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!