Dear Friends and Family,
Thanks so much for all your prayers for us here in Destino del Reino this year. I know so many people around the world have suffered during 2020 and yet God has shown Himself to be so faithful to each of us throughout the difficulties. He is forever faithful and generous to all of us, His children.
We had severe Covid restrictions on us throughout the year since the middle of March and then when the two hurricanes hit Honduras in November, suddenly all the restrictions were lifted and life feels a lot more normal for us (apart from mask-wearing). We can go to the bank and the grocery stores any day we choose now and not have to wait until our identification number comes up to have permission to go. Most of my kids don’t even realize there has been an epidemic because they have all of this land here to play on and, other than missing school, it has just felt like a very long vacation to them.
We have been told that we can begin school in person in February and I am SOOOO ready to start. I think I may have mentioned that we have decided to switch over to the Honduran school calendar and have classes from February through November in the future. Overall, it is a better schedule for us anyway and since they wouldn’t let us have in-person classes until February anyway, we just changed over to the new calendar that lines up with the public schools. The final papers have not come through yet with permission to change but they assure us that this will not be a problem. Please pray anyway, because this is Honduras and you just never know.
Well, the time has come to say goodbye to my oldest kids and my heart hurts but at the same time I am so very excited for the adventures and growth that will come to them through attending Bryan College. I have no idea how God is planning to pay for all of the tuition and board but he has clearly directed them to go there, and we will walk in faith for His provision. We have enough for this one year and will be amazed at how he provides for the next three years. If this is His will, He has the resources and will do it. We leave on January 6 and they have orientation and move in their dorm rooms on the 8th. Blanca’s room in Huston dorm is next door to the room I was in about 45 years ago so that is very nostalgic for me. I pray they have the great education and life-long friends when they leave Bryan that I have been blessed with. I know God plans to make them into leaders for His kingdom work and this is the next step to complete His plan. Lord-willing, in August, three more will go to college at Bryan as well. Jonathan and Josue will also get some scholarship help for soccer and Carlos will finally get his visa to go in August. We never were able to get Carlos’ visa for January but he has accepted it well and has his final appointment for his visa in late January and will be all ready to leave in August. He is helping Jonathan get ready for the college-entrance exams in the meantime. So it just might be that in August, I will have four boys playing on the Bryan College soccer team — that will be amazing. I am soooo excited for all of them. Bryan College is just now starting a full nursing school so Blanca will be able to continue at Bryan and not have to transfer out as was her plan before, thinking she had to go somewhere to get her nursing degree after taking pre-nursing at Bryan. Blanca is recovering very well from her knee surgery and has the clearance today from her doctor as well as her physical therapist that she is doing well and can continue to play soccer. She has really missed being able to play for several months now.
Pray for me — I try not to cry but I have had all these babies for 18 years and I guess I never really understood that they might grow up into adults and leave me, ha ha. I can’t imagine mamas who have had to say goodby to their young sons and send them off to war when they never knew if they would see them again — I am so blessed mine are going somewhere that I am familiar with and will be home for the summer.
Thanks for all of your generosity to us through this year. We have had a lot of projects that we needed to finish in repairing the school, etc. and since we did not have teachers’ salaries for about 4 months, we were able to do those things with the donations that have come in. Thanks for the end-of-the year gifts as well that are coming in now. That always helps carry us through several months of extra school expenses, like uniforms, books, etc. If you have given to Destino del Reino this year, you can write to our accountant, Kelly Dietz at email@example.com and she will send you a tax statement by email — just request the statement from her and tell her a good email address where to send it out. This will save us a lot of money on postage stamps. Thanks so much.
We still need some Americans to help us teach English and a few young women are praying about it so please pray that He will impress on the hearts of someone to help us this year at Destino. He has always provided in just the right timing and I know He has someone in mind for this need.
We also need about 50 new sponsors for the upcoming year so if you know anyone that would like to participate in that opportunity, please send them my way. I want every student to have someone praying for them by name regularly — that is the secret to their success in following Christ all their lives.
I don’t know if many of you know about the “cabin” (really a lodge) that is being built for us near our little lake at Destino del Reino. A group will be coming the middle of February to put in the floor and then another group soon after will follow to put up the walls, etc. We will hire a group here in Honduras to put on the roofing and then the group will return one more time to finish out the plumbing and electricity. It is an amazing gift to Destino and we will use it for camps and probably rent it to churches for retreats and conferences which will help make some money for Destino’s needs. We are so overwhelmed about how God provides what He wants for Destino I never would have asked for something like this but can already see how God is going to use this building. The coach at Bryan College is also interested in bringing the men’s soccer team here in early August to do training since we are at a higher sea level (4000 feet) and the lodge sleeps over 40 people so we can accommodate them there.
Another amazing thing that God seems to be up to is that we know now how we are to use our technical school buildings. Anthony and Joanne came to live here in October knowing that God told them to teach some women to make soap and sell it so they can support their families. They were thinking that they would start with one mother in our school and help her get started in a business and disciple her as they were teaching her to make soaps, etc. They have a website company in Greenville, SC and Joann recently went home to train a new worker for the company. While she was there, a new prospective client called in and as they were discussing setting up the website services, this man mentioned that he also helps out in Guatemala with starting small businesses for the poor there. In their conversation he started talking about how frustrating it is to see all the Central American women washing their clothes in the rivers with a soap that is full of harmful chemicals. and then he says, “Do you know anyone that could make soap without chemicals? I would be happy to produce and back up anyone that would start that project.” Joann couldn’t believe it and she said, “that is exactly what we are doing in Honduras.” So Joann and Anthony have worked on designing a hard soap that is “green” and they have sent three samples to some Honduran women to try in order to see which one is preferred. This is now going to become a really big project with possibly helping many of our moms having an opportunity for work as well as receiving discipleship. I am so amazed at our Father who has this whole thing planned out and we just need to follow close behind him and not miss a step! He is so amazing. We are so thankful that God has called Joann and Anthony to be at Destino with us. Anthony will also be teaching the high school English classes and will have many opportunities to disciple our teens.
We haven’t heard anything lately about our papers for the university to begin at Destino but our director has talked to the man in charge of getting all the documents ready and he said he will have them ready as soon as the pandemic lets up and the educational offices open in the capital again. Pray for those documents to be finished up and we can begin university classes for so many poor students in the near future. We will begin with degrees in nursing and agriculture and add a few others possible degrees soon after it is begun. God’s timing will be perfect, although I get very impatient since so many of our graduates do not have any jobs or have jobs that are not enough to support a family. This will be a huge blessing to so many once it is up and running.
I hope I haven’t lost you with this very very long email but thanks for all your prayers and love and gifts to all of us here in Destino del Reino. Remember that you cannot hit “reply” to this email, but I would love to hear from any of you at my email firstname.lastname@example.org
Blessings to each of you in this new year, whatever may come, God is good!
In His grace,