From Rhonda Jackson, Director of Destino del Reino (Written Feb. 2003)
I came to Honduras in September 1999 and moved in with a Honduran woman in Siguatepeque. She spoke English to me so much of the time that I knew I would never learn Spanish if I did not just immerse myself into the culture somehow. I asked if I could move to the village with her mother for awhile in order to learn Spanish more rapidly. She agreed and I moved to the small village of Jocon, Yoro, in the central north part of Honduras.
It was a real culture shock in many ways. The people there are poorer than those I had met in Siguatepeque. There has been no Christian outreach to these precious people and so their ways are very pagan and superstitions are prevalent, i.e. they seek the help of witchdoctors for their sickness, etc. There is no thought of marriage there and most of the men have several women and families and do not support any of their children because they have not been trained in any kind of skill or job. The children are hungry and malnourished and neglected. God put a great burden on my heart to help them. I just didn’t know how. After generations and generations of people living in this way, what could one or even several Americans do to change the situation?
God started putting it on my heart that I was to start a children’s home to bring up the children in a way that would change the future of the mountain villages. I, of course, had no idea how that was to come about but started praying about it and agreeing that I would be obedient in whatever God told me to do. I woke up in the night once with a scripture on my mind — “Hannah went to visit Samuel every year.”
I didn’t even remember if that was a verse in the Bible. I looked up the story of Hannah giving up her only child, Samuel, to the work of God (in I Samuel) and I found that verse. I asked the Spirit to reveal why He was showing me this. He told me that I was to build a place for the mothers to visit the children and not send the children back for visits to the villages to see their families.
This was all the information I had from the Lord at this point. I knew these were the people to whom I was to minister. I was to build a children’s home where we could raise them to be committed to Jesus Christ, to marriage and to good skills and to be able to provide for their future families. As I was about to go to the States for a short visit, I asked the Father to confirm to me that this really was from Him and He was going to do this through me.
God Opens Doors
The next morning I had a layover in Guatemala City and I began talking to a man there in the lobby. He said he travels around and helps out with praise and worship music in various countries. When he asked me what I was doing, I told him the little that I knew — about the people of the mountain villages and God’s leading me to start a children’s home. He got excited and gave me his email address. He told me that he was with Integrity Music and they have a facet of their ministry to help children’s homes and they would love to help us.
I was so amazed that God had opened that door so easily. The next day I had another layover in Dallas. The airport was very crowded and I took the only available seat next to a very pleasant-looking lady. She noticed that I was reading in a Spanish book and she asked me where I lived. I explained to her that I was a missionary in Honduras and that God had showed me how to help the village children, that we would be teaching them agriculture and cattle and things that they could do to make a living in the mountains. She said her organization worked in Honduras too and they would love to help me. It was “The Heifer Project,” and they would like to give me my cows. She looked around the very crowded room and commented, “I don’t think you sat by me by accident.” And I told her, “No, God did this because He wants me to know that He will bring all the right people to do what He has called me to do.”
Our Mission Becomes Clearer
I returned to the US with great confidence that God truly was leading in this and would do it completely through His own power. I was in the States for several months at this time visiting my family in Georgia. I received a call from my old church in Texas where I had attended when I was a housemother at a children’s home there. They had heard about what I was doing and wanted me to share at their upcoming Missions Conference. I said yes and then got off the phone and wondered what I would share since I had so little information myself from God about this right now.
As the time grew near to go to Texas on my way back to Honduras, I prayed for more clarity as to what God’s purpose was for the home, etc. The week I was scheduled to leave, I woke up in the night and God started showing me all the children in the Bible who were separated from their parents during their childhood and God made them leaders with great purpose for His kingdom work. There was Moses, Joseph, Daniel and Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego (all taken in captivity as children), Esther, Samuel, even David (1Samuel 18 says that the day David killed Goliath, Saul did not permit David to return to his father’s house again).
God had taken all of those children and separated them from their families and prepared them for great leadership. He told me that each house is to have a mural in it depicting one of these characters and that the children will grow up with the understanding that God has personally selected each of them to be separated from their parents for a period of time so they can be used for His kingdom work and leadership and to bring hope to their own people.
God Works in Honduras
I was so excited the next day and went to the church in Georgia to call Honduras to my friend Bety who had been trying to see if the mayor in Yoro could get us some land. She told me that morning that a man near Siguatepeque had already given me land for the children’s home – he gave 12 acres and would continue to give more as the home grew and needed more. It was so amazing that we received land where we had not asked and God gave it to us in the right place – far enough away from the parents so that we could truly change the next generation and where all the fruits and vegetables grew the best, etc. I had made friends in Siguatepeque the first 6 months in the country and God had planned to use all of them in this ministry. Moncho and Bety handle the workers and projects and the accounts, etc. and God had placed them in my life from the very beginning of my time in Honduras.
