Does anyone really like change? I know I don't…which is probably why I enjoy teaching so much. Scheduled classes, scheduled breaks in the day, scheduled holidays, etc but change is inevitable and how we deal with that change determines how we respond to the following change. For 9.5 years we have lived in Guatemala ministering in a number of different areas ranging from pastors to abused women and children, teaching…and many in between. We have ministered to some of the most affluent in our city to those who only had the clothes on their backs. We cannot thank God enough for allowing us to invest in the lives of the countless people He has brought to us. And yet, God has more for us to do, still with Latins, still in Spanish but in a much more familiar setting.
This past summer, it was made known to us through many different people in many different ways; that God is calling us to transition into a new season. The need for Spanish speakers to minister in the states was made very clear to us. God has provided us with opportunities to use our Spanish learning experience to serve English Language Learners and their families in the public school system. While Sarah spent some time substitute teaching and summer school teaching in the ESL department she saw firsthand the need and opportunities not only to serve students but also their parents. This opportunity has also presented a very beneficial opportunity for Coleman to graduate from a Louisiana high school allowing him access to the Louisiana TOPS program for college. Plan A is for us to move back to Louisiana in late December before the Second Semester of this school year begins so that we can register Coleman for the second half of his Junior year. We do have a Plan B and even Plan C so please pray for us as we walk these steps over the next few months.
These decisions do not come lightly or easily; we love our life here in Xela and the work God has brought to us over the years but we are also seeing God opening doors for us back home in Louisiana. Sadly, COVID has affected many different parts of our lives (we are still under mask mandates indoors) but one of the biggest hits was to our shelter and prison ministries. Gerald is still collecting and delivering bread to the shelter every Sunday and has recently gained help from his Community Service students who meet him and help him load up and deliver the bread to the shelter. Please pray that someone in the school will take on this role when we leave Guatemala. Life and ministry here has changed and we have prayed and tried to adapt but it is evident that our time here is passing. God has truly etched Spanish speakers into our hearts during these past 9.5 years and we are excited and nervous as we follow Him into this next season of ministering to them in a different format.
One of our many prayers is that you will continue your support to us through your financial giving as we transition from Guatemala to Louisiana. We have many expenses in the near future such as
We hope that you will continue to support us through this season of change and that you may give more than you normally would to help us cover these costs. While we do have jobs within the Calcasieu Parish School System waiting for us in Louisiana many of our costs will be well before we arrive in Louisiana. Our mission organization has suggested we continue to receive financial support via World Outreach Ministries through the month of March 2023 to aid in this transition.
We are incredibly grateful for your many years of supporting the ministry here in Guatemala and ask that you pray for the following 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.