Well, we made it through our first full week of school and it has been a success in so many ways. We have a WONDERFUL group of godly teachers this year — Hondurans and Americans — and they have had such a sweet spirit of cooperation and unity and hard work and most of all, LOVE for each other and the children. I am so excited for what God is going to do through them this year at Destino del Reino. Of course, we had to work out all the “kinks” in our schedule and plans, making sure there is one teacher that shows up at each class, etc. and after all the re-arrangements have been made, I feel like it is going to be a really good schedule for each one.
We did not get the water actually running in the school for the first two school days last week but now all is well. Thanks for your prayers for the water well. We still have a few little problems — i.e. the leveler that the company put in was supposed to keep us with water pumped in the house at all times and something is not working because we have to go out and manually turn on the pump every 18 hours or so — but we are sooooo thankful for water that this just isn’t anything worth complaining about. Thanks to all of you who have given to help us. We still owe a couple of thousand dollars but it is coming in little by little and God is faithful. I still am excited every time I can just flush the toilet or turn on the shower and not boil water — AMAZING!!! The first day though I forgot and went and found some purified water in a bottle to brush my teeth and then I thought, “Oh, I could have just turned on the faucet!!!” We are all so grateful for God’s faithfulness to us. Over three months without water has made us much more grateful than EVER!!
The construction is coming along — we will just finish up the two classes that we need immediately in the junior high building and then wait until God provides more funds to finish off that first floor. Carlos WAY under-estimated the cost of construction and so we are too short to finish off the first floor. We have spent about $2,000 a week for labor because the fathers of the school children have not cooperated in coming to help and put in some free labor. Although we are disappoitned in them, we know that we are raising up a new generation, in spite of the disinterest in their parents at times. We just need a little more to be ready — doors, windows, paint and floors so we think it will be at least another 2 weeks (if God provides the money) and then we can move the junior highers in their new building. In the meantime, we have those two classes meeting in what used to be our pre-school and kindergarten classes but which will soon become our English center). So classes are continuing and no one is too impatient about the situation.
Thanks for praying about the container. It came to port in north Honduras on Sunday and now we are in the process of getting our “dispensa” (permission to receive it without taxes because of our non-profit standing). Please pray that the dispensa will go through quickly so we don’t have to pay any other fees for not getting it out of port in time, etc. They always figure out some way to charge for something so we need to pray — we don’t have anything extra to give them right now, but God knows that. Thanks for your prayers. I cannot wait to see all the loving gifts you have sent to us for these children. It is always so overwhelming to open a container and see all the surprises and the love that is crammed in to that container — thank you ahead of time for all your sacrificial giving to us at Destino del Reino.
Well, it sounds like we are going to get our farmer and his family back at Destino in a few months. Please pray for them as God is opening the doors for them to return to us. We have 120 acres that God has given us and it needs to be used for God’s glory and to feed the poor and provide for the future of Destino. We are soooo excited to have Travis and Julie Hester and their two (almost 3) children coming back to us. Travis went to meet my cousin and spend time with him on his farm in Colorado this week and wrote me that he is so anxious to use all the equipment that my cousin is sending to Destino. Pray for a friend, Mike, who will be driving the tractors, implements, etc. etc. to Honduras during the next few weeks or so. I am so excited to see all God has in store for the Destino farm.
I think I shared with you a few weeks ago that we have changed the way we do church at Destino — Carlos is not going to be a pastor with regular preaching services. We are meeting on Wednesday nights, going through a book of the Bible and everyone (including the children) know the passage we are studying the week before. During the week we all write down our observations and questions and we have a discussion together and all can participate. Obviously those like Carlos and Sheena who have gifts of teaching will contribute more in the conversations but everyone is getting involved. Pray for us as we believe this is the right thing for Destino but it is a little awkward in the beginning getting people comfortable with this format. We really want some special prayer time each week and transparency and a safe place to share the REAL struggles and be supported in prayer and encouragement. During this month, we have 3 Wednesday nights that are back to the old format though because we are having several grades presented in the church services and having the teachers of those grades share their personal testimonies with the parents. We have our final school dedication service this coming Wed. night and will have grades 5 through 8 and their parents with 7 more testimonies from the teachers. It has been are really precious time to hear from these teachers about their personal relationship with Jesus Christ and how he has put them through difficulties that have grown them in their faith in Him.
Carlos and I are going to the US to get some business things taken care of and see dentists, etc. after the container arrives. We will be there for about a week and return with a group of men who are coming to build a wooden deck off our church so that the kindergarten children can eat there instead of going to the cafeteria for their lunch. I am so amazed at these men who continue to return for special projects and miss work and sacrifice so much for Destino. Please pray that God will bless them GREATLY for their sacrifices.
Carlos and Wendy and their boys are still planning to move to town in the next month so pray that the house the are going to rent will be able to get finished in a short time. They have mixed emotions as I do but we all really believe this is a way that Carlos can get some rest from the great burdens he bears here and also have some more quality time with his family. This ministry is so huge and he bears the weight of most of it and can’t even sleep at night most of the time because he tries to be the night watchman as well, ha. He has had a lot of health problems and I think they are caused by the lack of rest and God really means for his children to REST and trust Him and enjoy our lives while we are serving Him. Thanks for praying for their plans and for our adjustments as well.
We only need about 10 more sponsors and all the children of Destino will be sponsored this year. Please continue to pray for someone or some family or some Sunday School class to take a child to pray for and help financially each month. If they will just do a half a sponsorship ($30 a month) we will be satisfied knowing that each child is being prayed for by name regularly. Thanks for praying for this need.
I am forever amazed at how many many MANY of you are praying for us each week and regularly — people that I am surprised even think of us are always telling me that God is keeping us on their minds and hearts all the time. That is such a huge encouragement to me. I thank you and I am praising God for the fruit of those prayers — the kids at Destino are like no others — they love Jesus and each other and they obey quickly and are respectful and FULL of hope for the future because of you!!! One day we’ll stand at the throne together with thousands of former students of Destino as the fruit that God has given to us — some of us work here, teach, some pray, some give, but all are on the same team and will receive the same rewards from the Father — it takes all of us. Thank you soooo much.
In His grace,
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