Dear Faithful Praying Friends,
I am so grateful for all you have done for me in praying for my family and me during the past few months. As most of you know, my mama went home to Jesus on Mothers’ Day and Daddy went home about a month later. It has been harder than I would have thought since we had been anticipating this and they were so weak and ready to go. I guess maybe it is the finality of knowing I will never hear their voice or hug them again on this earth that is so hard for me — but day to day, God is faithful and He reminds us many times in his Word not to look to tomorrow. He gives grace for the day that we are in and not for days that we are just imagining to be difficult. Not only have I had a lot of sadness, I was also sick, very sick, for most of the month of June. I don’t get sick usually but it may have been the stress of all we were going through as a family. Then on June 28th we started our groups and with groups and volunteers and company, today is the FIRST day I have had without something going on at Destino and I am EXHAUSTED!!! Through it all, God has shown himself so faithful and full of grace to me. He gives joy no matter what our circumstances and I continue to see him working in all of my children’s lives and in the ministry here and I am so grateful to be a part of all that He is up to here.
We had incredible groups this summer — they all came at once, but were so independent that it didn’t take too much from me as far as planning and organizing them. We had a sports camp for guys and then a sports camp for girls. Although the attendance was lower this year (probably due to the World Cup taking place during those weeks), everyone said it was there favorite year of camp so far. I am so grateful to all those who came so prepared to minister intently with our youth. Also, during the same time, we had a few men come to put a new roof on my house. WSe are so grateful for that, especially now that the heavy rains have begun. Then we had a precious group come in from Augusta as well who painted the entire elementary school, and junior high floor as well as building a new wall to separate one classroom to make an office for our new director for the junior and high schools. They accomplished so much in so little time. Although it was kind of crazy sometimes with so many here at once and going in so many directions, I am grateful for all the work that was completed and the fruit for the kingdom of God in each of these kids. Thank you to all who came and worked.
I am soooo excited to tell you that it looks like our junior/high school building will be completely finished in time for school on September 2. I will send pictures as soon as it is ready. It is BEAUTIFUL!!! We have had some donations to help us and also my parents’ left some money in their will and we are able to finally see this project to completion. After we finish this project, we will start praying in the money to start the gymnasium and that will be our last major project for a very long time. Thanks for your prayers for all we have needed to do this building — Keep praying for more funds to finish paying off the teachers’ bonuses for the year (next month) and for the books, uniforms and shoes. We lack about $10,000 more to finish paying these things off and we will start out our new school year and raising up these children in the truth of God’s Word and educating them to be incredible godly leaders to change the next generation here in Honduras!
My children are doing well. They have enjoyed the summer — we even got to spend 3 nights at the beach, thanks to my parents’ money again. I didn’t exactly “relax” at the beach with 18 kids to look out for, but it was peaceful to just be away from our normal surroundings. We had Baby Arlen Noe with us for about 6 weeks and then his mother came back for him. I had doubts about accepting him in the first place because the mom kept changing her mind and also she is Abi’s mom and she would completely ignore Abi when she came, but we tried to help him. The mom is an addict and so confused and we just couldn’t keep him no matter how I fought for him. Please pray for him. I don’t have any idea how his little life is going to go. It is hard when we are unable to help all these needy children but we know that it is GOD who places children with us and we wait on HIS choices. We are happy though and it is actually a lot easier with my youngest one now being 2 years old. First time in years that we have had no diapers to buy!! Keep praying for Josue — he seems to be doing much better but don’t quit praying. He has such a temper and we continue to pray that he will learn to guard his tongue so he won’t be in trouble in school this year.
We hired the last of our new teachers today. It was really hard to find the right ones. This country is so religious but so few really understand what a real relationship with Jesus Christ is. I was determined not to compromise on any hirings as we have many times had teachers here who were not in a growing relationship with Jesus and truly understood that it is only Jesus who can save them and not their good works and church going. So many of the interviewees would begin telling me about their church attendance and their accomplishments when I would ask them if they could tell me about their relationship with Jesus. It was so sad but we were able to finally hire 4 new women who truly understand the difference in being good and religious and in knowing the living Lord Jesus personally. Tomorrow I will spend the day getting the schedules ready and on Monday, Wendy (the director) and our new secretary (Irma) will start to work and the rest of the teachers come in on the 18th to start preparing. Please be praying especially during the two weeks of training for the teachers. Pastors Efrain and Pablo will be preparing some spiritual renewal sessions and some special prayer time to prepare the teachers spiritually for the year. Pray for unity among the Hondurans and Americans. They are all willing to love one another but sometimes it is really hard to unite the two with the language barriers. Also pray for the first three days of the second week when we split up in teams and go to every house of each student’s family and pray with the families personally. This is a very special times for both our teachers and the families. Thanks for praying for God to really use our teachers during these times of ministry.
We received our container and I want to thank all of you who paid to have it sent and also those who contributed to the contents of the container. It is always such a blessing to all of us. This year there was a lot of my parents’ furnishings and it was so good to get them in my house as a constant reminder of them. God blessed me with some amazing parents. I think I didn’t realize that enough when they were with me. It is so easy to see the things that are difficult in relationships with our family members sometimes but when you look at it all, we can see God’s perfect design in giving us just the ones we needed. My daddy was sooooo fun-loving and I miss his humor so much and also he and my mom were FULL of wisdom and I will forever be missing their input on things at Destino. God is my sustainer though and, as He promised, He is ENOUGH. I am learning to lean on him in a deeper way now that He is my only daddy and He is clearly giving me His strength, joy and wisdom. I am grateful.
BIG REQUEST: I really really need 35 more sponsors for our school kids this year. If you know anyone who would be wiling to take a student, please send them to the website www.destinodelreino.org and they can look up under “Support Destino” under “sponsor a student” and sign up. Although the $60 a month doesn’t cover all the expenses, it is such a huge help. But the main reason I want them to each have a sponsor is that they NEED PRAYER regularly. Please pray for this huge need. Last year, I got a few people to be prayer sponsors since we never were able to get enough financial/prayer sponsors and if that is all you can do, I will be grateful. Just let me know if you would like to take a student to just pray for. Thanks.
I know this is long but I wanted to update you on things here. I am SO sorry for being so late in writing you but I appreciate your prayers even when you do not hear from me. This place is God’s place and He is at work here and it is because of the faithful prayers of all of you!!! Thank you for your support. Remember that you cannot hit “reply” to me on this email. You will have to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to communicate.
Love to all of you,
In His unending grace,