Thursday, November 19, 2020

Must be willing to sacrifice comfort !




We pray you are well. It is from our prayer for you that we are blessed and feel immense joy because of the mystical connection from the fruits of prayer that grants us peace and the sense that we are united with you as a family in Christ, despite the fact we are thousands of miles away  from you living in such a different world than we have ever known.

As I found myself this morning lamenting and weeping to our Lord of the discomforts and hardships, we have faced this passed month or so, made me realize that it has been a while since I have updated you. Perhaps it is a passive attempt by our Lord to remind me to humble myself and ask for prayers. As well as a great reminder to not skip my own personal prayer time, no matter how busy the mission here becomes.

I must say that the last 5 weeks or more have been challenging, in the sense it seems that there are not enough hours in the day to complete all the task at hand. Our family routine has all but gone out the window and the effects of mission life has indeed impacted our lives in an uncontrollable way, needless to say the out of control feeling  I have had recently makes me anxious despite the fact the Lord says can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.” Matthew 6:27

This week has been no different, as we juggle work projects, home visits, funerals, the unexpected knocks on the door from those who seek medicine and food, the relentless heat, having no privacy at home as now our family is now living without walls to our two neighbors (due to our neighbors construction), and I cannot fail to mention the deadly riots in the streets, as yet again Peru impeaches its third president in as many years and the uncertainty that it brings.

Nevertheless as faithful servants of our Lord we know we were called to die to ourselves, we know that we are called to perform corporal and spiritual works of mercy for those we live among. Yet, this month makes me realize how far from a saint I am, because I fight so much to be comfortable, likable, successful, merciful, graceful, joyful all in hopes to become the perfect missionary saint. As I reflect on the life of Mother Teresa and how she ceaselessly gave of herself every day to everyone,  creates an immense desire to strive to become like her, I stand in awe of her compassion and merciful love she had for all. She stands as a reminder of my daily failures despite the fact that, as each day I awake, I pledge my desire to be more Christ like than the day before.  Still at the end of each day as I reflect and discern upon my many failures and sins, I cannot help but remember that I have fallen short once again, You may think of it as a dark time however it is just the opposite as I become filled with joy and gratefulness of knowing of the merciful love and forgiveness Jesus has to offer to the repented soul.

The Lord has indeed been merciful and loving to me by directing me in my prayer time to the book of 2 Corinthians. As Saint Paul writes of human weakness, discouragement, and the difficulty he faces as a disciple of Christ. Two verses resonated with me in which I would like to share with you.

But as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true;” 2 Corinthians 6:4-8

Saint Paul goes on to write

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

After reflecting on Saint Paul’s words, it makes the familiar quote of Pope Benedict reverberate in my heart as he said But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” Such words of encouragement. 

My heart became full once again as I was met by Jesus as I prepared this Sunday’s reflection for our remote Pueblos that we visit each Sunday. It is truly amazing how He speaks to us and knows our desires, our troubles, our anxieties, and our weaknesses, because despite all of this He knows we are worthy to be His disciples.

In fact, nowhere in the entire liturgy of the word this Sunday does it say that one must seek personal comfort or their own desires or will.  However within the readings it is clear that we will be judged, and that those who heed the warnings and strives to complete the mission at hand; which is to see Jesus in the face of the poor, to constantly seek them out, careful not to turn a blind eye or use an excuse by claiming  “ that there is no time in the day to care for someone in need” or the best trick of the devil,  believing if you had help someone already that there is no need to help the next beggar you may pass or the next person you may meet that may be thirsty. The call is to give without limits and without anxiety of our own personal needs or discomforts.  As we are called to reflect on this Sunday’s readings the message that we must proclaim with Joy in our hearts and with the upmost confidence that “the Lord is our shepherd, and there is nothing we shall want!” Because through him we can complete our mission despite the hardships and human discomforts we face while completing them. “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

You are in my prayers and I pray that we all my one day hear the words of Christ say

“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

I beg of you to please continue to pray for us, we especially ask for prayers that we may remain strong and faithful servants this season.

