Relevents: Captain Lorena Castillo
Captain Lorena Castillo, corps officer (pastor) of the White Plains, N.Y., Corps, talks about her musical gifts, her love for the nation of Chile, and an eternal friendship made through The Salvation Army.
When I was 9, I left Santiago, Chile, to live in Spain, but my country always remains in my heart. My mother shared Chilean cuisine with me, and my father loved to listen to Chilean music. I saw Chile in my home every day. Thanks to my parents, no matter where I live, I proudly feel Chilean.
Family is so important to me. My parents are officers in Spain and my husband’s family are officers in Chile. I also have siblings who have answered the call to officership. Though we are apart, The Salvation Army is a bond that connects us, no matter where we are.
Since I was 7, the timbrel (tambourine) has been with me. I am thankful to the Lord for this instrument and for what Corps Sergeant Major Alicia Garrido, my timbrel leader, taught me while growing up in Chile. Through her example, I learned discipline, stage presence, proper wearing of my uniform, and the importance of working in a timbrel brigade (group).
My parents always said I could sing. They had an old cassette recorder that they used to record me and kept a cassette of me singing at age 2. The first time I sang in front of a group, I was terrified! But being the child of officers, I was always called on to sing during services or family reunions. I eventually lost my shyness and fear of performing and have since developed a love for it. Through so many songs, the Lord has spoken to me.
Psalm 40:3 reads; “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” This verse has been on my mind for a few months now. It reminds me that, despite any difficulties in my life, there is always a new song inside me to sing and to praise the Lord. He is so glorious and loving, and He can get us through any hardship. He is always there to renew our life.
In July, Captain Zaida Rivera, my best friend, was promoted to Glory. She had a special influence on my life, and continues to do so. Throughout the years, I’ve lived in so many cities and countries and it’s difficult for me to make lasting friendships. But when I met Zaida, we bonded immediately, and made the effort to stay in touch. Our friendship was based on unconditional love, and I miss her dearly.
interview by Hugo Bravo