Sunday, November 28, 2021

Awaken us from our Slumber oh Lord!


The bell towers of the church trembled so hard the bells clanged together that hang within them, as we woke to a 7.5 earthquake this morning. Waking from our slumber and running down the long hallway to the front door was a bit scary. As I was trying to open the door, Gabriel yelled out God will Save us. Trying to dodge the fragments of adobe, plaster and rocks falling from the walls and roofs above us it was a sight to see.

Though the quake seems to have destroyed many roads, homes, and churches, we must praise God there has been no reports of any deaths. It could have been much worse because the earthquake hit in the early morning with most of us preparing for the day to come.  

With today the first Sunday of Advent I find the Gospel very fitting for today. As we are reminded that Christian’s must not fear the 2nd coming of the Lord but instead rejoice and hold our heads high, to remain vigilant and prayerful. We should be in perpetual search of His graces in which he offers us; that teaches us to look beyond this passing world and instead remain faithful in His imminent coming.

Today’s Gospel and perhaps the earthquake is an invitation for us all to “put aside thoughts of Christmas for now and soberly reflect on our final days.” The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ will come again at the end of time to preside over the Last Judgment. She also teaches that we must “await this second coming, or Advent of our King, with vigilance and confidence in his victory. If we live in love as God’s sons and daughters, we need not fear. We will be able to “stand erect and raise our heads because our redemption is at hand.”* This truth is what fills the liturgical season of Advent with joy.”

Luke 21:25-28, 34-36 

Jesus said to his disciples: “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand. Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.

But how can we be joyful Christians in times of despair, sadness, trials, pandemics, separation, death or when we are facing the unknown? Because as Christians we must believe, we must have faith in the promises of our Lord Jesus Christ despite the murmurs of the World around us.  We are not alone in this world. We know that this world is not perfect, and that we live in a valley of tears. “The Church teaches that we are a pilgrim Church. But we do not wait alone. Our Lord accompanies us. CCC 671 states that “Until everything is subject to him, ‘until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church, in her sacraments and institutions, which belong to this present age, carries the mark of this world which will pass, and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail yet and await the revelation of the sons of God.”*  We need to remember the gifts of the Holy Sacraments that often times we forget what they can do for our souls. We mustn’t forget the mercy, graces, and nourishment the sacraments provide for us during our mission here on earth. They are the fountain of life and where all Joy comes from. They are the key that helps prepare our immortal souls for eternal life with our Creator.

Here are a few pictures from one of the small pueblos we serve.




Each Sunday we have been blessed to bring communion to the faithful so as we do every Sunday, we made our way to the little community grateful to be alive and joyful for the opportunity to bring Jesus to those who would go without if it wasn’t for those of you who support the mission here. All most all the homes are bamboo huts and the Church and maybe one other home is made of adobe bricks and well they did not fare to well in the earthquake. We had to do a bit of clean up before we could celebrate the Liturgy, but we are so grateful and blessed to do so.


On our way home from the celebration, we were able to pick up an older man, if I had to guess he was in his 80’s, and he was walking in the heat.  He was very talkative and emotional about the morning’s events. He asked us if we could take him to a nearby town because he needed to go to Church and  that he had not been in 15 years since his wife died. Of course, we said yes, so along the way we made conversation. He kept saying to us to be careful that we all need to repent. He said the end was near, that covid was a sign and now the earthquake. I asked him what religion he was out of curiosity, and he said he belonged to the Pentecostal Church. I did not feel the need to explain who I was to him; I simply cherished the time we had with him and attempted to calm his worries and fears. As I explained that there was really no need to worry, that if we believe in Christ and we love him that he will have mercy on us. Before we dropped him off, we prayed with him asking the Lord to give us each the strength to hold our heads high and to remain Joyful in the good times and the bad.


I can’t make this stuff up, since following Christ into the mission field we have had so many divine appointments. Designed and planned by Christ himself, opportunities granted to us that allow us to love another, to preach the truth and to share of His immense love he has for everyone.

Last night I prepared for this morning’s celebration so unaware of the earthquake that would happen just hours before it was time to celebrate the Liturgy. Many times, I find that I struggle to relate the Gospel to those we serve but today there was no doubt that Jesus sent a clear meaning of the Gospel message in a very real way.  

We must hold are heads high and with Joy Proclaiming His goodness at all times, and pray

“Come, Lord Jesus; do not delay. Life without you is no life at all. We prepare our hearts for your coming at Christmas and your coming at the end of time. Accept our prayer today and send your Holy Spirit into our hearts to teach us to say “Maranatha!” Come Lord Come do not delay!

Awaken us from our Slumber oh Lord! 

Karen Del Castillo 

Mission Post : Cajaruro-Utcubamba-Amazonas-Peru

 * Deacon Erik Burckel, LC,

Friday, October 22, 2021

Pig Pens to Weddings and Everything In Between

Peace to you my brothers and sisters!

