Thank you for your continued prayers for Destino del Reino. I am amazed again as I look back on how far the Lord has brought us. He has been faithful to provide through the years from when we only had to feed 34 students daily to now 300 plus, and pay not two teachers but now over 20. He has built amazing buildings to raise up a new generation of leaders for Himself and His glory and is continuing to lead us into new and even more challenging avenues in training them for future careers and ministry. Thanks to each of you for all the prayer and support you have given through these years and I know that I will not have a clue just how many prayers have been prayed or how many people have shared the story of Destino or even how many people have given financially until we get to heaven and I see all of you standing before the throne with me to receive the fruit of all your labor in these Honduran students and their families!! Thank you.
I sent out my last update and something evidently went wrong with the internet (or the operator, ha) and many of you did not receive a copy. What I shared in that update was about what we were “planning” to do differently this year and now I can tell you that we have begun our plans and God is doing great things — DISCIPLESHIP!!! I have known for several years that God was pushing me to do more in preparing these kids as leaders. This year we have begun developing a discipleship program with our students where the oldest class (11th grade) members each have one or two disciples in the 8th grade, the 10th graders have the 7th graders and the 9th graders are working with 6th graders. From the very first week it was evident that God was going to use this greatly in the kids’ lives — it is amazing to see how the students who have been taking in Truth all of these years are being able to be leaders and share the Word of God and pray with and challenge younger students to follow Christ with all of their hearts. The 9th graders are the youngest ones that are leading and I was a little concerned but they are amazing!! They are taking their disciples’ spiritual growth very seriously and are praying faithfully for them. I also divided the teachers into small accountability groups as well (4 or 5 in each group) and they meet regularly and God is doing amazing things among them — healed hurts, forgiveness released, transparency in their struggles and unity like never before. Thank you for your prayers — we know that our Enemy sees this as well and we have had quite a few unexpected battles lately that we can clearly link to him — but God is the Almighty One and we are more than victorious in Him. Thanks for backing us up in prayer continually and especially pray for these discipleship groups. They are given a Bible lesson in their weekly Bible classes and then when they leave the class they take with them a blank copy of the same lesson for their disciples. Then when they meet with their disciples, they know they cannot teach the lesson exactly as their Bible teacher taught them (he is our pastor) but that they can teach what they learned to their disciples. They also challenge their disciples to make some specific goals in their lives and then be accountable to report on how they are doing. They share their struggles and prayer requests with one another and then have a time of prayer together each week. Our hope and prayer is that as they disciple other students in the next few years and go on to the mission field or to their own individual paths of life, that they will already have the habit formed in their lives that whatever they are learning spiritually is to always be shared with some other person in their lives — passing on the Truth to those they are leading. Even though we have had some hard times and battles, when I see all that God is doing in these students’ lives, really nothing else seems to matter much — it is ALL that will count in eternity and we are praising Him for it all!!!
It is also now very clear why God clearly pushed me into not permitting some of the students to return to Destino this year — this discipleship would have been impossible with the 25 junior and high schoolers that I did not return to Destino. They had no interest spiritually or were not even believers themselves and, although we love them still and will forever be here for them, this was not the right place to continue with them as we are training up future missionaries and leaders. It was such a hard summer for me. Any of you that know me well, know that my heart is with the “trouble-makers” — I was one myself and I always cry over the kids with disciplinary problems in school. So for me to have to remove some kids from Destino was an absolute act of obedience and against my own natural inclination. But God has blessed and proven His way is always right, even when it hurts me. As for the kids who did not return, we have seen many of them in church each week. In fact, one of them was baptized last night and we pray that God continues to grow her up in His Word and she can join us when she is ready for university classes.
