Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hello Friends,

I wanted to share with all of you about my most recent travel. At the beginning of August I was blessed to be able to go be in my amazing friend Noel Johnson's wedding in Lancaster, PA. It was amazing. I love seeing the joining of two friends in marriage. Noel and Renee you are amazing friends and may your marriage be blessed in every way.

After this wedding I was able to be a part of the Lancaster Circuit Riders. Friends, I was so blessed to be a part of this. I was undone by the generosity of friends to get me there. My life was forever changed by several things that I saw the Lord do.

On the Monday night meeting there were about 1,200 people in attendance. This shocked all of us!!! about half way through the meeting, the speaker was sharing how the passivity that we, at times, walk in was never a characteristic of Christ. To show this he began reading the paragraph headings in Mark. These headings say things such as "Jesus Heals", "Jesus Prays", "Jesus Feeds", "Jesus Predicts", "Jesus Dies"etc. None of these action verbs indicate any passivity in Christ's life. He was fully courageous in all of His Leadership. The last heading that he read was "Jesus Rises From the Dead". At this,  the crowd stood up and began to worship the Man Jesus that was raised from the dead for all of us. It was the most spontaneous thing I have ever seen. It went on for 40 minutes. I am still in such joy about it. These words do the Holy Spirit no justice!

The following day our team went for the first outreach of the week. I was with 2 of the people on my team. The very first guy we walk up to, named Sammy, had never heard the Gospel. He listened and was so encountered by the love of God that he was saved right there! It was so encouraging.

The next two guys we approached were young hispanic guys. They both had little children. I began to tell them about how much I love my children and how I would do anything to save my kids. I begin to share how Christ has done this for us. I let them know that every action we take is a choice. A choice to be good fathers and a choice to be saved by the Son of God. They both received Christ right there. This was obviously very encouraging.

We then began walking down the street. I forgot to say that this was all in the very ghetto part of Lancaster. As we were walking towards this store, a young man walked out of it. I asked him if he had a minute to talk. He didnt. He was in a hurry he said. I then asked him if I could walk with him. He gave me a nod that indicated it was ok to. I began to share Christ with this guy. He listened so intently. After about 5 minutes of me sharing Christ and about my children, he put his face in his hands and began to cry. He looked up me and said, "I need to be a better father to my 3 kids so I need to give Jesus my life!". I was so shocked. I led him to his Savior right there! I walk back to the group with an unbelievable faith in Jesus. More than ever before. Nothing was going to keep me from talking to anyone about the Lord.

As we were returning to the convention center we passed 2 single mothers. I began to share the story of my wife and oldest daughter Shiloh. One of the girls didnt really care. Tayvon, the young girl that could not look away from me, listened intently. She was undone by Shannon's story and could not believe that a savior wanted to save her and be her new foundation. The other girl was smoking a cigarette and gave it to Tayvon. Tayvon just held it in her hand and didnt think about it once while we were talking. She was so undone by the love of Jesus. She gave her life to the Lord on the steps of her house.

These five salvations changed my life. I was so grateful that the Lord sent me to Lancaster to be a part of these peoples lives. Thank you Lord!

I just wanted to share these few stories with all of you. Thank you for your prayers and support.

Shay and I do live off of the financial support of friends. If you feel compelled to begin to so into our lives as we train young leaders here in Kona, please contact me.

Blessings to you all!!!

The Casteel's

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Faithful and Called!

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing very well. Shay, the kids and I are doing amazing. I must apologize to you all for the length of time that has gone by since we have updated all of you! Please forgive me. We love you and are so grateful for your prayers and support. We are a truly blessed family. 

Shannon is such an amazing mother to our 3 kids and, of course, an amazing wife! She loves so well and leads amazingly. She is looked up to by all of the women at the Ywam base here. She is about to speak in the largest dts of this quarter. They have asked her to speak on redemption. She is the perfect person to teach on this! Praise God for the redemption over her life.



