Thanks so much for your prayers for us continually. I am so sorry to be so late getting another update out since my last one that was a little gloomy-sounding. I had two weeks of company and then my computer broke just as I was going to send out an update. But God, in the meantime, has done great things and continues to bless us in so many ways.
Terry and Kaye Jackson and their daughter and Miriam Rivette came for a week and were such a blessing to all of us and encouraged us in the Lord. It was such perfect timing and God is using that time still in our lives. As they were leaving, Reggie and Debbie came from Massachusetts to help us for a week. They are another wonderfully encouraging couple and so we were doubly blessed. Reggie was able to also build all our picnic tables for the new school lunch time. We had a great time together. God is feeding us and encouraging us as we are desperately seeking Him.
It has been a hard 6 or 7 weeks for many reasons but God is showing us that He is still there in the hard times and we can put our trust wholly in Him and find Him wholly true.
We don’t have enough money for the workers this week (according to the bank as of Monday), so I told Carlos we needed to finally let the workers go. Carlos told me he wanted me to come with him to the workers and have a short meeting. During the meeting Carlos explained the situation and all the men unanimously decided to work for 2 or 3 weeks without pay and just pray with us that God will send the money in His perfect timing. The school is at a crucial point and it would really mess up the schedule if we took off for a week or two. I just cried at the precious attitudes of all of these humble very poor men that really can’t afford to work without pay but have agreed to trust God for their food in the next two weeks. What an encouragement to see that kind of faith and willingness to give to God’s ministry at Destino. I am so blessed to have these people surrounding me and loving me and the ministry. Thanks for praying as well for the money to come in in perfect timing. It is hard for me to wait and just trust the Lord in something like this and I need my faith to increase as well.
I have also been so frustrated with the banking situation between here and the States. I have been negative in the account several times because we go through the money so quickly in the construction materials, and there is a delay between 4 to 8 days and I can’t seem to be sure exactly what we have to work with. Please pray for us to find a better solution. We are checking into wiring money to the bank here so that it will be impossible to take out money that is not really there. This has stressed me out so much lately and I want to be faithful to serve God and not be in debt to anyone. I know He will show me a way out of this mess that I got us into. Thanks for your prayers.
The kids are doing great. Sammy has 4 teeth. All the kids are enjoying two new bunnies that we got from a friend in Pena Blanca. They are so cute. The other day, I asked who would like to lead prayer for lunch and Josue said he wanted to. (Josue doesn’t talk much yet). All the kids and I were so surprised so I said, okay. Josue closed his eyes real tight and then just started mumbling. The kids just acted like they undestood and repeated things that we usually say in our prayers so that he wouldn’t feel bad. It was so funny!! He mumbled and they would say, “Gracias, Padre,” etc.
The school is going great and we are getting ready to do the foundation in the next week and then in two weeks will have all the walls up, Lord-willing and the money coming in. It is going to be so beautiful. I don’t remember if I explained in an email before that the friends of ours in North Carolina who had the girls’ home down the road from us and who had to leave that ministry because of misappropriated funds, had named the home the Cassie Bernall Home for Girls. They had felt the Lord tell them to put their children’s home in honor of Cassie Bernall who died at Columbine and was a modern-day martyr for the Lord Jesus. The Bernall family have removed legally their daughter’s name from that home but my friends felt that they still wanted to do something for her memory. The Lord woke me up in the night one night and told me that we could dedicate the new school to Cassie’s memory. So it won’t be in her name but will have a plaque in her memory and all the children will hear of her valor for Christ in her school. I think it is so appropriate that we are putting a school in her memory as that is where she died, in school. The dedication will probably be the 3rd week of April around the anniversary of her death and hopefully her parents will be able to come and be a part of that and have some healing from the wounds of the past through this tribute to their daughter.
