Thanks for your prayers. We had some great news from the electric company. Carlos spent several days running around and one whole day in the capital city but finally got an answer about our electricity. For those that don’t know, they had decided to charge us a deposit of about $1,500 (which we did not have). After Carlos spent time talking to the head people and they heard about our ministry, they are not only NOT going to require a deposit, they will charge us less every month for our regular electric bills. Praise God for His favor that He has given us. I am always so amazed at the way He turns hearts towards this ministry to help us in so many ways.
All of us are doing well now. We had a really tough few weeks with the director of the school in that we needed to get some guidelines about our expectations, etc. Finally, I think we are on a good foundation with her and she understands that we are Christians and want to be loving but we still have some high expectations for the teachers and for her concerning the education for the children at Destino. People tend to be so slack about education here and it is hard to get her standards higher as we want them to be, but I think we are on the right track. Please keep praying about that.
I have really enjoyed teaching English (that is a big answer to prayer in itself). I have changed from teaching two big classes to 4 smaller classes — one for each grade — and it is so much better. The children are able to sit around their tables and hear me better and it is a lot less chaos with one 27 in each class and not 55 or so. Please keep praying for me to have the motivation that I have right now. I am very busy in a lot of other areas but I do believe God has called me to do a good job with these children and to get to know them personally. I know that I probably cannot do this for every year in the future but for now, I am enjoying knowing all the students at Destino personally.
My children are doing so well. They started memorizing scriptures about 8 months ago with a devotional time in the morning and one in the afternoon (only about 15 minutes each) — and they have learned so many CHAPTERS by memory. Jonathan and Josue have continued with their morning devotional while the others are in school and I was so surprised that they too know all the scriptures — they were more quiet before and I wasn’t sure they were taking it in but now that they are alone, they are really shining. PRAISE GOD too that they are both potty-trained as of this week. It is a wonder what those Skittles for a treat can do to motivate them to use the toilet.
Please be praying for us with the accountant we have found here. She is very good but is seemingly very slow to get our records to us. I have to have patience with her though because we gave her January through July receipts and that is a LOT to put together. I think that once she has this first foundation started for us, that each month will be easier for her to keep up with us. We also have temporarily employed an administrator with lots of experience in the city. He will come and just help us a day at a time until we get all our contracts worked out without any legal loopholes in them, and also help us set up our internal organizational rules (that has to get approved by the Dept. of Labor and is very meticulous). After that point, we will talk to him about coming one day a week and helping to keep us on a good system administratively and also to help us with some other office things. I am sure that once he starts coming one day a week, we will be surprised how much we can turn over to him and get the load off of Carlos and I. Thanks for your prayers. There is a lot to work out here at the beginning with all this business stuff but we HAVE to get our foundation right before we keep growing and becoming an even bigger organization with more employees. God is leading us to all the right people to help us but there are so many decisions to make and we need MUCH wisdom.
Please be praying for us too about the finances. I was praying this morning about what God might be trying to show us. We have enough to make it each week but just barely. There is not enough money to finish up the cafeteria at this point and we certainly do not plan to move ahead of God’s timing on that. But if we have missed something God wants us to do and that is why the money is flowing so slowy to us right now, then I need to hear from him. Carlos and I read a devotional book together this morning and for today it was a perfect one for these thoughts I was having. It was that when Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac, if he had not followed God to the right mountain, the provision of the ram would not have been there — we need to be sure we are following God exactly if we are expecting His provision for our plans. Please pray for me and Carlos to know if we are off track somewhere or if God is just teaching us to walk into more and more faith by having just barely enough each week and trusting Him through it all. Carlos said the other day that, if one day we do not have food, we will just gather the kids together and pray and watch God provide for us, as he did so often for George Mueller’s orphanage. We have never even been close to not being able to eat so I guess my faith has a long ways to grow yet, huh? Please pray for us for wisdom and courage from day to day to continue to live by only our faith in God to provide every meal. He is good and faithful and is faithful when we are without faith — I am so grateful to Him for his goodness to me when I do not deserve it and don’t even trust him to be good sometimes. I am His and that is enough for Him – what a Father we have, huh?!!
