As I sit here preparing to teach the ladies about True Love from I Corinthians 13 I am reminded of all those we have been called to love with the love of Christ here In Guatemala. God has brought so many into our lives over the past five years. We began this journey thinking we were coming down here to train pastors but God had other plans for our lives as we followed Him one step at a time. It has not been a journey without doubts but as we recently reflected on the past years and where God has us currently we were reminded that God has been with us every step of the way leading and preparing us. Our summer was somewhat of a whirlwind with many changes on the horizon as mentioned in the last newsletter. We had a wonderful and relaxing visit from my parents in July, it meant a lot to us to share our piece of the world with them as well as introduce them to those we have been called to serve. They were loved by all at the shelter and Dad was even able to visit the prison with Jerry. We are so thankful for the time we had with them. We are now in the midst of the adjustment period to our new schedules and responsibilities. It is very hard but very good at the same time.
Jerry is thoroughly enjoying being back in the classroom teaching Bible. He is especially loving working with the Senior Class as they work on their Life Plans and Community Service projects. He is also encouraged as he is able to continue with his Discipleship group in the State Penitentiary. He is very busy but very happy in the ministries God has given him. Please pray for continued health as he keeps up with the demands of his busy schedule. Also that he would find the time and energy to continue with his Master’s Study (he is 2/3 of the way thru).
Madeline and Coleman are struggling as they adjust to a "real" school schedule and some very demanding classes but thankfully both have fit in extremely well with the other students. This was a very big concern of ours due to the many stories we had heard but God has answered all our prayers and they both especially love the social aspect of school. The other teachers have even expressed their surprise at how well they have fit in. Please pray for them academically, that they would be able to rise to these new challenges and that God would give them understanding and stamina.
Sarah continues Bible studies and other ministries at the shelter. She was also asked to fill a need at the school two days a week teaching music and working in the library with elementary students. She is loving working with younger kids and loves the opportunity to share many songs and books about Jesus. This addition is challenging as it makes the weeks very full. Please pray for her to be able to balance being mom, wife, work at the shelter and now at the school also. She is dealing with some physical results of the stress of all the changes and medical issues of the summer. Please pray as she pursues avenues to deal with stress in a healthy way and to also feel some relief from pain due to tension.
Lastly, we would like to share that our monthly support has been abnormally low the past couple months. Please pray with us that God would continue to supply all our needs as well as those of the ministries in which we are involved. Our positions at the school are volunteer. We do receive a small gift for our work but it is not a salary. Currently it offsets our needs at the shelter and prison to purchase Bibles, notebooks, pens and craft supplies as our need for these items has greatly increased due to having double the ladies and kids in the past year as well as a higher turn over rate which means many more Bibles are being given out. These are great problems to have as it means the gospel is going out to many more however it is a challenge financially none the less. We thank you all for your faithfulness in giving and in prayer! We are often humbled by the way it sustains us.
Peace of Christ to each of you,
Jerry, Sarah, Maddy and Coleman
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.