Hey Everyone,

So sorry I have been so long in updating you about things at Destino.  I tend to write a lot of daily short statuses on Facebook but then many of you do not have FB or are not one of my FB “friends” so I need to be better about sending out these posts.   I have been waiting for a good time when I am relaxed and can get my thoughts together and write in a quiet atmosphere, but that has not happened so I will just write today in the middle of all my confusion and stress. ha.

I praise God for the way He faithfully sustains and comforts us through all trials if we lean completely on Him.  We have been through a lot with my daddy lately.  As many of you know he had an accident a few months ago that we believe was connected to his having a small stroke while driving.   He was completely healthy all his life, full of energy and soooo strong and industrious and such a servant before that accident.   My family’s life has completely changed in the past few months and we are all trying to make adjustments, both literal and mental, to adapt to such a drastic change of lifestyle for my parents.  He was released to go home this Thursday (as of last week) but on Friday morning he had another very serious massive stroke and is now in the hospital and unable to speak or walk and he is discouraged.   Please be praying for him.  I know that he would prefer to give it up and go home to Jesus right now but evidently that is not God’s plan right now and he needs to be motivated to work with the PT and other personnel to regain some use of his right arm and to eat well, etc.   We told him that he has a ministry of praying for all of us no matter if he is able to speak or not and he is always of use to God in that powerful ministry.   Please pray for him during this very hard time and for my mama as she is seemingly weaker because of the stress and worry over my dad.   My sister, Kathi, is the caretaker right now and this has been a hard time for her because she lives in Atlanta and this is the last semester of her youngest child and a time she wanted to be with him every minute.  She is willing to obey whatever God puts into her life, even if she has to be apart from her husband and son right now — We can see God’s perfect timing though in all of this because she was between jobs at the time.   There is so much to pray about in this whole situation and i won’t go into more detail but we appreciate your prayers for all of us — me, being so far away is hard, and all of my family there dealing with all the decisions and care.  Thanks for your faithful prayers.

Things at Destino are always “interesting”.   There is never a dull moment here or a “normal” day (whatever that is?).   Right now we have a broken motor on the well and are having that sent to us from the US, so the firement bring the big tank of water out here in the country to us every day ($50 a day) and we are having to have a new transformer sent to us to enable the motor to handle all the voltage of the water pump which has to reach a long distance to the electric meter near the school.   Anyway, it is complicated but we are praying and trying to be very patient with God’s timing in this newest “adventure”.    But school is going on and the kids continue to be happy here at home and life is good no matter what obstacle we face each day.

I would appreciate your prayers for our upcoming events this month.  On Friday is our annual Missions Day and it is really the most important day of the year for the students — they move from classroom to classroom throughout the day learning and exxperiencing the culture of different countries in the world, all of which are under persecution right now.   The children will taste food from the countries, see the native dress (the teachers wear the customary dress of the country they represent) and learn other games, languages, history, etc. and especially how we can best be praying for that particular country each day.  The purpose is that the children will begin to have a passion to reach the rest of the world with the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and hopefully will desire to be a missionary to go and take the gospel to these countries themselves one day.  It is an incredible opportunity and in the past 5 years, it has been during Missions Day that many of our students have begun to believe they are being called by God to be missionaries — thanks for your prayers for this big event.  The teachers are so wonderful to work so hard in their preparations each year and I am so grateful for each one of them.

Also, next week (18th and 19th) Pastor Wade Trimmer will be here for a Spiritual Life Conference for two days.   We have had a lot of testimonies of how his teaching has impacted so many lives in this area in the past 2 cconferences.   Pray for Pastor Wade to know exactly what the Lord wants him to teach us during this two-day conference and for the people who attend to come with open and hungry hearts for the truth.   Many of our junior high students, all of our teachers, members of our church, some of our school parents, and people from various other churches will be attending.  Thanks for your prayers for this very special time.   Pastor Wade will also be teaching the fathers of our students in a dinner on Saturday night and we need prayer for many of the fathers to come out for that event as well.  Thanks for remembering all of these requests in prayer for this next week.

