Ricardo and Ingrid Castro
Home church: Eglise Baptiste Évangélique d’Ahuntsic, Montreal, QC
∙ Appointed to serve in Spain in Fall 2012.
The story of Ricardo and Ingrid Castro is spread across three continents and is a testimony of the tremendous grace of our Lord.
Ricardo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he experienced major social and political turmoil. Ingrid was born in the South of France to Christian parents. While growing up, she attended church where she received Christ as her personal saviour at the age of 6.
As young adults, Ricardo and his brother travelled throughout South America and spent several months in Ecuador. It was while in this country that Ricardo met Ingrid who was visiting a friend at the time. In 1991, Ricardo and Ingrid were married in France. It was early on in their marriage when Ingrid, who had strayed from the Lord, repeatedly said to Ricardo: “I don't want to spend the rest of my life away from the Lord.” These statements, along with obstacles encountered in France, and the unwavering faith and testimony of Ingrid's family, were instrumental in Ricardo coming to faith in Christ. As a couple they began attending an evangelical church in 1994 and not long after that Ingrid came back to the Lord and Ricardo received Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour.
The Castros immigrated to Canada in 1996 and shortly following their arrival in this country they started attending Rosemont Baptist Church. They grew spiritually and, sensing the Lord's leading them into missionary service, Ricardo began studying at SEMBEQ, with the encouragement and coaching of his pastor, René Frey.
While studying at SEMBEQ, Ricardo took on the responsibility of caring for his mother in her last years. The Castros' call to missionary service took the form of serving in their local church. After several years of study, preparation and service, in 2002, Ricardo was appointed by Rosemont Baptist Church as a pastor with the mandate to plant a daughter church. After five years of planning and mobilizing people, the Baptist Church of the Nations was born in the multi-ethnic area of Côte-des-Neiges in Montreal. Ricardo pastored that church for five years.
Following his mother's death and after their church planting responsibilities had been completed, Ricardo and Ingrid began to pray to see what the Lord desired for their future.
Being trained in a church and by a seminary founded by pioneer missionaries involved in outreach in Quebec, Ricardo and Ingrid acknowledged their God-given passion to use their gifts and experience by church planting in a pioneer context. After several months of prayer and consulting with various church and mission leaders, the Castros sensed the Lord leading them to the spiritually-barren country of Spain—a nation renowned for having closed its doors to the Gospel throughout history, especially in the region of the Extremadura. Moreover, their ability to speak Spanish and their European nationality confirmed God's call on their lives in Spain.
The challenge is great but these verses well define the call that the Lord has put in their hearts:
It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else's foundation. Rather, as it is written: "Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand." (Romans 15:20-21)
Ricardo and Ingrid will work in partnership with Ken and Cathy Yinger, another Fellowship International missionary couple. The Castros have two daughters: Aële, who will continue her studies in Montreal and Masha who will be going with them to Spain.