Thanks for your continuedprayers for protection for us at Destino del Reino. Satan is really on a rampage against us right now and it is really a hard time. We told three families (3 sisters’ kids) they cannot return to Destino to school because of the lies that they were spreading about our ministry and Carlos in particular. It is amazing that when Carlos was really struggling a few years back and really guilty of some things, there were no rumors whatsoever. Now that he has been restored and God is using him to restore others, Satan is clearly trying to take him down. Please pray for us in this time. We recognize that the promise in the Word is “He whose ways are pleasing to the Lord, even his enemies will be at peace with him.” God woke me up in the night and reminded me of that promise and also that “No weapon formed against us will prosper.” This is a country of lies and rumors and deceit but God is bigger. The scary part is that, apart from God’s intervention, the police here could arrest us even without evidence, if they want. But we rely on the Heavenly Father who is above all and over all. We need your prayers to recognize and remember that Satan’s only tools are threats and scaring us — he can do NOTHING without the Father’s permission. God is doing awesome things and because of that we have had worse attacks in many areas. It has been really worse since returning from Texas and I truly believe it is because Carlos began openly sharing his testimony of God’s restoration of his life and God’s incredible unlimited mercy and it is reaching people who are hiding in their darkness with shame and believing there is no hope for them. Satan has had this country (especially the men) for generations and when there are men who want to start changing the next generation for Christ, Satan is pulling out all the stops to deter us. A pastor who is Carlos’ mentor is under similar attack right now and was accused of stealing half a million lempiras. He told Carlos that this is not only from Satan, but God will use it to mature them and make them walk in faith in the most difficult times. Please be fervent in your prayers for both of these men.
We had a wonderful WONDERFUL graduation for the 6th graders on Friday. I was amazed how many of them gave testimonies that they want to be a missionary when they are older — God is clearly fulfilling our purpose here at Destino and these kids still have not even entered junior high school yet. Keep praying for them as they are going to be so different from their families and true lights in their own families as well as their country — and one day to other countries. We are finding so many obstacles in just trying to rescue these children from the hopeless poverty and immorality of this place — the fight is tremendous but God is bigger and we need lots of prayer.
Thanks for all your prayers for our finances. God is providing in unusual ways. My friend from college, Nate, sold 11 cows a few weeks back that were donated by him to Destino and we were able to pay off the 3 months of electricity bills and also for the teacher retirement debt. Also we had an organization called Lost Orphans International offer to raise money for some of our uniform expenses. So even though it is never in the same way, God always provides for Destino each year.
We were blessed to have two of our board members, Gary and John, come to the graduation and they were such an encouragement to us, especially in the middle of such battles rising against us at Destino. They went around too and taking notes of all the needs we have at Destino and even a lot of “wants”, not “needs”. They are preparing to ship a big container in a few weeks and we still will need a whole lot of school supplies donated. If your church or Sunday School class would be willing to help us collect, we would so much a ppreciate that. (This is for people in the Augusta, Georgia area). You can call my dad (706-731-5216) or John Turner or Gary Billingsley in Augusta if you want to know where to drop off the donated materials. Thanks for praying for us to receive all we need. We will have about 280 kids this year so you can imagine how much material we need for them during the school year.
The children are all doing so well. I have all 19 here now with me. The five new children have been going to their parents’ on weekends but this is just not working out. We really believe for the best for the children, that we need to require the same for this family as we do the others — once a month visits. There are 11 children and two boys older than Franklin (11) who is with me. Karina is the oldest girl (10) and she lives with me as well. Basically, Franklin and Karina have been the parents in the family. The mother has insisted that she watch the children, cook, and wash all the clothes since she was about 5 years old. That is why she failed 1st grade at Destino two years — was never able to come regularly because of her duties at home. Franklin is the only member of the family that will work — he collects coke cans on the highway and sells the metal to help them eat each day. The parents are both perfectly healthy but they won’t do anything. Please pray for this situation. Franklin and Karina do not want to go back and they want to study and have a future and we are praying they will have the courage to do that. The parents will not protest if they say they don’t want to return, but they both feel such a huge burden of guilt about it and that is just not from the Lord. Karina just cried and cried last night for feeling guilty for wanting to live with us — where there is food every day, a bed to sleep in and lots of love — they have none of that at their house. This is one of those things that God is the only one who can work it out — but he is faithful so pray with us for this problem.
Pray for Wendy and Carlos as they go out next week and determine which of the 30 out of 50 plus children are to enter into our kindergarten this year. They visit the homes to see who are the most needy and that is our priority in accepting children at Destino. Also pray for us as we will be interviewing some 7th graders from a nearby Christian school who have never been able to go to junior high and want to enter Destino’s program. We can take up to 12 but only want those that truly want to study and use their education for the glory of God and to reach others with the gospel.
Also, we are going to be interviewing a lot of teachers in the next few weeks and need prayer to know the ones God wants at Destino. We are having to let some people go this year and that is soooo hard for us emotionally. Carlos and I would both rather be friends with people and not bosses but we have to lead this minsitry in the right direction and that means we have to make some tough decisions. Thanks for praying for wisdom and grace as we have to talk to these people. I really hate this part of my responsibilities.