I really need a lot of prayer for wisdom.   As we get bigger and bigger every year, we also get bigger and bigger students, ha.  That means we have a lot of junior high school kids with attitudes and struggles and the confusion that goes with that age.   I pray that we can deal with each student individually and recognize the many battles they have just to even come to school each day — few of them have supportive families and they come from extreme poverty where it would be such a temptation to just stay home and not even try to make anything of their lives.  We need so much prayer for these teens to be motivated and to keep on keeping on when there is no home support, when all the other teens in their villages around them are doing nothing and trying to get them to quit, etc.  Pray for our upcoming Sports Camp in July — that it will be a time for our junior high kids to get a new injection of  motivation and desire to let God do whatever He wants to do through their lives without any limit.  They need to learn to DREAM and that is a hard thing when you have never had anyone in your family even go past the 6th grade or to have any type of career — thanks for your prayers.

We need to start praying for 35 new sponsors for our incoming kids.  In May I have to start ordering all the books, uniforms, equipment, supplies, etc. for all the students for next year and we need the sponsorship to help us get these things purchased.  Please ask your churches or Sunday School classes to consider sponsoring a student — we need the sponsorship not only for the finances to buy the necessary supplies for the students each month, but mostly we want each student to be prayed for individually by name regularly.  That is sooo important if these children are to continue on to become the leaders that God is calling them to be.  We truly are building a new generation and sometimes it is a very difficult uphill climb — out of poverty, deception, immorality, defeatedness, godlessness.  Thanks for your prayers.

We now have 20 kids – Estella who lived with us 2 years ago for a few months has come back for good.  She will be 4 this month and we really love her.  Her mom finally decided she could come permanently and she REALLY needs to live with us so I praise God for bringing her back to us.  She is the younger sister of the other kids I took from near Siguatepeque whose family are desperately poor and they literally do not have food many days.  Estella has been sickly most of her life and we are trying to get her healthy again and she is happy here and we are so happy to have her.  Thanks for praying for her adjustment in our home.

Another little boy, Gabriel, came to stay with us last weekend.  He has been in the kindergarten class all year and has learned very little so we are repeating him next year.  It appears that there has been some abuse in the home and he is afraid of women.  He was here all weekend and talked to all my kids constantly and never spoke one word to me or even made eye contact with me.   We are praying for him and praying for wisdom as to what we can do for him.  My prayer is that if he asks to come back to live with us (his mom would permit that if he wants to), that will be my indication that God truly wants him here with us.  Thanks for praying for God to reveal His plan for Gabriel.

I thank God for giving me strength each day.  Right now I feel overwhelmed but need to just take one day at a time and be thankful and joyful in the middle of the chaos and trust that each new day will find God in charge and clearly leading us in the right direction.  I am so amazed at all the people he has brought to us and how he is sustaining us in so many ways and pouring out his blessings.

We are finishing the last two classrooms on the bottom floor of the junior high this next 4 or 5 weeks and then will need to build the bathrooms during the summer.   Our prayer after that would be for a gymnasium to be built.  We have no place to meet with such a huge student body and also with the parents.   God will provide the funds in His perfect timing and I would appreciate your prayers for that.

I am preparing aneeds  list this week to send out in a separate email for the container that will be sent in June.   I hope to have it to you by this weekend or early next weekend.   We need to have everything ready to ship by the first week of June so that it can be here by the first of July.  One of our biggest needs is for computers (50) for both the elementary and junior high school and we need them here in early July so they can be installed and a computer lab can be set up before mid August.   I know that is a huge request but God can do it.   Please pray for the needs to be able to be donated and the container to be able to be shipped in a time to receive it early this summer.   Thanks to all of you who are so willing to help me gather the needed items for the next school year.

Keep praying for our American teachers for the upcoming year.  We have several confirmations and are needing a few more but again, we are trusting God to send those that HE has chosen.   Thanks for your prayers for wisdom in these decisions.

I cannot thank all of you for all your prayers.  This is truly the secret to the great impact that this ministry is having on so many children’s lives.  Many times we say in a particular situation, “all we can do now is just pray,” but prayer is the BEST thing we can do and I think one day we will see just how powerful our prayers were and wish we had spent more time praying instead of doing.   So anyway, thank you for your faithful prayers for Destino — I know you are making a huge difference in the world with those prayers.

God bless you greatly for all your encouragement and help and donations and support.  We are blessed.

In His grace,