Happy +6 months! – Stratton Update February 2024

Down the street from our new apartment!


We pray this newsletter finds you well! We’ve got updates, pictures of some highlights and daily life here in Trujillo, and some prayer requests and praise reports to share with you.

We are only a few days away from our next semester here at Calvary Bible Institute Peru! We’ve got a batch of returning and brand new students from Peru, Venezuela, Honduras, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Bolivia, Mexico, the US, and Italy. There’s a great lineup of teachers who will come teach 1-2 week block classes through different topics and books of the Bible, and a missions week planned in April. There’ll be three teams of staff and students headed to different parts of Peru to share the love of Jesus and help other Calvary Chapels, and we get to lead one of the teams!

We’re super excited for what God has in store this next semester for the students, interns, staff, visiting pastors, and especially those we get to minister to. The semester’s theme is “Heme Aquí,” or “Here am I,” as taken from Isaiah 6:8. It’s also a phrase and theme that runs through other parts of Scripture, when God calls His servants, and they in response say, “Here am I.” May we have the same response, and be ready to obey what God commissions us to do!

Semester orientation

Big update: we moved into our own apartment! We were blessed to crash land at our pastor’s family’s home for our first 6 weeks here, and then to share a home with other families afterward until around Christmas time. Now we’re a 10 minute taxi ride to the church and school. More than half of our marriage, we’ve shared spaces with family and other roommates. We’re really thankful to have a place of our own, and to grow in hospitality.

This year we spent our first Christmas in Peru and were surrounded by great friends. We got some neat opportunities to serve during Christmas time, too. As a whole, our church collected and gave presents to all the kids of our church and the church plants (Buenos Aires, and Moyobamba). We also wrapped a bunch of other gifts that we passed out throughout Trujillo to families whose kids might have otherwise not gotten any.

Racquell and I also got to lead something we in Peru call a “chocolatada.” It’s a pop-up event, mostly for kids, where you give hot chocolate and fruitcake (Panetón) out for free to the neighborhood. At our chocolatada, they got that and more as we did some ice breakers, games, and shared a Christmas message from the Bible with over 80 kids and their families, and we ended the time with face-painting and more games.

Racquell also helped plan for our church’s Women’s Christmas Tea, where we had about 60 women come for a gift exchange and sweet time of fellowship, laughter and fun. She and I both have gotten to be involved in other ministries in the church lately, like ushering, audio/visual ministry, serving in the coffee shop, and leading Sunday School.

Christmas in Peru was tough as well, in the way of missing family, friends, and familiarities in San Diego and Kauai. It was really a time of testing and patience for us. Serving as missionaries in South America means that most of the time, we’ll miss birthdays and holidays that we used to spend with family and friends in the States. Living that for the first time this year has been something God is using to refine us and test our obedience.

Bringing in the new year, our church had a week of praying and fasting. As a family we saw the Lord work and answer prayers in a way that completely surprised us. Fasting really showed us our weaknesses and our need for true reliance on Jesus, not food, to satisfy and fill us up.

Pretty much since we moved almost seven months ago, I’ve gotten the opportunity to disciple one of our new friends, Diego. He and his wife moved from Cajamarca, a mountain city, to Trujillo almost two years ago, and they are becoming some good friends of ours. They’ve had some hardship on multiple fronts since moving to this big city. But Diego is such a hard worker, and he and his wife both just want to please God in their lives and marriage. One thing Diego has been struggling with for a while is direction. Well, just a few days ago, God presented an opportunity to them, and Diego and his wife took a step of faith to start at CBI with us, as full time students! It was a quick change, and a lot of things had to move for them to be with us before the semester starts. I’m blessed because obviously this means I’ll get to see my friend a lot! But we are praying that their time at CBI Perú be something that God uses to transform their minds (Romans 12:2), and root them and ground them in the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:17).

Studying Nehemiah with Diego

Last update — AMALIA IS WALKING! She didn’t walk by her first birthday, or her second Christmas…but a couple weeks ago she got the balance down, and now that motor won’t stop. Thank you for praying for her. Amalia has been doing great health wise, and she brings so much joy to us and our friends here with her big smiles and laughs.

Amalia strutting her stuff

Please pray:

  • For our new semester serving with CBI Peru, and the students we’ll be discipling
  • For love, humility, and discernment as we serve in our various areas
  • For our health — that we would remain healthy so that we can be more effective

Praise Reports

  • Amalia has learned to walk and is growing every day
  • Racquell and I have both been learning and growing in our Spanish every day, and I’m hoping to start a class for advanced Spanish soon
  • We have a new apartment that is 10 minutes to the church

We love you all so much and thank you for partnering with us. Through your prayers and generous financial support, you have made this ministry possible for us, and we want to let you know that this is the fruit of your labor as well. If the Lord leads you to partner with us financially, or increase your already generous support, you can do so by clicking on the financial button below or mailing your support check to:

Saving Grace World Missions

17451 Bastanchury Rd., Ste.203 

Yorba Linda, CA 62886

*Note “Stratton” in memo*

To check out the ministry we are serving with, please click the link below or find us on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube:


By the grace of Jesus and for His glory,

The Stratton Family