I am sorry my last update was the middle of April and here we are at the end of May — It has been a very hectic and difficult time. I had a group right after my last update, then company for 10 days and the following day after my friend left, my mom went to be with Jesus and I flew home. The day after I returned, a group came and the day they left, I got a stomach virus. This is my first “normal” day since my last update and I can finally sit down and write to update you on all that God has been doing at Destino and to thank you for your faithful prayers for us.
The group I had in April was our dental team — this is a HUGE answer to long-time prayers for our students at Destino. Almost none of our students has ever been to a dentist and so you can imagine how much work they need on their teeth. In Honduras, the typical solution to a painful tooth is to just pull it out. We now (thanks to generous American friends) have our own portable dental unit which can fill and restore our students’ teeth instead of having to just pull them out to relieve them of their pain. It was a wonderful week for Destino and we are praying for one more unit so that we can also have a hygienist come along on the next group to clean their teeth as well. Any of you who are dentists and are interested in helping us — we have two chairs and will have two units and so we could use three dentists and a hygienist and a couple of assistants if you would like to put a group together for us. We were only able to cover the most serious cases in April and we have a team possibly coming in September when school starts again but we can use dental teams throughout the year. Thanks so much, Dr. Stanley Anderson and Dr. Keith Blevins and also Pastor Wade, for getting this off the ground and making our dream come true!!!! I am just in awe that God is doing so much for these precious students at Destino. He is faithful and has no limits to His love and caring for the poor.
My friend, Annette, came from Houston to see me after 9 years. She brought with her, her daughter, Laura, who just recently graduated with a degree in teaching. Laura really believed that God was calling her to come for these last 6 weeks of school and we were so happy to have her with us. We didn’t realize, however, that God was sending her knowing how very much we would need her. After Laura was introduced into the school and assisted for about a week, Sheena Rader, our 5th and 6th grade English teacher fell down outside the school and broke her shoulder and twisted her back and was not able to finish the year in her classes. I just LOVE to watch the Lord take care of every need at Destino even in advance of our knowing we have the need. Laura was able to take over the classes and we ended up the year without a hitch. Thanks so much, Laura, for obeying God and coming to our rescue. Pray for Laura as she is seeking the Lord’s will about next year — she has another job offer in Houston but is praying about returning to teach at Destino — she will be used by the Lord wherever He sends her, we are just hoping it is with us.
Please continue to pray for Sheena – she is healing well and I think maybe she just needs a chiropractor at this point. She says one of her legs is longer than the other one and I have seen Bill Goss fix a lot of people in the villages with the same problem — Her shoulder is healing and if she gets her back adjusted, I think she will be ready to go again in September — she is a trooper and we praise God for her faithfulness. She is the youngest 70-year old I know!!!
As many of you know, on May 11th (Mother’s Day), sometime in the night, my mama went to be with Jesus. It has been a shock even though we knew she wasn’t well. Honestly, everyone thought for sure that my daddy would go first. They were sharing a room in a nursing home outside of Lincolnton, Georgia. God told me it was coming though on Sunday night and I planned everything I needed to do on Monday so I could get out on the plane on Tuesday morning. Monday morning, I woke up to look for a message there wasn’t any but I decided to get ready and plan all that needed to be done when I was gone. After breakfast, I came back to check my messages, and it was there — the message that “Mama is with Jesus.” I flew home on Tuesday and our friend Jackie, had gone to the beach for the week and offered her entire house to my sisters’ family and me. It was such a blessing to all be able to stay in one house. The funeral was such an honor to the Lord Jesus and Mama would have loved it. Thank you for all the messages, memorial gifts to Destino del Reino and for showing up for us at the visitation and funeral. We felt so loved and blessed by so many of you. West Acres also fed all of us plus many friends — thank you all sooooo much.
Daddy needs your prayers now. He wants to go on to heaven, but for some reason, the Lord has kept him here. He cannot talk or walk but has a sweet sweet spirit and acceptance. Please pray for God to heal him completely or take him home soon. It is so hard just waiting for another message and knowing that Daddy is suffering so much and I can’t be there with him. God is God no matter what He does and my daddy is surrendered to waiting on God’s will but it sure is hard on him. Thanks for your prayers.
The day I returned, Pastor Wade and Anne brought in a group of 7 women and one man and we had a really precious week together. Pastor Wade taught on Wed. night, all day for a Bible conference on Friday, Saturday night for our school fathers, and Sunday morning at Destino and evening at another church in Siguatepeque. God used his teaching in so many lives. The rest of the group helped in a lot of different ways — classroom assistance, hair-styling, plumbing, teaching archery, playing and doing crafts with my kids at the home, etc. They were a very encouraging inspiring group and I thank them for coming to bless us.
As I said, after they left I came down with the stomach virus that has been going around the school for about a month and in my house for about two weeks. God’s timing was perfect though because I really did need to just rest and I had no choice. He is such a father to me and is always protecting me.