I have attached a few pictures hoping that they may allow you to feel more connected with the mission here. We are so grateful and extremely honored and blessed to have you as a mission partner. Your generosity to the poor and your merciful love for us fills our heart, thank you!  

 Gabriel is helping mix cement for the footing for the home project. 



Adobe bricks have dried, know its time to assemble the house, but 1st we must make deep cement footing to support the weight of the adobe walls. 

Pouring cement and added rocks to make the footing





Our dear friend Trifiilo passed 11/2 after an aggressive battle with cancer.

         




On October 16 the 1st Mass was celebrated after 7 long months! 


The adjoining walls have been removed and now all three families are living as one.
The left arrow is our home, the middle is our back neighbor, and the right is our neighbor
whos home is under construction.  



Yet another Peruvian President impeached. This makes the 3rd in as many years. 




The word and act of a protest here means the same as in the states, but with a bit of an added twist as protestors created road blocks that restrict travels and goods, fuels etc. to travel in and out of regions. Which impact overall the entire countries supplies. 


All Saints Celebration 



All the little saints made a Rosary walk to the cemetery, where they participated in a celebration of the word and lighted candles for their family members who had passed. 



All Saints day- Our walk back to town, where Father was waiting for the little saints. He judged there presentation of their saint and handed out prizes to the winners. After the children enjoyed songs, games and dinner. 






May we always be Christ's humble servants! 
Karen, Julianna and Gabriel 








We would be honored to receive your prayer request. At anytime you may send them to us through our email address listed below.
 


We thank you for your prayers and your support. 
Without the sacrifices made by each of you this work would be impossible. 

Prayer request
 Email:  karendelcastillo@familymissionscompany.com









Friday, October 2, 2020

Jesus came to us!

 

Jesus came to us!


Last night Gabriel my 10-year-old was in a pretty bad bicycle accident.

It was around 6pm and all the children in our pueblo were playing outside on the account that our regions focalized quarantine was lifted. Gabriel had asked if he could go play with them before our scheduled 7pm adoration in the Church.  Reluctantly, I said “yes”, but had told him he would need to hurry back soon to take a shower before adoration. He assured me that he would be back in time.

No more than 10 minutes passed, and I hear a child screaming for me at the door, “Señora, Señora,!” It was a call no mother wants to hear. By his voice I could tell something terrible had happen.  I immediately begin to call upon the Lord. As I ran down our long hallway to the door, which runs the entire length of the Church, I knew Jesus could hear me.

The child begins to tell me that “la cabeza de Gabriel está rota.” (In English, Gabriel’s head is broken). I can assure you those are words no mother wants to hear in any language. The boy and I ran as fast as we could to where he was. The entire time felt like we were in slow motion. I could not get there fast enough. I again called out to Jesus asking him for his presence and to guide us and to heal my son.

Upon my arrival to Gabriel, I saw that his little friends had gotten him up.  All I could see was the back of his hand, which was holding his head, both were covered with an extreme amount of blood which ran down the back of his shirt soaking it to a dark red. I immediately thanked Jesus for sparing my son’s life.

When Gabriel saw me, he immediately started to say “sorry”. I asked what he was sorry for he said, “because now we cannot go visit Jesus.” The entire walk back to our home he just keeps repeating “I am sorry.” I assured him that Jesus would understand and reminded him that we could call upon Jesus right now to be with us.  

After a quick evaluation of the injury, I knew I had to find a doctor. So, we drove to the larger town nearby, in hopes to find a clinic that still had a doctor available. At this time, it was around 6:30. As we drove, we prayed that Jesus would guide us. We had no clue what clinic would be open, or what clinic is the best. The only thing we had learned in our years of living here in Peru was that a private clinic is much better than the hospital. Since there were no other missionaries who have lived here before us, and no other foreigners that we know of, we had no clue where to go.  The only thing we knew to do was to pray and praise Jesus’s Holy Name as we drove and to remain confident that he would guide us.

