I am sorry it has been more than two months since I last updated you. I especially have needed prayer during this time and wish I had written more so you would know how to be praying. God is faithful and I know that many pray even when you do not hear from me, so I thank you for that.
We have finished up our school year now and are well into the summer. The months of April and May were so crazy -busy. We had soccer tournaments for three solid weeks, as well as exams, teacher evaluations, graduation photos, missions day celebration, etc., as well as my 21 kids to care for.
As you know, God showed me several years ago that I am to continually prune out of Destino students who do not have a desire to follow Christ (at least at this time of their lives). I had a meeting with the teachers in April and gave them class lists and asked them to pray that God would show them those that they believed should leave Destino for the following year. I trust my teachers to not only pray about it, but to know the students well and to make impartial decisions. We received their votes in April and I began to pray for confirmation that God wanted these cuts to be made. By the middle of June when it was time to notify the parents about which students would not be returning to Destino, we had gone over the list and prayed continually until we were certain that we had the right decisions. I am always encouraged that, although this breaks my heart, I have seen many of the former students who have been expelled from Destino continue to come to church and eventually surrender their lives to Christ. In order for us to be a training center for leadership for Christ, we have to weed out those who are not interested in spiritual things and also are distracting the students who are seeking to follow Christ. We have a small graduating high school class this year (11 students) but they are unified and fervent in their faith and I know it is because two years ago, we took out about half of their class. It has made a huge difference. I have to remind myself continually that Jesus was not into numbers — he is and was God on earth and only had 11 faithful disciples and just 3 that he really poured more time into (Peter, James and John). I would appreciate your prayers for those who are returning as well as those who have left us. I have spoken to most of the sponsors of those who are leaving Destino and they are committed to continue to pray for the students now as much as ever. Thanks so much for your faithful prayers — it will change their lives!
One of the students that was voted out was our pastor’s daughter. Because of that decision, he has resigned from Destino as teacher and pastor. At first I panicked and yet there was also a calm that God has all things in His plan and under His control. I had met a few months ago with a doctor who I had talked to about our clinic but who also is a very good Bible teacher. When I returned to him to see if he would be able to cover our worship services each week as a Bible teacher, he said he was working too many hours out of town each week to be able to commit to us, but he said he had a brother who would be willing to help us. So we did not miss a beat at Destino — God opened up the door immediately for Kenneth Madrid to teach the Word to us on Thursday nights and he is praying as to how else God wants to use him in Destino. Amazingly, God has led us to a man who not only teaches the Word of God and is passionate about Jesus Christ but he is very talented musically and is wanting to help our band to further develop their talents. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for Destino through the ministry of Kenneth. Please be praying for him. He will begin serving with Destino next Thursday night!!! We are so excited. Also during this time we are able to use our youth for more leadership — the band is practicing to provide the music for the first night without Pastor Pablo and I know they will do a great job. Thanks for your prayers for this transition time.
We have hired a new 4th grade teacher and only lack a Social Studies teacher for junior high right now. Please be praying that God will send the right person to us. I always enjoy the interview process because about 80% of the people that come say they are Christians but when I ask them how they would respond to God if he asked them what right they have to enter heaven’s gates, they are completely confused. I have so many opportunities to share the gospel — that Jesus Christ is the only Savior and the only way to erase our sins, in these interviews. So they came to apply but God sends them to hear the Truth!!!
In May, my sweet Chinese family, Peter and Sarianne Trinh came to share with our students about missions in Indonesia and Sarianne gave her testimony of growing up in a Buddhist home in Viet Nam. It was a great time with them and I am so thankful for their time with us. They have also provided the new computers we so desperately needed for junior/high school computer classes. God is so faithful to provide in unexpected ways!
The university plans are still in process. We are told that the man who is preparing all the documents has only a few more steps to go through. I am so disappointed that we didn’t get to start yet but God’s timing is perfect and all His ways are perfect, so I really don’t want my will and timing — I will trust in His perfect plan! (That is hard to do at times with all these graduates doing nothing with their lives and waiting on me to find something for their futures). Thanks for continuing to pray for us and for me to trust Him more.
We are in the middle of our sports camps right now. Two different groups are coming from Tomball, Texas and they are finishing up the teen boy’s camp today. It is amazing the impact these groups have on our young people. I am so thankful for the time and love they have invested in these kids. The teen girls’ camp and day camp for elementary school kids starts on Monday so please be praying for that as well.
We have some new Americans coming to join us this year. I am so excited to tell you that my cousin, Ryan Frazee, will be coming to work at Destino in late September. He will be counseling older kids in finding what careers they should go into, praying and visiting with students and in their homes, working on the farms, etc. etc. Another young man, Jacob Rose, is coming as well from Wilmington, NC. He also will be working in a fish farm, the coffee farms, discipleship of young men, etc. I am especially excited for these two guys to live on our property and spend time with my 5 teenage boys who need godly men in their lives — God is so perfect in His timing
We also have Skeet Alderson’s niece, Lauryn, coming as a new English teacher and Mariedith is an experienced teacher who is coming from California. I am so excited for the year ahead.
As I told you above, we will have Pastor Kenneth with us on Thursday evenings for our main church teaching service. I feel like the Lord has put it on my heart to start a night of prayer so that will start up on Tuesday, July 18th. Please be praying that many will come and participate. I know that God will move in even more miraculous ways in Destino as His people are on their knees seeking Him for every need and for the spiritual lives of the 300 students at Destino.
Thanks for all of your continual prayers for us. I get so stressed sometimes and panic foolishly about the money to cover all the needs here, but God provides each and every month for every thing we need and some things we just want! He is a loving faithful Father and we are blessed to be HIS! Please pray for the funds we need to come in for the final bonuses for teachers and for the last payments on school books, etc. I know that He knows and will provide but He does work through our prayers and I count on yours!!
Love in His abundant grace,