Hector Castaneda taught in an Open School Program prior to teaching Open School for Amigos en Cristo. Hector was having financial problems then; in fact, the family did not have enough food. Hector was obviously committed to the Open School program but he was ready to look for additional work to feed his family.
Fortunately, Misael was able to secure him a paid position with Amigos en Cristo much to the benefit of the ministry in the community. In telling us about that time, Hector said he was “like a dried up tree and the rain came and then the tree bloomed again.”
He is a gentle man and an excellent teacher for the Open School or “10/14” Program at Amistad. He is patient, polite and a good influence on the students.
Under his direction, about twenty adult students a month are graduating in the “10/14” program in addition to younger students who are in the program. The “10/14” program in the Mexican system is for people who have dropped out of elementary or middle school who would like to complete those grades. Hector also volunteers at other community centers to give young and older students a boost in their education. His patience with these students is noteworthy.
Hector has a personal faith in Jesus as his Savior and it is quite clear that he is still deeply moved by this. His relationship with Jesus brings deep calm and peace to his life. In everything he does, when he makes decisions on how to live, he looks to God to see if it is honoring God first. Doris said that Hector typically rises to any challenges that Misael might lay out for staff. For example, when Misael encouraged staff to read the New Testament more, Hector began to do this by using his commute time on the bus to read his Bible.
Hector and his wife have a daughter and a son who are both university students. How God is using Hector’s gifts of mercy and compassion with our students!
“Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)