As I was driving, I remembered a clinic that we always passed by, because it was on the way to the Priest’s home. Upon our arrival we were excited to see them still open. While we were waiting Gabriel was still saying that he was sorry for getting hurt and sorry that we could not go to adoration as planned. I reminded him we can spend time with Jesus any day and any time because we live right next door to him.  To keep his mind off things, I asked him if he wanted to pray a rosary, and he agreed. So, in the middle of the clinic’s waiting area we begin to pray the rosary for the following intentions. For Jesus to guide the Doctor, for all those sick and hurt at the Clinic, for Gabriel’s friends that courageously came to his assistance, and for Jesus to come to our aid.

 Not long after we finished praying the rosary, and after a few bewildered looks from others waiting to see the doctor, they took Gabriel and I to a small back room to examine him. As the doctor removed the bloody towel from Gabriel’s head, he looked at me and said this is an extremely big and deep injury to his head and that he would need about 50 stitches, possibly more.

Of course, as you can imagine, as a mom living in a 3rd world country my heart began to race. I had no idea what this doctor was capable of, nor if he would use clean tools or pain medicine. Perhaps maybe you may already know, but in case you do not, medical care in a 3rd world country is not quite the same,  though it is a great deal cheaper than the United states it is not nearly advanced or as sterile. So, doctors using gloves or pain medication are often things that one does not see here in Peru.  I could not help but ask the questions that were in my mind. “What about pain or numbing medicine”. He assured me that he would give Gabriel a shot for the pain and a shot of antibiotic before he began. I asked him “will you use clean tools and gloves?” He, at that point pulled up a white plastic chair and asked me to take a seat and to trust him.

While he was preparing the room, I asked the doctor his name. He answered by saying “my name is Jesus, the one who heals.” I kid you not those were his exact words. The time we were in the treatment room went by pretty fast, even though we were in there about 45 minutes. Not many words were exchanged between the Doctor Jesus, Gabriel and I.  The few words I said to Gabriel was pray, speak to Lord, because he is here with us guiding the hands of the doctor.

After the doctor finished sewing Gabriel’s wound, he asked us to go sit in the waiting area so we could pay. I was so worried about the cost. I had no clue what it would be or if we could afford the work the doctor did. With a bit of humor, I thought to myself maybe we can pay him with chickens, the only problem was we had no chickens to give him. While we were waiting, I again begin to ask Jesus to make a way to help us pay the bill to somehow make it something we can afford.

As I was praying, I looked up and to my surprise Father Robert the Priest we work under was standing in front of me. He had a concern look on his face and immediately asked what happen and if we were ok. He was joking with Gabriel and told him that he should be more careful and watch out for those bikes that they like to throw ornery boys off.  Gabriel grinned as much as he could considering the pain, he was in.

I asked Father why he had come to the clinic, if there was someone gravely ill, thinking it was a pastoral visit that he was on. He just smiled and said I came to see my nephew who is also Gabriel’s age, who also is here because of a bicycle injury. Before he excused himself, he blessed Gabriel and told him “get well my little altar server.”

By this time, they were ready for us to pay. The nurse with a concerned look on her face, told us since the wound was so big and it took over 50 stitches, that the doctor is charging 150 soles, which included all the shots of pain killer and antibiotic. I thought to myself “only $50.00, ok we can swing this.” Jesus heard my prayer! Because that is the exact amount of money I had in my wallet. What a blessing that was, because I wasn't sure if I could come up with chickens for the payment! 

Upon our return back home, Gabriel said once again, “I am so sorry that we didn’t go to adoration.” I immediately told him; “son I think Jesus came to us tonight.”

Last night we encountered Jesus through other people. Indeed it was Jesus that was present among us last night,  alive in the doctor of few words, but who had soft and precise hands, and Jesus came in the form of a Holy Priest and Friend, to comfort and joke with Gabriel. 

