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It is with great sadness that I am writing to share with you the passing of Pastor Fabian Castillo of Tocomacho, Honduras.
Pastor Fabian was killed this past Friday evening while walking home from church. His wife Carlota Ruiz Castillo, son and two grandchildren were with him at the time. They are all safe at home now.
Pastor Fabian was a true pioneer in the Kingdom of God. As one of only two Garifuna pastors of the Church of God in all of Honduras, Fabian was making a huge impact in his community. I first met Fabian when we visited Tocomacho in 2006. At that time the church building was simply a floor and roof. This year in August we visited again and the church building was fully complete. It was beautiful site.
Fabian had begun to work on building a larger block home for his family and to host other potential Garifuna pastors and leaders. His current house was a traditional adobe type home. This block house would be much more secure and spacious.
I remember sharing a meal and impromptu Bible study with Pastor Fabian while sitting under a huge tree at his home. He was a man of peace and compassion for his people. He has pastored in Tocomacho for many years. His life and presence in this Garifuna populated area of Honduras will be sorely missed.
I am encouraged simply by the fact that today he is face to face with his Lord Jesus I know that through Pastor Nahun (Fabian’s friend and mentor) and the others touched by Pastor Fabian’s life that the work for the Kingdom of God in Tocomacho will continue.
Our desire at Connect Global is to first of all lift up his wife Carlota Ruiz Castillo, their children and grandchildren in prayer. And secondly to find a way to finish the construction of their house. Please join us in prayer for the comfort of this family.
Thank you for your partnership with Connect Global and your prayers for all the Garifuna in Honduras. God bless you.
Travis, Gina, Javier & Danielle“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55, 57 NIV)
I was fortunate enough to fly to Haiti with Missionary Flights International. Much like an Indiana Jones’ movie, the cargo laden DC-3 aircraft carried us south over the sea. Along with a total of 24 seats and 22 passengers, our cargo and luggage sat next to us held safe by the canvas strapping. The open cockpit showed the activity of our pilot and co-pilot as we made the three hour journey. The pilot began with safety instructions and prayer and then we were airborne.
Upon arrival in Cap-Haitian, Haiti I was struck by the simplicity of the small airport. A basic concrete runway surrounded by dirt and construction vehicles. A small damaged aircraft welcomed us as we walked to the Haitian customs building.
This structure was obviously too small for the 22 passengers along with the 2 dozen Haitians already inside. After a quick stamp in my passport we began collecting our luggage being passed to us through a hole in the wall. Tight space. Fast paced. New language. Unfamiliar faces. I love this place.
Javier found a handsome man and gave him a big hug. This must be Pastor Julio, our host. After a few minutes our small team was ushered through the crowd to a pick up truck outside. We loaded our bags and ourselves into the back and suddenly … we were in downtown Cap-Haitian in the back of a truck, dodging cars, trucks and motorcycles. Bienvenue du Haiti!
Thirty miles per hour is not very fast unless your avoiding accidents by inches at that speed. The city was packed. The smells rolled by from fresh air to fresh sewage. The people were in a hurry and focused on getting to their destination. You better keep up or have a good driver. I’m grateful we had the latter.
First stop, The Bethesda Church and School in Madeline. This would be our work site for the next week. Down a dirt road (like most of the roads in Haiti), the big gate opened to welcome our truck. I immediately noticed that this place was cleaner than any place else in had seen that day.
The church building sat neatly in front like a beacon of hope. Then a large field and nestled in the back of the property sat the school. Before we got out of the truck we could hear the voices of children chanting their daily memory lesson in unison. I don’t speak Creole but I quickly recognized the sound of learning. Beautiful.
Pastor Julio showed us around like a proud parent describing his children’s art work. We visited each classroom from kindergarten through the 6th grade. Each class greeting us more warmly than the last. Each teacher as proud as could be. Each child with a story in their eyes welcoming us with hope and gratitude.
After the tour, our host invited us into his home. Pastor Julio’s wife greeted us at the door while Julio and his brother Rochnelle helped us with our bags. Our rooms were simple and comfortable. The bathrooms were great. Running water, toilet and shower.
Julio encouraged us to rest a while and then we would share a home cooked meal together. The warmth of this home far exceeded the heat of the day. The love was immediate. The kindness was sincere. I missed my family. I missed my city. I found myself immediately at home in Haiti.
Level 2: Use my gifts. He explained that in the vast majority of minister’s conferences in America we will hear teaching around how to maximize ones gifts and calling. We will hear teaching on how to build a bigger budget, a bigger board, a bigger ministry and a bigger church. In essence an answer to the question, How can I be all that I was created to be?
Level 3: Build the Kingdom. Level 3 thinking, he described as Kingdom thinking. Basically answering this question: “What is it going to take to fully evangelize the ______________ people group?” In other words, there is no cost too great, no sacrifice beyond measure, no limit to what we may be willing to give or do to reach a particular people.
You see if our goal as ministers is to build our big ministry (even for the hope of reaching many) then we are unable to die for a few or even one. If I must grow a ministry then I must be here to grow it.
If, however, my purpose is to reach a people group with the Gospel of Jesus Christ then I am able to set aside theological differences, denominational boundaries, racial divides, economic barriers, and worship practices. I am able to reach across a country border, a church pew and a diner table to give to someone else. I am even able to lay down my life if that is what is required.
The Apostle Paul describe several individuals who were preaching the Gospel out of selfish motives. These folks were interested in making a name for themselves. Their intentions were to move Paul out of the way and take his place and credibility.
Paul’s response to this situation is amazing to me. Instead of finding ways to bolster his name or undercut his “opponents,” he simply rejoices in the Gospel being preached.
It’s true that some here preach Christ because with me out of the way, they think they’ll step right into the spotlight. But the others do it with the best heart in the world. One group is motivated by pure love, knowing that I am here defending the Message, wanting to help. The others, now that I’m out of the picture, are merely greedy, hoping to get something out of it for themselves. Their motives are bad. They see me as their competition, and so the worse it goes for me, the better-they think-for them. So how am I to respond? I’ve decided that I really don’t care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. Every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on! (Philippians 1:15-18 MSG)
I pray that my heart be turned from my kingdom to the building of His so that not even those with whom I may disagree can keep from rejoicing in the Gospel.
That’s right, I’m a PK. My dad, Johnny Moffitt is a preacher extraordinaire. If you’ve never heard him deliver a message then you’re really missing out. He has a way of moving an audience from tears to cheers in seconds. He can have you laughing and crying at the same time. And once he’s done you’ll be ready to “take on hell with a water pistol.” (One of his quotes)
Not only can he preach, he can work; for the Lord. He’s traveled the world over, walking into some of the worst prisons known to man to reach a single soul. He’s been in prisons in the US, Canada, England, Mexico, Africa, Jamaica and Russia. Places no man should live and no missionary should neglect.
I’ve known my father to not only go to these places himself, but take others alongside. In an effort to make disciples wherever he goes, he will recruit the most stoic of saints, take them to prison, then deliver them back to their pews, never to be the same again.
This year he celebrated 40 years of marriage to the same woman, my mother. With 3 children who love him, dozens of people in ministry because of him, and countless souls heaven bound through him, his legacy is impressive.
Yup, I’m a PK and I’m darn proud of it.
Thanks dad. Happy Father’s Day.