Hey Everyone,

I thank you again for all your prayers and for so many birthday greetings too.

I had a different kind of birthday this year. I got two calls and both of them had some frustrating news and so I spent too much time fretting when I should have been trusting. I have been asking God to humble me in every area where there is still pride left in my life and also have been asking Him to reveal anything else that needs to be changed in me. Well, He was answering my requests very clearly and He exposed some more ugliness and pride in me that needs to GO! I had been reading in Deuteronomy this week and kept noticing the phrase that said God sent them trials for two reasons (1) to humble them; and (2) to let them see what was in their hearts. I know that God clearly is using my trials to do those two things and I thank Him that He really does intend to purify me so that I won’t get in the way of what HE wants to do here in Honduras with these children. So anyway, keep praying for me on all of that. I need so much more faith right now and I find myself doubting at times that the funds will come in — and then I feel so stupid because the God who called me to do this has an ABSOLUTELY PERFECT RECORD and will not start failing with ME! He is faithful even when we have little faith — ( I love that verse in I Timothy) — so I’m counting on His faithfulness right now. It was really neat though that later in the morning when I was “fretting so much”, I went outside and felt the Holy Spirit tell me to look up and see what kind of day that He had given me for my birthday (I know that sounds a little strange, but He did tell me that). When I looked out — it was absolutely blue sky except all the clouds were almost touching the ground. It was so odd to see that sight and then He reminded me that when the Israelites were being led through the wilderness, He was in the cloud during the day to remind them constantly of HIS PRESENCE WITH THEM!! He was reminding me that all that I needed was His presence for “my presents” on my birthday and that He promised I ALREADY HAD IT! He is so precious to me. It was confirmed that I heard Him right because a little while later, I returned to reading in Deuteronomy and found the exact verse that He had reminded me of about the cloud leading them through the wilderness. Isn’t He sooooo AWESOME!!

Over all, things are going very well with the house and we now have a pila (outside cement washing board) and steps out the back door, etc. I had just gotten a little discouraged because Bety evidently misunderstood my instructions when I left for Jocon. I told her not to use any more money on supplies and just keep our money we had in hand right now to pay the workers. She used up all the money to buy more doors and hardware and had to borrow money to pay our workers and then had to let them go. I have learned a very important lesson — don’t assume Bety understands my English — I need to remember to give her all my instructions in Spanish. She pretends she understands at times and then we have these kind of problems — so really this is my fault and I know that God will provide all we need soon.

On a more happy note — I have been able to see some of the children who will be living with us at Destino del Reino. I have several photos and will send some for you to see. Tito Alexander just turned one this month. He has been sick and I would appreciate your prayers for him. He has a respiratory problem of some kind and I will have the doctors check him when they come to Jocon for the brigade in March. Another young woman is giving us her two little children. Melvin is 3 years old and Lissi (our first girl) is 1 1/2 years old. They are really precious and need a good home. Menor Jose is 8 months old and his mother is 17 and she is so glad to let us have him. His two uncles were both murdered in the past few months and there is a lot of discouragement in that home. Jose Miguel is 3 years old and usually stays with our neighbors during the day. He is getting more and more attached to me and I think that it won’t be a hard adjustment for him to come to live with me. He is really precious. I haven’t been to see the new baby boy yet but I assume we will still be getting him and his 2 year old brother (another Melvin). I will follow up on them in the next few weeks when I return to Jocon again. Please keep praying for all of these children by name. I had already filled the house up (with 10 promised children) but have been reconsidering about taking the two boys who were 6 — I don’t think God wants me to break any of the guidelines that He has given me (only taking children under 5), no matter how hard the cases are. I think it may be possible that we will delay the building of our school for a couple of years and all these children, so far, will be a couple of years away from needing schooling — I really prefer starting younger and thank God that He is sending such very young ones to us so far.

My duties in Jocon have been to bathe and dress Marinita every day and get her off to 4-K across the street. She is so attached to me and we have a great time together. She is learning English very quickly. Yesterday, I was taking her in the school gate and one of the donkeys rushed past me into the school yard and so I caused quite a disturbance – ha. I’m not very good with some of these animals yet!! My other duty is selling frijoles (red beans) from our house. Fernando is out of work right now so we have started selling beans from our house. They are only 5 lempiras a pound (about 30 cents). Rosy said that a family of 8 can live on 3 pounds a week — so I know that we will have no problem affording to feed our families at Destino del Reino — 90 cents a week isn’t bad, huh?

Please continue to pray for the groups coming soon. Next week my parents and the Bargerons are coming to finish up the wiring of the house in preparation for electricity. The week after, the group from Houston comes for putting in the water well and septic tank. Please continue to pray for the funds for the wood for the group that wants to come in late March to build our furniture.

I thank you all for all your prayers and God is continuing to answer them all so perfectly. He is so perfect in all His ways and His heart is toward the poor and He has planned great things for these precious people in the mountains through the coming generations of godly men who know how to work and lead their families. It is so exciting. You are a very big part of it all through your prayers and I know that God is richly blessing your lives because of your willingness to pray for this work.

I love you all so much —