|Chicago Pastor Joe 'Dancing for Jesus' in China|
|by Tom McGregor||Wed, Nov 12, 2014, 12:08 AM|
BEIJING: Pastor Joe Castillo, who was born and raised on the mean streets of Southside Chicago, loves to get his groove on for Jesus in China. He's a former Chicago thug gangster, who reformed himself from a life of crime and drug addiction, to become a Pentecostal Evangelical minister at All Nations International Fellowship Church in the heart of Beijing. He's a devoted family man with a Chinese-born wife, Jade Wang, and they have two children.
Additionally, Pastor Joe is a fervent supporter of Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Tx.) and prays everyday that Cruz will run for President in 2016. As a devout Christian conservative, Pastor Joe believes he has a mission to spread the word of God and insists that dancing would be his way to do that. Accordingly, he's recognized among his brethren in China as the 'Dancing for Jesus' minister.
In an exclusive interview with the Dallas Blog, Pastor Joe said, "Dance in most cultures is a way to express joy. Historically in the times of Jesus, Jewish people would dance to celebrate. So, dancing should be important for religious services, since it's a true expression of life and ceremony through dancing and worship."
He added, "Some people like to go to bars and nightclubs to dance on the weekends. But I love to dance at Church on my weekends. That's why I have an outstanding band playing contemporary Church music at my services, so it's natural for worshippers to get their hips moving."
Nevertheless, Pastor Joe does more than dance in China. He's the first and only street corner preacher in Beijing. Every Saturday night from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. he brings his Bible and preaches in the Sanlitun neighborhood, which is a popular tourist sight for Westerners in the Chinese capital city.
"I do hit and runs for the Holy Spirit in Sanlitun, where you can find many sinners, such as junkies, alcoholics, prostitutes, strippers, gangsters and pimps," Pastor Joe said. "On my first outing there, I helped a stripper turn over her life to Jesus."
Pastor Joe feels empathy for grave sinners due to his former life as one of Chicago's toughest shot callers. He even served a few years in a federal penitentiary before he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour. "I recall the day I accepted the Lord into my heart. It was Feb. 21, 1996 and I was in a drug rehab program in Eu Claire, Wisconsin," Pastor Joe said. "Then I met some missionaries from Mexico and they told me that Jesus loved me and from that moment on I wanted to deliver my life to Jesus."
Nonetheless, Pastor Joe pointed out that his life was not easy after his miraculous conversion. After departing from the drug rehab clinic, he was working in minimum wage jobs flipping burgers, earning just enough to survive. He noted that everything changed, when he met a woman, who claimed to have prophetic powers, she told him that later on, he would become a famous pastor, who would evangelize to crowds of thousands of people.
Soon afterwards it dawned on Pastor Joe that China has over 1.3 billion people, "but most haven't heard about Jesus Christ and they want to hear His message," he said. Accordingly, Pastor Joe packed up all his belongings and moved to China in April 2009. Yet at first, he had no intentions of becoming a preacher.
"I came to China just to work as an ESL treacher and I was working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, so I was earning good money," Pastor Joe said. "But the hard work made me sick with a serious throat infection. So I decided to spend more time to attend worship services."
He added, "However, the big problem was that I could not find a Christian Church in China where I felt really comfortable at. I had about 8 friends who also felt the same. So we just just started a Bible Study at my home and soon more and more people kept coming and they asked me start my own Church. And now I have a Church with over 120 members and more than 80 people who attend regularly for services at 11 a.m. every Sunday morning."
Pastor Joe's worship services are not boring too say the least. He has posted numerous videos on social media sites showing him and his followers dancing for Jesus. He hopes and prays than many others can also feel the joy and love of Jesus Christ in their hearts too.
To learn more about Pastor Joe Castillo, link here: