Hey Everyone,

Thanks for all the birthday wishes already today.  I had about 50 before I was even up and dressed this morning.  I feel so loved by all of you and thank God that He has put the most amazing team of loving friends and family in my life to keep me encouraged and for loving these precious Hondurans with me.

Well, we got Amelia and Efrain moved in as of yesterday evening.  For those who don’t know them.  Amelia and Efrain used to live in a mud hut up in a village above us and we met them at age 74 and they had been together all their lives, had one child who had died and were alone in the world with no family.  They both accepted Christ when Carlos went to see them to give them an invitation to a men’s meeting and from then on they adopted us as family  They wanted to get married so when they were 75, we had a wedding and it was wonderful.  My sister, Dana, and 3 friends from Georgia, helped us prepare them, altered clothes, did hair make-up, etc. and I had to even bathe her.  They wore absolute rags and lived in the mud and had nothing but  God gave them the most beautiful wedding.  They later were kicked out of their shack and we found a house down our road and rented it for them for $25 a month.  About 4 months ago, they were no longer there and someone told us they had been taken to live with the  Menonites and we were so thankful they were safe and well taken care of.  But that ended up being a false rumor and we found them without any food and staying in a shack on a hill — no lights, no food, no water and nothing but a mud floor to stay on.   We gave them some food and then the Lord woke me up in the night and told me we needed to have them live at Destino.  Now, I am going to be very honest about my feelings.  (You may not think too highly of me  after this).  They are so dirty and so “different” and I knew they would be a new big responsibility and so I kept trying to think of something else we could do for them but not bring them under our care.   I had been praying for the Lord to show me anything in my heart that was not right and He certainly started showing me something rotten in me.  As I told you in the last email, it is easy to serve people when YOU choose who and where and how, but when someone asks you or demands something of you, then we get angry.  Or if you see someone that is repulsive to you, and then are told by God to serve them, well, that is something really difficult for us.  I saw my real heart and it was shameful.  I was convicted and knew I could not stand before the throne of God one day and excuse myself for not taking them in.  So we started planning to bring them here and put them in the clinic — there are two extra rooms and a bathroom that work there and my first thought was it was so nice and new and they were so dirty.  (Just being honest — I know it is horrible).  Then, we had a few days where we could not work it out for them to come and we were planning to bring them yesterday (Monday) to the clinic.  I thought that I had really had a victory and was being so pleasing to the Lord and then He woke me up Sunday night and I could not sleep for several hours — it seems God was not still pleased with my plans.  We have decorated the apartment below the second house so pretty and it is really a great little house and I was so anxious for visitors to come and get to stay in such a nice lovely place — and God told me now to let them move into that nice apartment, not the two rooms in the clinic.  I was so ashamed before Him at my attitude.  I felt like the Holy Spirit was whispering to me, “And who are you, Rhonda?  Why do you deserve to live in a nice house and to have been born in the United States and have always had food and a roof over your head?  Are you better than them?”   Oh my goodness I was slain in my heart and just cried at what I saw in me.   It doesn’t matter that I am a missionary and I give to the poor and take care of orphans and give school to poor children, those are all pretty little children and look so good and “clean up so nice” and it is so self-satisfying to take care of them, but God’s word says that in the final judgment, many will come before him and he will say “when I was hungry you didn’t feed me, and when  I was naked, you didn’t clothe me,” and they ask “when did that happen that we didnt’ feed you or clothe you, etc,” and he answers “WHATEVER YOU HAVE DONE TO THE LEAST OF THESE, YOU HAVE DONE IT TO ME.”   Oh whew, that was so hard so I am just confessing to you  that God still needs to change some things in my heart and I need your prayers.  We need to be JESUS to the most unlovely and He will be honored.  I praise Him for His patience with me and His desire to change the wickedness and selfishness in me.  Pray for me to continue to let HIM decide who I serve here in Honduras. 

Amelia and Efrain are now about 81 years old and really healthy and we are praying about how to give them things to do to keep them motivated and with purpose for their lives.  They slept in a real bed for the first time in their lives last night, we got new clothes for them, but they are hesitant to wear them, and they had nothing to eat for 2 days until they came here last night and I promised them they will never go hungry again.  God is going to bless us with them here and I almost missed that blessing.  My children are really excited to take care of them and they will learn to be true servants through this new experience.  Please pray for us as we help them adjust to these new living conditions.  They actually asked me last night (after I had explained the locks, the lights, etc. etc.) if they could “please sit on the couch”?   I don’t think it has registered yet to them that this is THEIR home. 

Pray for all of the teachers and staff tomorrow.  We have realized that we need to be in the homes of the children in our school and so tomorrow the children will not come to school and we will begin going out in groups to visit every home of a student in Destino.  We want to pray with the families and share Christ with them and also to discover what needs we may be able to meet.  We will write down the projects we can do for them, i.e. put cement on their dirt floors, etc. and how we can minister to them personally as well.  Pray for the teachers to go out with faith to share the gospel, pray for the sick, and trust the Holy spirit for wisdom to counsel these families.  I am so exccited for this opportunity.  We will be going out tomorrow (Wed.) as well as Monday (21st) so pray for those two days please PLEASE!!

We have all the ditches dug for the junior high school and so until we have more money f or materials to start putting in the rebar and cement in the foundations, we are at a stopping point.  God will move hearts  and we will know His perfect timing for this so we are just waiting on Him.  Thanks for praying for this project.  If God doesn’t choose to have us finish it for this year, we can always have the first class meet in the church for a year, but  I really believe He intends to provide and we just need to pray for this need.   We are still praying about the gym too but maybe that will come through for the following year.  We are grateful for all the LIVES we are building and that is much more important than any physical building so we are content to wait on God’s timing for these projects.

Carlos and I will be at the  Day Spring Baptist Mission Conference in Augusta, Georgia on the 25-27 so we will be leaving next Tuesday for Augusta — pray for the mission conference and also for our time there in Augusta with my parents and family.  I think we both really need a break from Destino, as much as we hate to leave for the week — there is soooo much constant pressure and responsibility so it will be good for us to take a breather away from here.   If you want to talk to me, I will be at my parents’ home from Tuesday evening (21st) until Monday morning (28th) — their phone is 706-731-5216. 

All 18 children are doing great.  They got report cards and even the new children have really been doing well in their studies.  Erick started his first course of high school this week — he is studying electricity and he really likes it.   I have the most precious, loving children and praise God always for bringing them into my life. 

Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement — I am blessed with YOU.

In His Grace,