Which reminded me that “ The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth. He fulfils the desire of all who fear him, he also hears their cry, and saves them.  Psalm 145:18-19


Please know that each one of your are in our daily prayers and we beg of you to please keep us in yours. 






Love each one you! 
Karen, Julianna, and Gabriel ! 

We would be honored to receive your prayer request. At anytime you may send them to us through our email address listed below.
 


We thank you for your prayers and your support. 


Without the sacrifices made by each of you this work would be impossible. 

Prayer request
 Email:  karendelcastillo@familymissionscompany.com



Monday, August 17, 2020

PROJECT - DIRT TO CONCRETE

 




This week we are starting our 1st floor project here at our mission post.

Dirt floors are a common feature here for the poor in Peru, as it is in many other developing countries.

It is amazing how the women here can keep them so clean. I cannot imagine what a person would think if they were invited into a home with dirt floors in the United States, much less live in a home with dirt floors.

Since last October we have been invited to many homes where that is just the case. We have been blessed to get to know many people who live with the earth under their feet. When it rains it’s the leaky roof that creates the perfect scenario for mud, if it is not the leaky roof,  than its the poor drainage around the home that soon allows a river to run through the living space.

We also know that dirt floors prove to be ideal carriers of parasites, viruses, and bacterium, which cause diarrheal, skin, and respiratory diseases. These illnesses contribute to anemia, parasitic infestation, and malnutrition. Not to mention we can probably add to the list the deadly COVID – 19 Virus that is now able to breed in this perfect environment.

Through our service over the last past three years with the Medical Mission team here in Peru we know of the intense medical concerns that dirt floors create. However, with that said we also feel like this is an opportunity that Christ desires for us for many other reasons.  To name a few, one is because it gives us the opportunity to love the poor as Christ does. Secondly, it will give us an opportunity to work alongside these families, to bond and unite with them. Lastly, we hope that it creates a burning desire within the hearts of the poor,  that inspires them to know Christ and his immense love, so much, that it propels them to seek Christ and to have a relationship with Him.

With that said we have been moved by the Holy Spirit to turn the dirt floors among us into concrete floors. We have enough funds to complete our 1st home. The average home here will take 800 soles to transform their dirt floors to concrete. Which is roughly $300.00 US dollars. 

Obviously, we do not know how many homes we can complete. To be honest, that is up to the Holy Spirit. Our hearts have been moved and we desire to be faithful to this special project. We pray the Holy Spirit will find already softened hearts among you that hear the same call to help transform the floors of the poor from dirt to concrete.

 We invite you to please prayerfully consider if this is a project that the Holy Spirit desires you to help with.

If the Holy Spirit stirs in your hearts, please donate to this special project at the following link:

https://www.familymissionscompany.com/project/karen-del-castillo/

In the memo or in the special message box please add: Dirt to Concrete


Or by sending a check to:

Family Missions Company

Attn: Karen Del Castillo

12611 Everglade Road
Abbeville, LA 70510

In the memo write: Dirt to Concrete


“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.  And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!” 

Matthew 7:24-27



The fun part ! Hand mixing cement in the blazing sun.
 Pray for our new volunteers that have agreed to help for free.

Transforming a families life. Dirt to Concrete floor project

Saint medals are almost impossible to come by here and we did not have one medal with the holy family so we used the next best thing which was two medals.

Jesus Mary and Joseph pray for us and for this beautiful family !

After the 1st room was complete we prayed with the family and added the two medals into the concrete.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Laws of Man are not a Moral Compass




Greetings and blessings to everyone!

