Role on the Board - Board President
Background: Richard has been an owner and real estate developer with Wathen-Castanos Homes for over 30 years. He previously worked in the securities business as a stockbroker and financial planner. He studied Business Finance at California State University, Fresno. His business leadership and financial expertise lend great value to the board and day-to-day operations of HaitiGO.
Current occupation: Richard currently gives much of his time to the work of HaitiGO. As President of the Board, he works with the Development Director and travels frequently to Haiti for ministry projects and to partner with the local leadership as they serve their communities. Even though Richard is the co-founder of Wathen-Castanos homes, he has retired to focus on other business ventures and the ministry in Haiti.
When did you first get involved with HaitiGO and what was your involvement? How are you involved now? After the tragic 2010 earthquake Haiti, I received a letter from a child asking if I could help. She lived in one of our homes and wondered if I could help build safer homes for the children in Haiti. The letter had such an impact on my wife, Gina and me that we began praying and investigating where we could help. Eventually we were led to Christian Friendship Ministries (now Haiti Gospel Outreach ). We started the partnership with helping to build a much needed orphanage in town of St. Raphael.
Why do you have a heart for Haiti? Shortly after the earthquake in 2010, a friend gave me the book, The Hole in the Gospel by Richard Stearns. It literally changed my life. The generally narrow view from the American church is often void of the call to tend to those in real poverty. I believe God’s Word says to preach the Good News and offer a hand-up. This message is reinforced in the Bible over two-thousand times.