Our Story





We’re Jose and Jody Castillo, missionaries in Mole St Nicholas, Haiti. We have 8 children – Gigi (14 years old), Mikela (11 years old), Rosie (10 years old), Malaya (9 years old), Gabriel (7 years old), Levi and Asher (5 years old) and Isebelle (3 years old).

Jose: God, in his brilliant plan, took a little Honduran boy who spent hours playing on dirt roads and climbing mango trees…..to the states for a better life……only to have him return to a village where little boys play on dirt roads and climb mango trees. Jose was born in Honduras and moved to New York when he was 10 years old. Met his wife Jody in 1997 while she was in nursing school. Moved to Kentucky and went to Sullivan University where he majored in Computer Engineering. Currently: Director of Communications, Campus Manager

Jody: Her father, Larry Owen, started the mission in 1979. Her first trip into Haiti was when her mom was 7 months pregnant with her! Her brother, Janeil Owen, is currently the Executive Director of the mission. She spent most of her life in and out of Haiti. She went to the University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing. Moved to Haiti after graduation with her husband. Currently: Campus and Travel Manager

God brought them together – from such different backgrounds and yet both with childhoods where they played with poverty-stricken children on dirty, dusty roads. They were married in Haiti so they could begin their life together with the very people they would come to serve. Praying for God to bless them with children – they had no idea what God had in store for them. Unable to conceive the first few years of their marriage – God opened their hearts and their home to several children who needed love and tender care. Many of these children came through Jody’s pediatric clinic. So many sick children – all needing one on one care. Not all of the children who passed through their home stayed but those that did came with their own heart-breaking story……



Gigi: Born with Rubella. Lived in Heaven’s Waiting Room (Miriam Center) for a year before we took her in as our own. She was nearly 2 years old and weighed 7 pounds. She could not chew & she only drank enough to stay alive. She cannot digest her food very well as her intestines remain inflamed. She is blind in one eye, deaf in one ear, cannot talk, spends most of her time looking at her hand, has the mental capacity of a 6 month old and is our pride and joy. She learned to walk when she was 7 years old.



Mikela: Found her at 10 months old and 4 pounds. Her mother left her on a path to die because she was pregnant with another man’s baby. The new boyfriend didn’t want Mikela. They starved her from 15 pounds down to 4 lbs. We had to feed her through an eye-dropper because she was too weak to eat. She was skin and bones with the most of that 4 lbs being her head. She spent the first year of her life with us wanting to sleep with a piece of bread or food in her hand – afraid she might not eat the next day. She developed an eating disorder   from ages 1-4 years old. But now she’s thriving – SO SMART!



Rosie: Her mom was on her way to the mission to deliver her. She made it as far as the road infront of the mission and gave birth on the dirty road. Rosie’s umbilical cord became infected with the dirt and she contracted Tetanus. 95% of all children with tetanus die. She could not move her arms, legs, mouth, or any other part of her body for 3 months. They say that Tetanus feels like charlie-horses all over your body. She lived through it only to contract Cerebral Malaria when she was 7 months old. She had 8 seizures a day and a fever over 104 for 6 weeks straight. She is truly a miracle child. Rosie is certainly a handful – but  – It’s her stubborn attitude and hard-headedness that’s allowed her to live through what would kill most. Rosie struggles in school and was recently diagnosed with Profound Developmental Delay with Sensory Integration Disorder.



Malaya: Okay…Okay. So her before picture isn’t very convincing!  She weighed more than all the children when she was born! She had a healthy childhood. She’s our beautiful little Cinderella! She loves to share with Haitian children that she meets in the street. She’s constantly taking cookies and candy to her new friends. She loves to play outside and teach the Haitian children. She has her own mini-vbs with the street kids! She LOVES math and she LOVES to dance!



Gabriel: He was born 8 weeks early and spent the first few weeks in the NICU. He contracted pneumonia at birth, had under-developed lungs, and spent several weeks on a breathing machine. Born weighing 4 pounds – you would never know that today! He is afraid of nothing. He loves to be out and about with the people.  He’s a healthy, happy little boy.