Shiloh is growing so fast and has far surpassed my intelectual level. She love reading and is becoming quite the amazing artist. Arrow is the funniest little girl I have ever been around. She keeps all of us here in some sort of laughter. Our favorite thing is when she starts dancing. She loves looking up to here amazing older sister. Brave is already almost 10 months. This dude is growing so fast. He is crawling so fast and is starting to get ripped from it. He is so strong. He is quickly learning that it is hilarious to take stuff from his sisters. Our kids are such an amazing blessing to us.

We have just started the 7th quarter of our leading The Awakening Leadership Track. We just did orientation yesterday. Shay and I are very excited about this new crew. There is such a hunger and expectation for the Lord. These guys and girls are hungry to see the Lord and do what he does. We are all in an understanding that we must only do what Jesus did. It is amazing to lead guys and girls that have an understanding of the fear of the Lord and know the gentleness of the love of Christ at the same time. So much can come from a community that walks in this! We are and will always be at His righteous disposal. We are all in. We must see the Gospel penetrate the lies of the enemy and see souls saved around the world. This is a desire of all of this crew. We are some of the laborers being trained for when He decides to thrust us into the nations. Please pray for us(Matt. 9:38)! We are being prepared. 

The Lord is unfolding a major destiny and purpose in our lives. The Lord has brought us to Kona to train this young YWAM staff and to prepare them for the times. He has also brought us here to be trained in leadership for when the time comes for us to be launched into the nations. We know that the enemy hates this generation. This generation has so easily given their lives to things other than what the Lord has. Passivity has rapidly grown in the lives of teenagers and the twenty somethings. The Lord has brought Shay and I to this place to train up leaders that will no longer live lives of passivity and thinking the Lord will just take care of it. He longs for us to conquer the enemy with Him. He created us for partnership. In this partnership, we of course rely on Him, but we also step into an understanding of doing things for His glory! I believe we are to walk in the same understanding that Jonathon and his armor bearer had. They knew they would be called up by the philistines. They knew that when they were called up by them that they would have to finish climbing that cliff. Only then would the Lords hand kill those philistines. He used those 2 young men to do for His glory. The enemy was slaughtered by the Lord through the young generation. The Lord longs for this to still happen. 

It is time to see this generation walking in the lifestyle of Holiness. Compromise is no longer an option. What did Jesus do? He healed the sick! He spoke truth to the sinner! He cast out Demons! He poured His life out to 12 men! Those men, with their knowledge of Christ, just happened to change the whole world by speaking the word of Christ, stepping in holiness, never allowing fear to dictate and walking in the fullness of faith! These were men who truly understood what it meant to be like Christ. We want to live this out in our lives and train young men and women of the importance of this. Jesus went to the Father so we must do our part and do what He did and greater!

shifting just a little but, we are excited to announce an opportunity we have to go and be a part of the Circuit Riders in Lancaster, PA! Circuit Riders is a training week for people to come and be trained to preach the gospel. Andy Byrd, Brian Brent, Lou Engel lead the Circuit Riders into full understanding of the simple gospel and send them out to take the truth to the lost. Circuit Riders happens each year in 5 to 7 locations. Lancaster will be the 4th one of this year. There have been thousands of salvations that have come as fruit of these Circuit Riders events. Shay and I are hoping to fly out to Pennsylvania July 31st to be at one of my best friends weddings and then staff this Circuit Riders from August 3rd to the 10th. I know that this is all last minute but we believe the Lord has spoken to us to go. Please pray and ask the Lord if you may be able to help in support of this last second opportunity. Here is a link for a video that will give you an idea!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lJ5pvsDI4M

Please continue to stand in prayer for us. We do raise support for us to be here in Kona. If you would like lto begin supporting us monthly you can do so through our paypal and or send it to our missions account(I can explain that if you are interested). This would be such a blessing  for us. We know that this is what the Lord has called us to. 

Thank you for reading and I pray that the Lord would speak to you as you ponder on these words.

