Pastor Jacobo Castillo is an ordained minister born in Guatemala city on July 19, 1962. He is the second of seven kids in his family. His parents were not professionals, so he had to learn from the very beginning to live in an atmosphere of extreme poverty. Because of lack of finances, Pastor Jacobo and his other three brothers and three sisters could not attend school on a regular basis. Instead, he had to help his parents to do some elementary jobs like selling vegetables in the streets to survive. A generous lady who was one of their customers motivated them to go back to school. She paid for school fees and school supplies to help Pastor Jacobo and his older brother to go back to school. She also used to help with some used clothes and from time to time even some food. Pastor Jacobo gave his life to the Lord when he was 19 years old. He persevered in a Christian church for four years, serving in different areas as: Sunday school teacher, youth leader and as a deacon. In the meantime, he went to Bible school where he received a call from God to serve him as a full time minister.
In 1986, he started serving the Lord as a Christian counselor, Bible teacher and then Director of a program for drug addicts and alcoholics. He also conducted a radio program and evangelistic crusades to reach young people involved in drugs and alcohol and gangs as well.
Pastor Jacob was moved with compassion, as he saw the suffering of the kids living in the streets of Guatemala. In 1991, he and his small church Templo de la Gloria started Nuevo Reto, a ministry dedicated to reach some of the 5,000 kids living in the streets of Guatemala city. Pastor Jacobo Castillo is married to Nidia, a school teacher and they are the parents of Ada Eunice, Pablo Raúl and Nidia Esther. They are national workers with a vision to reach their own people in Guatemala with the love of Jesus.
PASTOR JACOB’S MOTIVATION
Below is a letter written from Pastor Jacob in 2006.
“I grew up in a background of extreme poverty. I know by personal experience what it means to go to bed hungry. If not for the grace of God and the compassion of people who helped me, I could not be what I am. I was blessed by others and I understand it was a way for God to teach me about compassion. They paid for my schooling, gave some clothes, shoes, etc. So now, I just want to bless as I have been blessed.
All of these years, the Lord has brought next to us compassionate people, people who give without expecting to get anything back. They love and support us and challenge us to just keep doing the work for the glory of God.
I know by the Word of God that real love for God means to love your brother. God cares for the poor. He cares for the outcast. ( Lam. 2:19) So, we just want to be obedient and follow our Master´s example of love and compassion for others.
How can we close our eyes to the need of those kids living in the streets? (5,000 kids according to some statistics). It breaks our hearts when we walk the streets of our country and see many kids sleeping in the streets. Kids having drugs instead of attending the school or been taken care of. How can we neglect the need of many kids who wonder in the streets and do not have a family, friends or a pastor? But, the greater challenge: Those kids with us. Those kids who are now writing a different story in their lives: Heydy, Luis, Francisco, Guillermo, and many others kids. They are a good reason to keep believing that it is possible to reach the street children. When we see them attending school, serving the Lord at the worship team in our church, or teaching the Word of God to other kids. That is the best reason to just keep working harder and with excitement.
How can we stop now, when we have so many tools to work! How can we stop now, when we can give the opportunity to many kids and tell them the good news: THERE IS HOPE FOR THEIR LIVES!”