Hey Parterns in Prayer,

I praise  God for each of you who remember us in prayer in the midst of your very busy lives.   I was in the US last month and am always aware of just how hectic life is there and am amazed that any of you even has time to think of us.   Thanks for praying for us faithfully and for remembering our needs.   God is blessing us abundantly in so many ways.

I am especially amazed at God’s blessing to us right now with our two new pastors.  Pastor Efrain is our main teaching pastor ow at Destino del Reino.  I have known his family since I moved to Honduras about 14 years ago.   He is about 45 and a man of integrity and great reputation in the faith   He has been in ministry for about 27 years and has an international ministry that is an evangelistic drama and film (“Heavens Gates and Hell’s Fury).   He is with us most of the time but if he has to be in another country for the drama, we have Pastor Pablo who can fill the pulpit.  Both of them are excellent teachers and not only teach deeper than you usually hear teaching here in Honduras, but are able to keep even the children’s attention very well.  We are so blessed to have both of them.  Pastor Pablo is our new praise and worship leader.   I knew his brother, Dennis, when I first came to Honduras years ago and he was the worship leader at the Peniel church where I attended.  He died in a swimming accident about 10 years ago.  Pablo is his  older brother and had discipled Dennis in the Word of God as well as trained him in music so I am amazed at the blessing that God has sent to us at Destino.   Also, many of you may remember that we prayed for band instruments to be sent on the container about  5 years ago and had thought we could find a band instructor for our school.  That never happened.  Evidently there are very few people in Honduras that know how to teach those instruments and we have stored those band instruments in our store room all these years.   I was soooo excited to discover that Pablo was not only a minister of worship but he is an instructor of band and has taught and led marching bands in another city in the past.  This next year we will FINALLY begin band classes at Destino.!!!!   Pablo will be our music and band teacher and have a few Bible classes in the mornings and also he will be using his afternoons to visit the families of our school children.  We continaully have families in crises and up until now there has been no one to minister to the families as a whole — we have just tried to rescue the children here at school.  God is opening up a new outreach through our two pastors to be able to minister to the entire families at Destino and I AM SOOOOO EXCITED!!!   Please be praying continually for these two families as God is going to really bring in so much more fruit for the Kingdom through the ministry to the entire families now, and especially the fathers, as so many of them are struggling alcholics and really need to know the love of Jesus Christ.

While I am speaking of band instruments — this week is the FINAL WEEK for the container collection because we have to get that list in Honduras this week.  But if any of you have any band instruments you could get to John Turner immediately, we would greatly appreciate that.  John’s phone number in Augusta is 706-830-4072.   Please be praying for the safe delivery of the container and that we will not pay anything for the taxes this time.  I believe God’s purpose in our problems in receiving the last container was to enable us to know the higher-ups in the port who now know us and are very willing to help us personally get our containers through.   Thanks for the prayers.

The graduations were this week and turned out very beautifully, although I came out frustrated.  As you know I REALLY need God to send an administator to help me with details.  The first graduation was preparatory (kindergarten) — none of the teachers in charge remembered to get a CD of instrumental music and so at the last minute, instead of being able to give out the diplomas, I had to play the piano in the background for the whole ceremony.   Yesterday was the 6th grade graduation and the teachers forgot to get out the sashes for the graduation gowns until the parents were already sitting in the church and I had to run in and iron all of them, got all hot and sticky from the heat of ironing and was very frustrated since I told them to be prepared the day before — oh well — this is Honduras and people are used to starting ceremonies at least one hour late, ha.   I think they all loved the graduations and weren’t even aware that anything had gone wrong, ha.    Next year we will have a list of things to remember so I can relax.   But most importantly, I am so proud of all our graduates and their hard work and great attitudes.

We finished out a great school year for the most part.  We only lost one student who could not pass this year.   Thankfully, he was a student that I had been praying about removing anyway because of his behavior and so his failure to pass was just confirmation that it was time for him to go.  We have re-enforcement classes every Monday from the beginning of school year so that no student should ever  fail a grade.  He was completely uninterested and we have struggled with him for 6 years so I think this was the right decision  but of course it is always hard to lose any student, knowing there is just no future for them without this free education.    We only had to replace one teacher for the upcoming school year and I have already hired her and she is a precious believer and so we are really looking forward to the next school year and adding 9th grade (our final year of junior high).