  We want you to know that each and everyone of you are in our prayers. It has been very heartwarming to receive so many emails from many of you who are worried about us and our situation with COVID here in Peru. The outpour of such kindness and prayers, we recognize as blessings and a gift from God.  Our situation here in Peru with the COVID virus is ever changing as I am sure is the case in the US. In July the government removed, for the most part, all of the military from our area and we were left with the obligation of maintaining the social distancing order and the nightly curfew which mandated that we were to be in our homes between 10 pm and 4 am each night. Although we had been asked by our Bishop and priest not to return to our formal ministries such as sacramental prep classes, youth group and bible studies we found comfort in the new normal of just being open to the Holy Spirit and knowing that soon our churches could open and formal ministries would be allowed to continue as we felt we could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  

    However due to the rise in COVID cases, as of August, the 1st our region, along with many more regions, have now been placed back on a strict quarantine and they have moved our curfew up a few hours making it now mandatory to be in our homes each night at 8 pm until September. With the nightly curfew comes a mandatory stay at home order each Sunday, making the possibility of the Church doors opening here in Peru impossible any time soon, along with halting once again travel between any other regions of the country. Not to mention there is absolutely no concrete idea of when international travel will be allowed to resume which has made it hard for the Peruvian economy as many of the poor here rely on tourism for their family’s income. The government has said that, they are hopeful by the end of 2020 or the 1st quarter of 2021 being an option of when international flights may return.


    It is surreal to think about what toll and effect this pandemic has taken on so many people’s lives and of the effects caused by the heavy handed governments which have had to take action out of fear rather than faith. I must note that I do not stand on either side of the debate. With one side fussing loudly about the need to wear masks and the other side screaming of the unjust of government overreach by shutting down their lives and meddling in their personal movements and affairs, it seems that picking one of their sides would not solve much when dealing with this pandemic.  It is important to know that with the eyes of the world we cannot combat the virus or its effects on this world; but to see with prudent eyes would be to see it through the eyes of the Lord and perhaps that is the best way to combat this pandemic.


    Knowing are actions must be a mirror image of the Lords merciful nature, and the need to obey the greatest commandment “You shall love...God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength....You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30-31) it gives a narrow gate to enter but we can be confident that our actions will be aligned with those that Jesus spoke about.


  I cannot help but think of the words of Saint Benedict: “that a person love not his own will nor take pleasure in satisfying his desires, but model his actions on the saying of the Lord, ‘I have come not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”(John 6:38)

 
  With that said I must share with you of my personal struggle during this quarantine, but 1st I  desire to enlighten you of the familiar story of the two sisters Mary and Martha, which often replays in my head during my personal prayer time. As I recall the many times lately “I” have become a hindrance in Christ’s Mission set before me. I am very much a “Martha”, a planner, go getter, and a worrier, instead of mirroring the wisdom of Mary and her peaceful silence and contemplative nature like I know I should. After all, Jesus told Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are worried about many things. Mary has chosen the best part and she will not be deprived of it.”(Luke 10:41-42)



     Do not get me wrong Martha’s concerned nature and the life she lived of service is not frowned upon by Jesus; after all the Church celebrates ST. Martha and her life of service every July 29th. However, Jesus addressed the fact that we cannot always live a life of service at all times. We must also have time for prayer and Holy Silence to set before the Lord. To desire to seek His face and the ability to possess a life of contemplation is also a very important role as a Christian and for our own sanctity. 

Although the Martha in me has definitely been challenged everyday during this time of uncertainty,  I have also been very blessed to see the new fruits that have come from living day to day, guided by the Holy Spirit and of contemplating on the face of Jesus in Holy Silence, rather than a “to-do” list.  As I have been reminded of the fact that to follow Christ also means that we should make His cares, wishes, concerns, and loves our own cares, wishes, concerns, and loves, rather than those of our own will. “For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25). But to do this “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.”--Blessed Mother Teresa and it is “In silence and quiet the devout soul advances in virtue and learns the hidden truths of Scripture.”--Imitation of Christ


 In keeping this commandment, we obviously cannot live in this world, there is no mistaking that the only way to do so is to realign our hearts to that of our Lords. I know as a Christian I cannot without prudence solely live of what the Government demands of us, and live strictly on adherence to their rules, because their laws are not a moral compass, nor can I live on the liberal view point, with the mentality that I can live as if only my rights matter and are more important than my neighbors. Instead I must be focused more on the universal call to holiness and what that means personally for me and for those souls that I may help bring closer to Christ.

