so many great Christian resources in Siguatepeque also. God’s ways are perfect, and I just need to sit back and let Him lead.
On the way back from Atlanta to Houston, again the Lord gave me another lead for helping with construction. A man helping me with my carry-on as it was so heavy. He asked why it was so heavy and I told him I was returning to Honduras and he asked why. When I told him I was starting a children’s home, he just looked me right in the eyes and said, “I want to help you.” I asked him what he does and he said he had retired as a professor at ASU but was working with Interfaith Missions in the past to build other projects. He gave me his email address and told me he was serious and expected to hear from me.
During my stay in Houston, I want for 3 days to Dallas and renewed lots of old friendships. I feel like the Lord just allowed me to see so many people from my past to increase my prayer support and it was so encouraging to me to realize we all still loved each other so much. I had some great days with my former church in Houston and times with friends in Dallas. While in Dallas, I called Pam Kitchens, who is from Augusta also but has organized a mission group called Missions In Integrity. She has built about 20 churches and social centers in Brazil the past 10 years but decided God wants her to help with this home in Honduras and she wants to check on beginning the first building as early as July possibly.
So things continue to work out above the beyond anything I could possibly think and I appreciate all your prayers for continued direction. We saw the land last night on the way home from the airport. It is about 15 outside of Siguatepeque, heading toward San Pedro Sula. The man has 80 manzanas (about 120 acres) and will continue to give us land as the home grows. It was beautiful land with mountains all around. I felt so good about it. I will take a picture this week and send one in my next report letter. The electricity is quite a ways from the land and that may be a problem so we will go tomorrow to talk to the mayor here and also to the electric company and see what it would cost to get electricity out there. I don’t know if we can do it right away and may have to get a big generator until God provides the funds. But we’ll see — there would also be a possibility of some other land where there is already some light and phone lines, so that may open up instead — Please pray for wisdom as I talk to all these people and that I will see His plan clearly. I need to find the right attorney and begin registering the name and getting the land in my name next week. I will be talking to my pastor here also about his being my Honduran pastor and being under his authority also. He is precious and please pray for him, Pastor Cesar. They are trying to get land for their church now too and he will be in the middle of building soon too hopefully.
Praise God I hadn’t forgotten much Spanish and in fact, I fell like I understand better than I ever did. I am able to relate this story to those interested in Spanish and they seem to share the vision.
I am so amazed at the way the Lord leads me. I realized now that He does fulfill all His promises about making out paths straight and making rugged places smooth, etc. I think the problem is that we have just enough light to walk in and then when we should be waiting on the straight path for more light to come, we instead start banging our heads against walls to the side, thinking we are in some kind of maze, when we could just wait on more light and we would find the path is straight ahead of us. I for one am guilty of nor waiting with — God is faithful and hopefully, I will trust Him in more consistency in the days ahead.
My phone number in Siguatepeque is 011-504-773-1705, if anyone needs to talk with me. I’ll be here for several days and maybe several weeks until some of the business things are worked out.
To those of you who haven’t heard from me for years, I got your addresses from friends and family and hope you don’t mind me adding you to my list. I want to know how to pray for each of you too and to be your prayer support, as I hope you will be mine.
I’ll close for now, as it is time for some more tortillas and frijoles–
Can’t wait to hear from y’all
Love in our Precious Shepperd,