We need to pray for at least one more American teacher. Hopefully two more. I believe we have one new one committed to coming now from Dallas. This is truly a blessing to me. She has not yet gone to college but is very responsible and has had her heart in Destino for a long time. For two years in high school she was earning her own money to support a student at Destino del Reino. She is our youngest sponsor. Another real big blessing for me in God sending her to us is that her mama was the first child that I took in to live with me years ago. She was in my youth group and needed a place to live. Amazing how God brings things back to us. We have a couple of others that are seriously praying about this possibility for them and they need God to confirm it to them so please be praying for them as well. We have two returning from this year and one returning from the year before and she will take over as the supervisor of the English department as well as teaching a few classes of English. This is going to be a huge help and such a blessing to Destino. I fail so much of the time in communicating enough with the American teachers and now she will be our liaison to make sure things are well communicated. Thanks for praying for the entire staff of Destino for the upcoming year — they are the ones who are raising up this new generation for Jesus Christ so it is critical that we have the right people.
Alexander returned on Saturday and has grown 2 inches at least. He is doing well but we still need a miracle for him to start talking. There are specialists in Comayagua and Carlos is willing to drive him there twice a week and we think we may try him in the 4-K class this year since it is only 3 mornings a week. Please keep praying for him. We NEED A MIRACLE!!
I realized that I never followed up after saying that Carlos and Wendy were moving to town so that he could focus on the spiritual leadership at Destino and not be bogged down in all the work. Well, that never worked out and I am okay with it, because when they couldn’t find a house and we had so many break-ins at night and it would have been foolish to have no man living at Destino, I told Carlos that the only priority that I knew God had was that he be seeking God first and spending time with the Father more hours than he was working — Carlos started then and has been making that his priority and has been really walking firmly in the Word and ready to start church again (this Friday night) and the spiritual leadership here. BUT, we have been through two men that we thought might possibly be able to help us in the area of taking over the management of the physical property — one was a father in the school whose wife, I believe, thought with Carlos out of here, her husband would be taking Carlos’ place and she is the one who started the lies about Carlos that have put him in danger. The second one came a few weeks ago and he is not working out at all for a lot of reasons. So please pray that God will send us a man to Destino who can do the repairs and oversee the other two workers in the huge job of keeping this place going. This is an urgent request for prayer as well.
Another huge praise report is that, as you all know, we have been praying about getting our dental clinic started so that all the children can be seen at least once a year by a dentist. My friend, Scott, is a dentist and he has been trying to get donations of equipment and instruments, etc. to put something together to make a clinic here. A few weeks back he received a call that a dentist was closing his entire clinic down and we could have EVERYTHING for Destino del Reino. So an entire dental clinic will be on the container in a few weeks. We had planned to put the clinic at the bottom of the hill at Destino but during the past year we completely re-built the house beside the children’s home and Sammy and Emily’s parents have rented it for 5 months while they build their house on the other side. When the board members were here, we looked at that house and it is PERFECT for the dental clinic and is even better because we dont’ have all the students cutting through the property. We will use the former dental clinic as well, but more for medical most likely. Thanks for your prayers ALWAYS — God does above and beyond all we could ask or think!!!
A friend of mine suggested that I write these emails regularly and just list the needs we have at the bottom of the page for those who want to pray more specifically and know what we need immediately and in the future. So I will begin doing that today with this email.
Thanks for all your prayers for me. One very specific personal prayer request for me (and probably for Carlos as well) is that I will remain tender-hearted and forgiving. We live continually with people around us lying about us, stealing from us, breaking in, cheating us, etc. etc. and it is the natural thing to put up walls in my heart and quit trusting and just continue my ministry without putting my heart into it. God wants me to be filled with his Spirit so that I can love the very people that hurt me and I need to let His unconditional love flow through me at all times. Everyone lies here and deceives you and wants to take advantage but God still loves them and that is why we are here. We have hope for the future generations coming out of Destino del Reino. In this horrible DARKNESS in Honduras, it won’t take much for their lights to shine!!!
Thank you so much for your encouragement and love and help in every way. We are so blessed and God is maturing us in our faith through these trials and we will come out shining like gold for HIS KINGDOM.
Love in His grace,
Needs: (apart from the container list) Pray for the money for our new junior high building. We need approximately $30,000 to finish up the first floor (4 classrooms which will last us 2 years) and the bathrooms. John has found a building for our gymnasium for $45,000 (pray they can talk it down in price and that God will provide the money we need; we need a new pick-up truck. The Ford we have is now costing more to fix than it is worth but we have to have something to haul materials and the trash etc. We still need several thousand to buy new books for the junior high class and for several grades. We have to pay $1,700 every month for electricity in the school and houses and that is always so hard for us. Also, this next month we have to have $4,500 extra because by law in Honduras, we have to give our teachers a summer bonus (one month’s pay extra). And of course, pray that all the things we need, will come on the container.