LEVI AND ASHER: They were born 7 weeks early – a surprise to say the least! Jody was hospitalized 18 times over the course of this very difficult pregnancy and spent over 90 days in the hospital. The boys spent one day in the NICU and 5 days in the hospital but they came home right on time!! They are as different as day and night! Levi is a little bully and is the most active child we’ve ever had at his age. Asher is a cuddle-bug but has many health issues including heat-sensitive seizures.

ISEBELLE: While Isebelle’s mother was pregnant she contracted Tuberculosis. Shortly after giving birth, she passed away. When Isebelle came into our lives she was 5 months old & 5lbs. Her father was sick fighting TB himself and was unable to care for her. Isebelle could barely hold her head up & was very lethargic. Today she is able to sit on her own & beginning to thrive!

11 replies »

  1. Hello Jody… It’s been along time.
    I hope you remember me. I am Kelly Swietlicki.
    I came to Haiti back in 2003 and then again in 2005 with Denise Rungy and Cheryl Jullion, From the Neenah/ Appleton ( Wisconsin) area.
    WOW.. How your family has grown. I can’t beleive how Rossi,Mykala and GiGi have grown.
    Thaey are all beautiful.
    I really miss Haiti and hope to come again.
    I wanted to share with you how much that place and the people touched my heart. I continue to share to this day my experience.
    I like to write music and what I have written has been inspired by the people I have shared Christ with. Haiti was my first mission trip and my biggest reason for this song.The name of this song is THE WINDOW…. It’s about coming together on common ground.. and that is love and respect for one another..No matter what the back round or faith….with that I believe the Lord will open eyes and hearts to the truth. With that said, I need a favor.. How do you say COME TO MY WINDOW in KREYOL? I did find a couple different ways, Just not sure what is the correct one. I know that sometimes the way it’s said could mean something totally different and I don’t want to be saying something I shouldn’t.. Like.. call someones mother something.. LOL.
    Could you help me out with this? It would sure mean allot to me.
    The reason I need this is because I am personalizing a copy for your mission. Also please let me know how I can be sure it gets to you.
    I hope everything is going well with all of you.
    God bless you…. Kelly
    PS If you want to put a face with my name go to my website. I also have pics on there from Haiti.
    You are all in my prayers.

  2. Hi Jody

    Mary Jane and I went with Larry on the first
    trip (1979). We have made 5 trips to Haiti.
    Drex Stuart ( my brother) is now full-time
    in Jacmel,Haiti. We have supported Jacques
    St. Charles since 1979. I minister to the Valeene Christian Church ,Marengo, In.
    Our prayers are with you! In Christ, Ron

  3. Please contact me regarding any information about the Deaf Ministry and work with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children in Haiti. We will be in the local area in July and I have been in the field of Deaf Education for 10 years. Thank you.

  4. Your stories are both heart felt and miracleous. I pray god continue to bless you, your family and your organization every day. May your prayers for the lonely, and desperate kids forever go answered.

  5. I have left a message at several blogs, I feel so blessed to have found you, Kelly and his dad Cloide went on a mission trip and you were in there pictures. Kelly said you was a special person. We are now IMB missionaries in Botswana, I don’t want to repeat myself, but I wanted you to know I am praying for you all during this time. There was a baby that your mom and I saw born, we named her Lydia Hope, I will never foget that day. I also had a girl we sponsered and while I was there your mom and dad brought her to me on the compound. I hope she is ok. Again, I am sorry to leave all these messages I am just happy to hear about your life

    • I appreciate all your comments!! I remember Cloide from when I was little. He came every year for years and years. Wow it’s been a long time. So good to hear from you and thanks for your words of encouragement and prayers.

  6. Jody,
    I don’t know how often you check this blog but I am a mom of a Texas Tech student who just returned from the most amazing mission trip of his life, Gabriel. Thank you so much for all you do!! I love you and I don’t even know you. You and your family will continue to be in my prayers. God is so good!! May he continue to bless you and your ministry there!!!
    Much love,
    In Christ,

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