Hey Everyone, This is another try to send the WHOLE update — many of you just got a few paragraphs.
I am sorry it has been over a month since I sent out an update but thanks for all the prayers even when you don’t hear from me regularly. We have been so busy and things are just hopping around here at Destino.
First of all, thanks for the prayers for our trip to the missions conference at Day Spring in Augusta. We had a great time and really enjoyed meeting some other missionaries and having fellowship with them during the conference. The highlight of my trip though was that Carlos was able to re-do my parents’ bathroom in just 3 days so that my mom would have a walk in shower with a chair and can sit down to shower now — he took out their bathtub and laid tile, etc. etc. and we were so happy he could do something for my parents since they have done so much for him in the past. We were there a week and I also had a tooth pulled and came back feeling kind of bad for several days, but we are all doing well now.
The fathers are really showing up to work at the construction site now. We have a little money come in each week — enough to not stop construction — and we are so grateful for God’s continuous faithful provisions for that junior high building. We are so blessed that these fathers are donating their time. They do not have jobs and could have insisted they need to be paid, but they are joyfully helping to build the school for their children. It is amazing to have such dedication from all of our parents– just a few years ago, we had to do everything ourselves and they had a “poor me” mentality — now they all realize that God can use them and we can be a team together in this ministry. I am so proud of all of them.
We have started preparaing for our first crop to be planted in May — well, I should say not “we” — I do NOTHING on the farm, ha. Travis and Julie Hester (and their two children – Ethan (9) and Olivia (7) are our first ever missionaries to join us at Destino del Reino. We are so excited to have them joining us and love the humility and servant spirits that they have. Travis was approached by Growers First (an organization that helps poor farmers to improve their coffee plants as well as help them to not be exploited by the big buyers, etc.) to become their representative here in Honduras. This will not require a whole lot of his time but it is turning into a big blessing for Destino as well. They found out that Travis would be living and working at Destino and they want to help him build a big coffee farm at Destino that will not only produce for Destino but will be a model of how to do it and they want to bring in the farmers here to learn from Destino’s model. This is part of our dream — to help train people as well as minister to them spiritually. Travis also has expressed a dream to teach agriculture to future missionaries because he said the unreached countries of the world almost all are agriculture countries with the right climate for coffee. I told him we have a whole school of future missionaries and they need to learn all of this — I cannot even imagine all that God has in the future for the children here. It is so exciting to see part of our dreams starting to form into real plans.
Another couple, Mike and Barbe and their three sons are seriously praying about coming full-time to Destino as well. Please be praying for God’s clarity and wisdom in this decision. They are from Maine and are returning there this week to start making decisions that will prepare them to move into full-time missionary work. Carlos and I prepared a list of things that we really really need some help on at Destino after we first met Mike (even before he expressed any interest in coming to serve at Destino). We had at the top of our list “discipling fathers and young boys who have received Christ this year” — after that we had on the list “taking over the mission teams groups that come to help at Destino.” Well, I guess it shouldn’t have surprised us because God is always so perfect in all his ways, but .. .. Those are the two biggest dreams that Mike has had. As well, he is willing to drive one of our buses and that would save us a Honduran salary as well as frustration. Anyway, as it looks right now, we believe they are being called by God to Destino as well and we can’t wait to watch God just open up the heavens and pour out his blessings all over them as they give up “the American dream” lifestyle and come to follow GOD’s DREAMS and plans. Please pray for them to clearly know God’s direction and timing. We will need to finish off the other end of the medical clinic building for their housing so pray for those funds to come in soon as well. We already have the cement floors in, the electricity and plumbing and would just need to have doors, windows, painting, flooring and finish off a bathroom and the kitchen — it wouldn’t take but a couple of months if the money comes in. All in God’s perfect timing.
We are amazed at all God is doing right now. It seems that we suffered through a lot of hard times for several years but God was building a firm foundation in Destino — changing Carlos and I in so many ways to be able to carry this ministry to the greatest levels that God wants — he has been teaching us faith and obedience and perseverence and now it seems that he is ready to just blow us out of the water with all of the new things taking shape. It is so exciting.
We had another couple who we would like you to pray for as well. They visited us from Minnesota and are praying about where God could use them as well. They would be free to come 6 months out of hte year and especially would like to be involved in teaching the word (probably more discipleship) and also helping in the school (November to April). Pray for direction for them as well and for wisdom for all of us to know what God is wanting.
We had a great group from Melissa, Texas this week and they came through Lost Orphans International (who is the group that has already been helping Destino in many ways). They hired a van from another ministry here and their driver was a young Honduran man who grew up in Texas and has returned to serve Lord in Honduras — he is married to a Gringo and they are expecting their first child in May. Anyway, as soon as Alan got here, he immediately wanted to be involved at Destino in some way. He and his wife, Nicole, are in the process of doing a church plant in a part of Siguatepeque but that only requires his time on Sunday afternoons each week. They are praying how God would want them to be a part of Destino (even the possibility of one day being houseparents — he is GREAT with kids). Alan said he LOVES to teach the word of God to children and so on Mondays and Wednesdays he is starting next week to teach our 7th grade Bible class. I have asked him to pray and consider being our full-time Bible teacher in the school next year and I would be soooo happy if he can take on that responsibility. We have a Bible teacher now but she cannot cover all the classes and is also the assistant in some English classes as well.