Love,
The Casteels


Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Lord, the Family and the Opportunity

Dear Family and Friends,

We hope all of you are doing well. Thank you for all of your prayers and support of our family doing what the Lord has called us to do. We are doing so well as a 5 person family. Our kids are coming alive every day and we are seeing amazing fruit in their lives. Shay and I, as parents, are so happy to see this happening in our children's lives.

Shay and the kids took me to a local seafood restaurant called Bite Me for my birthday this last month. This was amazing. They were so excited to celebrate me on the beginning of my 28th year. We had sat down and were in the process of deciding what we all wanted to eat. Shiloh was looking at the live Lobsters in the tank at the front of the restaurant. The hostess walked next to Shiloh as she was walking back to our table. We noticed a smile on the hostess' face. We asked Shiloh what she had to said to the hostess. Shiloh asked her if the owner of the restaurant was a believer in Jesus Christ. Shiloh has gotten so bold. Her boldness has truly spurned us on! How can we be so timid at times when our 7 year old is like a lion. Shiloh does this more often than I can tell you. I am proud of this young women!

I just recently went to Oklahoma to see my family for a few days. This time i went without my family. This was, of course, a bummer to all of my family. The second day I was in Oklahoma we decided to Skype Shay and the kids. As usual, the kids decided to take up this entire Skype conversation. Arrow was so excited to see me and talk to me. She could not stop laughing and being overcome by joy when she saw my face on the computer screen. It was so cute. She said to me, "Oh man, I'm so nervous right now" and  "Oh man, I'm so sweaty right now". Then she proceeded to wipe her armpits out. This made me laugh so hard. Arrow makes Shannon and I laugh all of the time. She brings so much joy to us.

Brave is growing so fast. He will be 5 months next week. This life goes by so fast. He brings so much hope into our lives. He is the sweetest little dude ever. He has started kissing Shannon on demand. This blesses Shannon and makes all of us laugh. He is such a great little guy.

Shannon is more beautiful than ever! The Good Lord has truly blessed me with my amazing wife. She is such an amazing influence to the young ladies on base and in the community. She has been such an inspiration to all of us. She is a true champion in life and has showed true endurance in every aspect of life. When I thought she might quit, she didn't. When I thought she may break, she stood strong. My wife has not only inspired others, she has stirred me on. I am the man I am because of the Lord and this woman! Thank you Shannon for who you are to all of us!

We are seeing amazing young men and women raised up to go and preach the Gospel in every nation on earth. We are about to see 7 teams sent out from Fire and Fragrance DTS at the beginning of April. All of the staff that are leading those teams were in the Leadership Track the 3 months prior to them staffing.

Shannon and I thought that you all might want to know exactly what we are doing. We are full time staff with one of the largest missionary organizations in the world, Youth With A Mission. It is a non-profit, support based ministry committed to fulfilling The Great Commission. For the past year we have been leading the Awakening Leadership Track. The Track is a leadership development course designed to prepare mature and effective leaders. These young leaders walk in great integrity and Godly character. We are training them to staff DTS(Discipleship Training Schools), lead outreaches, plant presence centered communities and pioneer DTS schools in any culture or circumstance.

We have over 35 people in the Track this quarter. Some will be going in to staffing dts this April while the others will continue on in the track. We have a clear word from the Lord to take the crew remaining in the track to Amsterdam. We are going for 2 weeks in March. Our objective is twofold- first to build relationship and prepare the way for teams going into Amsterdam for months at a time. Second, to pray on the ground concerning the possibility of a future Fire and Fragrance DTS at the YWAM base in Amsterdam. We will be meeting with key Ywam Amsterdam leaders to pray concerning these possibilities. We will also be linking with the 24-7 prayer room, which is inside the Red Light District, and working with an organization call Serve the City Amsterdam.

Our family was in Amsterdam in 2011 and we saw the desire of the Lord over this city! We all were so stirred to love the unloved. We saw so much fruit for the Lord. We loved being there, immersed in community with the broken and have been longing to go back ever since. To lead a team there is so exciting for us.