  In this season it seems that Jesus desires to highlight the Martha in me, as I have often forgotten to be more like Mary.  As I often heavily weigh my worth and how God sees my worthiness by the works of my hand.  The fact that I am always engulfed in the works of my hands rather than just sitting attentively to Jesus with my gaze fixed to his face has indeed been stressed during this pandemic, leaving no doubt that this season for me was meant to be a season  of change and a season of renewal. 

 With that said I have realized that within our vocation and ministry that we must welcome the opportunity to sit in Holy Silence with our Lord. It is a constant balance that we must maintain not to become too much like Martha and not enough like Mary. Since being called to live as a foreign missionary I have often worried if I am doing enough, If I was sacrificing enough for those I serve. So you can see that when the pandemic hit I felt our ministries were hindered significantly and I begged the Holy Spirit to prepare a way for us to show us how best to serve in this time while still obeying the rules of the government. Thanks be to God, through prayer and discernment the Holy Spirit made it clear to us where we could draw the line between following the rules imposed by the Peruvian government that hindered us from being able to keep the greatest commandment to love God and our neighbor.

  So, with that we have been able to make a respectable and holy decision to not actively visit the elderly in their homes. Forgoing our normal home visits that consisted of prayer and friendly conversation, instead we felt it to be more prudent to visit from a distance, so we have been walking to their homes to check on them and leaving food for them. We have also made the super hard decision to not visit the communities up in the mountains. As we felt that they are so many hours away from this crazy mess, secluded in their own world without intrusion from the outside world, we did not want to bring them harm and enter their secluded communities and bring the virus. Instead we communicate with them via telephone and have been able to check on them and pray together in that way.

  Thankfully, we have, yet again, learned new ways to serve as the Holy Spirit has led us to unusual opportunities this past month.  Thank goodness since the government has reactivated the quarantine measures, we have yet seen the military here in our town. We pray that in this round they will not return to restrict our movements any further than what they are. Because at the moment we are able to move around during the day and to buy our provisions as needed for ourselves and for those we have been helping by supplementing them with food.

  Also, without the militaries presence the children can play a lot longer together outside than the allotted 1 hour per day limit. and thank goodness the police next door has not said anything to them overstaying their play time.  And since our formal ministries have not yet been approved to resume it has provided the opportunity for all three of us to spend more time with the children here.

  I must tell you how Gabriel came up with a new way to serve his friends. He designed a water jug holder, complete with cup holders and had a local young man weld it into existence. It was really awakening to us the 1st day that Gabriel wheeled out the new water jug holder for the afternoon fun and games in the plaza. It is something so simple that we often forget the riches we have while being able to afford to buy clean drinking water. A 5-gallon jug here is roughly 2 US dollars. Clean water here is a luxury and the children feel so honored to be invited for a drink of clean water and to have their own cup to drink from.  Since water is such a sacred symbol in the bible, and I cannot help but pray that Gabriel’s water ministry will be able to bring others closer to Christ in the way he intended.


  Julianna has been taken this time to fix broken statues, a bit of a different kind of ministry you can say. It all started with her fixing a broken crucifix that had been thrown to the side of the church and ever since she has been asked to repair others from people here in our town.

  We also have used some of the of extra time that we have on our hands to bake cookies and homemade chicken pot pies to deliver to our older neighbors in the community.




    Each Thursday night we still have Holy adoration and on Sunday we have a celebration of the word, despite the church doors having to remain closed.  We remain obedient to this time and as a family fervently pray that others may hear us as we proclaim the word of our Lord and rejoice in song.

     I can not help but cringe when the church bells rings, as we know it is not to announce Mass is about to start. Instead the only reason they ring is to announce that another person has died. It has become way to common of a sound. Just this week we had another death, not directly because the person had the illness but because of depression due to losing his job because of the governments shut down to stop the spread of the virus. Mr. Luis leaves behind his wife and 7 year old son. This is a ministry that is very hard for my children and I, we ask that you please keep us in your prayers and all those who have passed since March.


