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




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