Speaking of university — that is my biggest “panic” right now — the thought that God is leading us to start college classes next year. I know that He can do anything and I can do nothing without Him so I am not sure why this panics me more than any other thought before. But the truth is that there are no jobs here for these kids. This country is so poor and the rich get the few opportunities that are out there, so we cannot leave them with a high school education and not go further to prepare them for real career possibilities or preparation in ministry. We are in the process with our attorney to start the paperwork to be approved for university classes here and at this point are praying about what fields we would offer. Agriculture and teaching (English especially) are on our lists for sure as well as possibly electricity and computer science or nursing. I know God will lead us clearly. We want to choose a few fields of study that would open up jobs for them more easily if they stay in Honduras and which would also be good careers for mission work in other countries. I am so thankful that God is keeping missions on our students’ minds. Just a few weeks ago, some visitors were here and one of our 10th grade boys told them that his plan is to be a missionary in Asia. God will complete the work that He started here and will accomplish His purposes in these students’ lives. Thanks for your prayers for wisdom, the right fields of study, the people we need to contact, etc. etc. (and of course, for more faith for me).
And speaking of faith for me — please pray for the finances (as always). I have shared before one of my favorite verses — “He is faithful when we are without faith” and I remind myself regularly of that because I feel so ungrateful and unbelieving when I sense a panic about the money to pay the teachers each month. We have to have $8,000 about the 10th of each month and there is hardly ever even more than $1,000 in the bank extra about a week before. He is faithful though and he is not waiting on my faith to produce what is needed. I just would like to believe Him better so that I could just REST and KNOW — He has proved himself faithful a million times and I cannot really believe how many times I still fret about it. Thanks for your prayers for me and for the finances we need.
The church is growing continually. It is now not just our students’ families who are coming to church. We regularly have other new visitors who are coming because of the testimony of our students’ lives and what God is doing at Destino. I am so thankful that God has sent Pastor Pablo and Pastor Efrain and for their deep teaching of the Word of God — thank you for your continued prayers for these godly leaders and their families. Even when it is raining and chilly outside, we always have at last 400 in church on Wednesday night. I guess it is just us Americans that get scared of rain – ha. We had 7 baptized last night and more next month. We are also planning in a few months to have a wedding for any couples who have lived together (some for many years) and have come to know Jesus and want to follow him in obedience in that area of their lives.
We still need 4 more sponsors for this school year. As God is providing for us in His own way and time, this request is not so much for financial support but I want for these 4 kids to have someone praying for them regularly. Let me know if you are interested in doing the complete sponsorship ($60/monthly and praying) or just want to pray for one of them regularly.
I was in Augusta for a week last month and actually got to rest a little this time. While I was there, I was able to ship out the books that some of you had ordered. I thank God for not only writing the book through me to tell the miraculous things He has done at Destino, but also how my friends edited and published it so quickly. It was done with so little effort and yet the reports of those that have read it have been that they believe God will challenge many people with the stories of Destino and it will be an inspiration to everyone who reads it. I know He did it so I am sure He plans to use it. Anyway, for those that did not get to order it before I shipped out those first books, you can order a copy any time by sending a check for $11.00 to Destino del Reino, PO Box 814, Evans, GA 30809 and in the postscript write “book”. Leslie O’Neill sends them out for us as she receives the checks, so you can order any time. You may just want to get a copy for someone who doesn’t know or believe that God does miracles anymore — He certainly does!!
Another thing that I was able to do while I was in the states was go see the movie, “War Room” — that was such a huge challenge to me that I came home and cleaned out a closet and set it up so I would have a place of uninterrupted quiet to really FIGHT in prayer for those that I love and for the nations, etc. Now, my prayer request for me personally is that I will GO into that closet more often. I cannot tell you how many interruptions there are in my day and I am so frustrated — thanks for your prayers for less interruptions and for more discipline on my part. I really know God wants me on my knees before him more and I want to obey Him absolutely.
I thank you for your prayers for all of us here in Destino. I know that you have so many personal needs and family concerns of your own so I thank you for taking time in your prayers for remembering us here in Honduras. I believe with all my heart that God is going to do something amazing to further His kingdom in the earth through these students in these last days before He returns. I thank you for being part of the Destino team with your prayers and giving. Let me know how to pray for you as well. Remember you cannot hit “reply” to this message – – you have to write me on my email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to respond.
Love to all of you.
In His amazing grace,