We have to purchase our tickets soon. We have to get $2000 to the travel agent tomorrow. We really feel that our whole family is meant to go. It will be roughly $9000 for our whole family to go. This includes flights, housing, transpiration and food. Brave is, of course, free! This is a huge step of faith as we believe for this money to go to Amsterdam.

Thank you all for reading this and praying about supporting us financially for this purpose. You can give to us on paypal.com using our email: blake.n.shaycasteel@gmail.com. Or you can mail a tax deductible donation with our missions account #5706 on it.
Mail to:
Blake Casteel
75-5851 Kuakini Hwy #372
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
If you mail a donation, you will receive a receipt at the end of the year for tax purposes!

Thank you for considering the possibility of supporting us!

Sincerely,
The Casteels




Thursday, September 20, 2012

The September Update from the Casteels!

I am so blessed by the Lord! This has been an amazing season for us. Five days ago, I became the father of little boy! His name is Brave Benaiah Casteel! I look at him and I still can't believe I have a son. I get to raise this little boy in the way he should go. We named him Brave as a declaration of who he is. Every day, when we say his name, we are speaking bravery over his life. He will walk his life in nothing but bravery. He has brought so much peace and joy to our family! I have seen Shiloh and Arrow come to life with having a little brother! Shiloh has stepped into new responsibilities. She has wanted to help Shannon more than ever. She wants to wash the dishes, clean her room and most of all hold the baby all of the time. Shiloh is an amazing big sister.

Arrow, well, Arrow is still an amazing handful from God. Arrow has no idea how rough she is with Brave. I think that is my fault. I wrestle with her and tickle her all of the time. Arrow is our family comedian. She has tons of question about Brave. I had no idea how big she had gotten until Brave was born. Anyways, she has been very excited about being a big sister. She wants to help with Brave all of the time as well. It has become a competition between her and Shiloh. They are also becoming very close in other ways. They are learning how to enjoy each other which is a very nice for Shay and I. I just can't believe we have three kids now! It is amazing!

Other news, we are still here in Kona Hawaii working with YWAM. We are in such an amazing spiritual environment. We have had the privilege of leading the Leadership Track for the last nine months. The Leadership Track is an open ended, one-year minimum training track designed to create radical, presence centered leaders who walk in integrity, holiness and in His presence. This is a second phase program designed to bring in DTS staff 3 months prior to their schools starting and train them to be the greatest leaders they can be. We have seen tremendous results in their lives. We also put a high value on community in the track. It is very important for us to be a family that is always bringing in but always willing to release individuals into their dreams!

The Leadership Track also has a desire to send out communities around the world. We have a whole crew in the track that is planting community in South Africa in January. We are so pumped about this. We believe that planting presence centered communities in different nations and cities around the world is an amazing way to make Jesus known. We send people out to commit to these communities for at least 2 years. We have another crew that is going to plant in Pasadena in November of this year! This is very important to us.

I do want to get back to the topic of community plants, but I do want to make a quick rabbit trail. The family and I were so blessed to be able to go home for a month in late July to mid August. It was a great trip home. We were able to connect with friends and family in Charlotte and Greensboro. We drove down to Atlanta to see my old boy Heath and our good ol' Athens friends. I then flew to Kansas City to go to the Circuit Riders for 5 days and Shay made a nice little drive with the girls to see our Myrtle Beach Family! Shiloh got to see her friend Blaise and Arrow was able to make a new friend in Posie, Blaise's little sister. Shay was so happy to be with their mom and good friend, Maeve. This is a brief overview of our time on the east coast. After spending one more night with my amazing in laws, the family and I flew to our favorite city on the earth, San Francisco.

I cannot express to you how much we love San Francisco!!! I know that Jesus is still in love this city. It is by far the most diverse, beautiful city that I have been to. There are amazing parks for the kids(that I liked more then they did). The city is home to some of the most unique coffee shops I have been to. The public transportation is amazing! We LOVE this city! The girls talk about San Fran everyday! We connected with an awesome pastor and his wife and the Ywam leader there in San Fran. It was good to see some of the believers is in this very tolerant city. We were able to see old friends and make new ones.

