Hey Friends and Partners in Prayer,
I can’t believe it has been two months since I have updated you on all that has been going on at Destino. I write regularly on Facebook and sometimes forget that many of you do not keep up with me on there. I’m sorry for being so late in updating. I’ll try to do better in the future.
Today the American teachers return for their next school year and I can’t believe it is already time to begin another year at Destino. We begin the 11th grade this year which is now going to be the final year of high school, since we are using the college preparation curriculum and it only goes through 11th grade. What that means is that I need you to REALLY be praying harder than ever for our plans for the upcoming year as we believe we are to begin university classes at Destino del Reino. That sounds so unbelievable but it is the thing that we know we are to do in order to complete the preparation of these young leaders for their ministry and careers in serving Jesus Christ in the world. We have our lawyer working on the first steps to receiving our accreditation for the university and need lots of wisdom on which areas of study God wants us to provide. We are considering agriculture, teaching, electricity and possibly computers for areas of study at this point. Thank you for praying for God to clearly lead us and open doors so that we can be ready for this new undertaking this time next year — whew — that is kind of scary. But God is faithful and will complete whatever He has started here in HIS way. We just have to follow closely and hear him and obey.
As I shared with you in my last update, this was a difficult ending of school in June because God had clearly directed me to weed out those in the school that were not interested in following Jesus Christ and to not invest more time in them and concentrate on those that He was calling into Christian leadership. It has been confirmed to me in many situations that God clearly made these decisions for us. Every decision was unanimous as to whether a student should stay or leave — and even on the very last day that the 9th graders were with us (graduation day), God whispered to me two names that I should keep (although all the teachers had said they had no spiritual interest). When I got up from my chair at the conclusion of the graduation, I walked over to Pastor Pablo and he had heard the same two names from the Lord — “keep Elvis and Angel” — Wow, God is so good to make His will so clear to us. The next week, Elvis was in church and participating in worship and he had never even attended church in all his years at Destino. Last Wednesday night, Angel went forward at the end of the message and rededicated his life to Christ. It is so great to have a Father who knows everything — everyone’s hearts and what is in the future. We are so amazingly blessed by God to be able to communicate with the All-Knowing One.
I also am seeing more of God’s purpose in narrowing down the older classes to those that are truly here to follow Christ. God has been making it very clear to me lately that, although I share with people that He has told us to raise up missionaries and leaders, our students are not even close to being prepared for those ministries at this point. I talked to Pastor Pablo about spending the first month or so in Bible classes in training them to share the gospel and their testimonies of faith with others. They will practice and practice with one another until they are ready and we will take a day out of school every six weeks or so and take them into villages and let them put their faith into practice, sharing Christ with unbelievers in the villages surrounding Destino. If I had kept the former students, it would have been very difficult to put this into practice because they were not believers themselves or were not interested in sharing their faith. Another amazing thing that God has shown me to do with the students this year is to implement discipleship into the classrooms. The youth pastor the leads the sports camps was here this summer and we spent a lot of time talking about discipleship. Pastor Wade has been emphasizing that here at Destino for several years as well and I just didn’t know how to really bring this about. But God has made it clear now and I am so excited to see all He will do this year. The students in the older classes – 9th through 11th — will each have a student or two in lower classes — 6th through 8th grade to meet with weekly and pray with and encourage individually in their faith. Shaun, the youth pastor, even had two years of Bible studies going through the Bible already prepared and Ashley is translating them for us weekly so that the students will learn the Bible lesson in their Bible class and then be given the same pages of study to share with their small discipleship groups in the other grades later on in the same week. This is going to be amazing and we need a LOT of prayer — there are kids that I just cringed to assign them to be discipling other kids because they are so shy or have shown no leadership ability but GOD is going to do this — and we just need a lot of prayer for this to be what God has in mind to train these students to be disciplers to change the world for Jesus Christ. Thanks for praying. I am also implementing this with our teachers – dividing them into small groups of 4 with a leaders who have been discipled themselves and we can push our teachers into deeper spiritual growth as well. I was nervous about how to fit everything into our class schedules but I prayed about it and it was amazing how everything fit!!! One class period a week for Bible and one class period a week for discipleship.
Pray also as we are forming discipleship teams for the older kids (9th through 11th) to have an adult discipling them as well. Pastor Efrain will be working with 11th grade boys, Pastor Pablo with 10th grade boys and Erick with 9th grade boys. We are still working on the girls’ groups so please pray for wisdom for that as well.
My desire (and of course, it is God’s desire) is that when these kids graduate from Destino, discipleship will just be part of their thinking constantly — they learn something and always have someone in their lives that they are passing on those truths to and encouraging in their faith.
Other news — we got the container a few weeks back and it was such a huge blessing — sooo much and such great quality — thank you to everyone who participated. We will be sending another one in March or mid April this year so if you see school supplies for a bargain, buy them up for us now. We are going to send it earlier this year so that John (our Board member who is in charge of the packing and shipping each year) won’t be so stressed with the container during the summer when it is his busiest time in his moving company business. Thanks again for your generosity — it was overwhelming. All the kids are so thankful for their new shoes and clothes!!
All our babies are doing well. We have two babies right now through the government system where we serve as the temporary shelter for abandoned babies. Our baby, Tania, who we have discovered is a crack baby finally slept last night — she has only slept one hour at a time for the entire 3 months of her life. She is doing better each day and we are praying for her to find a family to adopt her. We believe she is blind as well and according to those in charge of adoptions here, it is actually easier to get an international adoption worked out for special needs kids — so hopefully she will find a forever home soon. Our other little baby is so cute – his name is Miguel and he is 3 months old as well. He is a joy. His father is taking a DNA test to prove he is, in fact, the father and then will most likely get custody of him in a few months. Our baby, Christian, who is with us permanently is now 6 months old and adorable. I praise God for the wonderful women who work with these kids every day and night and let me sleep peacefully through the night.
PRAISE GOD we have been given enough money to finish up our gymnasium and the men are working diligently on that each day. Pray that we will be able to be in the gym before December when the cold weather comes. I am amazed at God’s gracious generosity to this ministry through people that I barely know — He moves in hearts and works all things out for His purposes. I get to just stand back and be forever amazed at His working.
Keep praying for the funds to come in for the teachers’ bonuses. That is our last big expense before we start school in two weeks and we know God will provide. He is always and forever faithful.
We still need a few sponsors for our children in the school — the sponsorship is $60 a month and the main thing is that we ask that you pray regularly for the student by name. These kids are desperate for your prayers. Please let me know if you are interested in sponsoring a student. Thanks so much.
I thank you so much again and again and again for all the years of prayer support you have been for Destino del Reino. This ministry is growing so much and it is overwhelming when I look at it all through human reasoning. But God started it, He thought of it, and He will do it. I just need to be faithful to hear him and obey. Thanks so much for praying for me personally that I will just REST REST REST in Him and let Him do HIS WORK!! The book that God wrote through me is going to be published very soon and I am praying that God will use it in a huge way, not to inform people about Destino del Reino, but to encourage them personally to hear Him and say “yes” no matter what He asks of them. God has great plans for every one of His called and I don’t want anyone to miss those great things because they are too afraid to do what seems impossible. If He tells you something — He will do it!!! Just follow and watch in amazement!
In His amazing grace,