Thanks for your continued prayers for us. Especially thanks for the personal prayers for Carlos and I as the leaders that God has placed over Destino. We have had an incredible week of growing and learning.
As you know, we have struggled (both of us individually) with feeling so much oppression and even discouragement and a little depression the past few weeks. On Saturday, Carlos finally got so down and discouraged that I was afraid he was tempted to just walk away from everything. He just couldn’t get peace. Finally, I asked him to meet me in the office and we would pray and not get off our knees until the Lord came with some victory. While I was waiting for him to come and pray, the Spirit started revealing so much to me about what we needed to take care of. He told me to have Carlos (and me too) write down every burden that we were bearing and worrying about. The Bible commands (not suggests) that we cast our cares on HIM (in I Peter 5:7) and the next verse warns about Satan prowling around ready to devour. A friend of mine once told me that the Lord showed her that those verses in I Peter are related to one another in that if we do not obey the part about casting our cares on Him, we are weakened and Satan can more easily devour us (or at least our peace and walk with the Lord). The other thing the Spirit told me was for us to let Him show us any person that we have not completely forgiven. This is tricky because sometimes it is just people that “hurt our feelings” and not really outright big conflicts with someone. The third thing he said was for us to write down every fear that we were harboring. The fourth thing was to ask the Spirit to show us anything that he had convicted us of and we had failed to obey. Well, we did that whole process and God came with such an incredible peace and restored our joy. It was amazing. Sometimes we think that we have to do something really special to sense the presence of the Lord but he reminded me of the verses that “he that wants to enter into his presence needs to come with pure hearts and clean hands.” I think I have been mistaken in thinking the presence of the Lord is something special that you can sense just at certain special times but it is a reality and we ARE IN HIS PRESENCE immediately if we have let the Spirit examine our hearts completely and are completely surrendered in every area to Him. Afterwards, we just stayed silently on our knees to allow the Spirit to tell us or show us anything he wanted to. It was incredible what God showed me. All of a sudden, I saw us under this huge tree — lucious green and full of fruit and we were sitting under the tree eating fruit. The Spirit said to me, “Just rest and enjoy your fruit.” That just wasn’t something I expected to hear — I always expect him to be telling us to work harder or do better, etc. We have been so burdened with things though that we have forgotten to enjoy all the fruit that God has given us here at Destino in the special lives He has touched and changed and the sweet little children under our feet. Then God showed me that the great shade of that tree was HIS PRESENCE. As I stood up to walk out of the shade, the battle against the enemy was too great and I ran back in. What he showed me in that was that if we just stay in the presence of the Lord at all times, examining our hearts continually and surrendering every part to Him, the battles will not be too great for us. But when we run outside of his presence and try to fight the enemy on our own, we get beat up sometimes. I know that the enemy still will attack us at times even when we abide in His presence, but it will be a much easier battle to win and also only will be allowed with God’s permission so we know that He will give the victory. This was such an awesome day for us and God really moved in Carlos’ heart last night when he preached and the power of God was all over him in the message and the ministry time afterwards. He shared so much of what God had taught us in that prayer session and half the church went forward after praying to forsake every sin and bondage of their heart to Him. God is faithful to teach us things or remind of us things that we already know and never permit us to continue in our unforgiveness, or disobedience or worry, that keep us out of his presence.
I was amazed at God’s dealing with us to reveal people that we thought we had forgiven but had just forgotten about. Travis asked me about a missionary this week and how he was doing, and out of my mouth came “WHew, I do not like that man.” I was as surprised as Travis and said, well, it is obvious that I haven’t forgiven that man. A man came out that day that owed us some money and Carlos realized that he had never forgiven the man either. So God is continuing to remind us of anything that needs cleaned up. He is faithful.
Things are going really well at the children’s home and in the church now and we praise God for all the people he has brought to be under our ministry. The ladies that work here are incredible. They are so committed to the ministry and know they are not really here for the salary but by the appointment of God for them to help raise up little missionaries for the world. One of our young workers (Maricela) came to work on Thursday completely beat up — scratches and black eyes and couldn’t move her neck. Her sister attacked her. This has been going on for months but she had tried to kill Maricela the night before. Maricela’s mother is completely unsupportive of her and hateful and takes all of Maricela’s money away from her every week after pay day. We have known for some time that Maricela needed to move out of that situation with her little 4-year old boy but she just kept staying. She has moved in with our neighbors for right now until she finds another place to live. Please be praying for her. During this conflict, I was reminded of a plan that we had felt God gave us in the past for the future housing of our workers. Carlos has a plan for a house that can be built in 2 months and it costs $7,000 to completely finish it. We would like to have everyone pray that if this is the plan of God, he will put it on someone’s heart to build this first house for Maricela and her son. We feel that God would want us to have a small housing community for all the workers of Destino one day where they will be part of the ministry continually and we can lower the salaries we paid them in exchange for some of their rent for these houses. This may be the right time to start this project. Thanks for praying about this with us. We know it is something the Spirit has put on our hearts but want to be in His perfect timing.
