This week, Heaven to the Yeah grace ambassador, Christian Taylor, had the opportunity to speak with MLB pitcher for the Miami Marlins, Daniel Castano, as he shared his story on how he came to know the Lord and now continues his faith walk with Christ.
Growing up, Castano was in a Christian home where he was occasionally taught the ways of the church. He knew what the church and faith were, yet he was not entirely a believer in Christ. However, his dad pushed for him to go to a Christian college, leading him to attend Baylor University in Texas where he played collegiate baseball. “Being a collegiate athlete was special. While it was not ideal since I was not a believer in college, [I thought it was] sweet that the school was staying strong in its Christian values, giving students the opportunity to embrace their faith.” In this uniqueness of a D1 school remaining centered on their faith, Castano saw the Christian athletes around him as the hardest workers he’s encountered as they work not for themselves or the world around them, but for God. He saw that these Christian values created a wondrous work ethic and self-fulfilling values. However, Castano did not find the Lord in his life until after he left college, then his faith walk took a turn.
While he grew up in a Christian home and attended a Christian college, Castano remained comfortable in his ways of the world and the party scenes until he was drafted to the Major Leagues. When he walked amongst his new teammates, they pointed out to him that he needed to make a change in his life. “I made a change on my own, somewhat walking with the Lord in the background. It wasn’t until COVID hit and I fell back into my sins.” When sports began again, Castano was moved to the Miami Marlins where he met four to five other guys who were genuine believers in the Lord and began to talk to Castano about what a Christian looks like. “One part of being a Christian is having a good and faithful church. They pointed me in the direction of a church down the road where I began to talk to someone who opened my eyes to the scriptures and of living a life of righteousness.” Castano came to realize that he had sins and that God is the only one who can overcome them. Castano continued to express how he thought he had it figured out on his own with the Lord in the background, feeling as though being a Christian came with endless benefits, but no. “The Lord said that ‘wherever I have you, you are to work hard under me’. When this work is done, a bond almost stronger than blood was created with the Lord.” Coming to find the Lord working in his life not only opened Castano’s eyes but humbled him as well.
“My biggest prayer last year as a new believer was for the Lord to humble me and soften my heart for the root of a lot of sin is pride and that is something I never understood.” Castano continued to explain how the Lord works in mysterious ways as He did humble Castano, but not in the expected way. “It was hard. I was tested in the fire in unideal ways but having that mindset of servility to the Lord kept me grounded. Maintaining daily time in the Word was essential to remaining humble along with the combination of having my wife always there to check me and humble me real fast.” Castano found the light he needed to be for the Lord as God’s Grace began to shine upon him.
“God’s Grace gives me a thankful heart. The Lord has given me all that I have as His Grace shines in the mercy he provides and gifts he gives. If we were nonbelievers, then our work would be in vain; everything we do has a purpose for eternal salvation.” God’s Grace is a gift given freely to a world of underserving peoples, accentuating the love the Lord holds for us.
Before Taylor’s time with Castano came to an end, he asked Castano to share some words of encouragement for the young and new believers in Christ. For all those watching, listening, or reading, Castano responded with three main pillars in building your relationship with Christ: “The biggest thing is the local body. Get involved with people in the community who are living with Christ; that is where you get the core of the church. [Next,] remember that you are supposed to be in the world, not of the world, as you are here to serve others. [Finally,] look for opportunities to share the Gospel. when appropriate. Spread the Word of the Lord and welcome Him into your heart.”
The Heaven to the Yeah team thanks Daniel Castano for taking the time to speak on his faith walk and how the Lord came to touch his heart and open his eyes. We pray for everlasting health for him and his family and that the Lord continues to guide them as disciples of Christ.
Heaven to the Yeah (HTTY) is an online retail start-up with a mission to encourage people to live with heaven in view and spread the hope of heaven globally. HTTY sponsors children and missionaries on four continents through universally recognized non-profit organizations such as Compassion International and Food for the Hungry.