I am so aware of your prayers for us each and every day. God continues to lead us and provide for us and we are amazed at all of His works here in Destino del Reino.
First of all, I have to tell you (those in Facebook already know) that God has provided in abundance for us for this coming year. He has sent us enough money to not only finish up the kindergarten classroom but also to pay for some other projects INCLUDING OUR GYMNASIUM!!! We have prayed for a gym for several years now and we are amazed that we can start work on it immediately. Praise God with us for such an incredible gift and pray his blessings over the group who has provided us the funds for all of these things!
Continue to pray for our daily needs though — sometimes people think we have plenty of money because we have money for big projects but forget that we still have to feed 300 kids a day and pay all the workers, etc. Thanks for your continued prayers for us. God knows all our needs and He is our faithful Father!
I need a lot of wisdom right now about which students will be returning next year. I had asked you to pray for wisdom about the 10 kids that were wanting to enter into our 7th grade class next year from the nearby school that does not go past the 6th grade. I re-interviewed each child with their parents and still had very little peace about the majority of them. I finally (after much prayer) decided to call the parents and make no promises but if their families would start being in church regularly at Destino and we saw that they as a family were interested in growing in their spiritual lives, then we would consider them for next year. A majority of them started coming immediately and one family accepted Christ right at the first of their attendance here so that is a great praise! But, there are still a few that are very seldom coming and coming without their parents and I just really have too many doubts about bringing some of these kids into our school. Please continue to pray for these decisions.
I also have to make some even harder decisions about our present 9th grade class. I do not believe that we are supposed to continue with all 26 kids. They have been with us since they were in the pre-K class or at least for the past 8 years or so and the majority of them are rebellious, show no interest in spiritual things, etc. I have been telling them that I need to hear from the Lord before I will put them in the high school next year and they have time to seek the Lord and ask him to change their hearts now. I have about 5 or 6 on my mental list of kids that I have peace about accepting and I have some neutral — not sure. I have about 10 that I have no doubt do not need to return. As I was praying about these decisions this week, God gave me an idea — instead of kicking out 14 kids, I am going to pray and ask God which 12 HE wants me to INVITE into the high school. Jesus Christ only had 12 disciples and he poured everything into them to make them leaders and to prepare them to spread the gospel. I think that we need to start cutting down the classes at this age and really work on spiritual growth and leadership with a few. Right now the almost 20 who show little spiritual interest are influencing those few that are hungry after God. Thanks for your prayers — this is going to be hard on my heart because I have loved these students since they were almost babies and I want the best for their lives, but God told us to build missionaries and spiritual leaders at Destino and I think it is time to narrow down who those leaders and missionaries will be. I think as we pray, God will make the decisions very clear. We suspended two 9th grade girls this morning and I think that as we pray, God will bring to the light what is going on in the hearts of these kids and it won’t be such a hard choice as to who we are to invite into our high school missionary training classes.
Along that line, we got some good news this week. Our lawyer who is finalizing our accreditation for the high school was very pessimistic when I told her that we wanted to start on our accreditation for a university. But our director went to a meeting in the district office this week and they assured her that our dream of a university at Destino is very feasible. So be praying on that as well. We won’t be offering a lot of majors but we want to let them get a degree in at least one of those areas that we offer on the high school level, as well as a degree for teaching English.
We have a new baby boy coming in a month. We met him already — he is our little Dariana’s baby brother. The mother will be bringing him at the end of March. He is really cute. His name is Jose but we have so many Joses that we will call him his English name – “Joe” or “Joey” or “Little Joe” — one of those. Thanks for your prayers for his adjustment to our family.
We now have all four buses up and running — two with new transmissions. Out of all of these mechanical projects, we found a great Christian mechanic and he needed full-time regular work. So we hired him as our bus driver and during the time between routes, he will be fixing up all the cars, trucks and buses. He also will be able to determine which of our lawn mowers and other broken down machines can be repaired and which ones need to be thrown out. This is a huge blessing to Destino to have a full-time mechanic with us on staff.
I will be going to Houston in a few weeks for a wedding and also to visit with family and friends. Thanks for your prayers for God to give me peace away from the kids and also for their protection here in Honduras. God has always been faithful and I trust Him — these are HIS kids, not mine, but I just need peace as I leave them.
