It’s hard to believe that this month has come and gone.
We began the month in the states repacking crates & barrels. We ended it with our Annual Women’s Conference in Haiti!
Reliving, replaying, & elaborating on each of the things I’m thankful for has been SO good for me. I think it’s really important for all of us to count our blessings – not just this month – but EVERY single day!
They said satan sank our boat but God was faithful. We needed a miracle to replace everything we lost on the boat……and we got it! I doubted and God was faithful. I got frustrated and God was faithful. I lost sleep and God was faithful! I was afraid and God was faithful. I had panic attacks BUT God was still faithful!
We wanted to make His presence known in this village through this tragedy – but honestly – I think one of the biggest things He did was make His presence known to my family.
The way that everyone reached out to us – people we’ve never met – people we’ve known our whole lives. God used you in such an incredible way to show us His never-ending love, compassion, mercy, grace, & faithfulness.
Throughout the entire year – we’ve been wonderfully blessed by the love & encouragement of our faithful supporters. I don’t know where we would be without you all.
Jose & I have been married for almost 15 years. We held our wedding in Haiti because we wanted to share this day with the people we would spend the rest of our lives serving. In lieu of wedding gifts we asked for support to build our home in St. Louis du Nord. AND we’ve been SO blessed by those of you who’ve walked hand & hand with us ever since. You believed in us before our family even started. Through good times & bad – over all of these years – you have offered your prayers, support, encouragement, time, & love! This is something we have treasured so much.
Since moving to the Mole we’ve also been blessed by the new friends God has brought into our lives. During a time when ministry was so lonely & so difficult – seemingly out of nowhere – we were embraced & loved in a way we had never experienced before. God has used you to fill in the gaps – in each & every way – and remind us that our ministry is worthy of the calling.
So today I am SO thankful for the supportive people God has surrounded us with. People who’ve made & continue to make – so many sacrifices just so our family can serve here.
Thank you for loving us – listening to us – embracing us – praying for us – encouraging us – and giving towards our financial needs!
SO Thankful…Day 30
It’s the last day of the month! November has flown by! We had an incredible time in Haiti with the Maple Ave Team at the beginning of the month and Jose’s family here at the end! We’ve got so much planned through the month of December – it’s crazy!! God is SO good!
People often ask me how can they help us? I know many don’t have the funds to support us financially and so they feel like there’s nothing they can do! What they don’t realize for most missionaries serving all over the world – the biggest support we need is prayer! We face many battles every single day! Battles that can’t be seen. Battles that we don’t blog about. Battles that we’re still trying to make sense of.
There is something so special when I get a note from someone praying for us! One of the best things you can do for a missionary is pray for them. I’m not talking about simply running down a list of names and asking God to bless them. I’m talking about being very specific with your prayers. Missionaries need wisdom on who to help and how to help them. We need wisdom to know which decisions we need to make and which ones He needs to make. We need wisdom in knowing how to help those we’re serving without hurting them in the process.
I had made the decision early on that we wouldn’t be giving anything away on the street. This has been a beautiful thing. We don’t have the begging like other places in Haiti. Since we don’t give anything away – the kids normally won’t even ask. You see if they ask you for your watch and you give it – you’ve taught them how to beg. By not passing things out on the street we’ve allowed the kids to just be kids. They’re not worried about which American looks like they might break the rules and give something. They’re not sizing each one of us up. They’re playing with us! They’re allowing us to love on them without placing a value on materials.
So I was pretty proud of myself for really being strict about that rule. We see it’s fruits every day. But what I didn’t think about was when we visited the fishing villages and passed out things during VBS. Karenage was used to teams visiting and passing something out. So what happened when we went there just to play with the kids? They were upset! They wanted us to give them something. Before we passed things out – we could visit them without them asking for anything. But afterwards we realized we taught them that we’re only there to pass out trinkets and it actually hurt our cause.
It was something I didn’t see coming and I wished I had the wisdom and foresight to see it. Now we’ve changed the way we visit villages and handle organized activities. We’ve talked to all of the villages in detail about why we’re here.
I’ve been in Haiti all my life and yet there is just SO MUCH to learn! I need prayer warriors that are on their knees on behalf of the Mole Ministry and Castillo Family who are praying for our health, for wisdom, for peace that passes all understanding, for strength to go to battle every single day, for endurance, for patience, for tolerance, & that we might sense His presence in all we do!
It means so much to know that there are people out there praying on our behalf! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received an email or a note of encouragement RIGHT when I needed it! There are times I don’t have nickel in my pocket and we’ll receive an unexpected donation. No doubt God uses His people to reach out to me and remind me that He’s got me!
So today I’m thankful for all my supporters – personally, emotionally, and financially.
For their prayers, notes of encouragement, generous donations, and sacrifices so that our family may serve in Haiti!