A Castillo Christmas 2015…

 

The internet has been really slow so I haven’t been able to upload a lot of pictures from our family Christmas!

On December 22nd we were SO blessed to have Chrystian & Mamita come to the Mole. This is Jose’s brother & mother. We haven’t seen them since Christmas last year. Too much time has passed. We didn’t realize how much we missed them until we finally got to hug and squeeze them. Family is SO important. I have learned over the past few years how quickly our lives can change – so make sure you reach out to your loved ones as much as you can. You never know when God will call them home. Leave no regrets….make every effort to show your love.

I have shared this post on the Mole Blog about our Staff Christmas Dinner on December 22nd. Be sure to check it out! It was a wonderful event.  http://molehaiti.org/2015/12/23/staff-christmas-party-2015/

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On December 23rd the children got to open the gifts they picked out for each other. Levi was the funniest kid to watch. No matter what he opened – he would scream with glee – SO excited for what he got it. No matter how big or small – his face just lit up!

I can’t say that every child had the same response…. the boys aren’t necessarily in tune with what their sisters might actually like. They’re learning to work on being grateful in all things.  But regardless – there was certainly a lot of joy expressed that night! Levi sets the example of how all of us should be when we are given a gift!

Although Nana wasn’t here to bake cookies with the kids – Jose led the way! They loved making cookies and spent 30 minutes trying to decide which cookies would be for Santa.

On December 24th we were really busy. We passed out food to the granmoun who came at lunchtime to eat. Right after that we brought Christmas gifts, crafts, and cupcakes to the orphans! Shortly after that it was time to get dressed for our Christmas Eve Service. We had an amazing turnout out – the cafeteria was completely crowded.

Here’s a link to the Granmoun Feeding…  http://molehaiti.org/2015/12/24/christmas-eve-granmoun-feeding/

 

Christmas Eve Night…

Around 8pm the kids were taking their showers and putting on their Christmas pajamas. We had the reindeer food ready to go. The kids meticulously scattered the reindeer food all over the yard and then went to our back bedroom to wait for Santa.

Santa was running a little late this year. He normally hits our house around midnight but he must have had weather delays. He didn’t arrive until 3am! So we ran to the back to tell the kids that he was here. The girls immediately jumped up and ran to the front. We had to SHAKE all the boys to wake them up. Asher & Isebelle were still sound asleep.

So the first set of kids ran to the front room and started opening up their gifts. About 45 minutes later we shook Asher & Isebelle again and they finally made their way into the living room! It actually worked out nice because instead of 8 kids unwrapping gifts all at one time – we actually got to enjoy watching just a few of them at a time …..which allowed us to truly focus on each of their smiles & excitement as they opened. Rosie likes to take her time. She said she wants Christmas to last as long as it can. So even Christmas Day she still had a small stack of gifts to open.  She’s a lot of fun to watch because she gets excited over the simplest things. There’s a beautiful child-innocence about her that I hope she never loses.

They all said it was their best Christmas…..which always brings great joy & peace to Jose & I.

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After all the boat drama and the repacking and re-buying and totally stressing out – – –  we had no clue how this year would go. After dropping off our christmas crates in Miami – we were told that boat dock we left the crates at would not make it in time for Christmas.

We were so “done” and felt so “spent” trying to make this holiday be what we wanted it to be. I can’t even tell you the tears cried as we felt so defeated. We thought we would have to fly to Miami and repack those gifts into luggage to bring in on planes.

But Jacques found a friend who had a boat leaving the first week of December. All we had to do was move our crates from one dock to another. We found a company willing to do it and 10 days before Christmas – our supplies arrived in the Mole!! PHEW!! PRAISE THE LORD!

We doubted, cried, freaked out, and stressed out.  But as always – it all came together just like it was meant to be!

We just want to thank you all again – for those of you who personally purchased gifts for our children – for those of you who gave us extra funds to replace items lost. What could have been a devastating Christmas for our family- turned out just like God planned! We should never doubt His goodness & the way He provides.

Hope you guys had a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

Tomorrow we’ll post pictures of our New Years Eve Activities! We are planning on doing a bonfire on the beach & celebrating our first official service in our brand new church!

Here’s a few picks from our Family Christmas! I wish I could load up more – but the internet is not my friend today! Also below the pictures are some posts on Facebook from our last few days! Jose dressed up like an Elf while we showed the movie Elf on December 23rd! You know anything to add smiles to faces! Smiling’s our favorite!