Yesterday was our final day of classes. It was a half day of parties and hamburger picnics and then we ended up with the last hour in the church with each class in charge of an “act” (song, verses, dance, drama, etc.) — all the classes were soooo good and it was such a great day. Sometimes, in the middle of all the tedious problems of running a school and disciplining students, and correcting policies, and buying groceries, etc. etc., it is easy to forget what God is doing in these children’s lives — I started crying yesterday as the 9th graders were doing a dance to “We Give God Glory” (“Te Doy Gloria”) and we were singing — I just looked at these, now, young adults and started crying for joy as to how far they have come and how God has such huge potential for their lives. It is so great when God gives me just a little glimpse of what He is going to do with them — I am so honored to be here doing what I do and to get to see what God is going to make out of the lives of these poor Honduran children that He sends us to raise. When they gave out the awards this year, one of our 9th graders, Roberto, received not only the “Character of Christ” award but the “Leader of the Year” award — Roberto was accepted into junior high on probation because he had caused SO much trouble continually up to the 6th grade and I told him that if we had one more problem, he was out. God has done a great work in Roberto’s life in these three years — it is amazing!
I have some decisions to make and seeing the results in Roberto’s life makes it harder. I have several kids that I don’t think need to be coming back next year and it is so hard for me to decide that. They are kids that have constantly harassed other students and have not changed over several years’ time. Please pray for me to be able to make the right decision. I would rather always operate out of mercy but sometimes the wisest administrative decision for the best of all the students is not the merciful choice for an individual student. It is so hard. Thanks for your prayers.
Please pray as well for interviews this next week. I am interviewing for two teachers and a secretary for the school. I am also interviewing a few kids that want to join us in the high school (10th grade) course. They have not grown up on Destino’s environment and I am a little leery in bringing in some from outside, but I also want to give opportunities to whoever God is rescuing.
We start planting our coffee farm this next week — we have our upcoming 10th graders coming in groups each day to work for their uniforms and books. This is a really new exciting undertaking for Destino and please pray for God to bless our land and the fruit of the land — I’m praying that our coffee will taste better and have a little Holy Spirit mixed into it and everyone will prefer Destino Coffee one day, ha. It could be a great way to help us support the high school.
Please pray for the funds to come in for all our different needs this summer — we have to pay several thousand for shoes for 300 kids, several thousand for pants and jumpers, several thousand for books and materials, as well as all the monies needed to pay off the teachers’ bonuses. It is the time of year when we have to have the most funds so please pray. God has always provided and is forever faithful to these students so I KNOW He will do it once again. He gave me promises in Isaiah 54 that the children will reach the nations and also commands to not be afraid but to extend our borders and lengthen our cords — He has not told us to stop growing and His resources are without limit. Thanks for your prayers.
We are using the money my mom left me to finish off the junior high and high school building and I know that she would be happy to know that so many children will be raised up to be future missionaries to reach the world in that building — I don’t think it has hit me yet that she is gone. When you don’t see someone on a regular basis anyway, it is hard for the reality to hit you. God may be just sustaining me with so many of your prayers but either way, I feel peace and joy in His Spirit and know that we will be together for a huge family reunion in heaven very soon. Life is so quickly passing and I just want every single day to count for something that lasts forever. I learned a lot through this time of losing my mom. As most families, we had struggles and I had some real hard times with my mom’s personality and mine being so different. But as I reflected on everything during the week of the funeral, God reminded me of the most important things. My sister Dana died 7 years ago and hundreds of people said she had shared Christ with them and had them in her home continually and so hospitable and loving and full of God’s Word. Well, I realized that we kids only copied what we were taught from childhood — we used to wait on Daddy to get back in the car at the gasoline pumps and frustrated he took so much time but he had been telling someone about Jesus that was pumping the gas. He and Mama were always sharing Christ with people since I can remember and leading Bible studies and teaching us that the Bible is the absolute authority for our lives. My parents started taking people in to live with them since the first year they were married — one of Daddy’s football players needed a home and they took him in that first year. We always had people living with us and it was just normal to us. We had any people who didn’t have family in town invited to every family occasion. When I was in high school, I don’t think we ever had a dinner meal where we ended up with the same people at the table as when we started — no one knocked — it was an open door all the time and everyone was always welcome. That is why none of us girls ever thought our house was too full. We were left with an incredible heritage and my parents were not reared in Christian homes — their parents came to Christ later on in life and so they started this heritage from nothing and I am so thankful for what they taught and demonstrated to me – -the important thing in life is Jesus Christ — that He must be proclaimed so that He is known by all, that everyone is to be loved and accepted and provided for, and that the Word of God is the absolute authority for every part of my life. We may have had differences of opinion and I know Mama didn’t really like my personality sometimes but the things that mattered for eternity were all there and I praise God for giving me such a heritage. I told Daddy when I was sitting with hm in the nursing home one day that the reason we can’t get our rewards for the fruit when we first arrive in heaven’s gate is because the fruit doesn’t all come in until the end of time on earth — All the children I raise to love God are part of the fruit for my parents and the generations that follow in their steps and love Jesus are part of the fruit that my parents will reap their rewards for. We all have strengths and weaknesses in our different personalities. When we get to heaven, all that is left is the positive strengths and I want to remember that in my daily dealings with people here on earth — these don’t last and I can forgive whatever is not “fixed” in them yet — just around the corner is heaven and we will all be fixed then and glorify Him together forever in UNITY and one accord. I am so blessed to be a part of the whole family of God and we have so little time to accomplish His purposes on this earth. I want to encourage all of you to do the same — don’t get caught up in differences of opinions, trivial doctrinal differences, personality conflicts — we need to live like a family — appreciate and use the gifts and strengths in others and press on — eternity is almost here.
Love to all of you.
In His forever grace,