Dear precious friends,
I cannot tell you thank you enough for your faithful prayers for my family during the past two weeks.  I think that just two weeks ago yesterday I wrote and told you to pray because my sister had had an aneurysm.  We really truly believed God would raise her up from her hospital bed, but His ways are not our ways and His thoughts not our thoughts.  We don’t know why but He chose to take her home with him and our hearts are aching with the hurt.  It really was a shock to me how much you can hurt — the hurt is amplified by the fact that everyone that you love is hurting as bad, if not worse, than yourself.  If it were not for the many prayers of all our faithful family and friends, I cannot imagine how we could have, and can walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  I have seen such strong testimonies of faith in my family and am so proud of all of them in the way they are clinging to God and trusting Him instead of running away in anger from His very hurtful
decision.  My sister is an incredible woman and I am so proud to be called her sister.   She was so willing to be a servant behind the scenes all her life and only in her death, did we discover just how many many people she had touched with her quiet unpretensious love and wise counseling.  She gave me the final compliment too in the fact that her family suggested that people make donations to Destino del Reino instead of sending flowers to the funeral.  I was so thankful that she loved the kids and the ministry here — that was such a big compliment to me and I treasure that.  Thanks for praying for us and please keep on as the times just get harder right now as people go on about their lives and yet our lives will never be the same.  My parents and Dana’s husband and 7 children especially need your constant prayer.  Thank you for being there for us.

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s celebration.  The death of my sister has once again reminded me that life is a vapor and we have to live each day as if it were our last on earth.  I came home to Honduras motivated more than ever to live with purpose for the kingdom of God and not to let things that don’t matter get me down and frustrate and distract me.  Please continue to pray for us to seek His kingdom first every day — that is my prayer for you all as well.   It is not just my New “year’s” resolution, it is my each new “day’s” resolution.

We had a great surprise for Christmas — Fernando came to see us with Martha.  He has been gone for 8 months now and every single day the kids pray for him to come home.  You should have seen the kids all over him when he got out of the car.  We are so overjoyed to see him and are still clinging to the hope that his father will let him come home to live with us once again.  His father plans to leave for the US in January and Martha believes he will finally decide to let Fernando return Home to us.   Please pray for that to come about.  He has grown up so big now (7 1/2 years old).  He was our first child at Destino and things are not the same without him here.

The kids all had a great celebration.  We don’t do presents for Christmas here and we just celebrate Jesus’ birthday.  Two days ago, I talked to them about how for birthdays, we usually give people a present. But for Jesus’ birthday, since he is not here in body form, we are going to give to others because the Bible teaches us that whatever we do for others, is doing it for him.  So they all went in and picked out their most favorite clothes and we took them up to a village where the children have nothing and we handed out their clothes and others from the storehouse as well as some little gifts that were sent from the Dollar Store in the US.   It was a day filled with joy for the children.  They loved giving their favorite things to those that had nothing.  We are going to make that a tradition around here I think.   Tonight is the celebration where we have church service and then birthday cake for Jesus’ birthday and lots of fireworks.  Carlos always preaches  a
salvation message because many come at Christmas who do not hear the Word during the year.  We are praying that some will receive Jesus Christ as their Savior tonight.

We have a couple coming from Oklahoma in about 8 days to talk to us about joining Destino del Reino as workers.  We are really looking forward to knowing them and seeking God’s will concerning them for Destino del Reino.  They are youth pastors and we are so excited to see if maybe the Lord would lead them here to start a program with the many MANY youth in the neighboring villages who have no direction in their lives.   If we had youth activities, we could easily have over a 100 show up with just one announcement.  They live in villages that are so needy and without any entertainment or interests.  This can be the biggest ministry we have so please start praying now for God’s direction in this area.

Pray for the teachers that we need for next August.  Anyone that can help us recruit 5 new American teachers, I sure will appreciate it.   You can go on the website under school and see what we are announcing for teachers that we need.  There is an application there as well that anyone can fill out.  We would like them to have theri college degrees in education but not necessarily fluent in Spanish.  We know that God wants us to be a bilingual school next year which means a majority of the classes will be taught in English.  Please help us with recruiting for these teachers in anyway you can — or at least please pray with us.  This is a huge need for the future of our school.  In the meantime, please pray for the teachers we have and for the children at Destino del Reino.  God is doing great things in their lives and we can envision what an incredible life of leadership in missions  that is in store for each of them.  Thanks for your faithful prayers.

I am still planning to send y’all a Christmas picture of all the kids in front of the tree but I haven’t been able to get them a ll cleaned up at the same time and with Erick and Eduard home as well.  We’ll keep trying, ha.  I also need to update the web site so you can see the changes in all the kids and meet the two new children.  I apologize for being so late on that.  I will make an effort to do that this week and hopefully in a couple of weeks, Zac will have it updated and you can get on and discover all the changes.   I personally need prayer for energy right now– this grieving has really knocked the wind out of me and I find it hard to get things done.  But the promise is “The joy of the Lord is my strength — so pray for me to find that deep eternity-lasting joy that he has given to all His children.

Our first group of the year comes on January 7 from Trinity on the Hill Methodist so please pray for the VBS and other projects that we will be doing together that week.  We always need God’s clear direction as to the greatest needs.

Again, thank you for your continual faithfulness in prayer and encouragement to us at Destino.  God is doing amazing things and is producing incredible fruit in the kingdom because of your prayers for us.
Love in His grace,