A Mind to Work

Amalia 6 Month Update!

These past two months in California have been an absolute blessing. Some of our biggest prayer requests from our previous newsletter were: that we’d be focused, that we’d cultivate new and old meaningful partnerships and friendships, and that we’d be bold in sharing the gospel. I can confidently say that by the grace of God, He’s been granting these prayers.

Since moving, we’ve had the opportunity to meet with our friends at Saving Grace World Missions, the organization who is helping send us out to the mission field. At SGWM’s Preaching and Teaching classes, Racquell and I share 15 minute messages that we’ve prepared beforehand (once from Philippians and twice now from the Book of Jonah). The critiques and feedback we’ve gotten from pastors there will only continue to help us sharpen the gifting of teaching we see God has charged both Racquell and I with. We’ve also gotten to sit in on other Bible & Apologetics classes and times of missionary testimonies. All these things have helped us maintain that focus that we’ve been praying for!

Sharing testimonies at SGWM

For the most part, our schedule has been full of meeting with friends and family, as well as pastors and church boards who want to know more about the ministry and support us. As I’m writing this, Amalia is playing in her own play chair, smiling and laughing like a big girl. She’s six months old now with two teeth to show for it. For these things, we praise Jesus.

Being so connected with family here has also been great. As an aside — Family, you know who you are. THANK YOU for helping Racquell and I with places to stay, cars to drive, and many meals to eat while we are raising support and continuing to prepare for our big move. Thank you for your surrender to God and sacrifice in this way too. We know that the idea of us moving (and taking Amalia with us) isn’t the easiest cross to carry. May it be a joy and noble duty for you, as it is for us. Surrendering to God and obeying His will.

Happy Resurrection Sunday from the Strattons!

We want to share a verse of Scripture with you from the Book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah lived in exile with the Jews in the Assyrian Empire, until God called them out of there to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. After moving to Jerusalem, he was very passionate about the work of protecting the city from its enemies by rebuilding the wall around it. Nehemiah knew this was a task too great for one man.

As I’ve been reading through Nehemiah, I’ve loved seeing his heart to rally the troops around the goal and accomplish it by the grace of God. He said of the work, “So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work” (Nehemiah 4:6). They had only been working on the wall a short time, and had already built up the wall to half its height, because they worked together.

Friends and family, you have had a mind to work! Racquell and I are excited to share that we are currently at 54% of our needs met on a monthly basis for our budget while living in Perú, and 100% met in regards to one time MOVING costs! Thank you for those who have given!

If you catch what we’re saying, there is a great work ahead of us in South America, where we’ll help with Calvary Trujillo and Calvary Bible Institute. Many lives have been changed, people have placed their faith in Jesus, been baptized, and are now being taught and making other disciples. The church body is growing and reaching the local community. The Bible Institute is growing with many students applying and desiring to be trained up, to change the world with the love of Christ. And we need your help to get there! We’re over halfway!

Racquell sharing her testimony at a church
Amalia with her little aunties (or tias)

Prayer Requests for our family:

  • We’re a little sick right now.
  • We’ve noticed our attitudes have been off these past few days. Discontentment and impatience are hitting us.
  • We need to press on and continue with by the Holy Spirit.

Praise Reports:

  • We’ve been FOCUSED.
  • God is giving us great friendships and partnerships.
  • We’ve been BOLD in sharing the gospel.
  • It’s May and we’re at 54% of our monthly Peru living expenses.

Ways to get involved:

  • Pray for us. We will need ongoing prayerful support as we prepare to move and settle into our new home country in June.
  • Join our care team. Our care team is a group of people that meets once a month in Kauai to pray for us specifically.
  • Tell a friend or family member. Help share the vision that the Lord has given us with trusted people or churches you know. It takes an army of people to send a missionary out! If you know anyone who is interested in partnering with missionaries who are church planting, please connect us with them!
  • Become a financial partner. God has been providing immensely for us to take this big step of faith, however, we are still in need of more monthly supporters as we need 80% ongoing monthly support before we can move.

