I must confess, the original version of this blog was quite forced and not fully me. I am sorry to write another one of such similarity, but this one is much more Blake Allan Casteel.
When I write a blog, I want all of you to feel the full passion I have for what I am writing about. I love being here in Kona, not because it is Hawaii but because of these people that I get to have relationship with. I have made some of the best friends of my life in this place. Shay and I come alive when we are stood with by so many people.
We are doing well here in Kona. Shiloh and Arrow are growing, of course, and becoming so much more like their mother. I still do not get many words in conversation while sitting at the dinner table with them. I love it. I will be honest, sometimes I sit and look at them and begin to pray in a little boy. I can't wait until I have him.
Shay and I are stepping into new marital glory everyday. We are becoming each others biggest fans more and more everyday. I am constantly realizing how immature I am and how much more she knows than I. Thankfully, I have amazing accountability and usually feel better after they tell me I am not as dumb as I think. I am a constant work in progress. Shay is usually a completed work. I am grateful for this.
Shay has been taking on nanny jobs for some extra cash. Because of this, Arrow is making new friends. She has a new friend Ezra. Ezra is a 2 year old little boy who is very protective of the female gender. He always helps Arrow and constantly warns her of what he thinks might be danger. My kind of guy.
Yesterday, Shay had to run somewhere so I was hanging with the two. They were sitting in chairs having 2 year old conversation. I was enjoying this. The conversation shifted and they began talking about their booboos. They began to show each other their knee scrapes and elbow scratches. It was quickly turning into the Lethal Weapon 3 scene where two characters started showing their wounds that they earned while on duty as officers. Arrow felt the need to top Ezra.
The night before, Arrow was on our bed and fell off flat onto her face. Instantly I picked her up and realized she was bleeding in amounts that a guy like me cannot handle well. Her bottom teeth went strait into her top lip. Arrow was flipping out. Anyone could have easily thought I was beating her by the amounts of screaming that was going on. Shiloh was contributing to the screaming. Shiloh is a lot like me when it comes to blood. So needless to say, Arrow felt as if she won when she showed Ezra the lip booboo! Quite the victory for my sweet little girl.
Yesterday, I was able to go help do some work with the Mashalliese people down South on the Big Island. These people are a displaced people group. They were brought here, and other places, because the U.S. used their islands for a-bomb testings. They have been here for years. We pulled up and I quickly realized the 3rd world state of their community. They had built all of their housing on lava rock(this is a horrible foundation). They have to lay carpet down for paths from house to house. Their houses are makeshift and they have no running water. We could not believe it. The people we went with had just finished building a water placement tank so these people would have clean drinking water. We had to lift a half ton lid up and move it to where we could get it on the tank. We did this with the guys from the Marshalliese community. It was great. They were so funny. Most of the time we could not stop laughing because of how hard this thing was to lift. We are hopefully going to be doing more stuff with our new friends down South.
It has been 2 and a half months since I lost my Selah Praise. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about her. I daily ask the Lord questions concerning this experience. I try to keep the questions in the "What do you want to do through this?" department. I was quite stuck in the "Why did you let this happen?" department for way to long. That is never wisdom. I don't think I will know why while being on this side of life, but I do believe He makes all things new and that He works all things for good for those who love Him. I love Him. Oh how I love Him. I love Him more today than yesterday. I believe I will love Him more tomorrow than today. I will always miss my little girl but I will always love Him no matter what. He is a good Papa. He makes up for any loss. Satan will never have victory over us. Thank you all for your prayers for us during this time.
We are still staff here at YWAM with the Fire and Fragrance Leadership Track. The Leadership Track is a consistent facilitation of staff members who are not currently in a DTS or on outreach. We are leading and raising up unbelievably crazy leaders. On a daily basis, we fuel the prayer room and serve the base in every way possible! Shay and I are bringing the community and prayer aspect to the track. We are all going deep into scripture memorization together. Last quarter, we memorized the Sermon on the Mount. This quarter, we are memorizing all of Phillipians. This has been great for Shay and I. Scripture is coming alive more than ever before for me. We are longing for all of us to see signs and wonders just like they saw in the New Testament. We want to see mass revival and reformation among our generation. We believe we are a part of this. We have committed to the track until the end of this year.
We are still in need of monthly support. We currently have $600 of monthly support committed to us. Our monthly rent is $875 alone. We have been making it but we do want to make our situation known to all of you. This is our job for this season! Please pray the Lord would have you partner with us! We are training up young people to be intimate, fiery lovers of Jesus and then taking Him to the nations. We are so privileged to be a part of this! If you would like to give, we have Paypal and a missions account through YWAM which is tax deductible. If you would like more info on the account through YWAM, please let me know.
We love you all and promise to update more frequently.
Blake, Shay, Shiloh and Arrow