Hey Everyone,

I am so amazed at what God has been doing lately through all the struggles that we are going through continually.  Mostly, he is working to change me to trust Him more and that is always good.   I realized yesterday that maybe the last 8 months have been sooooo filled with struggles and trials is because on my own, I have learned to keep going through some really difficult times and have learned to be tough and make it through. But that is not what God wants — he wants me totally dependent on HIM — so maybe, just maybe, had to really give me such tough times until I realized once again that I CANNOT do this and it has to be HIM in me that can do what needs to be done at Destino del Reino.   I was really REALLY discouraged last week and just wanted to quit, to run away or something and I was really complaining to God about why in the world did he call someone like me to be in charge of such a huge ministry — He is so gentle and woke me up in the middle of the night when I was restless and angry and despairing, and he said, “Can you just do one thing for me?  Can you just let me use your body and you take me around and I’ll do everything through you?”   He made it sound so simple again and that is really the core of a true beleiver — being filled with Him and just letting Him do whatever He wants through us.   So anyway, I said “yes” and I am continuing on and recognizing that this is not my problem, my burden, my responsibility — it is all His and if He wants to use me, then He can have me.

God is always at work even in circumstances that do not appear to be good at the time.   As you know, we have been in a huge battle to get our van out of the port.   Our lawyer messed up the papers first and we did not get our permission approved, and then our agent (everyone uses port agencies to represent them to get their containers and vehicles out of the immigration at the port)  was not diligent in trying to get it out for us.   It got desperate as we heard they were trying to declare our van “abandoned” and sell it at an auction.   Then they said we had to pay $11,500 in fines for them keeping it in the port for so long.   We finally got DESPERATE and just decided to go to the port on our own and see if we could talk to the top officials there.  God gave us so much favor with the people there — The lady that is the administrator of all the imports and exports in the country has a reputation of being kind of harsh and very firm and not too friendly.  Well, she took such a liking to us that she decided she would make sure we got our van out.  She called the very top head of the immigration for all of Honduras and said, “can you come here and help these poor people?”  (letting him know what she wanted him to do).  He came in and he, too, was so clearly moved by God to help us.  He was supposed to go on a trip and waited all day long for a chance to meet with the Administrator and get our van for us.  Afterwards I talked to him and asked what we should do in the future about a lawyer and an agent and he gave me his name and personal cell phone number and said, “just call me personally in the future.”   He completely wrote off the entire $11,500 and gave us our van.   Our agent was FURIOUS with us — we found out that he gets a portion of the money for these fines and so he has motive to delay getting our containers and vehicles out o the port so he lost a lot of money when they wrote off our debt.   If this situation had not gotten so desperate, we would never have gone to meet the top people and now for the future, we will be able to get things through without difficulty — it is amazing what God was up to all along, when I was complaining to him through those 3 months!!!!   Immediately when we got home, I got an email about the farming equipment my cousin is trying to get to us and I realized this may be the main reason we had to meet those people — the farming equipment is a HUGE deal for the future of Destino and it may be kind of tricky getting all of those tractors, etc. in and now we have the favor of God with the officials.   I want to learn from this and really trust God when I think things are crazy and out of control and recognize He is always up to something GOOD!!!

Our next big situation we need prayer for (or one of them anyway) is for our buses.   We have investigated having our transportation contracted out so we don’t have to worry about all the bus break-downs and repairs, etc. but they wanted $2,000 a WEEK!!!  That was so ridiculous so I had my answer that we are to continue with our own transportation but we really need another bus.  One of the buses we bought (the last one) was really a lemon and we used it for several years but the whole bottom is destroyed and we cannot even sell it — we plan to use the motor for our huge generator here at Destino and sell the other parts, but we really need another GOOD bus so be praying about that.  In the meantime, we have hired a different bus driver for the school who knows much more about mechanics and has promised to maintain our buses better.  Also, the military battallion has promised to fix our road soon and keep it maintained for us for FREE so pray that they follow through as well.

Another battle we have been in for about a year now is our electricity.   A group of parents have been to the government several times and have hopes that they will at least let the school have free electricity but we are still waiting.   A new development though is that Carlos saw the head of the electric company in our city two weeks ago and he started talking to Carlos about me and saying that it was not fair with all that we were doing for the poor children that we had this huge burden so he said to call him and he will make an appointment with the top official of the electric company in Teguc and we will go directly to them and I just really believe God will give us the same favor with him as He gave us with the people in the port — be praying about that please.

Thanks for praying for Carlos.  I believe God is really working in his life during this time apart from Destino.   He is working on a day by day basis for Destino as I need him for the official business things or for whatever only he knows how to do and he is so humble and thankful for the work.   Please pray for him to be fully restored and seek the Lord with all his heart.  He is already so different and seems broken but I know this is a process that God wants to do in him and we know that God works all things out for the good — to conform us to the character of Christ.    I am so thankful that he is willing to help me with the things that I have no idea about and no one else could do and it just seems like just the right situation for now.   Thanks for your faithful prayers for him.   I know God has a great plan for his life and his family and this is just a detour that was necessary.  He said he had a dream from the Lord a week or so ago and God told him that until he got rid of his pride and rebellion in his life, God would not use him in a great way in Destino.    God is so good to do whatever is necessary in our lives to make us like His son, even when it hurts.  So thanks for praying for him and their whole family during this hard adjustment.

We had 3 birthdays this week and the kids always love excuses for cake and ice cream. ha.  Sofia and Emily turned 7 and Marisol will be 3 tomorrow.   I am amazed how fast the years are flying by and my kids big kids are no longer toddlers — there are soon going to be a lot of teens in my house!!!  Oh no!! ha

Please be praying about something exciting I think God is putting together.  He put it on my heart last summer to have a purity seminar like  True Love Waits conference for our older kids in the school.   That is a completely FOREIGN concept in Honduras and is so necessary.   Through all the craziness and trials this year since the summer, I just forgot about it and last week some of our American teachers brought up the idea to me — I am in contact with some people to help us find materials (hopefully in Spanish) and praying for God to give us just the right people and plan for this time with the kids.  We want to do it on Valentines’ Day.   We are praying about even doing the promise ring ceremony for those that want to make the commitment to God to remain pure until marriage.   Please pray for this — for ideas, for people, for translators, for materials, etc.   Thanks so much.   This is a HUGE deal and will have a great impact on the future of our teens.

Thanks for always praying for our finances.  We have a debt to pay off from getting that container out and that stresses me out, as well as all the other regular needs — thanks to all of you who have been so generous to help us get through this tough time.   Pray for Amanda Bowen as she has taken over the responsibility of the sponsorship.   It is a big job and I am so grateful for her love for us at Destino and that she wants to remain involved even from Kentucky now.  (She taught for 3 years here at Destino).   Pray for the sponsors we still need for the kindergarten kids and also for 30 more starting in June.   God is faithful and I am learning a little at a time to really REALLY believe Him and REST in His goodness and perfect timing.

Thank you all for your prayers for us.   Remember that you cannot hit “reply” to respond to this email — you have to write to me at rhondadestino@yahoo.com    Even though I don’t hear from most of you, I am always amazed how at some point, I find out that people are praying for us who I never even thought knew of us — so I know that God is keeping Destino on your hearts and for that I am sooooo grateful.   Thank you.   I wish all of you a very merry CHRISTmas and pray that He truly is the center of all your celebrations.

Love in His great mercy,