We were able to finish up the last two junior high rooms so they are ready for this fall and one will be our new computer class for junior high and the other will  be the 9th grade homeroom.   We are praying for the funds to add the junior high bathrooms but right now we need a lot of money to finish paying for all the textbooks, uniforms and shoes for the school year so we will see if God provides theextra  money for the bathrooms as well.  If not, the junior highers can go over to the elementary school to use their bathroooms next year.  As the money comes in for construction, we will first do the junior high bathrooms, and then try to start working on the gym.   We have no place to meet with all the parents or have chapel for the kids with so many students and we also have no place to have PE when it is raining–  so the gym is a big need.  Our plans are to first do the slab as the money is received and we can use it as it is.   Then as more money comes in, we will add the roof and we will at least have a covered place for play and meetings and then as more money comes in we will build the cement block walls up to about 10 feet and leave it open at the top for the air flow and light.  Then as more money comes in we will paint it, add doors lights, a stage, etc.  We are growing as a church and we will need the gym to also be our church building  in the near future.  Pray for the funds to be given for these projects.  Thanks for all your faithful prayers.  It is amazing what all God has done for these poor children already and he is not finished with His plans for their education and training.

Thanks for your prayers for my parents.  My dad is still in the rehab at Stevens Park for a few more weeks and my mom had angioplasty yesterday but once she is back on her feet, she is going to choose which assisted living facility she wants them to live in and we will start planning how to get them together in that place as soon as possible.  Please pray for my dad’s rehabilitation as there are some laws as to what he must be able to do for himself in order to be accepted in an assisted living home and he is so ready to live with my mama again.   Thanks for your prayers.   Thankfully, they do not own the home they have been living in, and Daddy wrecked their car, so there is nothing big to sell — we just need to get them settled in assisted living and distribute their other things to family members and it will be done.   Keep praying for my sister, Kathi, as she is the person helping our parents through this transition.   I will return late August to help for a week and also to get my other eye operation.  I am amazed how God provides for me in every way.  I have not had a salary in 14 years and yet I am blessed with everything and more than I need.   Dr. Bertram did my corrective eye surgery for FREE and will do my other eye in August.  It is amazing to have 20/20 vision.  The only disadvantage is that I now realize just how old I really look — ha ha.

Please be praying for our new American teachers coming in the fall.   We have Tori Halvorsen (Dr. Spoede’s granddaughter– for you Bryan people), and Bethany from Texas Women’s University, and Kathy Buurma from Augusta, Georgia, and Nicole Barnes from Jordan Mim’s church in Rockport, Texas.    Sheena Rader and Jenna Murphy are faithfully returning again and they are such a huge blessing to me personally and to the children here.   We are so looking forward to having this group of women.  We have one more bedroom and bathroom in one of the teachers’ houses and we could still use another American this year so if anyone is interested, please send in your applicatio on the website ASAP.

Thanks for your prayers for me personally.   I need lots more time in the Word and prayer this summer.  I have been running on empty for a few weeks with so much going on and so much distraction.   I also would like to do some more creative devotional times with the children in my home this summer and pray with them more individually.   The days fly by and before we know it another year has passed.  When I look back I don’t want to regret that I have not really built truth into each one of them individually and don’t want to waste days and months in things that do not matter in eternity.    My sweet friend, Steve Strauss, went to be with Jesus this last week and tomorrow is his memorial service.  Please pray for Marcia (my college rooomate) and their children as well during this time.   When I look at all that Steve accomplished for Christ in his short life, it just encourages me more to not waste even one day of opportunity to share the great news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone — we never know how much time we have left and only eternal things really matter.  So many days I run right past people hurrying to do things that really do not matter, and those people   may be needing to be prayed for or loved on and I just don’t want to keep running past the important things anymore.  Thanks for your prayers for me to be focused on only HIM and His purposes.

Please remember you can’t reply to this email by hitting “replly” – you have to write me separately at rhondadestino@yahoo..com    I would love to hear from you and to know how I can also be praying for your needs.   Thank you so much again for your faithful prayers for us here.  God bless you all.

In His grace,