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.
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.
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!
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