Hey Y’all,

I want to thank you once AGAIN for your prayers.  We have had probably one of the hardest months in the history of Destino and yet God has been faithful and we are still moving forward and trusting Him.  He is continuing to be the same perfect and faithful Father and changing lives and building leaders here!!!

There have been so many conflicts and hard decisions and work to do at the ministry and we have certainly had to remember to take one day at a time and look for His grace to get us through that day and not worry about tomorrow.   He has taught us so much here and is revealing more and more of his plans for Destino.   Thank you for remembering to pray for us.  We were calledat salvation to be soldiers not to just relax in our salvation and wait until we die and can go into eternal rest — this is a WAR that we are in spiritually and I have to get over the idea that maybe today I can just have a “normal” easy day — I don’t think that very many soldiers in the middle of a war have an EASY day EVER.  Especially with our ministry in the process of training up more soldiers and training them to be WARRIORs, I think we will always be under much attack from Satan, but the fruit is sooooooo worth it all.   We have many new people coming to Christ continually and so many of the young men that have worked with us in the construction are now coming regularly in the church and starting to take some responsibility and becoming real leaders.  That just blesses me so much to see these young men with  real purpose in their lives finally.  The lifestyle is so different than most of you can imagine, but these young men had been growing up here in this area of Honduras and with no work, would just grow a little bit of food for their families and survive but without any purpose to live for and certainly not good work or training in skills.  Their lives have changed drastically during the last 3 years with working at Destino in construction  and I praise God for so much potential that we now see in each of them to be spiritual workers here as well.

Thanks to many of you who sent in $10 (and more) for support for our AWANA kids.  We still lack more than half of it, but will wait on God’s provision for that need as well.   Please be praying for our leaders especially.  As you know, all our people here are relatively new believers and so we have to train them before they can train others.  We had a meeting with the AWANA leaders a couple of weeks ago and Carlos asked them why, with 200 plus children coming to AWANAs every week, was Rhonda the only one that had children receiving Christ as their savior in her group?   We realized as we talked to them that none of the leaders knew how to really lead someone else to salvation in Christ.   We practiced some with them and before our meeting next week they are all to have memorized the salvation verses and be ready to practice on each other.  They really need to get comfortable with this.  THey are not much different than most believers though because if we are not taught, many times we know we are saved in Christ but don’t have a clue how to share it with anyone else.  This is such a weakness everywhere, I’m sure, so please be praying for our leaders and that we will be able to train them up right.   AWANAs is such a perfect opportunity and I don’t want us to miss it.

The kids are all doing well, other than a lot of colds.  As you know, we don’t have any heat in the house and the house is not well insulated with the kind of windows we have, etc.  But we are dressing warm during this cold weather and everyone is happy.   Thanks for praying for Sammy. He FINALLY is sleeping through the night and that means I am too — praise God!!   He is so funny and loves to be the family clown.   It is a little hard for me to discipline him at times because if I told him to do something and he walked away in rebellion, I could easily get my wooden spoon and spank him.  BUT  . . . Sammy walks away with a twinkle in his eye and is teasing me and so I have a hard time spanking him when he is just playing with me.  He has had a few spankings when I KNEW it was rebellion and he had an attitude, but with his little playful personality, it is hard for me to know sometimes. ha.  I’m definitely going to need a lot of God’s wisdom in raising this little precious one.   Emily and Ana are getting so talkative too and fun, with completely opposite personalities from one another.  Erick and Eduard are on vacation and are working at least 3 days a week at Destino in gratitude for the support they are receiving from friends of Destino for their education.  A friend in Texas is paying for Erick’s education next year as well so he will be going to a good private school.  His end of the year grades were all high 90’s and that was with very little study, so I know he has a lot of potential.

Good news is that Travis Bennett from Tomball, Texas is scheduled to move to Destino the second week of January.  We are SO excited to get him here with us.  He will be such an encouragement to us in this ministry, not with just his construction skills and labor help but with his servant heart to minister to Hondurans with us.  He has a heart to disciple young men and this certainly is the place to do that.  Pray for him as he begins working on his Spanish and adjusting to a completely differently lifestyle.   The kids are going to LOVE him so much.