As you can see, God is moving quickly and bringing people in faster than we can imagine so we need lots of prayer for wisdom and guidance in using these people and knowing who God is calling here and clear confirmation from him on all of these decisions.
Church has been so precious lately. Carlos got a book by Herb Hodges that Pastor Wade sent to him — translated in Spanish on discipleship. He absolutely has loved this book and has begun teaching it to us in church. Pray for him to clearly be able to teach this to us each week. It is kind of hard to teach a book without reading it to us, but I believe it is necessary that we learn this.
Things are going well at school and every year just gets better and better — we have such godly teachers this year who are so dedicated to the children and it is such a blessing to see them working together. We already have 3 new American teachers committed for next year and 3 possibilities (strong possibilities) — pray that God confirms to each one if they are to come and serve here. We are so excited to have more help in the English department next year. The more Americans who come to help us, the smaller groups we ccan form of students to really learn the language well — with good pronunciation. I thank the Lord for sending us such incredible servants to love and teach these children. We are going to put out the needs list for the container this week because we need a LOT of furniture and appliances etc. for furnishing two more houses for our Americcan teachers next year. I think the board will send the list out and we plan to have it all collected by June 30 this year so it can be at Destino before the middle of August when we start school. Please pray for us to be able to receive all that we need for the upcoming year — there is also farming equipment on our needs lists and some things we need to finalize our plans to open the dental clinic for our students next year.
Things are going well in the house as well with my 18 kids. We thought we were getting a baby and a 3-year old last week but so far they did not show up. God is so clearly closing the doors when I try to take in a child that he has not planned to be here. Pray for Eidy (age 11) please. She is still a child but has developed early and is absolutely boy-crazy and it scares me to death. We talk and pray about it openly but it is something that God is going to have to heal in her. She was abused as a child and those desires need to be put back to sleep until she is older. I have to watch her constantly and it is a huge concern to me. Please pray for God to heal her up so that she can enjoy her childhood and that I will have wisdom and patience as I work with her.
We had a visit from Pastor Larry from West Acres Baptist yesterday . I was so thankful that he finally got to come and see with his own eyes all that God has done and is doing with these precious Honduran people. It was such an encouragement to Carlos and I that he came. He expressed a desire to come and teach sometime as well and we are excited for that. We have more than 200 families in our reach with these school children and the people are hungry for deeper teaching. I praise God that he is not only seeming to be sending permanent people who love to teach the Word but i also putting it on hearts of pastors to come and do short conferences for spiritual growth. Carlos is an evangelist and pastor but he cannot possibly disciple and teach thoroughly all of these new believers and God is sending in the help for that — I am so excited about that.
We have our first ever sports camp in July — led by Tomball Bible Church. Please be praying for our 7th graders to know who they are to invite to the camp. The 20 girls in 7th grade can invite one other girl and the 10 boys in 7th can invite two guests. Many of our 7th graders (ages 13-15) have brothers just 15 or 16 year olds who are already becoming alcoholics and in gangs. We are so thankful that this youth sports camp will be an opportunity to reach some of these teens with the gospel. Thanks for starting to pray with us about this now – -it is just a few months away.
Carlos and Pedro (our bus driver and father from the school) started seminary last week — it is just one night every two weeks but they have quite a bit of studying to do and they really loved it. I wish the teacher could give them more time personally but at least they have started classes. Pray for them to really learn all that God has for them in these classes and studies.
Well, I’m sure there are a lot of other things I forgot to mention as there is always a lot going on here, but thanks for your prayers and I will appreciate your continued prayer about all our needs here — both physically and spiritually. The battles are great sometimes. Carlos and I both need to learn to not lose our peace and joy when we are criticized or even lied about. I was reading in John yesterday and just imagining what it was like for Jesus on the earth — for three years, almost every day people were insulting, making fun, accusing, lying, seeking to kill him, and he continued in perfect joy and peace, knowing that God’s plans would never be thwarted — I need to KNOW that same peace and joy and keep walking when Satan uses people’s tongues to hurt us, and remember as it says in Matthew — “worry more if everyone speaks well of you.” Please pray for us to be God-pleasers and not people-pleasers and to continue fulfilling God’s plans for Destino and keeping our eyes GLUED on HIM alone!!
Thank you SOOOO much for your continued encouragement for us and for your prayers. We have to keep faithfully praying in the funds to continue the construction for the junior high — the foundation is finished and that was the hardest part of the building — so we should see it springing up pretty quickly now that they have begun to lay the blocks. Also, pray still about the electricity — we still have not heard anything about our getting to receive it free — but word is that we should never have paid anything for all these years — I wish we could get a refund, ha. Anyway, they have turned off the meters though so we are not accumulating more expense during these weeks of deliberating. Pray for God’s favor in this situation. Thanks so much.
Love all of you and so thankful that each and every one of you has felt the call of God on your life to be an active part of this ministry — this is GOD’s ministry and not ours and we are privilged to team up with all of you in fulfilling God’s plans for the lives of these people in Honduras.
In His grace,