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FACEBOOK POSTS:

Love it when the mailman comes 🙂 kids are excited about how they will spend their Dollar Club funds for the orphans in 2016! Can’t wait to show them!

***The kids want to do some renovations to the orphanage dorms. Through your $1.00 Club donations – they will have a way to do their ministry to help the least of these. You can send a card to the following address (add the child’s name to it). Then we hang up the cards in the orphanage as they love the bright colors. The funds are then used to do ministry for them.

Jose Castillo/Kid’s name
3170 Airmans Drive 2189
NWHCM
Fort Pierce, FL 34946

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It’s really hard to get a picture that shows just how beautiful my little Gigi girl is! She loves to stare at her hand which often blocks her face. But not tonight! I think it might be the boa! She’s really loving it!

Gigi came into our lives when she was 2 years old and 7 pounds. We were told she’d never live to see 5. She turned 15 on December 18th. Praising God for giving me such a beautiful family and for giving me the chance to love this girl like my own.

Merry Christmas from Gigi!

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Jody Owen Castillo added 10 new photos.

December 24 at 4:11pm ·

Christmas Eve Lunch for the Granmoun – Check

Christmas Craft Snowflake – Check

Orphan Christmas/Cupcakes Delivered – Check

Peanutbutter/Bread & Hot Chocolate Ready for tonight – Check

Reindeer Food Ready to be scattered at bedtime – Check

It’s been a busy day – but one full of great joy! It will probably take all day to upload the pictures to the blog but I’ll post once it does! 🙂

Pierre shared during lunch about the birth of Christ and I shared about the expectation of Heaven. I LOVE talking to the granmoun (elderly). They were dancing and yelling amen! They’re so much fun! After we fed them, we passed out gifts. Again – everyone so appreciative.

In other news – we are a little concerned that we will not have enough room for everyone in the cafeteria tonight. We can fit 300 comfortably but the staff think it could be as many as 500! So we’re ordering more bread & making more hot chocolate -also trying to find more benches & chairs! It’s a great problem to have!

Tonight Pierre & I will share again at the start of our Christmas Eve Service. Our ladies choir will sing some songs and then we’ll pass out the food and start the movie.

For some this could be their FIRST chance to hear the Good News about the birth of Christ. We take for granted that everyone just “knows” the story. Last year we found out that many knew it was Jesus’ Birthday but didn’t actually know the Nativity Story at all. There’s something so incredibly wonderful about sharing Jesus with people who really only know of His name and not of His heart.

#‎christmasinhaiti #‎joytotheworldthelordhascome

 

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Jody Owen Castillo added 5 new photos — with Jose Alexander Castillo.

December 24 at 11:12am ·

Last Night we showed the movie Elf. Buddy also visited our campus!

What can we say? We love to create extra smiles…. Smiling’s my favorite! 🙂

And yes….that is fleece pajamas in Haiti! #‎humanraisedbyeleves #‎sweatingforthechildren

#‎betterthanelfontheshelf #‎10nightsofchristmasmovies

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Jody Owen Castillo added 3 new photos.

December 23 at 4:35pm ·

Malaya and Susan have been leading our Christmas Crafts every day with 50 children! They made Jingle Bell necklaces today.

Tonight we’re showing the movie Elf. Jose may or may not have an Elf outfit to wear when we show it! 🙂

It’s going to be a busy Christmas Eve! We will deliver the orphan Christmas gifts & cupcakes tomorrow, we’re feeding 200 granmoun/elderly at noon, we’ve got Christmas Crafts at 2pm, AND we’re expecting over 300 people at our Christmas Eve Service at 6pm….we’ll serve hot chocolate and peanut butter sandwiches followed by the Nativity Story.

I LOVE Christmas in Haiti!! Please pray for us tomorrow – that through these ministries we will be able to bring smiles, plant/water seeds, and bring people into a deeper relationship with the King of Kings! #‎haiti #‎christmasinhaiti #‎itsthemostwonderfultimeoftheyear

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Jody Owen Castillo

December 22 at 9:10pm ·

Mamita & Chrystian are in the Mole! We are so excited to have them over Christmas again this year!

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Jose Alexander Castillo with Jody Owen Castillo.

December 22 at 8:41pm ·

The men of the house.

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