I know it is very possible that as my family has, that the recent times have been riddled with many uncertainties for you and your family as well. We pray that you may be blessed to seek and to encounter the face of Christ, and that within your search you will encounter the most holiest of places where you may sit in the midst of His silence,  far away from the noise. You may find to carve out the time in your day, may be difficult at 1st but rest assure, that once you open your heart and silence the noise, your appetite for such prayer will increase over time; because during these intimate times in prayer your heart will be inflamed with such love and holy wisdom that you will be drawn more and more to these intimate and holy encounters with Christ. There you will find your moral compass! 

We love each one of you!
Karen, Julianna and Gabriel Del Castillo







We would be honored to receive your prayer request. At anytime you may send them to us through our email address listed below.
We would be extremely blessed if you would pray for us to remain obedient and humble to the will of our Lord.  


We thank you for your prayers and your support. 


Without the sacrifices made by each of you this work would be impossible. 

Prayer request
 Email:  karendelcastillo@familymissionscompany.com




Friday, July 17, 2020

This mission is only beginning









Julianna Del Castillo Graduation Picture 2020

As we learn from St Paul in 2 Corinthians chapter 10, we should not boast instead we should seek humility. St Paul explains how important it is that, we do not boast of ourselves but of what the good things the Lord has done, if we must boast it should be only of our own weakness.  We should not boast beyond limits but will keep within the field that God has assigned to us, to reach out even as far as you. 2 Corinthians 10:13 


I Pray immensely, that I do not come across with folly or with a prideful heart, for my intentions are to tell you of the great faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Many have wondered about our sanity when we made the difficult decision to follow Jesus to a foreign land in search for His most beloved poor.  I really can not count how many times I heard, “What about your children’s education?”

Even though we as a family, said “YES” to the Lord, I cannot lie, the education of my children, was a worry I carried into the mission field with me. However, I had been gifted the opportunity in 2016 to read one of the founders of Family Missions Company’s testimony in the book called , Go You are Sent, the words Genie Summers wrote kept replaying in my heart and in my prayers as I lamented to Christ my desires and concern of my children’s education.

Mrs. Summers wrote in her book the words that our Lord gave to her and to her husband personally, as they prayed for guidance,  as they were experiencing the same situation, they too worried about the cross that their own children would bear, as missionary children, living in a third world country.

As any responsible parent would, Mr. Frank and Mrs. Genie Summers indeed discerned heavily, the call they had received, to go into foreign missions and what crosses they must bear. Worried about her son Beau’s education she entered a time of discernment;  there Genie received comforting words from our Lord as He said “You and Frank, as parents, shouldn’t try to protect your children from the cross. You should rejoice when your children have the courage to pick up their cross each day and follow me. I am building Beau’s character as My disciple.”  Mrs. Summers goes on to write about one of Franks prayer times and when he heard the Lord tell him “Trust Me, all wisdom and knowledge comes from Me. Beau’s education is My responsibility. I can use schools, but I don’t need them.”

One cannot deny the education struggles that present itself in the mission field, it is a concern indeed, but we must remember to give those concerns and worries to Christ, as he knowns better than anyone how to carry a cross.  We must realize that the Lord is the best teacher of all teachers! We should, as parents rejoice in the fact that our children are willing to embrace their own cross, for the sake of His kingdom. The testimony of both Frank and Genie Summers, that was shared in the book, of God's goodness and love for His creation, inspired me to have trust and faith in our Lord,  as my own children followed Him into the mission field.


 The powerfulness of Christ’s words that He spoke to the Summers, speak truth to the fact, when we give all and whole heartily carry our crosses to follow Jesus, he pours His immense love over us. He knowns what He is asking when He calls a person, or a family into missions, and what sacrifices they will need to make. He knows that we leave the world behind, friends, family, comforts, and education to serve His beloved poor. With that said we should know that He loves us so much that He sees fit to make the impossible possible. He as a loving Father wants the very best for his children.

