As I usually start out my emails — I say again, Thank you for your faithful prayers for us. Things have been painful and wonderful at the same time for the past few weeks. Painful, because God continues to show us things that he wants to change in our hearts to walk in more obedience, and Satan continues to try to trip us up and discourage us every step of the way. But it has been wonderful to know that God is in such a perfect process of changing us to bring more glory to Himself and to make us more useful for His kingdom work. Whew — I have never in my life been through anything like the past few months but every day gets sweeter in His grace and mercy that he pours out over us. Pray for Carlos more than ever. He is in such a battle of the mind — Satan is constantly bringing discouragement on him and he is fighting to be the leader that God wants him to be. So much is on his shoulders here and Satan knows that he influences so many here and therefore, is trying to get him down continually. His sermons continue to be so powerful and straight from the Father’s heart and God is using him tremendously so we just all need to keep him supported in powerful prayers for protection and encouragement.
Personally, God has been doing wonderful things in my life. He is teaching me so much and has been showing me even more things in my heart that have been hindering his presence in my life. It has been so amazing to watch him just unfold my heart and show me new things each day that need to be changed and renewed in him. Thanks for praying for me. I don’t want to ever ask Him to quit this process no matter how painful it might be at tmes to see the wickedness of my own heart.
Tomorrow night we are starting a series with the discipleship group on IDOLATRY. Most of us Christians believe that we have no problem obeying the first commandment — to have no other gods before Him.” But as I have been studying the book “Idols of the Heart”, again I am seeing what is hidden in the depths of my heart that only the Spirit will reveal when we ask Him to purify our hearts. Idolatry was the sin that God seemed to hate the most in the Old Testament and John warns us at the end of 1 John “My little children, keep yourselves from idols.” It will be agreat study because God is going to change Carlos and I as well as the students in the discipleship class. Idols can be your own ministry and schedule and plans, your need for others admiration, your trying to please people instead of God, your children, your desires for anything that steal your joy and attention away from God. If there is any area in our lives where we say, “If I had ______, I would really be happy” Or if this or that would happen, then I could truly be happy” then there is an idol at work in our hearts. Please pray for us as we work on these lessons — this is one of the most important studies we will ever do. Few people teach on this and so many believers have been deceived into believing they are loving the Lord with all their heart, strength mind and soul and really have divided hearts that are seeking after their own desires. I want God to show me everything in me that seeks something other than HIM alone and I know that I will find deeper joy than ever before when I confess and tear down those idols of my heart.
We have been through so many trials lately and see God changing and molding us, but it has been so hard at times. The area that we need prayer for right now is the finances. We have had so little money and we owe some things immediately and only a miracle will provide the money we need. Satan is using this against us at times and we have to fight the lie from him that we have failed somehow and must be doing something wrong and that is why the money is not coming in as before. BUT, God does not trick us and we are seeking him and more transparent and open to him now than at any other time in our lives and so I KNOW this is not punishment or curses on us for some “unknown sin” in us. God convicts and tells us immediately what is wrong and gives us opportunity to confess and be restored without guilt, but Satan brings accusation that is vague and hidden and if we listen to him we just get discouraged and don’t know what to do to fix the “guilt” that is not real and not from the Spirit of God. So please pray for us during this time. I told Carlos that maybe God just shut down all our money so we would really know if we trust him or others right now. If this is a test from the Lord Jesus, pray that we will be faithful and grow in our trust in him instead of being discouraged. If this is just that people have not responded to the prompting ofthe Spirit to help here, then pray that their hearts will be opened again to the needs. Anyway, I am just writing from my heart and asking you to pray for whatever it is that God wants to do at Destino and that we will trust Him NO MATTER HOW HARD THINGS BECOME.
The kids are growing up so fast and we really have a great time with them. Pray for Jose. He cannot talk right (although amazingly, we all understand him now). He had a cleft pallette and had operations but we need to have a specialist help us know how to help him with his speech — is it a habit or is it a physical problem.
