I am so sorry for not writing for almost a month now. My cord for my computer was broken and it is a Dell computer and so we had to order it on-line and then arrange to get it to Honduras. It has been so frustrating to not be able to email and let you know my prayer needs — because we certainly have been needing a LOT of prayer lately!! I will try to not make this email too very long but I wanted to catch you up on a lot of things.
School: We are still working on getting the school started. We have had a lot of setbacks but will open on March 1st. We have some beautiful new desks and tables and chairs for the classrooms now, thanks to a group of precious carpenters from Augusta. They did a wonderful job and we just need to put some polyeurathane (sp?) on them and they will be set to go. They also made our dividers and we will paint them to be blackboards and bulletin boards on each side as well. I am so excited for all that is being provided for our little students. Sandra is the director and please be praying for her as she has a lot of work on her right now. She is hiring another teacher as our other one had to continue in the school where she had been teaching previously. On Monday, they will do the official census and get names and birthdates for the prospective students. We are continually having people come here asking about our school because the word has spread throughout the villages that we are starting a new private Christian school with English for the poor children. I am so excited at what God will do through our school. We need to start building the real school buildling for next year and please be praying for those funds to start coming in so we won’t be working on it at the last minute, this time next year. We have the land ready and just need to know when God wants us to start the foundation. It looks like I will be the English teacher at least for now. We will combine the kindergarten and first grade for 45 minutes each day and I will teach English. Please keep praying for someone to come and live here who has a desire to teach English. That is a very big need right now. The uniforms are coming along and I am so grateful to those who are working hard on getting those sewn for us. We are working on our final approval for paperwork and need prayer for that. One more thing: Please remember to write me if you told me you would sponsor a student. I did not write them down when I was told in person and I am so sorry for the confusion. If you wrote me since January 25th and told me you were sponsoring a student, then I have your name, but I don’t remember the others and I am sorry for this inconvenience. If you just want to start sending in your $35 checks each month, designate them for “education” and send them to our regular post office address: Destino del Reino, P.O. Box 814, Evans, GA 30809. Also, the treasurer has asked that you write separate checks for the regular Destino funds and for the education sponsorship as these checks will go into different bank accounts. Thanks so much to all of you.
17 Girls: I need to update you on what has happened with the Cassie Bernall home for girls in Taulabe. The mission there will not release those girls to come to Destino and so we are just waiting on the Lord for what He has in mind for the Cassie Bernall ministry. The mission’s motives are not good and it is evident that they use the girls’ pictures to generate funds for other projects and so they are not willing to give the girls up at this time. I honestly had a lot of doubts about trying to change and mold girls that were already in their teens and I know that God can change anyone, but am wondering now if God hasn’t something different in mind for their ministry. I have been praying and have promised the Moores that I would be looking out for any ministry that might be something they would want to take on. It looks at this point that maybe we are to start a home for abandoned babies and then maybe move into an adoption program too. Those babies that are not adopted, would move over to Destino to live after they are about 1 year old. We have just had it brought to our attention that there are MANY babies abandoned at birth here in Honduras and we really believe that God wants us to help place them in loving Christian homes. Please be praying about this as it is just in the thought stage right now, but it looks verly likely that God may be moving the Cassie Bernall ministry in that direction. If that comes about, they will begin building a home for the babies on a section of land near us and we will oversee it for them. Thanks for praying for direction on this.
NEW BABY!! We have a new member of our family. His name is Samuel Eduardo Jackson (ha). We had picked his first two names (naming him after Samuel in the Bible who was given up to be raised for ministry to the Lord, and after Eduard, our 14-year old). Carlos went with Wendi (his wife) to get the name officially set up and he put Jackson as Sami’s last name. I am not sure how smart that is since it is not a Honduran name and he will be forever having to spell it for people as he grows up in this country. He is such a cutie. He is now 6 weeks old and such a great baby. he only cries when he is hungry and sleeps most of the rest of the time. The kids are all so crazy about him and want to be kissing him all day long. We found out about him through our worker, Gloria, and Wendi went to the judge and police station, etc. to get everything official. The teenaged mama did not want the baby and wanted us to take him permanently. This is part of the way that we started looking into taking abandoned babies and I think God is using this whole process to work out His plans for us here for the future ministry of both Destino and Cassie Bernall home. I will be updating the web site in the near future and you will be able to see Sami’s picture there.
You remember that we had our baby Anna for just one day and her mom came back weeping the next day to take her back. I learned a lot from that — that God is up to things that we do not understand. Anna’s mom came to Sunday School the next week and after the class, she accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior. She told Gloria (her sister and my worker) that when she had been crying so hard the day that we came to take her baby to Destino, that when I took her in my arms and began praying for the peace of God to come over her, that she felt the Spirit of God and after that time, she started hungering to know God and that is why she came to church that Sunday and accepted Jesus. It was so great and I realized that we thought the plan that God had for us was to keep that baby for her, and God was just getting her desperate for Him and using this situation to lead her to His love.
