So many times when girls leave the shelter we never hear from them again. The ones we do hear from, and try to help, don’t really want to do the work to help themselves. It is easy to get discouraged. But every once in a while God blesses us with an encouraging phone call. We recently had several girls and families leave the shelter to head back home. This is always a hard time for us as we say goodbye to so many sweet relationships knowing they are walking back into some very hard places. One afternoon last week I got a phone call from D who had recently gone back home to be with her family. She was so excited to tell me about how her mom had changed and become a Christian in her absence. She told me how she was reading her Bible and answering questions her mom had. They even held a service of thanksgiving in her home because of her return. One stipulation to her being allowed to go home was that her mother find a source of income. D remembered the training on sausage making and began to teach her mom how to make longanizas and chorizos. D started making the sausages and her mom goes out and sells them. She enrolled in weekend classes to finish high school and has been asked to teach the children’s Sunday School class at her church down on the coast. There is no curriculum available to her so I asked what she would be teaching. She told me she has her Bible and notebook filled with Bible lessons and she wants to teach the way we taught her at the shelter starting in Genesis. I cannot express how happy I was to hear all of this! This type of ministry can be discouraging at times, and we sometimes wonder if we are even making a difference. We keep at it because we know God is faithful to complete the work. We know if we are faithful to share His word it will not return void.
Also, please be praying for us as our partner in ministry at the shelter is retiring. We will be continuing weekly Bible Studies as well as beginning to add more Life Skills Training classes. We have also had the opportunity to involve some of our Guatemalan friends in different ways. A few weeks ago my hairdresser got some friends together and closed their shops for a Thursday afternoon to head out to the shelter to cut hair, paint nails and even wax eyebrows, for those that were brave enough. It was a huge blessing to work alongside some Guatemalan sisters in Christ. The time also allowed me to spend some time one on one talking and praying with the girls as they waited their turn. This was a huge answer to prayer as one thing that has been hard since our partner has begun taking a step back is me leading the Bible studies alone. So many want that personal prayer time after the lesson and with twenty or so in the class it can get overwhelming.
We just want to thank all of you again for supporting us financially and through prayer. God is working and his Word is going out into all Guatemala! God is even using young ladies returning home to seemingly hopeless situations to share the true hope we have in Him.
Some prayer requests
Gerald and Sarah Lastrapes
Along with their two children are missionaries in Guatemala. They will be sharing stories of discipleship through prison and shelter ministries.