Fernando is still at his grandmother’s house in Yoro. He is still lonely and depressed and wants to come to us but it will take a miracle to get him away from his grandmother but PRAY because tomorrow his other grandmother, my friend from Jocon, is going to talk to her daughter (Fernando’s mom) and persuade her to return him to Destino immediately. I KNOW that God is in control but it sure is hard to watch Fernando suffering. We will pray in faith that God will deliver him — thanks for your prayers for this situation.
Another strange thing for us lately has been that 3 of our groups have had to cancel for the summer. They are all groups that we know love Destino and the people are disappointed about the scheduling of the trips because they wanted to come and just could not work out those particular weeks. I know that God is in control but again, I find myself questioning everything and wondering if this is something we have done wrong, etc. Please pray against this condemnation and accusation that I don’t believe comes from God. I think most likely that we had taken on too much and we need to have the ministry with the groups as God has given to us, but our biggest ministry is the daily life here at Destino and those that we are building into the ministry here and maybe with so many groups we would be neglecting the most important things right now. Just pray that we will be wise in how many groups God wants us to accept each year and that we will only do what the Spirit gives us to do and not neglect His priorities for other things and people. Thanks for praying for us in this. We are looking forward to the groups that are coming and seeing what God has in store for us together in His service this summer.
Things are hopping here at Destino now that all our three baby girls are walking. We have two women at all times watching the children but there are 10 small children and 3 babies right now so you can imagine how we have to stay on our toes every minute to keep them safe. I am sure that God has a whole army of angels around us every minute as well though so we are secure.
We have had so many cars and buses in the shops lately and that has been a hardship as well. I had just prayed the other day about maybe needing another car for the coming year and that very day I ran into another missionary lady who told me about an opportunity. She said that there is a car dealership owner in Oklahoma that sends new cars for his tithe. He has flooded Costa Rica with new pick-ups and now is starting to want to help Honduran missions. She is getting one of his new cars for $7,000 — a Toyota Tacoma 2007 double cab and said we could get on the list for one of these that would come in the late fall. I don’t know if this is God’s answer and, right now, $7,000 sounds impossible anyway, but just help us pray about this and if it is God’s plan for us, then he will provide and open the door. The man sends about 6 a year and she will put us on the list whenever we feel that it is something God is providing for Destino. If not, he will continue to make our vehicles last and last and last. ha. I had prayed for the bus when we got it 3 years ago, that it would be like the shoes of the Israelites in the desert — they lasted 40 years without wearing out. Up until recently, the bus has been a miracle but now we are noticing some really bad problems with the motor which will cost quite a bit to fix. All of this is in the hands of the Lord though and we just ask you to pray for us to trust him to meet all our needs.
We haven’t updated the front page on the web site for a while but we have added Jose and Samanta under “Children’s Home” — so you can get on the site and see their pictures and know them a little better. The web site is www.destinodelreino.org
The children in the school are doing so well and we are amazed at God’s provision there. Carolina, the young teacher who started with us at the beginning two years ago, is the acting director and she had decided to do it temporarily because of her young age and lack of experience, but God has given her such a gift in administration and she has a devotion for the school and works so hard without additional pay. We know that God has called her and I have encouraged her that, like Carlos and I, God uses unlikely people to do incredible things. She can depend more on God because she doesn’t have a history of experience to depend on — she is so precious and humble and we are so blessed to have her at Destino. We will be having our kindergarten graduation on the 15th of June and are trying to have gowns and caps made so that we can keep them at the school and use them each year. Pray for God to provide the money for those things for us as well.
I am sorry this email seems to be filled with NEEDS and I don’t want to complain, but I also want you to know what to be praying for and I am confident that God will provide through your prayers for all our needs at Destino del Reino. This is an amazing work that God has called us to and you are all a BIG part of it because of your prayer support and encouragement. I pray that God blesses you all richly because of your participation in the gospel of Jesus Christ being proclaimed in Honduras through Destino del Reino.
We love you all and praise God for such a huge team of encouragers behind us.
Love in His grace,