Thanks for all your faithful prayers for us here at Destino del Reino. We have now begun our school year and everything is going well. We hired 5 new teachers this year (4 to replace others who left and one for our new extra third grade class). We are so thankful for finding godly teachers who truly know Christ. So many of our interviewees say they are Christians but they don’t understand that salvation does not come through their good works!
I have been amazed at how I could have been so blind to something that I should have seen before. I was talking to one of the kids in college a few months ago about how God can use her in so many ways and suddenly asked her if she would like to go help Shaun and Abby in their sports ministry in Africa. I though that if she could see for a summer how God could use her, that she would not be so concerned about what to major in at college since God is planning something very specific in using her for His kingdom work and will reveal it in His perfect timing. She eagerly said YES! and I wrote to Shaun. I haven’t spoken to him in several years and so his response was amazing. He said “this has to be the Lord because just yesterday I told Abby that I wish Rhonda would send some of her kids to help us.” Shaun started our summer sports camp at Destino del Reino about 13 years ago when he was a youth pastor at Tomball Bible Church. He has since then gone with SIM Sports and has been working all over Africa using soccer to bring in youth and their parents to come to Christ and then be discipled. SUDDENLY I realized that I have always told Americans that they need to get their children on the mission field early in their lives so they can be exposed to the possibility of mission work and at least get a heart of compassion for the rest of the world outside of the United States. Also just the past year, I have been convinced that God wants me to make it easier for college students to get exposed to the mission field and we have finished our mission house to board students who want to have the mission experience without paying a lot of money (just airline ticket and their food while here). BUT, I had missed the main thing — my own kids. God told me from the beginning to raise up leaders and missionaries for the world and I didn’t realize I have never exposed MY kids to missions. Destino and Honduras are just “home” to them. So I am sending at least three of my college students to help Shaun and Abby in the summer of 2024. What is clearly God’s timing is that Shaun and Abby have just left Kenya, Sudan, etc. in Africa to begin living in the southern tip of Spain (just 20 kilometers across the water from north Africa) to evangelize the 100,000s of north Africans living in that part of Spain now. They will begin evangelism and church planting in this year and then the following summer when my kids arrive they will be doing sports camps to win these immigrant north African people to Christ through soccer. My kids will be able to use their Spanish as well because although they will be working with African people, they will be living in Spain!!!! Can God be any more amazing???!! They are very excited about this and I am as well because I can clearly see that God is fulfilling His plan through the kids that he sent me to raise at Destino del Reino. Please be praying for the kids. They may be sending some prayer support letters to you about a year from now so be praying about how to help them. I now have told the kids that since I believe this is what God wanted all along –to expose them to missions and send them out — this is now a requirement of all those that go to Bryan College — to spend at least one summer helping in Spain with the African people. Shaun will be here in June to talk to them and plan further about their ministry there. Shaun’s vision is to first reach these African people living in Spain and then to eventually move back into north Africa to reach their people there in Africa still. Thanks for your prayers. I am amazed at the blind spot revealed to me — wanting others to expose their kids to missions (i.e. Destino) and yet I had not done that with my own kids. Thankfully, God did not let me miss it!!! His timing is perfect.
Please be praying this week as a group of 19 are coming from Bryan College to use soccer here in a few villages around us. They will be going to a public school in Rincon on Tuesday and Wednesday to work with soccer with the students there and share the gospel with them. Then in the afternoons they will be going house to house to share the gospel with the people of that village. Thursday and Friday they will be going to another village nearby to do the same. The directors of the two schools are very excited to have them come to work with the kids. It will be a good introduction for my own 7 Bryan kids as to how to use soccer for evangelism and also how to share the gospel individually. Please pray for all the members of the team as many of them have never shared the gospel with anyone personally. They have been practicing and I know God will give them the words to speak. Pray the Holy Spirit will move in the hearts of these village people and many will come to Christ this next week. Thanks so much.
Jonathan will be taking school pictures on Tuesday morning so I can get them to all the sponsors. Once again, I am amazed at the Lord in helping me find enough sponsors to cover all the incoming new students. (56 in kindergarten). Thanks to all of you who have been willing to take on this important ministry. Please remember to pray for your students by name regularly — maybe every morning when you brush your teeth or when you are making your bed — pick a time that will always remind you to pray for the students. Thanks so much.