Going back to the community plant topic! Shay and I are looking to plant community in San Fran. We have been praying into this for the last 5 years since Shay and I were there as friends on the Summer of Love Tour! We have wanted to move there ever since. Every time that we would pray about it, we always knew that the timing had not yet come! Last year, I was talking with my friend telling him about our heart for San Fran. He was so pumped to hear this. Fire and Fragrance, which is the DTS I did in 2011, has been wanting to launch a community into San Fran. We are praying into this even more with our leaders here. We are still not sure what it all looks like yet.

With all of this being said, Shay and I have committed another year to leading the Leadership Track. We believe this is the best training for us to go and one day plant this community in San Fran. We also really love being a part of the track.



There are now 5 of us Casteels. As many of you know, having a baby makes things a little more expensive. We have amazing monthly supporters but we need a few more. YWAM is a volunteer missions organization so none of us are paid. We are currently living off of $800 of monthly support. With rent, bills, gas and necessities we need at least $1500 of monthly support. We have had random blessings each month that has helped us a ton. I have also been able to help some friends out renting their vehicles. We would not be able to be here without your prayers and support! If you would like to give, you can give by PayPal, mail a check and or give to our missions account through YWAM. Iyou would like our address to mail a check or to know how to give through our missions account, please send me a response. Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Blessings to all of you!

Blake, Shay, Shi, Arrow and Brave!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Life, Prayers, Babies and Need

What a day to update all of you on how the Casteels are doing! We are quite well. Shannon is beautiful as always. She is 5 months pregnant with another amazing, beautiful child. We are waiting until the baby is born to find out the gender. Shiloh is practically taller than me and only growing to be more beautiful like her mother. Arrow is the funniest person I have ever been around! It is never a dull moment with her. She is growing in Shannon's beauty as well, Thank God! She does have my amazing eyes. I just wrote that to make myself feel a touch better.

The Lord is so good to us. We have been through the fire this last year but it feels so good to say that Shay and I are more refined than ever. My Selah Praise, although lost for now but rescued by Him, is one of the greatest gifts of my life. I will never forget her beauty and that the way I remember her now is not the way I will see her in eternity. I know the Lord is her joy. The Lords joy is in her and her joy is complete. Shay and I are steadfast and found faithful. We miss our daughter but we love the Lord in greater measure than ever!

Shay and I wanted to update you all on our lives, our family and our needs. We are currently leading the Leadership Track here on the Kona Ywam base. It has been such a privilege to run with all of those in the track and on this base. The Lord has blessed with this amazing opportunity. We are helping to raise up radical leaders that are going to be capable to lead anywhere and in any situation. The 40 that are in the track right now are coming alive in scripture, knowledge of Christ and community. We are only growing in this time. The Lord is so good to us.

We do have some needs that we would like to bring before you all. Our commitment to this base is, at least right now, until December. We are praying that we will have the opportunity to fly home in July to visit family and friends. Currently, we do not have the money to be able to do this! However, it is much needed as we have been here since october with no break and the baby is coming in september!   We know that this will be a good time to meet with supporters concerning what we have been doing for these last 7 months and what we believe we are doing the rest of this year.

As some of you know, the Lord has put it on our hearts to go and plant a community in San Francisco. I know what some of you are thinking, but the Lord desires San Francisco to be revived. We pray for this city daily. We believe that we are called to be some of the righteous people to live in this city and pray in the change. We want to establish community, get jobs in the city and get to know those who need Jesus and family. Shay and I have such a heart for this city to know the Lord. We are hoping to take a scouting trip there this summer. We have a few contacts that we want to get to know and build relationship with. We believe that it is important for us to do this to see what is already established and to know what we can and need to do. We have about six people right now that plan on going with us to plant next year.

