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!
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.
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!
Prayer Requests for our family:
- For our BODIES, MINDS, AND SPIRITS:
- 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.
- 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