First of all, I would like to thank everyone for all your prayers about our broken water pump and motor. We had about 3 weeks without water, but it was a good time to remember that we are blessed beyond measure here at Destino with electricity and running water and so much more than most of our students have in their little houses. God is good to us and I guess sometimes it is good to lose things so that we recognize His daily mercies and goodness. Thanks to so many who contributed to the purchase of the motor and pump. We were told that the original pump was not installed correctly and that we were also supposed to have had the well cleaned every year or so and that it was a true miracle that we were able to use the motor and pump for almost 7 years without failing until now. A group from San Pedro Sula (professionals?) came and cleaned the well, installed the new pump and motor and, because they did the work themselves, they are guaranteeing the equipment for 10 years, but say that it should last 20 if we get the well cleaned out occasionally. We really didn’t suffer much and got used to boiling water and bringing water from town — it really was not so bad and God blessed us during this time, as I said, with more thankfulness.
We had two groups from Augusta during this month and they really blessed us with so much help — they repaired things, put in an insulated ceiling in the church with inset light fixtures — it is beautiful and we can hear so well in the church. We also will be able to hear during rain storms now and it is weather proofed as well. It was so beautiful in our church service on Friday night. The ladies in the group re-decorated our church banners with the names of Jesus on them and they looked beautiful as well. But the best part of our service on Friday night was that eight people surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ — 4 of whom were fathers of some of our kindergarten students. God is doing amazing things in this place and I am so grateful that, in spite of all the battles and conflicts and struggles, God is bringing in much fruit. What a huge blessing it is to be a part of this precious ministry.
Please pray for me as I am attempting to meet with every student individually this year to pray with them and to know where they are spiritually and also the needs of their families. I need the discipline to do this because I have so many other responsibilities (which are not nearly as important) to take up my time.
God has been teaching me so much through my teaching of Sunday School each week. I think the biggest thing he has been revealing to me is His perspective on our relationship with Him. I was teaching in Kings and as I covered 10 kings in one Sunday morning (trying to hurry through that part of the tribes of Judah and Israel and their various kings ruling during the time to move on to the life of Elijah), I realized that God summed up with just a phrase or two the reign of each king — not with this king had a problem with lying, and this one had a problem with adultery, and this king had a struggle with stealing from the people, etc. — but it just mentioned whether or not the king followed after idols, or if they tore down the idols and only followed the true God, etc. We are all sinners and are always going to struggle with sin, but God’s emphasis is on whether we have idols in our hearts or a whole heart for him — that is why David (in spite of his horrific sins) was so precious to God — he never sought other idols and always his allegience was to the true and only God. I was teaching the children how to discover if they have idols in their own hearts and God showed me some clues to help them and they are good for me as well — (1) our thoughts — what do we spend more time thinking about during the day?? (2) our desires — what is the biggest desire of our heart and does it have anything to do with God’s will for us? (3) examine our emotions — what makes me really mad, or puts fear in me or brings me the biggest happiness — that is where we discover idols in our hearts. (God showed me idols in my heart in my fears — fear of losing my children, fear of not pleasing people, etc. and the children, people, etc. are my idols). Anyway, all of a sudden, I realized that “thoughts,” emotions and desires” are “Mind, Soul, and Heart” and Jesus cut right through all the Pharisees’ sizing up sins and judging sins, when he answered the question, “What is the Greatest Commandment” by saying, “To love the Lord your God with all your Heart, Soul and Mind.” — If we are focusing more on removing the idols of our hearts and having a heart (and soul and mind) wholly for God, we don’t have to focus on how to stop sinning. Anyway, I just shared that because it has kind of transformed my thinking (and judging) of myself and others. God looks at the heart and only He knows the idols that we have there that need to be removed. So pray with me as I ask the Father to continually show me ANYTHING that I love more than Him or spend more time thinking about etc. I want to have a heart only for HIM and not distracted by trying to please others and fear of losing things that are not mine to begin with.