I am also praying about going to London in July to help with the London Circuit Riders. This is a 2 week school to prepare youth and young adults to go and preach the gospel effectively just as the the circuit riders did in the 1700's. This is a desire of mine. We will be sharing the gospel at the Olympics this summer. We believe this is a very strategic time to preach the gospel because for a month, all of the nations will be in one city!

We are asking you to please pray about a role you can play in seeing the Kingdom advanced through Shay and I and our dreams. We are needing more monthly support to live with the baby coming in September. With the travels we are hoping to go on this summer, we need $8,500. We now have to buy a plane ticket for Arrow since she is 2yrs old and no longer can be a lap child. Would you please pray and see if the Lord would like you to help us in this season? We do need monthly support but, if you would rather, we would absolutely receive one time gifts. You can give to us on our PayPal link or you can mail checks to:
Blake and Shay Casteel
75-5851 Kuakini Hwy #372
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

Thank you all for supporting us these last 7 months with your prayers and finances.

We love you all.

The Casteels


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

One Favorite Memory! And some good news!

Hey Dear Friends!

I want to start this off by sharing some amazing news. We have recently found out that we are going to have another baby. We are so excited. Please keep us in your prayers. We are full of faith. We know this baby has a great destiny to live out. I love having kids and I cannot wait to have this next little one in my arms.

Our families have been so instrumental in us being here. They have supported us through and through. We are so grateful for the prayers of Shay's mom and dad. They have been behind us the whole time. Their faith has been such an example to us of what faith really is. Johnny and Melissa were here just after Selah died. Thank God that the timing was that good. My mom, sister and aunt keep sending the girls goodies and cards. We have amazing family. Our lives are so blessed by you all.

My life was forever changed when I was 11 years old. My 2nd cousin, David, was in the hospital in Dallas, TX. My papa knew that David was on his death bed and he could be gone at any moment. My papa invited me to go with him on the 4 hr drive to Dallas, which would only be 3 hrs if he didn't drive so slow. I without any hesitation wanted to go. I thought all we were doing was going to say goodbye to David. I was wrong.

We talked about everything from horses to the 1st and only time my papa played golf. He shot an 88. Let it be known that my papa is still one of my favorite people to talk to. We then made the stop at Braums to get that very needed burger. I never thought to ask him the full reason of us making this drive. We, of course, got into terrible Dallas traffic. I noticed that my papa's urgency to get there had only risen. He was more frustrated with the traffic than usual. He is the most patient man I know so this was quite weird to me. I realized that this was a very important trip.

Finally we got to the hospital. This hospital was huge. It felt as if we were never going to get to Davids room. We eventually found the room and inside was David. I didn't think he looked to bad for being on his deathbed. We small talked with him for a bit. He asked me questions about my playing basketball and my family. He was always a very nice guy to me. Then with no hesitation the real reason of the trip came out. My papa, with full boldness, looked at David and said, "David, do you know the Lord Jesus as your savior?" I was instantly amazed by the love that my papa had for his family. I knew that he would have driven to the Pacific Ocean if that would have been where David was. I was taken back. I will never forget the love that was slung from my papa's heart strait into David's life. It was the love of Jesus. My papa had the love of Jesus to give David.

David said that he had given his life to Jesus in his earlier years. They discussed this for a little while. We stayed and talked to David for a bit and then papa prayed for him. We then said good bye and were on our way. We began the journey back. My papa had a smile on his face. I knew he had been obedient to what the Lord had told him what to do. He has always been a man who would give his life for his family. He has told all of his family about the Lord. Not one of theirs ears has not heard my papa's voice share the gospel with them. He speaks and lives it.  He is man that is respected among generations before and after him.

Soon after this trip, David died. My papa made sure that David was going to see Jesus. My papa is one of the reasons I do what I do. I will never forget this time of the gospel being preached and the impact it had on me. I want my kids to always see this side of me. The gospel must be spoken and heard no matter what.

