Hey Precious Prayer Partners,
I want to thank you, as always, for your faithfulness in prayer for us at Destino del Reino. God is always working here and I am so blessed to be right here in the middle of it to experience all of His wonders!!
I just got back from a week’s vacation. It is the first time I can remember ever going somewhere to just rest and have some good quality time with the Lord and do NOTHING if I wanted. It was really good for me. I went with my life-long friend, Leslie, to Maine for 4 days and it was so perfect in every way for us both. We became orphans this summer. Her daddy had died a few years back but her mama went to be with Jesus within the same 5 week period that both my parents went. So we felt like we needed some time to just relax and be ministered to by the Lord and enjoy each other. It was so great and thanks for your prayers. It is hard for me to rest sometimes but it is a command of the Lord and so I think He is very aware of just how much we all need REST!!
School is in its second month now and all is going so well. Our Educatodos (“educating everyone”) class started while I was away and I got to go in the class yesterday to see all the students. It made me cry with joy! Teenagers and adults are in class to continue the education they were never able to receive. The 17 year old girl that takes care of Sammy and Emily’s little brother while their parents are working, Yolanda, is starting first grade — she is so happy to be able to finally learn to read. There are older men and women in the class taking classes from third grade up to 7th — they only have to come two mornings a week for six months in order to earn a year’s accreditation. They are all so very happy and aware how much God is blessing them in this program. Our 10th grade students come for the first hour of the Educatodos class and they are assigned to one adult that is in the program. They are praying for them and with them and assisting them in their studies. It is a great opportunity for ministry for our 10th graders. They start class at 9:00 and the Educatodos start at 8:00 so they just come on the first bus and are able to give individual attention to each adult student. It is working out GREAT!! Please pray for these Educatodos students because it is easy to get discouraged when you have been out of school for so long or have never been. They need encouragement!
Our church has been so crowded that we had to permanently move the kindergarten tables and chairs from the church to hold all the people. We have moved kindergarten to the second house’s living room. It is too crowded however, and this has caused us to see the need to start building a kindergarten classroom for the next school year. We already have a flat piece of land just to the right of the elementary school so we won’t even have to level the land. It is as if God had always planned it this way (obviously He has planned EVERYTHING at Destino). Please pray for the funds to come in for all the materials to complete that classroom — it won’t be a real expensive project because it is just one class with two small bathrooms inside.
We have a lot of company coming in over the next few months and I love the way each group encourages our children. This week, my friends Johnny and DeDe Forbes are here from Arizona and they are just such a blessing in the way they love each of the children, both in the school and in my home. DeDe is teaching the children in the school today a new kind of art and they are really catching on to it. Johnny will be preaching tonight in church — pray for him as he has never worked with a translator before. Johnny is the co-pastor of a church in Arizona and this is his and DeDe’s first mission trip but I think they have caught the “fever.” They say they will be back and I am sooo glad.
November 5, we have Shaun and Aby Suitt coming in from Tomball, Texas for a few days and I can’t wait to spend some quality time with them. Shaun is the youth pastor who heads up our sports camp each year so we will be doing some planning while he is here.
November 12, Pastor Wade and Dr. Stanley Anderson are coming back to do dental work on our 300 students as well as some parents, workers and neighbors. Pastor Wade will have opportunities to teach as well. So pray for them. With them, my friend Jackie Tucker is coming along to help in dental and it will be such a personal encouragement to me to have her here.
Then, my nephew, Matthew, is coming for Thanksgiving week — I am so blessed to have some family for that week with us. The kids are so excited to have my 6’9″ gentle giant coming to play with them!
I am so thankful for our American teachers this year. They are doing an amazing job of not only teaching English, but more importantly, loving and discipling the children and teenagers and being such a godly example for them to mimic. Most of our children come from homes with NO positive influence and so it is so wonderful to have so many Honduran and American teachers to model what a true believer looks like. I told you a little about our Honduran teachers last update so I will share a few things about our American teachers and ask that you take one of them to pray for regularly.
Sheena Rader — she is returning for her 5th year. She is 70 years old and doing great in her work as well as in her health. We praise God for calling her to Destino. Pray for more healing in her shoulder — she fell late in the school year last year and it still needs a little big more rehab.
Jenna Murphy — she is like my granddaughter. The first child that I ever took in to mother was Jenna’s mother — years ago in Dallas. She is a wonderful young woman — came straight from high school and is starting her 4th year here at Destino. She especially has a heart for the junior high kids and spends one-on-one time with the older girls to pray and disciple them.
Bethany Dunn — she is from Dallas and returning for her second year and is doing a great job. She is not only teaching her English classes but has taken on a library program each week — the kids absolutely love her library time and it is, hopefully, inspiring them to love reading. She also is starting a drama class for interested junior high kids. Bethany is full of joy and uninhibited and a great example to the kids.
Kathy Buurma — she is returning for her second year. She taught at Westminster Schools in Augusta for 30 years and retired to come and work HARDER, ha. We are trying something new this year and are having Kathy teach two grades of science in English. We have always just had 2 hours of English class but we want to expand their vocabulary and are using science class for that purpose. The kids are doing great and she has such a gift to inspire them in studying God’s creation.
Alexis Lowery — she just graduated in elementary ed from Georgia Southern. She has the kindergarten and first graders and so she has a lot of stress on her — those kids are the little wild ones, ha. She is doing a great job but pray for her as she is in her first year in a foreign country and there is a lot of adjustment and culture shock for our new teachers.
Colton Brooks — he is from Texas, as well, and is doing a great job with our older students. He has a real heart for relationship-building and discipleship so I am especially happy that he is working with our teens. He teaches 9th grade English and a lot of the PE classes as well. Pray for him as he learns the culture and the language and discovers exactly how God wants to use his many gifts and talents in this country.
Thanks for praying for my children as well. They are amazing and are growing up so quickly. I used to have a lot of toddlers at my dinner table and now most of them are as tall as me and they are such a great group of kids. I am so blessed to live with them. Pray for them to hunger after God more and more each day.
I am more and more aware of the need for discipleship and teaching in this country. Each time when I interview for teachers in the school, I am amazed at how few truly understand what it means to know Jesus Christ. Most of our applicants are in evangelical churches but when I ask them about their personal relationship with Jesus Christ, they give me a blank stare. It is so sad. Steve Clifton gave me a suggestion one time and I have used it since then in my interviews to really hone in on what the applicant believes. I ask, “So say you are a teacher in our school and one of the students asks you, ‘Teacher, how can I have eternal life?’ How would you respond?” The majority of them answer me with “Be a good person, obey, go to church, follow the commands of God, etc.” I then have a wonderful opportunity to share the truth of the good news with each applicant. I told one last week that I have been a Christian for 40 years and I am STILL not a good person. She looked really confused and I went on to explain that it is only when we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ and accept his offering of forgiveness and his payment for our sins on the cross that the Holy Spirit enters our lives. It is only the HOLY SPIRIT who is good in me — it is HE who loves others and speaks truth and does good works. This country is so “Christian” in name but there are few who really understand a sweet love relationship with Jesus Christ. That is why we thank you for your prayers for us and that God will raise up our students to be the light in this religious darkness.
Thanks for all your gifts, prayers, encouragement, etc. — I am amazed at how God uses such a group of people from all over the world and every walk of life to accomplish His work here at Destino. We are so blessed to have you as part of our team.
Love in His forever grace,