Dear Precious Prayer Partners,

I want to again tell you how very very grateful I am for everyone of you and for every one of your prayers for every one of our situations and every one of our children.   The Lord has been reminding me lately about how thankfulness can change EVERYTHING in whatever situation we are in and as I think of being more thankful and choosing gratitude each day, you all always come to mind.  God has built such a huge world-wide prayer team for Destino and it is the very foundation of this ministry and it is the reason that we can so clearly see God working here.   I am amazed at how people come to visit our ministry and immediately sense the peace and presence of the Spirit of God in this place and we are so blessed to be a part of such a huge thing that He is doing in the lives of these children.  Thank you for your part.  Don’t ever doubt that, because you don’t have much money to send, that you are not a big part of this ministry –if you are praying for us, that is the greatest thing you could be doing.  God will do the rest!!  Thank you.

I am again sorry it has been so long since I wrote but things have been pretty hectic here.   We are having a great year, as I told you in my last update, but there are always lots of things to work out in details and problems in the school.   God continues to give us wisdom for each situation and we praise Him for that.

I would especially like your prayers right now for a few of my kids.   I got desperate and finally asked you all to pray for Eidy last summer and God has turned her around dramatically.   I told her last summer that I was not willing to put her in the junior high this year if she continued to cause such a problem among the other students and leading the down the wrong path.   She had about 6 great weeks in the summer (usually had daily problems with her) and on her birthday, when I took her out to eat, I said, “Eidy you have had some really good weeks.   Are YOU doing this or are you letting GOD do the changes in you, because if it is YOU, it won’t last.”  She told me that no, she was truly letting God work in her.   She has been a new girl and we praise God for that change (but of course, please don’t quit praying for her now, ha — she is still 13 going on 20).    Well, NOW I need your prayers specifically for Josue  and Carlos (Carlitos).   Josue has such a deep anger problem.   He is very big for a 10 year old and has been so aggressive against other kids at times.  He is a great kid and we LOVE his personality but his mouth gets him in trouble continually.   He says he does know Jesus as His savior and so I know the Spirit of God lives in him and can change him, IF he will let Him.   Carlitos is our little scientist — he has always loved studying nature and reading and examining plants, animals, etc.  He doesn’t enjoy the same things (i.e. soccer, playing out side), and he is soooo intelligent.  But his teacher says he refuses to work in class — and is very stubborn and disrespectful.   He is very hard for me to understand and I need wisdom for working with him.  He is still  very loving with me and I don’t have problems in the house other than his not wanting to do chores.    Thanks for your prayers for these two precious boys and I am counting on God to work in your prayers as He did through your prayers for Eidy.

We have a new little boy, Alberto (age 5) who is Abi’s brother.   Abi is now 7 and a half and had never seen her mom since she sent her to me at 10 months of age.  Her mom came last weekend to give me Alberto and to arrange to bring back her newborn baby boy next month.  She is leaving for the US and doesn’t plan to return.   I am so excited for Abi to have some family to grow up with so that she will not feel so alone.  I do have a few others who never have a family member visit them either, but Abi particularly always has seemed insecure and I think this is going to really help her.  Alberto fits in so easily.  He didn’t shed a tear when his mom left and has been so happy here — he went straight into kindergaten and is catching up so fast and loves everything about being here.  We are really enjoying him.   The new baby was not named so we gave him the name Noe (“Noah” in English) and we look forward to having a baby boy.  We have had baby girls for a while now.    I finally believe we have a full house and don’t plan to take any other children but these were Abi’s brothers and I couldn’t turn them away.   Thanks for your prayers.   I am amazed at how good my kids are all together and at the love they show to one another.  That is God’s presence here for sure!!

We are finishing up on the columns on the upper porch of the second floor of the junior high and plan to start on the roof in two weeks.  We thank God for sending the money in little by little to keep on working on it without stopping.  We really have to continue the work to be able to have it ready for next school year for the high school classes which will be on the second floor.   Thanks for your prayers that God will continue to provide in His perfect timing and we won’t have to stop work at any point.  We will also have to do all the railing and steps up to the second floor as well as need some bathrooms for the junior and senior high students, if possible, before August.    God can do it though, if that is HIS will.

Also, speaking of the junior high and senior high, we are in the last phase of getting our final accreditation for those grades and we really would appreciate your prayers for it to go through smoothly.   These things can get hung up in the government offices for years sometimes but God can work and move it through quickly for us.   Thanks for your prayers.   Also, another prayer about high school next year is for wisdom in planning how to change things up for them in a way that will cause them to grow in independence and more responsibility.   We are thinking of having them have monthly work days where they can help pay for their education by working on our farm and also other ways to help them learn to do some work and help Destino at the same time (i.e., girls could learn to bake some cakes and sell them for their uniforms, etc. and boys work in agriculture or a carpentry project, etc.)   At their age, the majority of Honduran young people are already out working or in gangs or pregnant, etc. and we want them to take on some kind of responsibility and mature them while keeping them in school for a better preparation for careers and service for the Lord in whatever area.   Thanks for your prayers for wisdom in this new level of education.

Also, please keep praying for the funds to build a gymnasium/church as soon as possible.   Our church services are sooooo crammed with people and that is a blessing but we sure need to expand with some more room.  Also, we need the gym because there is no where to take the children during PE and recess when it is raining and also we have no where large enough to meet with our parents.   God knows this need though and we are waiting on Him to provide.    He is faithful and this is HIS ministry and HE will do it just right but I would like you to join us in praying for this need.

I had a great visit with my parents while I was home.  We thought Daddy was going to his real home recently but evidently God has a purpose for him a little longer here on the earth.   I am so proud of him because he is choosing to have more joy even though he cannot get out of the bed and cannot talk well —  he was depressed and that was taking a toll on his health and now he has been so much more joyful and that is such a huge testimony to all of us — that he truly believes what he taught us — God is God and is to be praised no matter what.    Thanks for prayers for my mom too — they are both very weak and life is hard right now in this last lap in the race of life.   I know our Father will sustain them daily and give them courage to keep their joy during this last lap on their race of life until Jesus calls them Home.  Thanks for your prayers.

I love to see my kids growing in their faith.  My little David (5) was sick this week and one night while I was putting a cool cloth on his head to get his very high fever down, he looked up at me and said, “Tia, I really have the desire to pray.”   It was so precious.  Of course, I had already been praying a LOT and so I started praying out loud with him.    He was on the toilet that day and hurting with a horrible stomach ache and looked up and said, “Tia, I just want God to heal me.  Pray.”

We are getting ready for Christmas break and the kids are so excited to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.   We hope you each have a wonderful Christmas this year and are able to reflect on the incredible importance of Jesus’ coming to earth to save us.   I know it is so hectic in the US during this time and I am grateful we are here where we have nothing going on except His birthday.   We love all of you and thank God for the support you give us and the love and kindness you have all displayed to us this year.

Merry Christmas and have a Blessed New Year.

In His love and grace,