I trust that you are well and remain blessed by the Lord. I wanted to write to you and give you a report of the amazing transformations that have been taking place here at our mission post, and to honor you for your faithfulness and steadfast love for the Lord as we approach this Sunday, which has been marked as World Mission Sunday!  

 September marked another year for us serving as foreign missionaries here in Peru. During the months leading up to September, it was made very clear that Jesus still desires us to live, to cry and to share His love with the poor here. However little our YES to the Lord feels, he is capable of transforming it in to so much more. With that said we can not welcome this new season without honoring all of the HUGE things that has transpired here just in the last few months. I invite you to take a moment, get a cup of coffee and learn of the amazing things that Christ has done and desires still to do.

A theme that resounds in our hearts, that propels us forward and that we strive to live out each day, are just what Pope Francis used to mark this Sunday, World Missions Sunday, October 24, 2021 with as he selected the theme “We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard” Acts 4:20 . The Holy Spirit has used these words in so many ways to advance the Gospel Message and to open doors and opportunities for us to enter into the lives of those we have been called to serve. In each opportunity it looks very different for us. Each day is a new and exciting day, as we discover what medium the Holy Spirit chooses for us to use that day, so that we can reach the hearts of the lonely and broken. Like an artist He is, He can choose clay, paint, or broken crayons like us, to create His art. And that is exactly what he has done here, from Pig Pens to Weddings and everything in between. Jesus the artist, has created the following opportunities for us to reach his beloved poor so we can love them just as he has loved us, and we are compelled to share it with you.

 Maritza’s Pig Pens

 Our goal has been to help Maritza obtain income and financial support. We have been blessed to be able to walk with her and navigate through the government offices here, which is a very intimidating and lonely task when going alone. Our desire was for her to not only obtain government support but to help her also to apply for child support from the father of her children. Which we are happy to share that she now is receiving support from both the government and child support.  We have also bought her 2 female and 2 male pigs, and well they are doing well and reproducing which is all part of Gods Plan and the plan to help Maritza earn money by raising them and selling them. With that said all of these new baby piglets need a secure and safe place to live in grow. So together we our building pig pens, doing the work ourselves to not only save money but more importantly because it allows us to spend time together. We have three more pens to build, and we desire to build a chicken coop for her chickens as well, so if you feel the Holy Spirit nudging and calling you to support this project he probably is. Each Pig Pen cost about $200.00 to build. You can follow the Link below to make a donation. 👇

Donation Link 

Karen Del Castillo | Family Missions Company Family Missions Company



You may remember our friend named Camila, who instead of worrying about school at her age sells candy on the streets of a neighboring town. We are so excited to share with you that she was able to receive a huge blessing. Little did I know that when I shared a small story about her a few months ago Jesus was able to create even more beautiful art, as a wonderful family from the states contacted me as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit to help her. Often times, as full-time missionaries we work as liaisons, as a connection between those of you in America who have the funds and financial means to help those here. As missionaries we are here full time and it is without a doubt that we get to know the people, their stories of hardship and suffering as we grow in friendship. With that said often we feel the only tool we have to help is prayer. In the silence of our heart Jesus heard our prayers and as a good Father he provided for the needs of this lovely little girl. With the help of this generous family, together we were able to help Camila set up in her small one bedroom home a store called a bodega. Funds were provided to buy her a refrigerator, products to sell such as cokes, waters, chips, and candy. We were also able to purchase tables and chairs so that Camila and her mom can sell chicken on a stick, called anticuchos, at night. With this donation Camila will now be able to stay at home and make money instead of walking the streets all day and all night to sell candy.

Camila and her mother 

Jesus was not done creating his masterpiece with Camila, we were able to help Maritza with the same opportunity to set up a small bodega to help her earn extra income as well. Maritza is such a hard worker but she can not afford daycare, so often she has to leave her children behind when she goes to work in the corn and rice fields, our desire is that this extra income will help her be able to stay with her children. Instead of tables and chairs we bought her a huge pan so she can make a drink called chicha morada which is made from purple corn, cinnamon, and cloves. After she brews it, she will pour it in to recycled plastic coke and water bottles which she has found and cleaned in order to sell them. 

These crazy kids

 More Missionaries

Many of you have heard our request for prayers and have joined us in praying for more missionaries to be sent to our mission post over the last year or more. We could not be more delighted to share the good news that in February our mission post will receive two new missionaries. Their names are Sarah and Mallory, they are currently in formation at FMC’s mission base, located in Abbeville Louisiana. I beg of you to please continue to pray for my family and the missionaries that will be joining us. Please pray that the lies of the devil do not overshadow the truth and the goodness of our Lord. I can tell you the devil is super mad right now, and he is waging his war in protest that the Lord answered our prayers. And the spiritual attacks have begun, his lies have all but told me that we are not good enough to receive missionaries, “how stupid does that sound now that its typed”. Another huge lie is that our mission post is not good enough, pretty enough and too secluded for the new missionaries, “I don’t know, that might even sound worse.”  Lastly please pray that the Lord provides the perfect housing for them. We are super excited to receive such a gift from the Lord and can not wait to see all the good things he has planned for us as these two wonderful ladies join us here to serve for the next two years.


