I am continually amazed at God’s provisions for us at Destino del Reino. So much has happened in the two weeks since I wrote to y’all and I am sure I will forget to report some of those things, but here are a few of the wonderful things God has done.
Carlos ran into a friend who “just happens” to be the assistant mayor and he was so excited about the project of Destino del Reino and school for the poor. He told Carlos there are a lot of projects for him but he is putting on his priority list the repair of our road (for FREE!!). It should happen in the next few weeks. That will be such a big blessing and save a lot of tires for us around here.
School opened yesterday with our big meeting with parents and teachers and kids. There are 79 kids this year and we were looking for one more second grader to fill up the second grade, and I think one came this afternoon. We don’t want any of these children to miss the opportunity of having a free education (with English) and uniforms and everything provided, so we are making sure we fill up all the classes with 20 children each. Even though no one really thought it was possible to finish this school in 6 or 7 months, we started classes today in the new school building. It is so beautiful and I go down there about twice a day just to admire it, ha. It is SUCH a huge miracle from God, the timing and the quality work as well as the finances to build such a beautiful place for these children to learn. There is still a lot of finishing up to do but the men are working hard at it right now (even at 9:00 tonight). I am so amazed at the commitment of our workers. They know this is a ministry and not just a job and they give it their whole heart and work weekends and nights to get the job done for these children. We are so blessed with all of them.
We had been praying about the computer class since we had been given about 10 used computers. We don’t know a thing about computers so they were all piled up in a spare room in the second house. A Honduran couple came out to see the place this weekend and I was giving them a tour. When I passed that bedroom, I just said it was a bunch of computers and we wanted to have a class someday if someone came to put them all together for us. He said he was a computer technician and he would love to do this for us. He plans to fix the computers up, design the furniture for the classroom and then network all the computers for us. I am so amazed at the people God sends to answer every one of our prayers. The same day an older missionary couple from Siguatepeque came out to see where I am living. I have been praying about a place to teach my children to swim and forgot that they even have a big swiimming pool at their house. They asked me if we would like to swim sometime and I told them that I wanted to give my kids lessons. They said we can come any day or every day and even when they are out of the country (they travel as AWANA missionaries to other places), their maid would let us in the gate and we could swim then as well. I am so amazed at how God answers every need (and so many just “wants”).
Oh — I forgot to tell you one of the best miracles for me — I AM WRITING THIS EMAIL TO YOU FROM MY HOUSE AT DESTINO DEL REINO!!! We finally got our satellite in and the Lord worked it all out so perfectly. We were trying for months to get a satellite from another man and when he finally sent his friend to put it in, it wouldn’t work because we sit down in the valley on this mountain and another mountain was in the way, no matter how high we tried to place the satellite. The man who was installing it just mentioned that he had one that would work because it faced up instead of across the land. He brought it to us and it was $500 less than the other one, and it is $70 less each month because he is not really in the business and just hooked us up directly to the USA. Also, he is getting us hooked up with international phones and a local phone. No one has ever suggested that we could get a phone line locally through the internet and we are sooo excited for that because we spend lots of money each month on phone cards because of our lack of phones. Please pray for all this to get finalized becaus that would be such a big savings for us.
We got the big container in finally from Texas with the doors for the school and also bus tires, etc. It took Carlos 5 trips to the port again and we are still praying about how to make this an easier process. The people at the port are basically theives and try to figure out a way to keep your stuff there and then charge you rent for having to keep it for you. It is so frustrating, but God always reigns over the situation and we just have to be patient on His timing sometimes.
We have a precious group from Bryan College here this week doing a VBS up in a village on the mountain as well as helping us do a lot of painting and preparation at the school. The timing was great for them to come and help us right now since there was so much last-minute work to be done. Pray that God will bless each of them and show them Himself in this trip. One thing that was really fun for me is that one of the young men is the son of one of my friends from Bryan, Mary Kirtley, and I had wondered what had happened to her. They are missionaries on Mexico and we are getting reacquainted by internet after all these years. One of the leaders of the group is Kimberly Mishow, Britt’s daughter so that is fun for me as well to spend time with her again.