The next day (the day before I went to Texas to the Missions Conference) I went to a luncheon with several friends. One friend came in and told me that she had a friend who she had mentioned the children’s home to several months before. The friend had been building in Brazil for 10 years and had a missions construction organization. The friend had called my friend the night before and said, “I need to know the name and number of the person who is building the children’s home in Honduras because the Holy Spirit told me that I am to go build it for her.” Her name is Pam and she has now (in just this year — January and June) brought two groups and they have put up the first two homes for us. She plans to return in January to build the third one!
Destiny in the Kingdom
I prayed a lot about the name the home would have — I knew that it had to be what God wanted and it needed to depict the purpose of the home and to bring hope to those parents and children that were a part of the ministry. Destino del Reino is the name that God gave me and it means “destiny in the kingdom”. Each of the leaders that God called to live separately from their parents during childhood were in the kingdoms of their day, either in kings’ palaces or in pharaoh’s courts. God is calling these children to a great destiny of hope in His kingdom work.
God has continued to send all the right people just when we need them and without my looking for anyone. A church in Alabama called and wanted to come and said they were furniture builders and I had not even prayed about that yet. They came in March and built all the beds and window seats and kitchen table and benches, etc.
God provided our first house-hold of things through Tomball Bible Church in Houston — they collected a house full of furniture and food and linens and children’s clothing, etc. and shipped it to us recently.
The home is a faith home. I was receiving regularly support from a church when I moved to Honduras and as another church was considering adding me to their budget, the Holy Spirit told me that I was to take myself off the budget of the first church and to not accept the sponsorship of the new church either. He wanted me to trust Him alone and to not have monthly support promised from any source and not to be on any church’s regular budget.He would provide all we need when we need it. The first month after this, I received a very little amount and I started wondering if I had heard correctly from the Spirit, but He reminded me, “this is all you need this month.” And He was right.
“Reason” would say that if I only got this amount this month, what would happen when I needed a lot of money to feed the children?” But “Faith” says, “this is all you need this month and when you need more, there will be more.” Sure enough, the next month I received about $1,800 and it was just what we needed for starting the slab for the first house, and it was 3 times what I had ever received before even with the church supports. That has been almost 2 years ago and God has provided everything we need and it has never been extra nor early — but just what we need when we need it. He is always on time and perfectly faithful.
Lives for Christ
We have just moved into the first house and will be getting the children in the next month or so. I am amazed at the wisdom of God in all that He has provided for us and His timing has been perfect. As we were waiting for some things to be accomplished, I began talking to my friends at my local church in Siguatepeque about doing some evangelism with the village just above our land and also with the 5 houses that are near Destino del Reino. My Honduran Christian friends had not been on an evangelism team before and so they were excited to help me. We went for one week in the village above Destino del Reino and over 80 adults received Christ and we followed that week up with a VBS for the children and most of them received Christ (maybe another 60) and then we followed up with 3 months of discipleship and had 60 adults attending each Monday.
Most of my neighbors came to Christ too and we have begun Sunday School in the church underneath our first house. We have about 30 in Sunday School and they are continuing to grow in Christ and memorizing many scriptures. The church services with all the families in my area (5 or 6 families) will begin next week. We have decided that this is to be an outreach continually of Destino del Reino and we will begin evangelism in the next village over in about a month and follow up again with a Vacation Bible School and then 3 months of discipleship with the new believers. We want to keep training the Hondurans to reach their own people in this way.
Building Leaders for the Kingdom
God continues to confirm to me the purpose He has for this home and outreach ministries. The area where these children are coming from is very dangerous, pagan and hopeless. God will choose those that He intends to make into His disciples that will carry the gospel back into the darkness of those mountain villages. I believe He will bring others here that will become missionaries in other parts of the world as well. These people are so precious and humble and willing to do whatever and go wherever God leads and will be great leaders for the Kingdom of God.
When we first moved to Destino del Reino in 2003, there was no water or electricity. We lived that way for about a year and a half, hauling water in from town for the bathrooms and buying bottled water for drinking. We used a small gasoline generator for a few hours at night and lived without the benefit of any electrical appliances, etc.
When I was still living in Jocon while the first home was being built in Siguatepeque, God told me that he would provide “abundant water”. I was reading my Bible one morning and in the minor prophets, I read a promise that said “you shall have abundant water.” Not wanting to just claim it was for me, I dismissed the idea that I felt the Spirit telling me that that verse was for Destino. The next morning, I was reading (this time in Psalms) and suddenly read a verse that was almost identical “you shall have abundant water.” This really surprised me but again, I just dismissed it as a coincidence. When I was reading in Jeremiah the third morning and found the same promise, I knew it was God that was directing me to read in those passages and he did want me to claim this for Destino. People for several years had told me there was no water in the area of our new children’s home so this was really a wonderful promise to me that God said there was water in abundance.
