Vida Nueva Ministries
Jair Castillo, Founder of Vida Nueva Ministries gives us a brief summary of how it all began and what they are doing to help break the cycle of poverty through Christ!
Breaking The Cycle of Poverty and Disadvantage Through Christ
Jair and Norma arrived in El Ejido, Piedras Negras in the fall of 1975, as evangelists sent by a local church. After Jair graduated from Dallas Christian College in 1974. They immediately saw the poverty and day-to-day struggle. It was also clear that there was a desperate need for Jesus in this community. The question was, how do you tell a starving, impoverished, rabies infested neighborhood “Jesus loves you” and walk away? The answer was simple, “You Don’t. You don’t walk away.” Jair and Norma quickly won over the community’s trust by immersing themselves in the community and it’s needs.
As a registered nurse, Norma served the community in the areas of health care clinics, open meal programs and education. Jair dedicated most of his life to pastoring and searching for partnerships with organizations, churches both locally and across the border. It was hard, but they opened a house church where they served for over ten years in a small gathering space. In 1984 started the church with mainly house services.
In 1987 the vision for Vida Nueva was beginning. On February 6, 1989 Vida Nueva Ministries (VNM) officially opened doors as an open meal program and a children’s home for people living in the slums and children that survived by scavenging the nearby city dump.
As times changed and the neighborhood evolved, so did VNM. The goal was, and continues to be, to stay relevant to the needs of the community.
- 1987: The first VNM Church plant in El Ejido was formally established.
- 1993: Vida Nueva opened a day care program with over 30 children.
- 1994: Gonzalo Garcia, a house parent and pastor of the Ejido church plant, was sent to Tepic following his calling to serve the people of Tepic. He has been in Tepic since then.
- 1995: VNM launched the preschool in Piedras Negras with 45 children.
- 2000: VNM apprenticed Sergio Ontiveros, and sent him to plant a church in Acapulco.
- 2008: VNM grew our education program by launching an elementary campus.
- 2009: Israel Camara was apprenticed by Gonzalo García and sent to pastor a VNM church plant in Cancun.
- 2013: Doors opened for our Middle School Campus.
- 2015: VNM broke ground for our high school construction.
We exist to assist the people of Mexico in developing and cultivating a personal relationship with Jesus and operate practical programs that help build a relationship bridge with people so that the love of Christ can be shared and His salvation received. The programs and methods we use will change as conditions change, but the message of salvation and hope found in Jesus Christ will never change.
As an independent Christian ministry and not a social agency, our programs are designed for practical positive impact toward physical, social, moral need, and do so in order to nurture the affected individual’s or community’s receptiveness to learning more about the Savior in whose Name these needful actions are done. Everything we do is designed to enhance opportunities to address the eternal, spiritual needs of the individual.
Vida Nueva directs such ministries as food distribution, health care, child care, education, worship, recreation, vocational skills training, church planting and church leadership development programs. All of these programs serve to connect people with Christ so that He can bring them hope and freedom from the vicious cycle of poverty and spiritual emptiness from which many suffer.
As God leads and provides, we will expand our programs and grow our ministry in order to reach as many of the Mexican people as possible.