Please begin now to pray for the new American teachers that we will need for next year. I need to clearly hear from the Spirit as to HIS choices for our new teachers. I am so thankful to announce that all the 5 Americans we have right now have told me that God wants them to continue on next year. That is exciting news — we have a wonderful group of teachers and they truly love the souls of these students. There are a couple of young women that I really would love to have with us and I think they are feeling God’s call but are a little intimidated about the fund-raising — Pray for peace and direction for them.
I started seriously praying just a few weeks ago about our website — it is boring — has the same pictures from years ago and it is just a waste of space if we do not keep it current and more informative. A week after I prayed about it, Serge called and said that he is training some employees in the country where he is serving and he wanted to use our website to teach them. It is of no cost to Destino and it will be the best because Serge really knows what he is doing — God is so good — tomorrow he will be skyping with me to explain (hopefully in kindergarten language for me) how to edit and use the site. We will then train someone else to take that on soon. I want the site to really keep all of you up to date on activities, the teachers’ and kids needs and victories, etc. Please pray for me to understand and for the new person who takes this on to be able to fulfill this huge need for Destino. Thanks.
It is time to start getting our container packed. We praise God for the church at Trinity on the Hill who every year put in their budget the money for not only the container but also for the taxes and receiving bills on this end. This year we are needing a lot of school supplies and used children’s clothing and shoes as well as 30 computers, furniture and other things. I will put a more detailed list of needs below for reference. John Turner, a board member who has a moving and storage company, has trucks traveling all over the country on a regular basis. He has offered to pick up loads in the Houston area as well as Dallas, if anyone wants to gather items that are needed. He will probably be in those areas in late April so you have almost 2 months to consider collecting for us. Jenna Murphy has the church at Terra Verde collecting and I think maybe as well at Fairfield Baptist and that is very near to Tomball, so if our friends in Tomball area want to help us collect, we will be very very appreciative.
Used clothing — all sizes of children — no large women’s (1x or 2x or more) and men’s clothing — there are not very many large Hondurans here. Also no short shorts or miniskirts or two piece bathing suits, and no men’s suits — those are not worn here.
Used shoes — especially we can always use tennis shoes for every size and also soccer cleats for our teams.
Medicines — for the children’s home we need children’ liquid cold and flu medicines as well as fever reducers. For the school, we need first aid (bandaids, Pepto Bismol, Tylenol, antibiotic cream, etc.)
School supplies – 300 folders (without the brads — just simple folders; notebooks, notebook paper, construction paper, craft papers, pencils, pens, colored pencils, crayons, erasers, sharpeners, scissors, staplers, clocks, stickers, copy paper, art supplies, books in Spanish for library, simple readers for English classes (25 of one type would be great if a school could donate them)
Furniture — for teachers’ housing — kitchen utensils, plates, cups, pots and pans, love seats, dressers, beds, towels, sheets, desks, bookshelves, chairs, dinette set, pillows, blankets. lamps,
Washing machines and clothes dryers (2 each)
CD players – for school (3)
Bikes and children’s toys for children’s home — not something with a lot of little pieces that can be lost easily.
Playground equipment — for school and for children’s home — any kind will be helpful — swings, slides, climbing, teeter totters
Tools — we really need almost any kind of tools in our garage — we have a full-time mechanic and he really could use a battery charger for the buses as well
Tires — bus tires (used)
Microscopes, science materials, chemistry materials
Band instruments — we are increasing our band each year and need more instruments. We can also use some of those little plastic flutes for the kids in training first year — recorders, I think they call them.
Plastic cups and plates for cafeteria — we need about 400 plastic cups each year. We need probably 60 new plastic plates and 60 forks
Toothbrushes and toothpaste — 330 for the year at least.
I’m sure there is more but thanks for anything you can find in your garage that we may need and collecting in your churches whatever you can for us. Again, John Turner has trucks all over the country so if you are in a state other than Georgia or the areas I mentioned in Texas and you would like to collect, please call me first and I will check to see if John may have a truck going your way. This is such a huge blessing to us each year and I thank you for anything you can do for us.
Thanks for your prayers for the students (esp. right now for the 9th graders). We will be needing new sponsors for about 40 kids next year so let us know if you would like to take a student to pray for regularly and send in the money for their monthly needs and food.
I can’t express enough praise to God for bringing so many many of you into our lives here at Destino. We are so blessed with how many people there are “out there” praying for us regularly. I know the world is getting crazy but our REDEMPTION IS NEAR — keep trusting Him who has it all in his control and hands and He will walk you through to the end of time. If it gets to crazy in America, you can always come here and help us raise up this generation of missionaries!!
In His grace that never fails,