Thanks for all your prayers. Please continue to pray for us to get the final sponsors for the school. We are really having to think through a lot of issues with the school and we need a lot of wisdom right now. After reviewing the costs of feeding the kids a good meal every day and paying teachers and buying uniforms and books, it looks like we are going to only barely make it each month with the $35 a piece support for the children. We may have to ask the sponsors to go up to $40 a month or just get extra sponsors for some of the kids. Please pray for us in this. I wanted to keep the sponsorship as low as possible but when the kids eat 22 meals a month there is only $10 left for every other need each month and it will not cover everything. Carlos and I are neither one prepared to be administrators of the school but that doesn’t seem to bother the Lord at all, ha. We went to two schools today to talk to their directors to get some insight and wisdom. We were so blessed that they were so helpful and offered to answer any questions and said their doors were always open to us for anything we needed. The biggest miracle of the day was that while we were entering one of the schools, a lady overheard our request to talk to the director and that we were adminstrators of a new school. She waited in the hall until we came out and offered to help us. It ends up that she is the legal coordinator for the schools in Honduras and handles all the legalities for the private schools. She gave us her home and cell numbers and said she really wanted to help us with everything. Afterwards Carlos said that she is someone that everyone else is always trying to get to talk to because she has all the pull in the government and usually they can’t get a chance for a conference with her but here she was offering her home phone to us and asking us if we can let her help us. It was really amazing and we once again saw that God was preparing every step for us in this project. We are having to make decisions about salaries this week and contracts etc. and it is really hard at times to know what is best. We have pretty much concluded that we should change to an American school schedule in order to facilitate getting American teachers to dedicate a few years to teaching at Destino. We have to go through so much red tape and government regulations to take care of all the benefits and salaries for teachers here and we would be so much better off having some Americans come and raise some of their support and do the teaching as a ministry for the poor here. We also would be able to give the kids a better opportunity to learn English because we would put a teacher and an assistant in the classes, one being American and one Honduran and the kids would learn both languages much more easily. Please pray for us in this. We would like to find a teacher to start as early as this June and then to find two more for next June. If we get a teacher for this June, we would put him/her in one of the classes to finish out this year, then next school year would start in June instead of March, and the following year we could start in August like the schools do in the States. Thanks for your prayers. I believe this is an answer for us from the Lord and we look forward to seeing how he will provide for us. In the meantime, pray for us to be fair to the teachers as well as fair to the ministry. There is so much to consider and we are cast on God for wisdom, as always. Anyone, basically with a college degree could qualify to teach in our schools here in Honduras, so pray with us for those who God wants for us at Destino.
The kids are all great. Eduard loves his technical school. Erick is so happy to be in his last year of elementary school and is studying hard and praying about what kind of school to attend next year. (He turns 13 next week). Blanca started second grade today and is such a great big sister to the others. Fernando lost two teeth in the past few weeks. Carlitos is really excited about kindergarten but mostly about geting a back pack. Eidy has been ready for school for years, ha, and was so proud to finally start today. (Pray for her behavior and for much patience for her teacher, ha). Cesar is so great at soccer and is such an easy little boy to raise. Pray for us to work out his papers though. They made a mistake on his birth certificate and it makes him 4 years old instead of 5. We started him in kindergarten today but if we can’t get the papers changed through an attorney, he will have to repeat kindergarten and can’t graduate until he is 5 on the papers. Cokie was feeling like the mama in the house today. All the big kids went to school for the first time and I told her that she was in charge of Sammy. She loves being in charge of anyone and everyone, ha. Jonathan is still stubborn about not potty-training and I’m afraid he may get into kindergarten wearing diapers, ha. Josue (a year younger than Jonathan) is potty-training and so proud of himself. He is smiling all the time and laughing and is just not the same kid that moved in this time last year. Sammy is starting to talk more every day and says “Tia” to me but always in a whisper – it is really sweet. He is such a treasure to us. Emily is a doll baby. She really looks like a little doll literally. She has a rosy round face and smiles with dimples. She is so easy to care for too and content all the time. We expect Sophie to be living with us in a few more weeks and it will be fun to have two 3-month olds growing up together from the start.
Pray for Carlos on Thursday as he once again will go to apply with the Ambassador for his visa to visit the USA. I think that he will be able to get the permission this time because we have all his papers in order. If we get his permission, we will immediately make reservations for May to come to Texas and also Georgia and you can let us know where you would like him to speak, etc. Pray for him too for strength right now. He has so much stress on him with the church, the buildings and the decisions for the home and school. He looks worn out most of the time and I am a little worried about him. He has been sick several times and I think it is because of the stress. I told him that I was really counting on him to live longer than me and carry on this ministry but am now wondering about him, ha!
Thanks for all your prayers and love for us. Sorry this is so long but there is so much to share. I wish I could write more because God is blessing us every day with new miracles and continues to prove himself faithful beyond our imaginations.
Love you all so much and am so grateful for the huge part you play in this ministry with your faithful giving and prayers.
In His grace,