I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year from all of us at Destino del Reino. We are looking forward to a different kind of year — I am personally praying that God will help me guard my purpose and vision each day this year and I will not be so easily discouraged and distracted from what He is doing here. There are lots of hard things and conflicts, etc, but God is sovereign and is completing a wonderful work at Destino and I want to keep my sight on those things this year. It is a lot of effort to just get our heads above the world around us and the things that do not matter and to keep focused on Him and His purposes. Pray that we will stay in the Word and in His presense this year continually so we will be able to keep our perspective at all times.
We celebrated Christmas this year, as we always do, by going to take the children’s clothes to poor children in the villages around us. This year the children took out their favorite clothes to give away as a present for Jesus’ birthday, and we went to a very poor area where most of their classmates at Destino live. It was really good for my children to realize that their classmates live in rags and in houses of mud, at least many of them do. My kids see their friends at school every day, dressed in their nice Destino uniforms and they didn’t realize their friends were so poor. It was very eye-opening for them and they want to give more. The kids also decorated sugar cookies for the elderly and we took them to a house for the old nearby and the children repeated chapters of the Bible they had memorized and they sang several songs for the people there and then handed out their specially decorated cookies. It was a really precious time for all our chidren. On Christmas day we had our birthday party for Jesus — cake and lots of fireworks while we sang Happy Birthday to our Savior. It was a perfect celebration and we loved the time we had to celebrate Him who is our only purpose for being here on the earth.
Today we had a surprise and received 3 big boxes of nice new clothes from my cousins in Colorado. We had no idea they were coming and the first thing my kids said was “that is funny how everytime we give our best clothes away, Jesus sends us new and better ones.” I am so happy that they noticed that. The same thing happened last year for them and it is true, you just cannot outgive God!!!
I haven’t ever reported to you about what happened about the Family Services and our little Ana. The people that came here came under the guise of being with IHNFA (the family service department of Honduras). When they said they were going to take Ana because there was a long line of people wanting to adopt abandoned children and they would take them as old as 7 or 8, I told them I would fight it to the end and asked who I could talk to. When I started talking like that, the ladies said that we could talk to the head in Tegucigalpa but “please don’t mention our names” — well, it turns out when the real representatives of IHNFA came here last week, they told us the other people are not from IHNFA and are up to no good. They also told us that Ana could still be adopted but sometime later on and that was not happening right now. When Wendy told them they had failed to do the legal procedure of publishing in the papers about Ana’s birth so that some family member could claim her, they admitted they had messed up because they never expected Ana to live as she weighed under 5 pounds and was left in a field after she was born for the whole night with ant bites, etc. They realized they cannot adopt Ana because they did not follow procedure and we are rejoicing that Ana will stay permanently with us here at Destino. She is part of our family and is almost 4 years old and God has protected her so that she can grow up and be a mighty warrior and leader for Jesus Christ!!! Praise God for His protection!!
We have been attending Uncion Divina church in Siguatepeque recently (Carlos and Wendy and I and the older boys). This is the pastor who felt that the Holy Spirit told him he was to be Carlos’ spiritual father and to build him up in the word and train him as his spiritual disciple. The pastor and his wife had shared with us that this culture is so bad and that if anyone can be pulled out of this hell hole of immorality and drunkenness it is an absolute miracle from God. People get a different impression when they come to do a short term mission here but this place really is hopeless in so many ways, apart from the mercy of God. Many religious leaders and even pastors are involved in some pretty deep sin and continue to do their religious duties and the country therefore has no ethics and few leadership models. The pastor shared that he and his w ife had been going to a cantina to drag their oldest son out of there and try to straighten his life up and were very discouraged. Well, on Christmas Eve, they got word that that son had robbed a store and was arrested and would be in prison for at least 5 years. Then on the next night the pastor was up all night at the hospital with a church member who had been shot several times in the chest. The stories never end and we need continual prayer that we will know that God can do a miracle with this new generation of children in Honduras. Pray for Carlos as God is taking him apart and healing him up and going to make a mighty leader out of him as well, but he has been through testing and lots of pruning — God is proving that he truly called Carlos even before he was “ready” spiritually to handle it all. As my niece said, “Look at the Bible, God called everyone while they were still a mess.” ha. I guess that is our encouragement that God calls us to make us into what He wants and doesn’t just use us as we are and work around our flaws — He is a great God and I praise Him for His wisdom in calling us here at Destino and continuing to change all of us. He is so good.
Pray for the last 12 sponsors we need. I am not so concerned about the $60 a month for each of them (although that would be very helpful) — but I looked at the children who are left and was very sad because some of the 12 are the most needy in the school — one’s father was recently murdered, one is a 5th grade boy who needs lots of guidance but has a heart for God, there are several in there that are among the very poorest and need lots of encouragement. If you cannot help us by sponsoring financially, will some of you go on-line to the web site www.destinodelreino.org and take one or two of those kids by name and start praying for them regularly — please, this would be such a great favor to me. I am so grateful for all your prayers for Destino and the children and I know that none of us will realize until eternity, just how much prayer really did accomplish in the lives of those we have prayed for.
Please be continuing to pray for our teachers this year. We pray for unity and servanthood and humility among the teachers as they are the examples these children will look up to. Pray for them continually please. Pray also for Wendy. She is doing a wonderful job and there is so much to learn with such a huge school and more each year. Pray for wisdom for all of us in every decision — that we will not use our own logic or tradition or great ideas but that we will seek the Holy Spirit in every decision.
Please continue to pray for our finances as well and that we can start some projects soon that can earn some money for the ministry. We are still praying for a tractor to arrive and ask you to pray for the Lord to work out every detail. We thank all of you who have been so generous and given above and beyond what you thought you could this year — I know that God is truly blessing you for your sacrifice to benefit these 200 children at Destino del Reino.
I pray that this year will be a very fruitful year for all of you and that God will show Himself more clearer to you each day. He wants to be found and is found by all of us who DILIGENTLY SEEK Him. What a promise.
Love in His WONDERFUL grace,