We still lack about 15 sponsors for the school. I got the list yesterday from Zac Rosenbaum in Austin, Texas, who is in charge of all of that business for us. What a load off of us here to have him in charge of that. Please be praying for more sponsors to come forward for these last 15 kids. Also, we accepted 4 little boys from a children’s home in the next village. They have had extreme neglect and abuse in their pasts and they need a lot more discipline and love than most of the kids in our school. They have adjusted quickly though and we are praying for them to be able to fit in at Destino and be able to receive the blessings God is providing for the children in our school. Thanks for praying for them. Their names are Reynaldo, Freddy, Arnold and Eli.
God is providing materially so well for us right now. We have a container coming from Augusta, Georgia in a few weeks and it contains so many things we need and some we just wanted and hoped for. One of the biggest surprises is that we are getting brand new commercial oven and stove, commercial refrigerator and commercial freezer for the new school cafeteria — that was really a huge surprise to me. I had hoped we could get some used appliances but never dreamed or hoped THAT big!! Also, a company out of Michigan and Florida who have partnered with us, are starting to collect for another container from Michigan and we can get some more of the things we were needing. Please pray for these containers to arrive safely and without so much red-tape as we usually have to go through.
Zac is also working on the web site for us. If you go on there right now, he has updated the front page to include more pictures of our AWANA’s club and also we have put new pictures of the three littlest ones since they are the ones that change so quickly. Look under “children’s home” and under “Ana Elizabeth”, “Emily” and “Sammy” to see some new cute photos. Also, you can see under “projects” the office (or at least the lobby – – we have offices off of the lobby and they are not pictured). And under “projects” you can also see the finished pavillion at Destino. Our web site is www.destinodelreino.org
Please pray for us as we are looking for the American teachers to come in August and need to get out the word on that as soon as we can. There is an application on the web site if you know of anyone who may be interested in applying.
Our AWANA club is growing week by week and is almost overwhelming but we love it. We have had to put a lot more money into it than we had thought because of not having sponsorship for it, but God is providing faithfully. We are thinking to have the children try to earn their AWANA t-shirts instead of paying for them because of the cost. Please pray for more leaders and for us to have the wisdom to keep God’s order to things here.
Carlos was denied his permission to go to the USA. It was complicated but they told us how to apply differently in 6 months (February) and I truly believe he will get his permission the next time. Thanks for praying and we will continue to trust God for HIS perfect timing for Carlos’ visit to the states. Carlos had another health problem recently and we need to have you keep praying for him regularly. He has HUGE varicose veins on his leg and they were protruded out already but last week they swelled up like a baseball and he was in a lot of pain. He is on medication right now but it doesn’t seem to me that it is working very fast. Please pray for God to heal him completely — stomach, veins, headaches, etc. I really am counting on him to outlive me and carry on this ministry but sometimes I don’t know — ha. Thanks for praying for him.
Personally, thanks for praying for me. I feel so much better these days. I have a lot more time to accomplish things that are necessary and still have time for just reading and praying. Please pray for me to have more discipline in those areas because that is really the biggest priority of my life — my relationship with Jesus Christ from day to day. Sammy still does not rest well in the night so I am lacking sleep much of the time but I can now find time for a nap here and there when I need one. Whew, what a relief that is!!
Pray for a meeting I have with my ladies on Monday morning. They are all precious women working with the children here at Destino but sometimes they are too lax and just think keeping the children alive is enough. Emily has had two accidents because they were not watching her carefully and we just can’t allow any more of those accidents around here. I need to be loving but very strict with these ladies — and that is so hard for me sometimes to be strict with people, even when they need it. Thanks for praying.
I love all of you and praise God for your faithfulness in prayer for all of us here. There are so many lives being influenced by this ministry and we are so privileged to all be a part of God’s plan here in discipleship and leader-training. You are a big part of all of this with your prayers and I thank you for your willingness to partner with us in that.
Love in His UNFAILING grace,