We found a company to come and start drilling but they wouldn’t even start the process if we did not have $10,000 on hand. We prayed and a couple promised a matching gift of up to $5,000 for the following few weeks. All the money came in and we began the process of getting a well drilled. The company came from Choleteca, and again advised me that they did not believe there was water in this area. They started drilling and three days later, we still had not struck water. My associate in the ministry at the time came in one morning and said that he had been really worried the night before about the money we might be throwing away if this drilling company was right and there was no water. He read in Exodus 17 that night about the children of Israel in the desert without water and that God provided the water from a rock. He said the part of the passage that gave him the most peace though was the verse that said, “And the people were saying, Is God with us or not?’” He said he felt the Spirit was assuring us that if he was with us, all would be right. They continued to drill throughout that day and in the evening, it was my turn to be worried about the well and I was telling God that I was so ashamed of my lack of faith when he had been so very faithful in every step of the way so far. He spoke to my heart so clearly and said, “Faith is like love, it is not feelings and emotions – it is ACTION.” He said, “If you make every decision in faith, no matter how much you doubt or are afraid, you will still please me.” I thought, “I think I can do that!” The lesson the Holy Spirit taught me that night was so vital to the decision I had to make the next day. In the morning, suddenly someone ran in the house and said “we struck water.” We were all so excited and the drilling team said they were surprised to get water and were starting to take apart their equipment. After a few minutes of excitement, I started asking just how much water they found. They said about six gallons a minute. Not knowing anything about wells and how much is required each day, I questioned further and asked them if it was enough for 6 houses filled with kids, a cafeteria, the church, training centers, etc. which would be here in the future. They said no, but it was enough for the two houses we had now. I was so nervous but remembering my lesson from the night before, I told them to keep on drilling because God told me “abundant” water and this did not appear to be abundant. They tried to tell me that we should stop and not spend any more money on drilling because they were surprised to even find this much water and there was rock below now, etc. I insisted they continue through the rock because of what God had told me the night before.
Two days later, they started hollering and came to find me to say they had amazingly discovered so much water at 580 feet that was more than 50 gallons per minute and it is pure. We asked the owner when he came to collect his money for the drilling, “One more time, tell me, is this abundant water.” He said, “This is MIRACLE water. No one around here has this much water and it will never grow dry because it is so deep.” We are one of the few households in all of this area that can drink our water straight from the faucets. We also are able to share the pure water with all the neighbors around and they now are healthier because of drinking purified water. What an amazing God!!
About a year after we had water, we continued to have problems with our generators breaking down. One of our employees came in one morning and told me that the generator was once again broken and suggested that we pray that God would provide electricity for us at Destino del Reino. My immediate reaction was, “But do you know how much the electric company told me that it would cost to bring electricity to us? $25,000!!” He said that it didn’t matter how much it cost, we could still ask God and see if he would like to give us electricity. I agreed and we prayed. Within the next week, friends from Texas came to see us. Within the first day, our friend, Mike, said, “It is time for electricity here and it doesn’t matter how much it costs.” I just smiled when I heard that because no one had ever mentioned electricity to us before that time. We all met with an engineer here and started talking about what would be involved. They decided it would be cheaper to buy the wire in the US and ship it to Honduras since there were no copper factories here and obviously the prices would be better in the States.
A few weeks later I received an email from Mike in Houston. He had asked a friend of ours at the Houston Power & Light Company (now “Centerpoint Energy”) to check on where they buy wire and how we might get some at a discount, etc. God gave us incredible favor and we still don’t know how all of this developed, but suddenly, the power company decided to give us all of the materials FREE. In their history, they had not given materials to any other ministry or organization and they gave us more than $27,000 worth of materials (wire, transformers, etc.) The icing on the cake was that the labor union decided to send the company’s own linemen to Honduras to put in the electricity for us. We could not believe how God put this in the hearts of these people to help us in such an amazing way. The linemen came from Houston and worked so hard but with such a great enthusiasm. They had to walk over mountains and use oxen and carts to haul the wire, etc. We are so grateful for all their hard work and the company’s willingness to make such a huge difference in our ministry. In December, 2005, the linemen came again and the company again gave another transformer to provide electricity in the new school. I have learned to ask more from God now and often think of the verse that says, “You have not because you ask not.” God is so faithful but he wants us to ask Him and give him an opportunity to prove his amazing power. Praise God for all He has done for us at Destino del Reino.
There have been many more miracles here at Destino: the healing of Ericks’ diabetes, finishing the school in 8 months’ time when it should have taken a year at least; many others healed of illnesses, weekly provision financially for every need without regular promised support, etc. We are amazed continually at the goodness of God and the continuous miracles for the ministry of Destino del Reino.