Pastor Miguel Angel Castillo – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Miguel Angel Castillo is the pastor of Iglesia Fundamento Biblico (IFB), a church he planted 30 years ago in one of the poorest district of Santo Domingo. Pastor Castillo is married to Clara, and they have three grown children and six grandchildren.
New churches are being started in numerous cities with pastors trained by pastor Castillo. In the last four years, four new churches have been established and eight pastors installed. With the help of MMI, funds have been raised for three buildings for these new churches that are growing so quickly, providing a place to worship God and to invite the local community to attend services and events.
Pastoral training is the foundation of all the Gospel work that is done in the Dominican Republic. Pastor Castillo has hosted a free monthly seminary-level training at his church for many years. Currently, 150 pastors and students attend his training each month. Over several years of classes, this training prepares pastors to plant new churches, but it also transforms dozens of existing churches by training their current pastors to study and preach God’s Word accurately. As MMI receives additional funds, pastor Castillo is expanding this work by live-streaming his pastoral training to remote training sites where pastors can gather together each month to be trained in their own province. This serves other pastors who are too poor or too far away to travel to Santo Domingo each month. The funding for this training expansion will profoundly impact churches throughout the entire county, and is a completely indigenous effort.
The IFB church is active in many mercy ministries that serve to open doors for sharing the Gospel. Through partnerships with international Christian organizations who provide some material goods, pastor Castillo and his church members distribute food, clothing, shoes, medicines, and vitamins to the neediest areas in Santo Domingo and other areas of the Dominican Republic. With increased funding, they will purchase additional goods and the fuel to drive to other provinces. There, they will coordinate their mercy work with the pastors they have trained as they preach the Gospel and establish Bible studies in new areas.
Several years ago the men of pastor Castillo’s church built a room onto their church building that serves as a medical center to the people in their district who cannot afford care. Christian doctors and nurses donate their time, and over 100 patients come through each week. Every patient hears the Gospel while waiting for their exam. We are currently working to raise money for a part-time Dominican medical doctor to keep regular hours there. This will allow the church to obtain a government certification as a licensed medical dispensary. MMI is partnering with church medical personnel to develop short-term medical missions to Santo Domingo and other rural areas where they are taking the Gospel.
Student Ministry – Generation Of Change
Franklin Lopez is a public school teacher who is a member of Pastor Castillo’s church. He is a gifted evangelist who has a deep burden for the students of his city. In 2008 he started a student club called “Generation of Change”, or GOC for short. He taught his students painting, drama, and music, while teaching them the Gospel. Since that time, dozens of students have come to faith in Christ.
With the help of pastor Castillo, Franklin has started four weekly GOC Academies in a public school, his church, and in two other churches. With used musical instruments donated through Makers and Means International, many of the students receive and learn to play their own music instrument! These students would never have this opportunity unless funds and instruments are provided by supporters in the U.S. As more funds are raised, more GOC leaders will be trained and new academies will be established. Their goal is to expand this student discipleship ministry across the Dominican Republic, and eventually to other Spanish speaking countries.
Pastor Castillo’s church holds a vacation Bible school each summer, where 300 to 500 children from this very poor district attend daily in two shifts. This takes many adults to manage, and includes a short-term missions team from the U.S. each year. The church attempts to follow up with these children and their families during the year to get them involved in their weekly church ministries. Many of their church’s adult members first heard the Gospel through this VBS ministry.
After the 2010 Haitian earthquake, the men of Pastor Castillo’s church rescued over 40 orphaned children and established the Shekinah Orphanage near Port-au-Prince. MMI supporters help pastor Castillo’s church to provide these orphans with food, clothing, medical care, and a good education. After the 2016 hurricane destroyed part of the facility, MMI partnered with pastor Castillo to rebuild a better bed facility with separate bathrooms and showers. Several of the original orphans rescued in 2010 now profess faith in Christ and are attending the university.