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