Thanks for your prayers for us at Destino and especially for joining us in our prayer march for victory here. We had an incredible time. I can’t really explain it but we KNEW something was happening in the heavenlies when we were marching and shouting and singing with the children. They had NO doubts at all. We talked about the story (the TRUE story) where God told the Israelites they didn’t need to fight in the battle and they just sent praise singers out against the enemies of God and they enemies began to fight against one another. We marched around all our property behind the houses and it was an incredible night. The next night, Carlos was on his way out to start guarding the property against the thieves again and his son, Andres, said “Poppi, why are you going to do that? Don’t you remember we marched and prayed.” Carlos said he was convicted and went back in the house and went to bed early. We have not seen or heard anything
since then. There has been a few situations outside here of Destino and Carlos and some of our neighbors went with the police to investigate but nothing has come close to Destino since that night. We are walking and standing in faith that the problems are over. Amazingly, in the middle of all of this, the police have become very protective and helpful and come in a moment’s notice and last night Carlos was able to call them and they came to help some neighbors down the road that saw a suspicous car entering the road. We don’t know all of God’s plans and what He has been doing through this situation but we do know that we were able to walk in faith and teach the children how to really fight their enemies — not with armor of the world but with spiritual armor — prayer and praises and FAITH in their all powerful Father.
We had about 150 people for our birthday celebration for Jesus — one person accepted Jesus as their savior that night. We praise God for that. We had a huge dinner, church service and fireworks and birthday cake afterwards. The only problem is that this whole idea started for helping our children here celebrate Jesus’ birthday and it has become so big and it goes on too long past their bedtime — so next year we may go back to just doing this as a family thing. We celebrated the next night (26th) with just our kids here and we had saved an extra cake from the dinner and lots of extra fireworks so we had a really special time with them.
We went to see the elderly people in the home for elderly near us. All the kids have adopted one of the “ancianos” there to pray for so we took them cookies and the kids had their picture taken with each of their “adopted grandparents”. It was really special. Then yesterday the kids took their favorite clothes up to the poor children. Last year, the kids took about 3 or 4 outfits and gavethem away. They remembered that it was Jesus’ birthday and the way that you give Jesus birthday presents is to give to other people. Well, this year they all came out with whole bags of clothes to give away. I was a little worried because they may be giving too much away but decided not to question them because I didn’t want them to think there was a limit in how much we give to the Lord Jesus — they were soooooo eager and they collected toys and balloons and gospel bracelets as well. We had a wonderful time and I gave out Advil and children’s cold
medicines while the kids gave out their clothes and toys. Sammy gave away his brand new cletes to a little boy about his size. We would drive up to a part of the village and children would run out and our kids would all pick a child that was about their size and give them an outfit. We have a wonderful Christmas this year and I am so thankful that God taught us how He wanted us to celebrate Him and the kids, I think, enjoy their Christmas more than others who receive lots of presents.
This week we celebrate New Year’s and we are going to do something that God told me to do three years ago and I never obeyed and followed through with it. When I was praying one time about wisdom for rearing these children, the Lord had me read in Deuteronomy and what I saw there was how much they celebrated and all of it was to remind the children of the miracles that God had done and of His faithfulness. He told me to start a rock pile (like an altar) where each rock had a painted symbol on it that reminds us of one of the many miracles that God has done for us at Destino del Reino. I kept putting it off and just yesterday morning, I was really convicted that God told me to do this and I never followed through. I started to tell Carlos about it yesterday morning and when I said, “Carlos, you know what I never did that God told me to do, . . . ” and he interrupted and said “the rocks.” He said that God reminded him of that same thing the night
before. So today Carlos has left for the river to collect some big round stones and we will start painting them today and tomorrow and for New Year’s (this year and every year in the future), we will review the miracles and tell the stories so they will pass them on to the next generation of the faithfulness of God. We are really excited and also I am ashamed that I put something off so long that God clearly told me to do. He is patient and forgiving with me though and I know this wil be a powerful time. Hopefully, after this first time, the children in the future will each take turns telling the stories for each rock.
Thanks for all your faithful prayers for us in this ministry. So much is going on and we need the support of your faithful prayers for us. Pray especially for Carlos as he is the head of this whole work of God here and there is much pressure on him daily. Pray that he learns to “cast all his cares on the Lord” every single day so that he does not become weary and burdened.
We have a couple of prospective English teachers more for next year so please be praying for God’s clear direction for them. We also are still going to have our first couple coming through Touch of Fire Ministries with Scott Bogard from Indiana. Nathaniel and Mallori. Mallori will be our music teacher next year and Nathaniel will work on a preparation manual for their future missionaries who come to Destino del Reino. He will work with village ministries as well. As you may remember, Scott has a mission organization to reach the 10-40 window but all of his newly sent missionaries have to agree to serve one year at Destino del Reino before going on out into the countries where God is ultimately calling them. Nathaniel and Mallori are the first couple and they are called to Egypt and will serve with us one year before then. Pray for them as they are preparing to come here in May to begin their year with Destino.
We will have our first ever Missions Day at our school on January 6th. The kids will return each year after Christmas to a missions celebration day. The teachers have been preparing to have each class introduce a different country in the world — their language, their food, their customs and mostly the needs for prayer. Each class wil pass through each classroom with a different country for about 40 minutes. We are praying the children will get the rest of the world on their hearts and God will begin calling them to be missionaries to these countries, starting as children. Thanks for your prayers for this very special day.
I will be leaving for Augusta, Georgia this Saturday, the 3rd. My mom’s surgery will be at University Hospital on Monday, January 5th. If anyone wants to contact me while I am in the US, I will b e at the hospital there. I will be returning on the 10th of January. Please pray for the surgery and that God even now is healing my mom of the cancer. He is able and has no limit to HIS POWER!! Please be praying for all my family during this difficult time. Pray for the children and Carlos and Wendy and the school while I am gone for that week.
Thank you for all your encouragement and support. We look forward to the next year and are praying to be able to finish the medical/dental clinic with apartments (for Mallori and Nathaniel) before May and then to start working on the campground and block making business and some agricultural projects this year. Please pray for wisdom and the funds that need to come through for us to continue building this ministry. But mostly pray for the wisdom to build LIVES and prepare our children to be world changers with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you for all you have done this year and for your faithful faithful prayers for us. We wish you a very Happy New Year and look forward, with you, to great and marvelous works and miracles of God again this year at Destino del Reino.
In His grace,