I am really struggling right now for a lot of reasons. I want to talk from my heart and just leave it with you to pray for me. The last 5 or 6 months, the finances have been very slim and it has been the biggest struggle thus far for me in the ministry as far as finances. I was told by a friend that someone mentioned to her that they didn’t read my updates “because they are too long and she is always asking for money.” I felt sick about that. I have prayed about it and I know that God did not tell me to be George Mueller and not to ever mention needs to anyone and just let God provide. I do believe God can do that, but I was not convicted by the Spirit to be that person and also I have had many more wise counselors tell me that I need to keep people informed of our needs. After praying about it this week, I realized that if someone doesn’t want to read these emails and doesn’t want to give, that is completely up to them and I am not going to criticize that. There are thousands of wonderful ministries out there that are doing ministry for God and we are just one of them. It is a struggle for me to remember that this is NOT my ministry nor my responsibility — but that is really hard to remember when I am feeling the weight of all the problems, both financially and otherwise. I need constant prayer to have peace in this place and leave this to God. The wisdom that Carlos and I need right now is this: Are there things here that are not necessary? Are we not supposed to have a junior high? Should we go back to not using any electricity at all? Should we not pay teachers’ retirement as the government requires and just let the kids be educated without being accredited? There are tons of questions we are considering and so far, I have not heard from God that we are to do anything differently than we are doing. We have always not known how we could pay for books, teachers, buses, uniforms, shoes, etcc. before the school year started and yet, here we are again, at the end of another wonderful school year with every need provided for the students. God is faithful and we will keep walking on in faith until He clearly tells us to do something differently.
If you are one of those that feels that I ask for money all the time, you may want to delete this now, ha. I am really stressed about what we will do about two major things: (1) if we don’t pay the last part of our teachers’ retirement ($4,000 approximately) immediately, we will lose our chance to get our final accreditation papers; and (2) if we don’t pay the last two months’ of electric bills in the next week, they will cut off the electricity ($3,000). We have been given incredibly generous gifts from some friends of mine in the past few months and I wish I could say that was enough, but the gas has gone up over $5.00 and we have had so many repairs on the buses — one of which is STILL not working, etc. etc. I am so thankful for every one of you who DO read my emails and pray over them. I share the needs not trying to “hint” at you for help but KNOWING you are praying with me and waiting on God to provide in His faithfulness. I just may have been like that other person in the past, reading updates from ministries and feeling they were always needing something.” My perspective has changed drastically from being on this end of the responsibility. I do not receive any salary and no benefit to me personally so I am just sharing with others the needs of the poor children here in Honduras and not begging for my own sake. I hope that all of you know that and are joining me in prayer. God will put the needs on the hearts of who He wants to help us financially, but I need YOU to help me pray. Pray for the finances, but if God doesn’t provide as we want, it is possible that we are supposed to be re=thinking some things and we need great wisdom to know what that is. It is a real balance of walking on in faith day to day and not turning back in fear, or in plowing ahead when there is no indication from God that He is leading. So as you can see, we desperately need prayer at Destino del Reino right now.
We are in the process of making many decisions about the junior high. We had been told until this week that the government will provide the 6-year diploma in just 3 years in agriculture but now they say we have to have the 3 years of junior high in basic studies and so that has changed up our thinking. We haven’t been able to build the building for junior high but are willing to just put desks in the church and at least one year will be able to hold school there. There is a building that we have looked for on-line (second-hand Butler building, the exact size we need), for $40,000 and right now I can’t imagine that coming through for us, but God has done greater things than that — our property cost $120,000 and I wasn’t even sure that was what God wanted for us, but he so clearly provided it that we KNEW it was his plan and still don’t know all the purposes. We are starting to plant corn and beans on some of the land right now because the beans have gone up to as much as the price of chicken per pound. We are cutting out some of the Honduran assistants in the classes this year and are changing Kinder to just 3 days a week to save on gas and transportation. We changed the school menu to save money from day to day. Anyway, as I know you can understand, we need a LOT of wisdom and faith. Thanks for praying for us.
Thanks for your prayers for our trip to the United States. We were in Texas (Houston and Dallas) and God blessed us above and beyond anything we could have imagined with lots of opportunities to share about His faithfulness in Destino with many new friends. I was especially blessed by my friend-sisters who bought clothes, graduation gifts etc. — it was amazing the generosity of so many. The highlight for me though was that in one house meeting, Carlos shared his testimony — not his testimony in coming to Christ, but his testimony of how God has restored him to walk in righteousness and how the mercy of God has no limit. It was very transparent and difficult for him but Satan always wants us to stay in shame instead of letting God be glorified when we tell the truth about His rescuing us from darkness and our own hidden sins. It was a really good and restful and a necessary time for us.
One thing that God showed me there was that I need prayer in the area of REST. I realized that although it is busy in thUS, I actually REST better. I believe that God showed me that I live in a lot of false guilt and when I need a nap, I feel too guilty that some of the children might have had enough attention from me that day. Please pray that I will completely leave those children in the Father´s hands and not be so driven every moment of the day. There are a lot of them that need me but I need to rest sometimes or go see a Christian friend to pray or something. Thanks for praying for me to find God´s balance in this with sooo many things that I need to do every day.
We still need some American teachers to come next year. Every year though I can’t imagine where they will come from and then in July (3 or 4 weeks before they have to be here) God puts it on their hearts to come. We have had an amazing year this year — so much better than I could have imagined. I hate to see some of our American teachers leave — they have done a wonderful job in not only teaching but in disciplining and loving these children. It is hard to see them go but God has called them to new things and He will be faithful to give us other wonderful teachers next year. Please be praying though. Whoever God calls is great with us, any age from 19 to 90, don’t need a teacher’s degree, don’t need to know Spanish. As one of the teachers told me, “God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.”
The children are all doing wonderfully. I still struggle about what to do about the 5 children from the poor family in town. It is a balance knowing how much to send them home to collect cans (their daily sustenance) or keep them here in this Christian environment with us. I don’t want the parents to just pull them out, so I have to cooperate with them on weekends, but am seeking God for wisdom for next year — there are a lot of problems with them going back and forth from one lifestyle to another — pray for us as to what God wants us to do for the next school year. Alexander is returning in a week or so and we need prayer to find a speech tutor for him if possible or he will never be able to go to school. Also for health problems with his convulsions getting worse all the time, it is a great strain on us and we need prayer for that.
PRAISE GOD — we will be beginning church at Destino del Reino on June 24th (Friday nights) and it will be bilingual. We are hoping many of the older school children will come and learn some English while they are worshipping and hearing the Word of God. Pray for us. God has clearly confirmed to Carlos that it is time and we are excited for what God will do in our church. Many of the people around us are unchurched and many of the school families have expressed a desire to come. Carlos has much more time to prepare now that we have a man, Santos, working under Carlos for the general plant maintenance and repair — this was a very necessary step and it is working great. I am ashamed that we could only raise his salary by $20 a week when he took on so much more (he used to be our bus driver), but he has accepted this position as an opportunity to serve the Lord and we are grateful. Pray for Carlos to daily know how to let Santos take over the work side of the ministry and spend more time on the spiritual direction. He is struggling with that.
Well, this is really a long email and I am sorry, but for those of you who really pray for us, I want you to know exactly how I really am doing and know that you will hold us up and that God will clearly show us what each new step is in HIS MINISTRY and we will leave the burden on HIM.
In His grace,