Pastor Wade had another incredible ministry with 27 Honduran pastors in February. These pastors are so responsive to the teaching on making disciples who will make disciples instead of just preaching from the pulpit each week. Wade and Kevin will be back on May 21 for another week of t raining for these same pastors. Then in July they will begin with a new group of pastors. Many of these pastors are truly catching on and beginning classes of discipleship in their areas of Honduras. This is the Jesus-pattern for multiplication and I believe we will see a huge spread of Christianity in the next few years because of the discipleship training for the pastors. We have found a really good pastor for Destino del Reino as well. His name is Dalis and he is so committed to teaching our people the Word of God. We had over 400 in church Friday night and Christian is leading worship and he has the gift from the Holy Spirit in leading worship. We are so amazed at what God is doing in our families at Destino del Reino!!! We also are having 6 weeks of discipleship during the church service for our 26 new parents of Kindergartners who had not received any one-on-one discipleship in the past. They will be going through materials on salvation, reading their Bibles and prayer, etc. to give them a basis before joining in with our church services. Thanks for your prayers for all of these things.
A big need and prayer request right now is for a car for my kids in college. There are seven of them now and on weekends most all of the other students leave for home from Friday til Monday. The kids do not have transportation during the weekends to even get to Wal-Mart. It can be a very lonely discouraging time for them. Please pray that we will find the right vehicle for them. We need a used car that seats 7 or 8. Also pray that we can figure out the insurance etc. Two of the older boys have their international drivers’ licenses and will be able to drive but need the car. Thanks. I know God is so faithful and will work out the details.
Many of you know that Sheena Rader got here for her eleventh year of teaching and during the training of teachers and time for preparing for the school year, she took a bad fall. She had shoulder surgery and is recuperating very well. Please pray for her to be encouraged and heal very quickly. She goes to the doctor on Monday to get out the stitches and then will begin therapy. During her absence, we have a teacher using the English 40-minute slot every day to review the students in math. It was actually good timing since most of them completely forgot their multiplication tables during the 3-month vacation!! Sheena turned 79 this week and is still walking 5 miles a day (in her little house) keeping up her energy and strength. She is truly amazing and is so loved by all of the 340 students and teachers!!!
We have three groups coming in the next few months so please pray they will have a big impact on our students and will strengthen them in their faith or bring them to Christ if they do not already know Him. The first group comes for just 3 days in May and they will be teaching swimming lessons to many of our students (most Hondurans do not learn to swim which is dangerous with all the rivers around the country). The second group will be doing camp for elementary kids in early June and the third group will be our regular sports camp by Texas friends for our junior high and high school kids. Thanks for your prayers for all of these ministries and that God will use them in a tremendous way with our students.
I am teaching English to the high schoolers this year. I love these kids!! They have all had at least 9 years of English and know a lot in their heads but haven’t used it much so I am forcing them to speak it. I ask them a question and they go around and answer it as best they can. Some are more advanced than others but I am pushing them. I had a wonderful class last week. The phrase was “I worry too much about . . . .” All the kids were saying I worry too much about my grades, or I worry too much about my future…” I got to one 17-year old kid and he said with his very weak English “I worry too much about ‘accept Jesus’” I thought he must be having doubts about his salvation or that he won’t be ready when Jesus comes back, etc. So I said “Well, have you ever accepted Jesus as your Savior?” and he said “no” and I said, “well do you want to?” and he looked eagerly at me and said “Yes” so I said, “Right now?” and he said “YES” — I thought he would have wanted to talk in private but he accepted Christ right there in front of all of his classmates and afterwards he was smiling from ear to ear as his friends were applauding him . It was so great and I am so grateful that God didn’t let him graduate before accepting Christ personally before he graduated this year!!!
Thanks for your faithful prayers for all of us — for health and strength and for the funds to continue what God is doing here at Destino del Reino. I am so amazed at all He is doing in lives here and thank you for being part of our team by praying and giving and supporting us in so many ways. We are so blessed and thank God for His constant provision for us.
In His incredible GRACE!!