The man that gave us the land for Destino and then sold another portion to us for the school, has found a buyer for all the rest of his land up to the highway. He came by yesterday and Carlos said he wants to consider giving us another portion before he sells the rest of his land, so please be praying for this situation. We want to make sure we have all the land that God wants us to have before another buyer comes in and hems us in. There is another nice piece of property in front of Destino too and that would cost us about $8,000 to buy it, but only God knows the future of this place and exactly how much land we will need so we are putting it in His hands. Thank you for praying with us about these matters.
PRAISE GOD. On Saturday, Fernando, Cesar and Cokie all asked Jesus Christ to come into their lives. Each one of them had asked if they could pray to receive Jesus as their Savior so we met with each of them individually on Saturday. What a precious GLORIOUS time we had with each of them. What a fiesta there was on Saturday in heaven!!! Please pray for each of them now to learn how to let the Holy Spirit take control of their lives and help them in their individual struggles. I know we will be seeing a big change in each of them.
I have been very discouraged about the school lately. There is a missionary friend who is donating her time on Wednesdays and yesterday she was honest with me that there is just no discipline in the classrooms and the environment is hard for children to learn in. She told me that my ENglish class is the only class where the kids sit quietly and are reprimanded for not paying attention,etc. I was so discouraged and don’t know how to teach the teachers differently. Please be praying. We have an experienced teacher coming to evaluate the students tomorrow on where they are in their learning and also to evalute the classes. I am praying that she will be the one to point out the problems and the teachers will be ready to learn how to improve. Next week is the renewal of contracts (only for 6 months this time so we can get on track with the new one-year contracts under our new American school schedule). We really need wisdom as to what God wants for the school. He is the one that thought this whole thing up, not us, so we can trust Him to do it right. Please pray for the right director. Carlos and I cannot possibly continue being the administrators of the school and still running everything else out here. It is too much. Just yesterday, our missionary friends Paula and Mark, told us that they have an American friend in Comayagua that is the director and teacher of a Christian private school there. He is from their mission organization and he is very talented, a great administrator, and so committed but there are some integrity issues there and so he feels he needs to leave but is hesitant because of his commitment to the children. We are going to go visit him this week and at least see if he will help us train or teachers. Mark told us that Porter knows of our needs for a director and has told him to pray about Destino del Reino. This would be almost too good to be true — he is american so has his own support, is fluent in Spanish and could unite our American and Honduran teachers, and has an incredible gift for administration. Please be praying that God will reveal to us and him what is His will. We are feeling a little desperate at this point and I couldn’t help but wonder if this wasn’t God’s provision for us. Pray for Porter to know if this is God’s plan for him and to give him the courage to leave the other school if that is God’s will.
Continue to pray for our teachers for the coming year. We need a couple more American teachers to apply and are trusting God to do this in his perfect timing. Thanks for praying with us about that.
The kids are all doing great. Sammy, though, fell off the pavilion wall last Thursday and got 7 stitches in his little chin. The stitches hanging down look like whiskers — ha. He is such a good sport though and is doing well through it all. He is the only one of the kids that has ever been to the emergency clinics and he has been about 5 times in his short life.
The babies are all doing well and it is very active in our house now with four toddlers. We have changed things around now and the 12 little ones live in the first house with me full-time and one lady stays in the babies’ room at night to tend to the babies during the night so I can sleep. The second house is just for Travis and the two big boys on the one wing and the rest of the house will be used by groups for making their lunches, keeping their back packs during the day, having devotions etc. We will probably keep it this way and always have the extra space for the teams. It takes a lot of pressure off of me to have groups coming in and out of the kids’ home.
Be praying for the groups as they begin coming next month. We need wisdom how to best use each team and to be prepared spiritually and physically to take on this additional ministry. We know God has called us to minister to the teams coming through but it is something we have to be prepared for in the midst of our other ministries at Destino. Thank you for praying that we will know how to balance these ministries as God would have us.
Continue to pray for the finances. God has been absolutely faithful in every area. We will not move ahead with another project until He clearly gives a designated gift for more construction. The pressure is off of us at this time and that has been a good rest for us. We want to always stay right behind him and not to move ahead with any of our own plans or even our own timing.
Thank you for your faithfulness in praying for us. The ministry is growing more every day and we need God’s grace and wisdom for each new day. You are our co-partners in this with your prayer and support in every way. We are so grateful to all of you.
Love in His grace,