Cliff and Beth Castle are both retired Navy Chiefs who met in 2008 as defense contractors while working for a national contracting company. Beth was at the San Diego office and Cliff was at the Crystal City office in direct support of the Navy client in Washington, DC.
Beth felt the Lord calling her to Virginia but had been resisting it for a long time (since her only east coast tour of duty was an unpleasant one as a Navy detailer in Virginia). Finally, in 2009, she “compromised” with the Lord and He opened doors for her which lead to her move to San Antonio (as there was a position open at the company’s San Antonio office). She bought a house by Medina Lake and a month later, the company was holding a team meeting in San Antonio…so Cliff flew in on the Sunday prior to the meeting. Beth invited Cliff to dinner as her first guest and it could be like a “house warming” (since she didn’t know too many people there yet) and he accepted. Speaking of “warming,” this was during a nearly 60-day period where each day the temperature was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Over dinner, Cliff and Beth got to know each other better and as it turned out, neither of them was in a relationship. Having so much in common and the fact that they had both been Navy Chiefs (not to mention that as it turns out, Beth proved to be a great cook), they decided to begin dating. San Antonio to DC was a long commute for a date, and Beth logged the most time in the airports! So, after a lot of prayer from both of them, Cliff asked Beth to marry him and move to Virginia, to which Beth said “Yes, but why can’t we get married and live in San Antonio?” Cliff countered that he would never move to San Antonio because it was too hot! Six months after that fateful dinner date, they were living on ten beautiful rolling and wooded acres in Virginia.
In 2014, Beth got the news that her uncle in Iowa had stage four lung and brain cancer. Beth and Cliff had recently purchased a fifth-wheel camper, so they decided to take a trip to see him as well as stop to visit family in Ohio and Illinois along the way. It was on this trip in April that the Lord spoke to both of them and called them into ministry. Leaving a campground in Illinois and heading finally to Burlington, Iowa, Cliff commented on how so many folks at these RV parks looked like they were running and hiding from something, and they really needed Jesus! It became immediately apparent to Cliff and Beth that they needed to reach the lost right here in the United States!
Initially, it looked like the calling was to a camping ministry, but as they prayed, the Lord pointed them in the direction of service to military members and even wounded warriors. Upon their return to Virginia, they informed their Church family of God’s call in their life, and everyone began to pray for God to reveal the details of the calling. One member (Sam a wonderful servant of the Lord) suggested it would be nice if God could give us “breadcrumbs” in order to find the path He had for us. The church began to pray for breadcrumbs!
It was now June, 2014 and Cliff and Beth began to be directed towards Texas and specifically San Antonio (since all of this time they could not sell the house Beth originally bought out by the lake due to a long-lasting drought). One Sunday morning before the first service, Cliff was talking with a fellow usher (Terry) who inquired how the “breadcrumb prayers” were going. Upon telling him that they were likely being called to San Antonio for some type of military-focused camping ministry, the usher seemed surprised. He informed Cliff that there was a guy named Gary, with whom he served in the Marine Corps in Okinawa, who was the President of a ministry in San Antonio and was looking for a “young (military) retired couple” to take over the Center there! Cliff and Beth were introduced to Gary via email and they came down to San Antonio for what was effectively an interview!
In July 2014, Cliff got the call that the Board had approved him and Beth to take over the San Antonio Center. When asked when they could come down to start, Cliff thought about all that needed to be done to affect a move and change of careers like that, and he estimated about a year (which seemed acceptable to Gary)! Over that next year, they made preparations with the company at which Beth still worked to transfer back to San Antonio. She came back down in May 2015 while Cliff took care of the final arrangements for selling the house and resigned from his federal position. They stepped out on faith and the Lord has provided for each and every need! Officially, Cliff and Beth commenced their directorship of the San Antonio Center in October 2015. Looking back, it is interesting to see God’s sovereignty and even sense of humor (moving Beth to Virginia and then Cliff to San Antonio even though neither wanted to move to those respective places according to their own wills). However, both of them agree that there is no greater joy than to be right where God wants you to be…regardless of the physical location!