I am so thankful that I have such a HUGE team of prayer warriors and friends who actually read these updates and pray for us! That is a great blessing to us at Destino and thank you so much for your time and generosity and love for us.
First of all, I want to report some great things at Destino del Reino. We had a good year and sweet graduations the past week (kindergarten and ninth grade — junior high). We will graduate 12 wonderful seniors on July 6th and I am so proud of this class and their endurance and leadership for Christ. The best thing about Destino is the KIDS!!! They are unique and God has incredible plans for their lives to change the culture around them and into the uttermost parts of the world.
We will be starting the trade school in October and hopefully (Lord-willing) the university will begin about February. Please be praying for the final steps to get the approval for the university. Dr. Melvin needs prayer for motivation and to get this job finished for us. He is the man in charge of collecting all the documentation and he has been hard to reach by phone lately. We need you to pray for him to sense a fire under him (Holy spirit?) to get this finished quickly!!!
We need new sponsors for the upcoming year. We have 30 new students entering and I need a lot of sponsors. Please let anyone you can think of know about this need. The cost of sponsoring is $60 monthly throughout the year and we only want sponsors who will be willing to pray for these students and not just give. The students also pray faithfully for their sponsors and write them at least twice a year. I will be contacting you who have students who will not be returning this year to know if you would like a re-assignment to a new student.
This year, I only let about 6 kids go from Destino del Reino. I do not make the decision but leave it to the teachers and if they vote unanimously to have a student leave Destino because of lack of interest in spiritual things or negative leadership, then we ask them to not return the following year. In the past we have let as many as 25 go and I believe the reason that we are seeing less kids leaving is because of the parents’ attendance in church weekly (which is required) and many of them coming to a true relationship with Jesus Christ and because of this they are more involved in their children’s discipline. Thank you for praying for the parents of your students and not just for your assigned students — that is where we are seeing results — whole families being changed because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!
Speaking of church, we have made some changes and God is proving faithful (as always). We said goodby to the pastor we had for several months because of some doctrinal issues and mostly because I believe God wants to raise up the leadership from among the people of Destino. As I was praying what I should do for Thursday night church service and who I could get to cover the teaching, the Spirit spoke something very clearly to me. I always know it is HIM when I hear something I don’t want to do and it sounds pretty CRAZY!! He told me we are not to find another pastor but to read the Word of God for the 45 minutes each week. I hesitated to tell anyone what He told me but I know that He is always right and I have to “SAY YES” no matter what!! We have done the reading of the Word for the past two weeks and I really love it. People are coming with their Bibles, are following along as the readers read it aloud, there is silence as it is being read and I know this is God’s plan for our church right now. The people for the most part have not ever been made to go to church or read their Bibles and God is doing this through us — but there is joy and God has promised that his Word will not return to him void — it will produce fruit. As I argued with God about what he told me to do, he has reminded me that many churches use the Bible for about 2 minutes and then the pastor talks, tells stories, jokes, applications for the other 28 minutes or so. We cannot go wrong with 30 to 45 minutes of the Word of God — we have the Holy Spirit teaching us and He will teach all of us something different from the passages selected as he sees our personal spiritual needs. Thanks for praying for us. We will integrate some testimonies in the meetings as well and I am praying that some of our teens will be willing to give a 10-minute exhortation to the people. Pray for them to be courageous and learn to share the Word with others.
We are also forming discipleship groups for the new Christians so please pray for many to sign up for this much needed teaching and also for the leaders we need. Our church is so different because God told me to require the parents to come to church once a week and most have come to know Christ in the past two years — but there has been no personal teaching. There are about 300 new believers who need discipled. Thanks for praying.
We have a container shipping from Augusta, Georgia in about 3 weeks. We have been able to work it out with a man who regularly ships containers so that we will not have to go to the port personally and the container will not be inspected (robbing and destroying the contents). We can use children’s clothing all sizes up to small men and women, tennis shoes for all ages, and lots of school supplies (notebook paper, folders, pencils, pens, erasers, crayons, colored pencils, construction paper, etc.) and tools for trade school (welding, carpentry, electricity and mechanics). Even if you do not live in Augusta, you can send things to Rhonda Jackson, c/o Turner Moving and Storage, 1494 Wrightsboro Road, Augusta, 30901. If you send through Amazon to this address, John Turner will put it on the container for us. Thanks for any help you can be to us. I know the timing is short but we need the container out before mid July. If you use Amazon, be sure to log into SmileAmazon and select “Destino del Reino” for your charity and we will also receive some extra help from you. If you log into SmileAmazon, it looks just like the other amazon site and you can use it the same. I keep “Destino del Reino” on there all the time so that all the donations will come to us. Thanks for helping us with that as well.
We are starting work on our extra court for the welding and carpentry trades as well as a storeroom for all the extra furniture and supplies that are coming on the container. We will also be finishing up the last classroom in the high school building to be used for our first-year college students. We will not start work on the college building until we have final approval and start our first year of classes. There is so much to do but God is faithful to provide. Thanks for your consistent prayers for the funds and the wisdom we need for furthering the education of these great kids — it is all for the glory of God and for the furthering of His Kingdom work.
I can never thank you, Team, for your faithful prayers. Things are tough sometimes but I sense His presence here and His constant protection. We were almost in a horrible accident this week and I felt His guiding of the car so clearly to avoid hitting an 18 wheeler that was blocking 3 lanes of traffic in the night without lights!!! Thank you. He is faithful!!!
In His grace and mercy,