Hey everyone,
Thanks so much for your many prayers for us at Destino del Reino and also for me personally during this time of sadness for me and my family.  I appreciate all your prayers and know that God is going to give me the strength and joy again that I need to continue here.

We have been so busy since I returned from the US, with a group from Trinity on the Hill the second week of January and then my parents and aunt and uncle last week.  We have accomplished so much with all their help though and I know God will bless them for all the hard work.  We don’t have another team now until March and maybe we need a little rest right now.  We had a team cancel in February, but that was probably because God knew we needed to re-group a little right now after the holidays and a lot of time away from here.

Please continue to pray for the school.  The children are wonderful and are doing great but we still need much more organization and planning.  The American teachers are so dedicated and working so hard.  Pray for them to be encouraged in all they are accomplishing with their first graders.   Please pray for the other American teachers we need for the upcoming year.  We have an announcement about  that on the website and if you can think of any teachers who might be willing to give a year or two in mission work, please direct them to the website and have them fill out the application.  I have a friend that is going to talk to Bryan College and Lee College directly, and if any of you can recruit at any other Christian colleges in their education department, please let me know.  Most of all,  be praying.  We want to be a bilingual school by August for the new year and have to get the right curriculum and legal papers in place.  Also, if anyone has any ideas about companies
who might help us with some discount or even donations on curriculum for first through 4th grade next year, please let me know.  PRAY PRAY PRAY.

We have had a hard situation come up lately.  Samantha and Jose had been returned to us about 10 months ago after having left Destino almost 4 years before.  I had them when they were 1 and 2 and they returned to us at 5 and 6.  They were malnourished both times that we received them here because of neglect by the mom.  She signed them in to stay with us until they were 18 years old but at Christmas she told me she was taking them out and she would leave them with some family and she would move to the US.  We warned her that we needed to talk to some authorities because the children could not emotionally handle another change and living with strangers.  The child protective services of Honduras (IHNFA) started helping us get our papers in order so that we could protect the kids but on Sunday, the mom drove up and with the help of a few other adults, grabbed the children from the porch and took off.  We cannot do anything to rescue them from this but IHNFA officials know
where the mom works and lives and they will watch out for any further neglect or abuse.  It is so sad that they had to leave because they were so happy here and healthy and doing well in school.  Please pray for them as you think of them.

We are in the process of having IHNFA place two more babies with us in place of the two that left though so pray that this will only happen if that is the Lord’s will for us.  We have a lot of kids right now but I think we will be fine by adding just a few more smaller ones.  I love having the chance to rescue some kids and give them a future when they are so young and have not yet been traumatized in any way.  The two they want to give us right now are a sister and brother — 2yrs. and 6 months.  I don’t want to take in more than we can handle though so pray for us to know when to say NO.

I wanted to explain about my writing these emails on googlegroups — I only have to write it one time and all of you receive a copy. It is much easier on me than sending several groups an email each time I want to send out an update.   I think there has been confusion though about responding to me.  I am getting the responses when you hit “reply” but you can also write me still on my other email rhondadest@yahoo.com    I love hearing from any of you and will respond as soon as I can.  Please don’t hesitate writing me, thinking that I will feel pressured to answer — I type fast and will respond to you and enjoy doing so.

Thanks for your prayers for all of us here at Destino.  It seems that every one of us have been so discouraged lately, almost to despair in fact and wanting to give it up, but God is giving His grace and we need a lot more courage to walk in the battle that rages around us.  This culture is sooooo difficult and we are definitely fish swimming upstream in the changes we want to make in this next generation.  Carlos, especially, is undergoing so many conflicts and battles spiritually, but he knows that God wants him to obey and continue and so we need lots of prayer for his endurance and wisdom each new day.  Thanks so much.

Pray for us as we plan a short visit to Texas the end of February.  We have several churches to share at and Carlos wants to preach in the detention center on the border where he was detained when he tried to enter the US 10 years ago.  That is where he received Jesus Christ as his savior and he wants a chance to share with the men there that it is God who provides all we need and it is foolish to enter the US trying to find happiness.  Pray for our schedule to be worked out and that we will be able to accomplish all that God wants for us during that trip.  Pray for us to get cheap tickets as well, please.

We still have a lot of construction going on.  We are finishing up the school windows right now and then will do the final painting inside the school.  Pray for all the finances to come in  and we will get this done soon!!! Yeah.   We are working on a work shop behind the houses where the men (and also the groups who come) can do carpentry projects and welding, etc. with a roof over them.  We have started this long ago but finally I think we are going to get it done in the next few weeks.  Pray for that to get accomplished as well.  In the middle of all of these things to do, we realized the neighbor is cutting down our trees and selling the wood (illegally) and we are now stopping to put up a fence around all of our property.  I hate that we have to do that but I think it was needed anyway to keep the bulls out of the school.  There is always more to do and few to accomplish it but just pray for grace for us to meet each new day with the battles and struggles and be
obedient in those things that are immediately before us.

Pray for me to be motivated.  I find myself procrastinating a lot right now and just wanting to sleep (escape) — I need the joy of the Lord to be my strength and to enjoy all that God has so lovingly put into my life here.  I have the most precious children in the world and I find myself so distracted.  I know this is probably part of grieving but I really need JOY right now.  Thanks for your prayers.

In His grace,