I am so sorry that many of you have not heard from me in several weeks. I sent out an update about 10 days ago but it would not go through to many of you through my Outlook Express program. I don’t know what was wrong but I was unable to use that program and all my addresses were in there so I had to go through the Internet directly and send personal notes. Anyway, I just this week have added all my addresses into the Yahoo account and will try to send updates from there. You may make a note of my new email address: Rhondadestino@yahoo.com Please change to this new email and I will try to transition out of the globalnet account as soon as I can. I am hoping that I got everyone’s emails typed in correctly but if you know anyone that is not receiving my emails anymore, please have them write me from the website: www.destinodelreino.org and I will add them back in. I am so sorry for all the confusion. I hate it when you are not hearing from me regularly because I really do count on all of your prayers. I will have Ric Pratz add my last update to the website under “news” so you can catch up on the one that many of you missed a few weeks back.
A lot has been happening here at Destino (as always). There is NEVER a dull day and we like the adventure of it all most of the time. Our newest adventure is that we now have a 10 day old baby girl living with us. Carlos’ niece found a newborn baby in the field beside her house 10 days ago and she took it to the police and then to the hospital. The baby had been thrown out like a piece of trash after it was born (not cleaned up from the afterbirth). We went through the Child and Family Services here in Honduras (IHNFA) and they immediately said they wanted us to have the baby. She was very popular in her city since her abandonment was put in the news. People from everywhere around were coming in to see her and bring clothes and formula. So when we picked her up there at the hospital, the news was ready to film about her finding a new home. The nurses had named her Milagro Esperanza (Miracle Hope) but we are changing her name to Ana Elizabeth. She only weighs 5 1/2 pounds but the doctors assure us that she is very healthy. Please pray for her in these first few weeks with us. We hired one of the neighbor women to stay up at night with her so that Martha and I can take care of the other children. Emily (3 months old) looked small to us until Ana came along. Emily is about 3 times Ana’s size, ha. We are praying about whether we are to build the house for abandoned babies sooner than we had expected. The director of IHNFA rode with us to the city to pick up Ana and he talked to me about the difficulty of adoptions in Honduras but he has a woman that is working on an act in the congress here to get things changed. He wants to take me to meet her soon so we can work together on this possibility. There are several babies every single day in Honduras that are born in the hospitals and their mothers slip out the back door so they go immediately into orphanages, which are already overcrowded.
Sophie was here this past week with her mom and she will be living with us permanently in about 3 weeks. She and Emily are just days apart and so opposite. Emily is so laid back and content and Sophie is very active. It will be fun to have them grow up together.
We have made some real changes concerning the school at Destino. We feel that God directed our decisions and we have received approval from the director of education in Siguatepeque to change our schedule to one similar to the USA. To do that we are going to transition into it by continuing these three months (March to May) with review for the first and second graders and help the kindergarten and preschool get used to school and learn a few skills. THen we will recess for June and July and re-commence in August for a full school year, ending in May. We are so excited about the idea of having Americans in each classroom so that the children will be hearing two languages all day long. I really believe that God has directed us in these plans and am so excited to see who he will bring to us to work in the school. We will continue to pay the teachers (so sponsors please don’t quit on us during June and July) and then they will work the whole year until end of May 2007. We have two potential teachers already so please continue to pray for God’s choices to come forward.
Speaking of teachers, I am soooo thankful for the two new teachers that God sent to us here at Destino during all the confusion over who to hire a few months ago. Helen and Edwin are two wonderful believers and they have more than the school in their hearts. They have both begun to attend church at Destino and are helping with other parts of our ministry. Edwin has his certificate as a trained pastor but is not in the pastorate at this time and he has felt that God wants him to help Carlos — YEAH!! Helen started coming to church and bringing her family with her. She started helping in our Sunday School as well and that is a huge relief to us. I told Carlos today that it is amazing to see how God plans every step of the ministry BEFORE we even know we are going to have the needs. God is soooo faithful.
We have 87 students this year. We hadn’t planned to take in so many but I got out-voted by Carlos and the director, Sandra, because they said the classes are so big and the teachers are so willing to take extra students and the opportunity is so great for these children. So we are up to 26 in the 4-year olds and most of the others have about 20 in them. We are having a great time in the school and God is teaching us one day at a time to listen to HIM and make each decision uniquely for this ministry. It is so fun to see it all unfold so perfectly designed by HIM. That is a real advantage to people like Carlos and I as administrators because we don’t have any of our own experience or knowledge to rely on and we just keep praying and God keeps directing us clearly.
Speaking of Carlos, he is so close to getting his visa for visiting the US. He lacks one paper from Immigration and one letter from a government person in the US. I used to work for Ed Tarver, who is now a senator and he is considering writing the letter for Carlos. Please pray for all these details to be worked out quickly for Carlos. He is so excited to be able to share in the States and also meet with the Board all together as well as see many of you friends who have visited Destino in the past.
The school looks WONDERFUL!! If I can get used to this new program sending things through Yahoo, I will send out a picture in the very near future. It is so amazing how much has been accomplished in so short a time. With the school restarting in August, we think we will be able to finish up the cafeteria below the school in time for that re-opening. Pray for the funds to come in for finishing up under the school before that time.
We have a group coming in less than 2 weeks from Texas and the timing is perfect as we have so much painting and finishing work to do before the dedication service on the 20th. Please pray for us to accomplish much during this next 3 or 4 weeks. We are trying not to put too much pressure on ourselves but it would be so great to have the school finished for the dedication. Cassie Bernall’s parents will not be coming to the dedication but have sent a letter to be read and their friend, and ours, Maria Moore, will give the testimony of Cassie’s life and death to the glory of God.
All the kids are doing great and the 5 school kids really love their new school and teachers. The little ones are at home during the day and it seems so quiet sometimes, but we will soon have 3 newborns to fill up that void, ha. We have a new puppy as well, named Sassy, and her sister, Delilah (to go with Samson) belongs to Carlos’ kids.
Thanks for praying for all the groups making plans right now for their mission trips to Destino. We need God’s wisdom to know how to best use these people and to what villages we are to minister.
God is sooooo good and faithful through every situation and I praise God for your prayres that have sustained us through some dark times this last year. God is always the Victor though and Satan is fighting a losing battle at Destino del Reino.
Love in His grace,