Thanks for your consistent and faithful prayers for Destino del Reino. God is constantly leading us and showing us His plans for reaching and discipling the people around us here in Honduras. We thank you for remembering us with your prayers and gifts and encouragement and thank you for being a part of the team that is being able to accomplish God’s purposes here at Destino.
The construction is coming along and we praise God for His provision for us to complete the kindergarten classroom and begin on the gymnasium at the same time. Because of the recent donation for these projects, we are not having to build in our usual manner (i.e., one day at a time as we have extra money for a bag of cement, etc.) We only lack about a week and a half of work on the kindergarten classroom and will be able to move those little students into their class before end of year. It is so beautiful with large windows facing the mountains and painted in a cheery lemon yellow!! I know they will love this classroom. We have begun on their bathrooms as well and will complete them in just a couple of months as well. We have also begun the gymnasium (which we need for our church as much as we do for our school PE classes). Please pray for wisdom as we are trying to build it exactly as God would want us to have it. There are decisions about flow of air and keeping it cool, classroom for band and music, decisions about how to treat the floor — we found some anti-slip cement floor paint and are checking on all of these ideas. We will have a baptism pool in the stage as well — just pray for each step of the process of planning that we will know what GOD wants.
Our current church building was doubling as our kindergarten classroom until October, when we realized we just couldn’t keep moving all that furniture for kinder in and out every time we had a church service. So we moved the kindergarten classroom to the living room of the second house. The second house has been used the past two years as just a guest house or place for groups to hang during the day, etc. but has remained unused most of the time. The teachers really liked the smaller classroom area when we moved to the second house because the church was too big to keep the attention of the students. But the second house’s living room is too small and that is when we realized it was time to build the kindergarten building. We have never had a building get completed so quickly and so I began to pray and think on what God wanted us to do with the second house for the future. There is a ministry called IMLoved here in Honduras and the couple that head that up had contacted me to consider taking in one or two babies who are waiting to be adopted. The adoptions are opening up now more in Honduras and also the former government agency that had the orphanages has closed down and is looking to children’s homes to take in all the thousands of kids who now are displaced. I had prayed about it several times but just wasn’t convinced that God wanted me to take in a couple of more babies with my already 18 in the house (and mostly teens with their unique problems going on). The couple came to visit me last week and Tara, the wife, said that God just kept my name on her mind even though I had said “no” to them several times. As I gave Jorge and Tara a tour of our ministry buildings and houses, I realized that one of their biggest needs right now was an entire house for transition babies. These would not be babies waiting on adoption but would be babies needing emergency care until they could be placed in foster homes, where they would be awaiting adoption. All of a sudden, I just KNEW that this was God’s plan for the second house. I talked to several people here at Destino and we all were certain this is something God has for us. NOW, I understand why God built our kindergarten building so quickly. His timing is always perfect. We will be moving the students into their class within 2 weeks and preparing the second house for transition babies. We have the option for also having toddlers in transition and may consider that soon after we adjust a little to all of the changes. We have a list of mothers of our students at Destino who are desperate for some kind of work to feed their families and we will begin setting up a schedule to use several of them part-time to cover the care of these new incoming babies. My kids are all very excited because they love babies and caring for little ones so I know they will be a big part of this new ministry as well. We found some used baby beds and furniture this week and will await the container for other things we may need (i.e. lots of diapers, bottles, formula, blankets, and clothes). Thanks for praying for us as we open this new home for abandoned children. I will be privileged to be one of the first people to pray over these children and speak God’s favor and blessing on them.
Speaking of container — in my last email, I sent a list of needs. We are praying for these things to all be collected by the end of April or first of May so there are just 5 weeks remaining. There are several churches in the Houston area collecting for us and John Turner will be sending a truck out that way in late April or early May to pick-up whatever has been collected. Thanks to all of you who are helping us with these needs. The container is provided for us each year by a church in Georgia and we want to make it worth all the money they spent by being able to pack it full with the needed items we have listed. John is collecting as well at his moving and storage business on Wrightsboro Road in Augusta. Let me know if you have any questions and thanks for all you can do to help us with these needs.
Daddy told me several times (with his vast experience in the field of education) that our students would be doing as well as our teachers were thriving spiritually. So on Friday, we had a prayer conference for our teachers and God blessed all of us greatly in sensing His love flowing over us and in unity and transparency in prayer. It was a wonderful day and we will be planning to do this several times during our next school year as well.
Pray for Jenna Murphy and Serge (in Vietnam) as they are finishing up working on our new website. Jenna is doing the work from our end and Serge will put it all together for us and turn the switch to change over to the new site once Jenna gives him the okay. We plan to be updating every two weeks after that and you will be able to see new pictures and get news more regularly on the different aspects of the ministry here. Thanks for your prayers for these two — I certainly could not do this AT ALL and I thank God for those He sends to Destino’s aid in areas that are way over my head.
I went to Houston for my friend’s daughter’s wedding last week and also into the Tomball area for church and a few reunions — thanks to all of you for your encouragement and prayers. It was such a sweet time with friends that seem like family and also a chance to rest a little from the battles and stresses of Destino. But I was so ready to be home to see my family and wish I didn’t have to leave every 3 months for my visa. God knows though and I will trust Him in this area as well. My mom used to say that she didn’t think I would ever take a day off if I was not forced by the government to leave every 3 months. I think she was right and although I don’t always rest physically when I am away, I know that I rest emotionally and spiritually and that is good for me to get my perspective back about what I am doing and why. I was so sad when I returned to find out that two of our students’ lost siblings that week while I was away. One little sister (2 year old) choked on a frozen banana, and another student’s brother (17) fell off his bike while carrying his machete and a load of firewood he had just chopped — the machete slit his throat when it fell on him — these families need your prayers. Thanks.
Tomorrow we will be interviewing for a new teacher for April and May (and if we like her, for next school year) — please pray for me to be able to discern who God has chosen for this position. I always have a lot of opportunities to share the good news of the grace of God to the applicants. Most of them come in saying they are “Christians” or “evangelicals” but when asked how they would share with a student how to obtain eternal life, they mostly answer that it comes from being good, obeying, going to church, etc. God’s grace is foreign to them and so I love sharing with them the truth that eternal life only comes from believing and receiving the gift of Jesus’ death in payment for their sins. We are praying for someone who not only knows the Truth but has been walking in the Truth for some time so he/she can train up their students in the Truth. Thanks for your prayers for wisdom.
I asked for prayer for wisdom on who in the 9th grade that I should continue on to the 10th grade (beginning of high school). Please keep praying. As of now, my list to invite into our high school program has only 12 names (out of 26 in the class). This is really REALLY hard for me. I have talked to several teachers as well as Pastor Pablo who is their Bible class teacher and spends time praying with them individually. The consensus is pretty much all the same about the names currently on my list. Pray for God’s light to be shed on anyone that needs to be on or off the list. We will be having a graduation for the 9th graders on June 11th to celebrate this big accomplishment in their lives (equal to high school graduation here in Honduras), and then we will send a letter of invitation to just those who we know have a desire to serve the Lord with their lives.
Thank you again for your prayers and let me know what to be praying for you as well. Remember you cannot hit “reply” to this message — it will go out into space somewhere — you can write to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org
Love in His great mercy and grace,