To check out the ministry we are preparing to serve with, please click the link:


By the grace of Jesus and for His glory,

The Stratton Family

Full Send

See you later, Kauai!

The month of February was a busy and exciting month for us! We established a Care Team, had a moving sale, taught at CBI Kauai for their Missions class, MOVED from Kauai to California for a time of transition, AND Amalia turned 4 months old! 

We experienced many “lasts” or “not for a whiles.” One of those “lasts” was actually a first and last time meeting with our Care Team in our home base of Kauai. We ate dinner, prayed, and worshipped with them. We also got to share more specifics about the ministry with Calvary Trujillo, CBI Peru, and general things about the country of Peru. It was very encouraging to meet with our team before leaving, knowing that they will be praying for us every step of the way, and meeting with us once a month over Zoom to pray with us. If YOU are on Kauai and are interested in joining us once a month, contact Trevor or Carissa Tadiarca for more details! We are so blessed already by our friends who are partnering with us in this way.

Care Team selfie

Saying a hui hou (see you later) to our home church, CC Lihue, and all of our Kauai family was extremely bitter sweet. Pastor Bruce Baumgartner shared, “While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set Barnabas and Saul apart for Me for the work to which I have called them.” Then, when they had fasted, prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away…” (Acts 13:2-3). There were many tears, laughs, and hugs shared but we are comforted in the will of the Lord.

Sending Sunday

Moving means downsizing. You’re probably familiar with that. Racquell and I were blessed to live with family, the Ochoas (Racquell’s brother, our sister-in-law, and their baby boy) for the majority of our time on Kauai. They and some other friends helped us think through what to sell/donate, and put on a garage sale. Despite the pouring rain, the Lord blessed us with a lot of visitors and buyers, and we were able to sell or donate most of our belongings we no longer need. Praise God! Thank you, Kauai family, for helping us MOVE!

Andrea (sister and law) and our León (nephew) helping us set up and sell things at our moving sale.

We’re also excited to share that we are currently receiving 31% of our monthly budget! Saving Grace World Missions require that we be 80% funded on a monthly basis prior to departing. We’re nearly halfway there. 

Thank you for those of you who have graciously given one time gifts to contribute to our part in this great task of making disciples of all nations. Thank you also to those of you who are signed up to give on a monthly basis. Our family is preparing to move to South America and be involved in foreign missions for the long haul. We’re excited and grateful for you to be along for the ride with us! We are partners in this work together, with Jesus as our Master, Commander, Shepherd, and God. 

With that in mind, Racquell and I love hearing from our friends (who doesn’t?). If you’ve got a praise report, prayer request, nugget of wisdom or encouragement, some advice, questions, or want to tell a story, please reach out to us. You can message us on WhatsApp or Messenger, text us, or respond to THIS email. It will come straight to our inbox. 

Since flying back to the mainland, we’ve had lots of opportunities to share the gospel with folks and also share about the work we’re preparing to be a part of in Peru. We’ll share more about that next time! Here’s an Amalia update pic and a few final thoughts for you in the meantime:

Prayer Requests for our family:

  • Focus in this short transition time here in California, waiting for our time to go (hopefully the beginning of THIS June)
  • Meaningful partnerships and friendships to be forged, and for old ones to flourish and rekindle
  • BOLDNESS as we share Jesus with people in San Diego
  • 80% funding by June

Praise Reports:

  • We are all three in good health and are encouraged by God to press on.
  • We’ve got plenty of family and friends who are housing us, welcoming us and reminding us of the aloha we had back on Kauai.
  • God is blessing the ministries in Peru, to say the least. 
  • God is still faithful and unchanging (Psalms 36:5; Hebrews 13:8)

To check out the ministry we are preparing to serve with, please click the link: Calvaryperu.com

By the grace of Jesus and for His glory,

The Stratton Family

Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice…”

January has been a fun month for the Stratton family! We have been blessed with so much love, support and aloha from our home church, Calvary Chapel Lihue. They have really come around us as a family in an incredible way. Recently God has been blessing us with many divine appointments and times to share the gospel with new friends and also to share about the Great Commission and reaching the lost for the sake of Christ. 