Martha is leaving us in January.  She is registered to start nursing school in La Ceiba in early February.  She has been wanting to do nursing all her life and I think that God has opened this door for her.  She is torn right now though because she loves these children like her own but at the same time wants to do more with her life.  Maybe one day she will return to work in the clinic at Destino.  Pray for her to walk faithfully with the Lord when she leaves Destino.  She doesn’t have that kind of encouragement in her life outside of this place and I am praying God will bring strong Christians into her life immedaitely when she leaves here.   Pray for the parents of some of the kids at Destino too.  They are from Jocon and the people there are very fearful and suspicious and superstitious, etc.  Some of them have expressed doubt about their kids remaining at Destino when Martha is not here because they know Martha and had confidence in her.  I know that God sent the children here though and will keep them here if that is his will.  I don’t really think any of them would try to take their kids out, but just pray for them to have confidence in this ministry and not in one person particularly.  Thanks.

I will be in the US for a week from December 27th to January 3rd and hopefully I will get a chance to talk to some of you by telephone and hopefully see a lot of you in Georgia.  I think my mom has reserved the fellowship hall at West Acres Baptist Church on Thursday night, the 28th of December (about 7:00) to have anyone that wants to see me and give me an encouraging hug and see a few pictures of Destino.   Please pray for me as you know I always am a little uneasy leaving my kids behind.   I have wonderful women working with the kids here though and know they will be very secure while I am gone.

Speaking of security, please pray for Cokie.  For some reason, she is going through a stage of insecurity and has started pulling out her hair when she wraps it around her finger with one hand while she sucks her thumb with the other.  She hardly has any hair left on one temple area and I am worried about her.  We are praying with her and over her and for her and please pray for her with us.   Also, Fernando is going through an unusually rebellious stage right now and I am trying to be very consistent in time-outs, etc.   Thanks for your support in prayer.   The others are doing great in school and in every way.

Thanks for continuing to pray for the finances for us.  This last two months was sooooo hard at times but I can say (as always) God has been faithful and we never went without a meal or gas in the bus to pick up the kids or pay for the teachers and workers.  God did miracle after miracle every week to provide for us and He will always be faithful.  Thanks for praying for us (especially me) — I just want to TRUST with all my heart and not panic at times because I don’t know where it is going to come from.   I have NEVER known where it was coming from so nothing is really knew — God is true and faithful and I am without faith and need to grow MUCH in that area.

Pray for our first youth activity coming up on the 17th of December.  We are having an obstacle course and Carlos and the boys have built a big course with real challenges.  The kids will be divided in groups of 10 and they have to get their whole group successfully through each obstacle (much like a ropes course that requires interdependence among the team members).  As they pass each obstacle they will win a tool to help them on the treasure hunt that follows.  During the treasure hunt, they will be looking for 5 different flags (each a color of the salvation bracelet) and before passing that part of the course, they will have to memorize the salvation verse that goes with the color of each flag.   We expect about 40 kids to come and most of them have never yet received Jesus Christ as their savior so this will be a big event.  We are already sensing resistence to doing this but know this is a ministry that God has thrown in our lap and we need to be diligent to reach all these kids.  Many of these kids are from El Socorro where we started evangelizing last summer because of the report from the police of much gang activity there.   The police say that the village is no longer dangerous and we KNOW that it is because God has come to live there!!!   The kids are needing a sense of belonging and are looking for something and we know it is GOD!!   Thanks for praying for us and all those that will help us help with this activiity and for wisdom for future ministry to the youth.

Well, last but certainly not least, I am attaching a picture of the 11 youngest children and they all want to say thanks to you for the provision of their clothes and food and prayers from every one of you.  They are wonderful happy kids with an unbelievable future because of what God is doing through you to provide for them.  Merry Christmas from all of us to you.  (I know you can’t see every face but that was the best one I could get — it is really hard to get 11 little ones to sit still and smile at me all at the same time, ha.)

Love to you and praise God for your partnership with us in this kingdom-building ministry.

Merry Christmas,