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 jody@nwhcm.org   (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

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