Hey Prayer Team,

Thanks for your continued prayers for us even when at times you don’t hear from me for a few weeks.  I promise you we are in great need of prayer AT ALL TIMES!!!  So thank you for not forgetting us when we are silent.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, as I did.  I spent my time with my parents and my sister and families.  It was such a blessing to be there for the few short days.  Thanks for praying for my mom.  She is doing much much better and I believe God is going to completely heal her.  She needs her heart to build up strength before she will be able to travel again so I REALLY am praying for that — we want her in Honduras again this summer.  Thanks for praying with us.

Well, as of yesterday we have 4 more children in our home.   We have had a family in our school since the very beginning.  The kids are precious and we had 2 of them in our kindergarten and first grade classes.  We later added their sister.  This is the sixth year that we have had Franklin in school, but the problem all along has been that they are desperately poor and the parents do not care whether they attend school or not.  We have fought to keep them in school, with all the teachers joining in to tutor them, etc. but no matter how intelligent the children are, if they only attend the school a few days a week, they just couldn’t pass.  Franklin is now in the 5th grade and I saw him crying out of the school office this week.  He had come completely covered in dirt to school and they were trying to clean him up  and I had an idea — I believe it was the Holy Spirit — and I said, “Franklin, do you want to come and live with me and then I can keep you clean and get you to school every day?”   He cried and said yes.  So Wendy and I went to visit the parents last week and they are so apathetic, living in complete filth with 10 children.  They gave me permission to have him come to live with us when I returned from the US.  I saw that she also had a 4-year old boy and we had another place left in the 4-K class so I told her that I would like to take him as well.  She said yes.  We went to pick them up yesterday and I saw Karina — Karina is a little doll and failed first grade at Destino two years because she was never in c lass.  I asked if I could try again with her living with us, and they said that was fine.  Then when I was leaving, the 6-year old sister, said, “Oh, please Miss Rhonda, can I go to your school and live with you.?”  I called Carlos because he told me not to take more than the 3 but he said to bring her on home.  They are adorable and soooo needy and we are all so excited to have them.  We had to put the 6-year old in the kindergarten class to there are 31 kids in that class and we will have to order some more books but it is worth whatever effort it will take.  There are still in the home a 3 year old, a 2 year old, a 1 year old, as well as three older ones that we cannot tranfer in the school because they are too old.  We found enough hand-me-down clothes for the kids and I just need to get them some tennis shoes this week.  My older kids were so loving and they took them in, bathed them, combed all the matted tangles out of their hair and dressed them in their own best clothes.  I am sooooo blessed and thanks for praying for all of us to adjust.  We are a really full table now at meals but everyone is happy.  Can you imagine, last night was the first time in their lives that they had a hot dinner at night, a bath, clean clothes and slept on a bed!!!  They have never had toys and are loving all the things God has provided for the children of Destino.  God is so good and I am soooo thankful for these new little ones.  Please pray for them they are:  Franklin, 5th grade, Karina – age 10 but 1st grade again, Nicole, in kindergarten and Jose Santos (“Santitos”) in 4-K.

We are getting so excited to see all that God is planning for our new junior high.  It is amazing to watch God just guide our thoughts to HIS plans.  We met with a few men in Augusta last week and as we talked about our plans for the junior high, it was so plain how we were to do it.   We are not doing the auditorium with a couple of classes and then the following year building the junior high.  It is lots more economical to build the whole building at one time.  It will be to the left of the school as you face our present elementary school, and it is already pretty level out there so there will be lots less digging and bringing in filler dirt.  It will be a gym (to be used every day in stead of an auditorium to be used once a week) and the 8 classrooms will be outside the gym.  We can build the whole foundation in less than a month, once they send us the exact measurements, and that will cost about $15,000 approximately, and then we need to get the Butler building, which was priced at around $20,000, but we are praying for God’s favor and that someone will offer a much lower price to us.  I am so excited too that if we do it this way, we can definitely have the building ready for graduations in June — Please be praying with us for every detail of the building.   I can’t imagine ever how God will provide for us but he always does because this is HIS work and HIS idea and not ours.  We will be accepting some graduates of 6th grade from a neighboring village as well who were not able to continue their education so we will probably have close to 50 in our first junior high class next year. 

Pray for my daddy.  He has offered to be our new PR person and is taking the 3-minute video about need  for school sponsorships to evangelical churches around Augusta.  Pray that people in those churches will be willing to at least show the video in their churches and that some families will come forward to help us in support of these precious poor children.  God is doing amazing things and we know they will be blessed to be a part of it all.   World Vision and Compassion go to churches and receive a lot of support so we believe that these children will be able to get sponsors through the video.  Thanks for praying for all of these details.

We cannot believe the response we had at our last men’s meeting for the fathers.  Again, this month, 60 fathers came and had a great time with Carlos.  He shared a time of spiritual teaching and they were very responsive.  Most of them said they are battling some addictions and problems and don’t go to churches because people only judge them and do not understand.  God is using Carlos’ former struggles to give hope to these men that God is a God of power and forgiveness and there is hope for them.  Pray for these men.  We are so amazed that the men also decided they were electing a board of fathers and they are all going to volunteer their time to build the junior high.  We had men out there every day last week working without pay — that is  soooo amazing and God is blessing us with such a group of supporters.  God is going to change these families through these fathers. 

Continue to pray for the regular financial needs — we are gradually getting to pay off our debt with the teachers’ retirement and insurance, etc., but there are at least 26 kids without sponsors still and that is a lot of groceries not paid for each month.  As well, we have had every car in the shop continually and the expenses are rising.  God is able and faithful and we wait on Him from day to day for all we need.  But we need your prayers constantly.

I thank you for the support that all of you are for your prayers and encouragement.   I don’t have any idea how big the Destino team is but it is enormous and we continue to receive gifts from people I have never even heard of.  Only in heaven, when we stand before the throne with all our fruit from the lives of these children who become leaders and missionaries, will we maybe get a glimpse of how many of us were on this team praying and fighting for God’s Kingdom work to be done at Destino del Reino.  Thank you SO much.

In His grace,