My papa is still alive but I wanted to share this story that is so vital for me being were I am and doing what I do.

I love to tell the lost about the love of Christ. I pray for 2 of my friends all of the time. One of them told me that it would take a lobotomy for him to believe in a God or a Jesus. He doesn't know what I know. A simple encounter with Jesus will do it all. Keep praying for you lost friends. I believe my friends will one day believe.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.

Love,
Blake, Shay, Shi and Arrow

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What's happening with the Casteels!

Hello to you all. We hope you all are blessed and thriving. We know the Lord is doing so much in so many of our lives. Thank God that we serve an amazing God that does amazing things in our lives. I am so glad that we get to receive the love of Christ in every part of our life.

We have been so excited to hear such amazing news from back home. We love life and are so happy that so many of our friends have just had babies, are about to have a baby and have just found out that they are going to have a baby. What a privilege it is to be able to bring children into this world and be able to train them up in the way they must go. I am so happy for you all. Being a father has been one of the greatest representations of Jesus that I have been able to be to another person. It is by far one of the hardest representations of Jesus I have tried to be. May the Lord continue to bless all of us fathers with more grace and joy in our fatherhood.

Shannon and I have been helping with the local Salvation Army every Wednesday afternoon. Every day of the week, the Salvation Army is bringing local Marshallese kids that have no parents and no place to go after school. They feed them and give them rides after dinner to their homes. Yesterday, I was playing basketball with some of the boys. Shay came late because she had to pick Shiloh up from school. When they arrived I went over and loved on them. Shi and Arrow would keep coming over to me to ask me questions and give me hugs. Seeing this, one of the younger Marshallese girls came up to me and said "Why do those little girls keep coming up and hugging you?". I said to her, "Because I am their dad". She could not believe that their dad was with them and interacting with them in love. One of the Lieutenants was sitting next to me and heard it all. She told me that most of these kids either don't have fathers or have no relationship with their fathers. She was so happy for these kids to see the definition of a father the way Christ meant it to be. It has been so amazing to press into these kids.

It is so important for us(the Church) to reach the orphans(James 1:27). We must do a greater work in this injustice. We must press into adoptions. I heard a statistic the other day that said if every church in America was able to fund an adoption for a family in the church that there would be no need for the foster system until next year. What if the church was able to clear out the foster system every year? We would see these kids saved and redeemed just as we all are in Christ. I believe this has become so overlooked by us. With so many kids in the foster system, this becomes justification for pro-choice laws to stay in place. If we truly want to see abortion ended we must see adoptions happening with us Christians. We have been praying against government funded abortions(which will happen if we don't keep praying) and believing for church funded adoptions. This might be an offensive statement to some of you but this is what has been on our hearts.

On a different note, the girls are becoming more and more girly and funny. They are also becoming more quarrelsome which is sometimes funny if I were being honest. Shiloh is going to school full days now. When we told her that she was going to be going full days she was very upset with us. Of course, we didn't know if it was going to work or not. So Shay went to pick her up at the end of her first full day. Shay asked her how her first full day was and Shiloh replied "What, that was a full day?". I guess she is enjoying it. Arrow is much bigger in her mind than she is physically. She is not afraid of much. She has taken Shiloh on quite a few times and though being beat, She keeps trying again. I am so proud of my daughters.

February is going to be full but so amazing. My brother in law will be here next week. Arrow and Shi are very excited to see Uncle Johnny. I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited too. The week after, Shay and I have been asked by the leaders of the Fire and Fragrance DTS to travel with them to Maui. They have a ministry called Pure Heart that encourages destinies to come forth through forgiveness and being forgiven by God. It brings forth true freedom for those who chose to forgive and walk in this freedom. We are excited to help them minister tho those at the Maui Ywam base. I went through Pure Heart last year and realized that there were so many things I needed to forgive and be forgiven of. It is amazing.

Please keep us in your prayers. I will continue to keep all of you updated on the things that are happening here.

We love you all,
Blake, Shay, Shiloh and Arrow