Thanks for all your faithful prayers for us — we sure do need it. We have had a really eventful last two weeks. My parents were here for one week and then a group from First Baptist of Augusta was here for one day and I also had a chance to visit with them at other times during the week. They came to work on medical teams with the Baptist missionaries here in Siguatepeque. We then had a group of 4 men here from Chattanooga, who just left this morning. We have had so much help and encouragement and all these people have accomplished so much in the past two and a half weeks. Thanks for the prayers for our groups and those that come to help us. It is such a great encouragement to me and, of course, the children love to have the company as well.
I am attaching a picture of the school children. They wore their new uniforms for the first time on Monday morning and they are so proud of how beautiful they look. We are teaching them to brush their teeth as well and they have their own toothbrush and toothpaste. If we sent them home with them, they would probably never be used or would disappear or become a new scrub brush for their moms — so we will keep them here at the school and brush every day while at school. We are going to try to start giving them a vitamin each day too so if anyone would like to help us start collecting children’s vitamins, that would be a great help. They have so little to eat in their homes. We want to build a cafeteria in the new school next year so that we can serve them a hot meal each day. We are giving them a hearty snack right now but I want to increase to a full meal since this is probably all they really have to eat each day. keep praying for the kids. T hey are learning so quickly and love school and we have such great hopes for their little lives some day — to become leaders and loving Christian examples to many. I am amazed how smart they are and how quickly they are picking up the English. They love to practice with any Gringos they meet.
The teachers are wonderful as well. When school was about to start, we suddenly found that we needed a first grade teacher because the lady who had planned to come had to work three more months in the public school system for her retirement requirements. She plans to teach here next year when we add on the 4-K and 2nd grades. Anyway, Sandra (the director) could not find anyone available. There is a great need for Christian teachers all over Siguatepeque right now. She finally told me that she found a young woman with lots of experience but she was not a Christian. We hired her on the faith that we could share about Jesus Christ with her and pray for her to come to know Him. Well, it turns out that she was, in fact, a Christian but not attending church at the time and had not been walking with Christ for some time. God has answered our prayers for Carolina and she has recommitted her life to Christ and is growing in Him through her time with the other teachers and the Bible stories in the classroom everyday. She is so happy and dedicated to these children and God has obviously sent her to us.
Please pray for the church that is considering designing and building our new school. Pray that God will give them wisdom and the funds to do this if this is His plan for them. We know that we need a school by next March and are trusting God to provide through whoever He chooses to work. We have to have 4 classrooms and an office and bathrooms at least to begin the next school year and we could add on the other classes and offices and cafeteria during that school year. Thanks for your prayers for so many needs here.
We had a very sad thing happen this week. A young man (16) who sells oranges up on the highway by Edgar’s house, was murdered with a machete on Saturday afternoon. At first everyone was saying that he was killed for his bike, but I think he had an enemy who killed him and then just took his bike to get away to the mountains. There are some gangs in El Socorro and he was from that village and the right age as well. God is so amazing how He can use such hard things in our lives though. On Monday night, the father and brother of the murdered young man, came to church here at Destino. We had a great time that evening and called him up front and prayed for him. He really seemed to feel the love of other believers around him. He has not been attending church anywhere and I am not really sure how he happened to come to Destino that night. Carlos’ sermon was on being servants and not waiting until you have more money to start blessing people — if you have 3 pairs of shoes, you need to give away one pair, if you have any money at all and God tells you to help someone, don’t hesitate, etc. It was so challenging and many gave out of their own poverty to this man who had to bury his son and has 7 more children at home still. We went to see the family on Tuesday to deliver the food that our little church collected for them. The mama just fell in my arms and cried (and I didn’t know her before) — she just wanted to be held and prayed for. Carlos gave the whole family an incredible exhortation in the Word –to not look back but to take up the responsibility they have to walk with Christ from here on out and for the parents to train their children up in the Word of God. We prayed over them and hugged them and it was a precious time. I really expect that we will see the whole family in church this week. Please be praying for them during this hard time.
Carlos decided we needed a night watchman because of this murder and Wilmer stayed in the second house for the first 3 nights and then yesterday Carlos and Wendy and their three little boys moved ni the second house. They will live there until we can finish up their house below — we just lack the floors and paint for the walls, so pray that the money for those things will all come in soon. I feel badly that they have to share their house with the school children who come to use the bathrooms throughout the days, as well as guests that are coming soon, but they seem very happy to live with an open house right now. We also started a pre-school Sunday School class in the living room in that house this week so that will be another inconvenience to them. We will try to finish up the public bathrooms outside this next week or so and then get Carlos’ house finished as soon as we can. Thanks for your prayers for all these needs.
I realize that we need to always be aware of safety problems, but I am at complete peace about living here at Destino. We do want to get the gates up and the fencing around the compound this year, but God knows what we need and when and will provide everything in His perfect timing.
We went to the prison on Saturday and had a great time with the prisioners there. There were five new women in the prison but seemed to have all come to Christ already. They just needed to be held and prayed for. They are so sad about being separated from their little children for various years. I really want to be committed to visit them at least once a month — they just lit up when I walked in the door and they really count on our prayers for them. Please pray that I can arrange my schedule in a way that I can make time to see them every month. It is such an important ministry and I hate skipping months of visiting them and encouraging them in the Lord Jesus.
It sounds like we will be getting two more little ones from Yoro in the next few weeks. We have the space and the energy to add these new kids into our household. Erick and Eduard help me so much and the baby has not really added any work because he is so easy to care for. I don’t know if they are two boys or a boy and a girl but they are under 5 years old and we wll know something more definite by tomorrow. Their mom cannot feed them and wants a chance for their little lives. We always planned to have 10 little ones in each house so this will make our 10. All the other kids (except for Sammy) have been together for over a year and a half and so they are ready for some new brothers and sisters to come in as well.
Keep praying for us to find the right houseparents by the fall (if that is God’s timing). I know God knows exactly who they are and will stir their hearts that way at the right time. We also are praying for a couple to move here and live in Siguatepeque who can take charge of arrangements for groups from this end — to plan the next projects necessary and which villages need reaching, etc.
I thank you for all your prayers for me and for Destino and for Carlos and the children and the many disciples being raised up for Christ in this area. We are so grateful for such a great priviilege to work in the Kingdom of Christ for His glory and to see much fruit everywhere. It is so humbling to know that God would choose us to get to be a part of all of this. You are such a huge part of it all too through your prayers and support. I cannot express my thanks to each of you for the part you are playing in the lives of so many who are being reached and changed for God’s purposes.
Love in His grace,