I was so encouraged by a conversation I had with John and Wayne when they were here from Augusta. They are willing to take on one of my biggest responsibilities at Destino — preparing and planning groups who come to help us. From here on out, when a group signs up to come, John and Wayne are willing to take on the responsibility of communicating the needs of Destino and finding out how each group can meet those needs. I am so relieved to have some help in this area so please pray for them as they take this on for us.
One project that they are planning already for the Spring, is to build a big deck off the side of the church so that when we start having kindergarten classes in the church next year, there will be a place for the students to eat their lunches and also it will be covered for a place to play during recess on rainy days. By moving our kindergarten classes to the church next year, we will have two extra classrooms in the elementary school, which we can use for the junior high classes (if the Lord has not yet sent us the money to build the junior high) and also for art, music or computer labs, etc. Pray for us to be patient on God’s timing for the building of our junior high. The junior high teachers are doing an excellent job this year and our students are really having to study more than they were used to but it is good for them.
We are so pleased with the school year and the loving excellent teachers we have –both Honduran and American. Please be praying for us to find more Americans to come to teach English next year. We need a few more than we have this year to really cover the classes well.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Destino is selling Christmas cards again this year. In the next week or so, there will be a place on the website to order Christmas cards. Jacquy and Raye in Texas are preparing the cards by selecting their favorite pictures from those that were drawn by the students for their sponsors. It is a good way to help Destino financially and also to let your friends and family know about Destino del Reino.
Keep praying for Carlos as he is getting his papers and application ready to start seminary in a few months. I know he will be so encouraged by this course of study and feel better prepared for his position as pastor at Destino.
The kids are all well and happy and I am so thankful to have them all in my home. We are expanding to the bottom floor where the offices were, by building in a stairwell to that bottom level where the boys will all live. We are adding one more little boy (age 1) in January and it is good to have all this additional space. Our offices will move to the little white house behind the children’s home, and the dental clinic will be there as well. By the way, we were so happy to learn from our dentists who came from Augusta, that we have most of the equipment we need and the right facilities to have an excellent dental clinic here in the next few months. Pray for us to be able to find the additional equipment we need here in Honduras and to get this clinic up and running soon for all the students at Destino.
Thanks again for your continued support and encouragement and prayers. We need it SOOOO much. Financially it has been hard for about 3 months but God is faithful and everyone has been eating, we have paid almost all our bills (still owe a month of electricity) and He is fulfilling His purposes here. Yesterday in Sunday School, I was teaching about Elijah — after his great victory in proving to the people that only Jehovah had power (not Baal and other false gods) and God brought down the fire and burned up the sacrifice, etc., Elijah ran for his life when he was threatened by Jezebel – I thought that was so ridiculous to see the God of such power and might demonstrate His awesome power in that situation and then to run in fear from one person — I told the kids to raise their hands if they believe that God has all power, raise their hands if they believe that God can do anything, raise their hands if they believe God has authority over all people and creation, raise their hands if they believe that God can protect them in any situation, etc. and finally, raise your hand if you are afraid in the night sometimes. I almost cried right there with the blatant awareness of how I believe all of these things about God and His power and have had Him clearly demonstrate it in so many situations at Destino and yet I panic about the finances so often. How stupid of me!!! I need deeper trust and REAL belief and confidence in His ability and power. But, at the same time, I saw in our lesson, the patience and mercy of our God in the way He treated Elijah’s fears and comforted him and fed him, spoke tenderly to him and sent him out again with more purpose. I am so thankful for the fact that the Lord “remembers that we are dust” and is patient and merciful with me in my unbelief at times. He is amazing and I praise Him for His tender mercies every day with someone like me that is so lacking in faith. One of my favorite verses is “He is faithful when we are without faith.” — wow, what a promise.
Thanks again for every prayer and dollar and word of encouragement. I am blessed to have so many people loving and supporting and praying for us. WOW, in heaven, it will be amazing to see just how many people are part of the ministry of Destino del Reino and will reap the abundant fruit of the missionaries and Christian leaders who come up out of this ministry one day.
Love in His grace,