Posted in Mission Stories

Celebrate Malaya With Us on May 26th!

This past year has gone by quickly… and yet in so many ways –  each day has felt like FOREVER!

It’s still taking me a lot of time to “be okay” with having a child living in a different country. Yet I know this is just the beginning of many, long, hard good-byes… as each of my kids keep growing like weeds! I wish there was a way to slow that down!!

It’s hard to believe that our little girl is old enough to graduate from High School. It’s even harder for my mind to grasp that I will soon have a girl in college! I feel so old! LOL!

She’s been accepted into several top-tier Criminal Justice programs all over the states. After much prayer and consideration – she will be starting the University of Cincinnati this fall.


Before Malaya headed to Haiti this past March, Marla wrote a beautiful tribute to our little girl,  I am posting it below.


On mission

Lots of friends & students are on mission this week. Some for the first time & some obediently going again

I couldn’t let this day slip away without sharing how one of those students is on my heart in a unique way & how I have incredible gratitude, respect & love for her

These are her bags. Packed in my car, again. We did this at Christmas, also! (Some of you heard about the Christmas ham crisis from that trip).

Anyway, this girl isn’t a fan of taking photos or drawing attention to herself. Thus, the photo of her suitcases instead of her beautiful face. She’s been on mission since the day she was born. Her parents & grandparents are missionaries in Haiti. So, she was born into this call on their lives.

Haiti has been her home until this school year when she came to stay with us & attend senior year in Kansas City. When I first met her, she was about five years old living in extreme NW Haiti serving the people there alongside her parents. Of the numerous trips I made with student groups to her parents’ mission, I always found her serving, leading & caring for our team as well as mission staff & kids.

Am I surprised at her GPA? Her work ethic? How she has excelled the first year she set foot in an American public school? That she’s been accepted to her university of choice? No. None of it surprises me

What inspires me, though, is how she spends many hours in the days/weeks leading up to a trip home to Haiti preparing/packing/re-packing all the things that will bring joy & comfort to her family & their staff & the children who live on their campus

She could’ve spent spring break here. She could’ve spent spring break resting (she needs some rest!) or going somewhere to indulge herself

But, she’s on mission. On mission with her life & her whole heart & I’m so thankful to call her my friend

Love you, Malaya!



I was waiting a bit before I posted an update about our scheduled celebration this May. Now that MAF no longer flies in Haiti, we are doing our best to find alternate transportation to PAP. 

We are scheduled to fly out earlier in May, as Malaya’s graduation is on Mother’s Day. We have a few “soft” reservations with smaller companies who “think” they’ll be able to accommodate us. So please pray that we will be successful in our efforts to be there for her ceremony as well as this fun celebration. 

We plan to have the gathering at Journey Church which is in Versailles, KY. The reception will be simple with cake and punch. We encourage anyone who comes to bring along their favorite desserts to share as well!

We have reserved a space from 4pm-6pm. Both my parents and I will do a 25-minute mission update starting around 5:15pm. It’s very difficult to give personal updates on public platforms, so this will be a more intimate look at the ministries we are leading on both of our campuses.

We would like to get an estimate on how many people may be available to attend. This will be a very laidback time together, but if you are planning to come – please send a quick email to   (If your plans change, it’s not a big deal. We just want an idea on how much cake we need!)


If you would like to send Malaya a congratulations card, please feel free to do that! When all of the kids at her school started mailing out invitations, she felt awkward as she doesn’t know anyone to even send them too. I explained that her community may not look the same as everyone else in her school – but they care just as deeply for her.

Cards can be sent to:
Malaya Castillo
PO BOX 516
Versailles, KY 40383

Posted in Mission Stories

Short Spring Break Update…


Malaya spent her spring break here this past March. Due to increased security concerns & recent threats from the “voodoo” community, we didn’t publicize her trip here at the time.  As we continue to tackle very difficult & serious issues within our community, we have experienced countless curses buried all around our property. We have had to increase our nighttime security presence as well.

I do want to share one piece of INCREDIBLE NEWS – which is the fact that the crates FINALLY arrived safely! It was perfect timing, as Malaya tirelessly worked to help us sort, organize, and give away these much needed supplies. We will not be posting pictures of the supplies on any public platform. However, if you have donated and would like to update your group/church, please reach out and I can email them to you.