Mallory and Sarah 

Saint Magdalene’s home

Since arriving on the mission field the Holy Spirit has been very intentional in His ways and by no mistake, He has directed us to His desire to share Christ’s love with single mothers and their children. He has taken our brokenness and heart ache and mended and fashioned it for his own creation and goodness. For over a year I have heard the whispers and faint nudges during prayer and have seen 1st hand the need of a home for single mothers. With that we invited Father Robert who I serve under here and FMC’s leadership to discern and join in prayer about the possibility of building a home for mothers. We all have been given such peace with the idea of the project and we all confirm that it is a desire that is of the Lord.

Through a director’s appeal and other private donations, we have over a short period of time raised $49,000.00 for the home. With that said we desire before beginning construction to meet the total needed amount to make this home possible. We are almost halfway to reaching the goal of $100,000.00. Which is truly amazing, and I have no doubt that Jesus will soften the hearts of those he is calling to support this project. I invite you today to take this project of the Lord’s to prayer and ask if it is a project that burns within your heart. If it does, please pray about how you can help with this huge project. Is the Lord calling you to make a donation or share the project with others that may desire to help?

Saint Magdalene’s home that will consist of several small family homes for single mothers and their children to live in, along with a community house where we can come together in prayer, and to share meals together. Our goal is to share our lives with them and create an opportunity to walk with them and disciple each of these beautiful families while prayerfully providing opportunities that will allow them to heal and discover the love Jesus has for each of them. To donate click the link below. 👇

Karen Del Castillo | Family Missions Company  Family Missions Company


Elever and Iris 

One of the ministries that I find that satisfies my heart is teaching others about the beautiful Catholic faith, and helping, not only children, but couples as well to receive the sacraments. Which is why I am sharing with you about the growth and the bond that has been made between these two couples pictured here, which tells the amazing truth of Jesus’s love. For over a year we have met each week in search of a deeper understanding of the sacrament of marriage, the mystery of the Eucharist and the purpose of man’s life here on earth. And Last Saturday I am so honored to share with you that the Holy Spirit was Alive and Present in a little old mud brick chapel as these two couples received for the 1st time in their lives the body and blood of Jesus Christ and the sacrament of Marriage. There is no denying the beauty that has been joined together with the joining of these two couples as they invited Christ the Bridegroom into their relationships. 

Elever and Iris / Elmer and Sandra 

May we pray that they always will strive to live as witnesses of a faithful Christian family, and may they grow in their vocation not only to serve each other as spouses and parents but as they learn to serve their community around them as they live the fullness of their Marriage vocation.


Iris and Elever walking to the Church 

Sandra walking with her family to the Church



Pope Francis writes, “The theme of this year's World Mission Sunday -- "We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20), is a summons to each of us to 'own' and to bring to others what we bear in our hearts. This mission has always been the hallmark of the Church, for 'she exists to evangelize” (Saint Paul VI, EN14).

We cannot think you enough for your steadfast faithfulness and your love for the poor. Because of you we are able to live among these beautiful people and we are grateful for the opportunity to evangelize so many who have yet heard the Good News preached. May this year be more blessed than the last and may we welcome the sacrifices and hardships that come with serving the Lord and proclaiming His message in every dark corner of the world!

In Christ ! 

Karen, Julianna and Gabriel Del Castillo 

*Mission Post: Cajaruro, Amazonas, Peru*

Sunday, August 8, 2021

"Yo soy el pan que vivo que ha bajado del cielo"

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven”

 “Yo soy el pan que vivo que ha bajado del cielo” 

The last few Sundays we have heard a reoccurring theme which revolves around the Eucharist as it is the Spiritual food that satisfies us. There are many things in this world that offer and promises us happiness and satisfaction, but through the words of our Lord we know that it is only the bread that He offers, that can feed us and satisfy us. It spiritually feeds us as we make our journey to heaven.

 “This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” John 6: 51

With that said WE ARE SO EXCITED to share with you that last Sunday was a busy week at our mission post. Since our arrival in 2019 we have been blessed to journey with three different communities and prepare them to receive sacraments. (Which has not been easy with COVID, and the many times we have had to stop and restart classes due to the virus and government mandates) 

 However, when God is in charge nothing is impossible!

 Last Sunday we were blessed to call out our Priest’s to two of the communities to celebrate Mass and 11 Baptisms and 16 people receive the Body of Christ for the very 1st time. We are still working with those who will receive confirmation and the sacrament of marriage in October and November. So, stay tuned. 

 We are so blessed by God’s love for us and His undying love for his beloved poor! And for his gift of His Son Jesus and for all of YOU back at home who continue to pray and support Jesus’s mission here. 

Thank you and God Bless! *Mission Post: Cajaruro, Amazonas, Peru*

Missionary Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, pray for us!