We’ve gotten a few opportunities to share briefly at CC Lihue and other fellowships, and announce our dessert gatherings (where we share more information and pray for Peru). We’ve scheduled them around the island of Kauai to share what the Lord has been doing in our hearts, as well as what He has been doing in Perú through Calvary Trujillo and the Calvary Bible Institute. If you’re on Kauai, come eat dessert and pray with us!

We’ve also continued serving with the Young Adults ministry at our church as we have started the New Year! It has been a blessing to be a part of that ministry and serve alongside of friends to minister the young adults of Kauai. It’s sweet to come back together after the holidays as many friends left island for to visit family and are now back. We’re starting a new study in 1 Peter currently.

Last weekend, I (Shilo) got to cruise up to Koke’e State Park to attend a men’s retreat with our church, where the drive was foggy and rainy, and we slept in cabins in the mountains. We didn’t have water or electricity for most of the weekend, but where we lacked in amenities, the Lord blessed us all the more in good food, fellowship, and powerful times of worship and Bible study. The theme of the weekend was DISCIPLESHIP, and one thing that the Lord showed me was that before I am a disciple of anyone else, or a member of any church or group, an employee at such and such company, or have any other man-given title, or anything… I am a disciple of the Lord, Jesus the Messiah. He is my Rabbi (Teacher), my Master, and I simply ought to follow Him.

Waimea Canyon where the guys were surrounded by creation.

We as disciples of Jesus often refer to ourselves as “the Church,” or “believers,” or “Christians.” Those are great, and true, but the reality is that those terms are used only a handful of times in the New Testament, while the term “disciple” or “disciples” is used over two hundred times. So I ask you, are you a disciple of Jesus? Is He your Lord? Follow Him.

Our friend Reggie sharing at the Men’s Retreat.

I do also want to share this Scripture with you, it’s been special to our hearts for a while and especially as of late. The context is of course Jesus discussing His own ministry and Self and purpose with the religious leaders of His day. Many of whom didn’t understand or want to understand what it meant to “follow Him.” The dialogue in this whole chapter is great, we encourage you to read it. But the verse we want to share is:

John 10:27, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me…” 

If you hear Jesus’ voice, you are His sheep! He knows you, and you follow Him! What awesome truths. If you feel you’re not hearing His voice, then listen by reading His word, the Bible. God speaks clearly through His word. Follow Him. You won’t regret it.

We are continuing to prepare for our very near departure from Hawaii back to the mainland for a short time by selling our things and doing a lot of downsizing. We are excited to spend a few months in California before launching to Peru full time in the early summer!

Happy Amalia!

Please pray for the logistics of our move, including selling/donating and packing our things, purchasing flights, being sent out from our church, etc. 

Pray for our friends and families, as these big steps are difficult in some ways and our emotions are many. 

Please continue to pray for the health and safety of baby Amalia (she had her first cold this month). 

Pray also for the ministries of Calvary Trujillo and Calvary Bible Institute Peru. God is doing amazing things, many disciples are being made and growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. God is raising up leaders to continue to impact South America and beyond, but not without difficulties and opposition. 

If you would like to pray for some people who are currently in Trujillo, doing the work of the ministry now, by name: for Cory and Danielle K, Andrew, Santiago, Joaquin and Ruth, and many more. That list will likely grow…we’re not in Peru yet. 

Lastly, please pray for Peru as a nation. There is some social and governmental unrest, pray that it would be resolved quickly and well. 

If you have prayer requests, any questions or comments, please feel free to respond to this email. We love hearing from those who read our newsletters. Send us a message! Thank you for taking time with us as we share about preparing for Peru!

Thank you for your prayers and support. If you would like to partner with our family in furtherance of the gospel please consider donating through this link. We do have one time costs we’re expecting here soon, and could use monthly partners especially.

By the grace of Jesus and for His glory,

The Stratton Family