Many have asked whether we were able to secure a generator yet. We now have the funding to purchase it from PAP! PRAISE THE LORD!!

However, traveling by road is not safe. We planned to have the generator sent from PAP to Cap Haitian by boat, and then travel by land from there. Thankfully, we did a trial run – testing this method. We shipped 2 large back-up battery systems... before sending such a large and expensive piece of equipment. 

That truck and  the supplies were kidnapped. We lost $3500.00 in batteries. There are Haitians who had supplies on that truck who lost EVERYTHING. There were also other missions who lost their supplies too. Our family was just a small part of a much bigger group of people who were effected by this tragedy.

Though that was a tough loss, we thank God for His discerning spirit –  which kept us from sending the generator even though we REALLY wanted to. We still only have power a few hours a day.

We know that in the big scheme of things – not having power is not the worst/biggest issue we are facing right now. But man is it annoying!  It seems selfish to complain how miserable we are when so many others suffer far beyond our understanding. But the reality is – we need this generator to safely make its way here for our campus. Please pray for God to reveal a way!


Posted in Mission Stories

No Balloons, No Streamers – No Problem!

Some folks have emergency medical kits – emergency car kits – emergency weather kits….

However FOR ME – my MOST needed kit seems to be my “emergency party one.


That’s right – if you have a party emergency… all I need to know is the theme, color, or occasion! NO balloons, NO streamers?!?! – – NO PROBLEM!! I can take care of ALL of those party necessitates – – STAT!!


My God-daughter, Kandiance, turned 5 years-old on Sunday, April 2nd! Her mother is our campus nurse and has been a VERY dear friend of ours for over a decade now.

The family had planned their own little celebration. Sadly, there was a death in the family and the adults needed to leave town. I told them they could leave Kandiance with me.

On that Sunday night, my sweet little girl had the saddest eyes …as she told me that there was NO MORE party, games, or cake. She had been looking forward to her birthday all month long.  Well…. I can’t let ANY kid of mine miss out on a party!! That’s not how this family works!


SO, BY THAT MONDAY MORNING – – I pulled together the quickest surprise party I had EVER done!

By 10am – Momma Gigi was baking a cake, Pierre was inviting 11 little girls over for a slumber party, Jose was cleaning the yard & blowing up pool floats, Gabe was in the depot digging out the “girl party” tubs, – -AND – – the rest of us were busy decorating, finding games, and sorting party favors!

The party started at 4:30pm and lasted until 9am on Tuesday! Below are some pictures from that fun-filled, last-minute, surprise party! #neveradullmoment

Posted in Mission Stories

Rosie’s Granny In The Mole…

We had such a pleasant and COMPLETELY unexpected visit from Rosie’s granny this month!

We send monthly support to her family, but we haven’t actually seen her in person for nearly 3 years! She lives 5 hours away from us. She is deaf and doesn’t know ASL, which makes it difficult for us to communicate with her regularly.

For those of you who do not know the story of Rosie’s Granny.... you can click HERE to read about it.

Granny showed up on Good Friday! I was over in the cafeteria, decorating for Sunday’s Easter Meals. I heard a motorcycle pull through the gates and watched it park right in front of the cafeteria. I had NO IDEA who it was; I assumed it was someone dropping off supplies from downtown. I continued hanging decorations until I felt the tightest squeeze I have ever felt! I turned around and sure enough….there she was….GRANNY!

Rosie was over in the shakoon, sitting with Momma Gigi. I yelled over that GRANNY WAS HERE – and just like the scene out of a movie – I watched Rosie run as fast as I have ever seen! She rushed to granny and picked her right up! All the kids on campus were screaming! Momma Gigi, Asher, and I were in tears…. we haven’t seen Rosie light-up like that in a very long time.  It was the most beautiful and precious little reunion!

Granny hasn’t seen Rosie since her scoliosis surgery! She’s about 2 feet taller than granny now!

This past week has been an unforgettable time for both Rosie & her granny! They spent time at the beach, shopped downtown, cooked for each other, and spent hours and hours watching movies together on the patio!

Granny left a few days ago, but we are still laughing at all the crazy things she did this week! She’s seriously a hoot!! She has such a light and breezy spirit about her!

What an awesome and much needed surprise this was for Rosie and the whole family!