We are already full for our classes next year and we will have 70 students. We need 35 more sponsors so if any of you are interested in supporting one of these little ones for $35.00 a month (year round, beginning in January), please let me know. These children are mostly the younger brothers and sisters of our students this year and they are so desperately poor and don’t even have shoes to go to a regular school, but God has blessed them richly and they will be able to receive a greater education than the public schools offer here and also bilingual education. Thanks for your prayers and consideration of sponsoring one of the children. (Also if you have been sponsoring a child and cannot continue, please let us know so that we can find others who can help us with each child.) We have such an excellent staff and God has given them such a heart to minister to these children in more than just education. They are being fed good meals, given vitamins and most of all LOVED and taught the love of God.
The men’s group is growing on Wednesday nights and I am so thankful for what God is doing among our workers. It is really amazing how God is changing their lives so obviously. Thanks for continuing to pray for them.
God has taught me some huge lessons over the past two months of struggle. Carlos and I had a discussion this past week and agreed that God has taught us some major things through the trials we have faced. One major thing is that we have allowed ourselves to become completely worn out and that is never the plan of God. We have been doing a lot of great things for God but if they were not initiated and directed by the Holy Spirit, then we are not in his will to do those things no matter how great they are. The Lord Jesus is our example and it clearly says in the word that he only did what the Father was doing and what the spirit led him to. So we are in the process of seeking the Lord as to what to cut back on. We cannot continue at this pace and be right spiritually and prepared to serve anyone. We have to find our priorities from God and only do those things until God sends more people to help in this ministry. One major thing for me is the groups that are coming. There are missionaries here that only have as their ministry leading groups and they only accept one group a month. Here we are with a home for kids, construction going on, a private school, church and Sunday School and ministry to villages and still trying to facilitate 2 groups a month. I am going to really seek to hear from the Lord about when a group is to come and not say yes to everyone who wants to visit any more. I hope that everyone will understand that I am trying to please the Lord and not men anymore. I am such a men-pleaser and so I want to say yes to every visitor and group but have to do this God’s way and preserve our energy for the ministry before us here. Please pray for me and Carlos to clearly hear from the Lord for each thing we take on in the future. We will keep the groups on the calendar right now that have had actual dates but if you have just suggested you might come a certain month, please verify with me that this will be okay with our schedule. Thanks for understanding and please PLEASE lift us up in prayer. When we are so exhausted, we become easy prey to the enemy and we just can’t suffer like that again. God is showing us His way and He will provide the wisdom to do it and the strength as well. I love all of you and hope that you can help me guard ourselves from these thins in the future. Pray for Carlos and I both to have more time alone with the Lord. We have all started praying together more as well and that is making a difference as well and we are not trying to do this alone.
My parents are coming today as well as Jim Bargeron. Again, the Lord’s timing is perfect. We need Jim to lay out the electricity on the school before we pour the foundation this next week and so he will be very busy this week. The estimates to get others to do this locally were outrageous and then suddenly we found out Jim was coming along with my parents. God is good and perfect in all His ways!!
We have an appointment on January 19th with the Ambassador to get a visa for Carlos to come to the States with me in early February. Please pray for this to go through. He has such a desire to preach in the jail where he accepted Christ 7 or 8 years ago when he was picked up for entering the USA illegally. Also he will be able to share in several churches in Texas and in Georgia. I know God will use him so much during that week or so that we are in the States. God will work out the perfect timing.
I haven’t been able to get my residency yet and we are still trying to figure out how to take care of that. In the meantime, instead of coming to the States every 3 months (the law here requires that I leave Honduras every 3 months, not that I go to the USA), we will start going over to Guatemala with a small team and doing evangelism in some villages for 3 days to complete my requirement of being out of Honduras. I know that God will use our time in the villages in a great way and we’ll understand why I was under this requirement — to force us to go to Guatemalan villages with the gospel. We will be going the 3rd week of December so please pray for direction as to where God would have us go.
Our official Honduran papers will be in soon. The lawyer told us that it is clear that God is in this ministry because in all of his years, he has never seen papers go through the government this quickly. Keep praying.
Thanks again for your prayers for us. Things are tough but what really matters the most is not the buildings going up and the construction but the construction that God is doing in all the lives of the people here. Thanks for praying for all of them and that we will be faithful to minister to them in the love of the Lord Jesus with great patience and wisdom.
Love to all of you in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,