I can not in any explainable terms, tell you how full my heart is at this time. To the world it is nonsense, to the world it is unbelievable, as He asked us to sell all our possession in order to become poor and to follow Him to the corners of the earth; and due to our obedience, we were left without worldly prediction of the future, only left with His will to be done among us, as “we are His clay and He is the Potter” Isaiah 64:8. Which to be honest is not easy to overcome as you need to totally trust in God alone and not of the lies of the world. It requires one to have the willingness to allow Him to smooth all the rough edges which at times can be painful. Once we said “Yes” our lives were in His hands, our task is merely to sustain our obedience through prayer and to seek His beloved poor and to love them as ourselves.

As I testify not of my own doing, but of my faults and weakness, I urge you to hear of the goodness of our Lord !


In our mission schedule as a family, we allot time for school, for both Julianna and Gabriel. Though it is on the schedule many days come and go without time to open school books in order to study spelling words or algebra. We learned very quickly in missions that school often comes to a halt by the knocks on the door from someone in need, or a home visit to someone who is sick and might die within the hour. This is the life of a missionary kid. Though we learned that with loss time there is also time gained and glory to be given to the Lord. We mustn’t fixate on the days that were redesigned by the best designer of all (God) because there are many perfect school days that were created, and exists,  and on those days Julianna and Gabriel are able to get three days’ worth of school done in just one,  without distractions.   

With that said, I must not keep you any longer, but I must tell you of the good, that the Lord has done for my daughter Julianna.




Julianna - medical mission clinic. 


 Julianna said “YES” to missions when she was 15, she had just started high school, an incredible trying time for any teenager, as you can imagine. With her “YES”, came the responsibility of saying goodbye to her life as she knew it in the United States. Turning away the privileges she had as a citizen of the U.S. to live in solidarity with the poor in Peru.

Her desire even at a young age, was to become the hands and feet of Christ. To care for the sick, the lonely, and the less fortunate. And somehow even though she placed the needs of the poor before her own, she was able to finish high school and has been giving an unfathomable opportunity to continue her education through Connecticut’s, Holy Apostles Catholic University and Seminary.  She was giving the choice to return to the states to become a fulltime student at the college, however after much prayer she feels called to remain in the mission field, serving those around her as a fulltime missionary and an online college student.



Julianna, removing a neighbor's IV using plastic bags for gloves. 

We are not sure how the financial aspect will work out in the future, as she attends college while on a missionary budget; but what we do know is that with God anything is possible. It is merely our job to remain obedient and faithful, and to serve the poor as they are His beloved people, everything else he desires of us he will provided in his own time and way.

We want to encourage all of you who have heard the call to serve Christ in missions, not to fear. The world, most certainly, will tell you it is impossible but we pray that the testimony of Frank and Genie Summers, and within the witness of Julianna’s own testimony, that you too, may find peace and comfort to trust in the Lord’s call to serve His beloved poor.  

We know that “The mission of Christ the Redeemer, which is entrusted to the Church, is still very far from completion……. this mission is still only beginning and that we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly to its service. It is the Spirit who impels us to proclaim the great works of God: "For if I preach the Gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!" (1 Cor 9: 16) Saint John Paul II, writes of the sense of urgent duty to repeat the cry of St. Paul and it is indeed an invation to you, to engage in this most urgent mission to go to the ends of the earth to preach the gospel.

Please pray that we as a family, especially my daughter Julianna, will always “Thirst” for Christ on the Cross. Pray that our days will be focused on the urgent need to satiate the “Thirst” of Jesus, with every single drop of our blood, as we wish to bring more souls to Jesus!


You my brothers and sisters we carry in our prayers, as we try desperately try to become worthy handmaids of the Lord.




We thank you for your prayers and your support. 



Without the sacrifices made by each of you this work would be impossible. 


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Karen,  Julianna and Gabriel Del Castillo