There are so many things that have been frustrating and discouraging lately. One of the main things is that someone has been stealing from us and we are sure it is one of the neighbors. We have never had problems with any of them before and it is particularly hurtful since we have taken care of them and provided water for them and many other things through the last two years. We have had to make a rule that the bigger teens do not come and spend time here at Destino anymore because we can’t trust anyone. It has been hard lately anyway with the neighbors as many of them have not been involved in church as they were in the past. The man that I asked you to pray about, Luis, that he would permit his family to come to church — he finally decided his children could come to church again but not his wife. She is so sad about this and doesn’t understand why, so keep praying for both these families please. They have all professed to have received Jesus Christ as their Savior but not many of them are continuing to grow in their faith and it makes me so sad.
We are having about 140 children and adults in Sunday School each Sunday now and unfortunately, Angelica had planned to be the main children’s teacher and has now decided to go back to school (school is on Saturdays and Sundays). We are desperate to find a good Sunday School teacher and I would appreciate your prayers for this. That is such a huge ministry and I know God has just the right person in mind. I had thought that I might need to start teaching (and I do like to teach, a lthough I am insecure about my Spanish still), but I think that I am not to take on another responsibility with all that I am already doing. So please keep praying for the right teacher. We really need about 3 teachers so we can split up the ages, but we would settle for one good teacher right now.
We have so many projects going on right now. We are building the foundation for the public bathrooms so that we can have them ready before school starts and the children won’t have to enter the houses. We are working on the foundation for the container that will arrive from Houston this week. I am so grateful for all that the Houston people from Tomball Bible Church are doing for this ministry. They are sending a group in mid-March to ceramic the pavillion for the classrooms and to finish up the outside bathrooms. Please pray for God to continually direct us in what projects He has in mind for each new step. We have started building the front gates and need to get the walls around the homes as well. It is getting more and more obvious that we are a target for theft here and we need to secure our place. It will cost quite a bit of money to build the front walls, make the sliding gates and buy all the wire to cover al lthe distance around the area where the six houses will be. So please pray for that money to come in soon as well. We also have the carpenter working on getting the windows in the pavillion in and it is very slow-going. I know that God has all things in His perfect timing but sometimes it is hard to just watch things move along so slowly — but,again, that is Honduras.
I need a LOT of prayer right now. I am not an administrator but God has placed me over 10 kids, 20 workers, several big ministries, building and construction projects and coordinating groups coming in and projects for each of them. It is overwhelming and I need to learn to keep surrendering each burden to the Lord as He told me to in His Word. It is hard though as this is all new for me and I am just so ready for Him to send me some helpers. I also have been kind of lonely lately and need a lot more encouragement but I know that God is my source and can bring me into that encouragement in His presence as I spend more time with Him (which is also very hard to do at times). Anyway, I just want you to know my heart and my struggles as I know that you will be faithful to be praying for me. Carlos has been discouraged lately too and we don’t know why (other than knowing it is from Satan). Things are going well and there is really no reason logically for the discouragement. Pray for us to stand firm against the Enemy and know that God is the Victor always.
PLEASE PRAY for our papers to go through quickly. We have had a lot of problems with our official ministry papers. We discovered that our lawyer had lied to us about getting our official approval back in February, because he had not even sent them in yet. We then got them all prepared to go and Pastor Cesar decided to withdraw from our board as he is so busy in his own church. That meant that we had to go back and change the papers again before sending them in. God has given me perfect peace in putting the owners of the hotel on our board. They have been so actively involved in my ministry already and are thrilled to be a more official part of Destino. We will get their papers on Monday and will submit them to the attorney and hopefully he will be able to go to Tegucigalpa with them next week. Please remember to pray for this. It is so important that we get those papers approved soon. We also discovered that he had not started the process with my personal residency papers and so I am again having to return to the States. We are praying this will be my last time. I will be able to go though to my niece’s wedding and although I had wanted to go to her wedding, I didn’t feel I could justify being gone again. Now, though, I HAVE to be in the States so maybe that was God’s way of blessing me??!!
The second house is ready to move into but I think we will keep it available for a guest house through the summer for all those that are coming to volunteer for a month at a time. God knew our needs and I praise Him for the availability fo this house for those people that will help us. There are a few people praying about coming on with this ministry full-time and I appreciate your prayers for God’s direction in their lives and that we will know who God wants to join us in this ministry.
There are so many people coming in the next year and so many projects going on and we just need such wisdom from the Father for every step. I love all of you and praise God always that you are behind us praying for the wisdom and humility that we need each day to do this God’s way.
I know there is much more to share but I will have to update you more on all those things later. Just wanted you to know how to be praying for us and please keep letting me know how to pray for each of you personally as well. God is great and is up to bigger things than we could ever hope or imagine and I am so thankful for your partnership with me in this ministry.
Love to all of you in His AMAZING GRACE,