My name is Manuel Castillo (Alex), I am 25 years old and I live in the Dominican Republic. This year, thanks to the great help I received from STCH Ministries, I will graduate from college as a Doctor of Medicine.

Two weeks ago, I started helping with medical clinics regularly. This was only my second time doing a medical clinic on my own and I say on my own because I had been part of many others medical clinics along with doctors and nurses, but this time it was different. It was time to stand by myself, with God’s help of course.

I was a little nervous about not knowing what kind of illnesses I would see. Something that made me feel more comfortable was the fact that I knew the school and many of the people who live in the area.

As I thought, among the patients were people I had known for many years. Many of them were children that I knew from helping out at the school. One of the naughtiest kids I ever knew walked into the medical van. When he saw me, he asked to his cousin, “Isn’t he the English teacher?” His cousin smiled and replied, “Yes, that’s him.”

After hearing that expression of amazement, I felt happy, proud and older. The first time I met them the boy was 10 years old and the girl was 8 years old, now they are 16 and 14, respectively. I said to them, “that’s right, I’m your old English teacher, but now I’ll be your doctor.” In that moment I saw inspiration in their faces as they recognized the one who used to be just the boy who helped them learn English had now become the doctor who would help them with their health. This made me realize that the dreams, aspirations and desires to be someone who can influence others (just as I once received help, motivation and inspiration) with God’s guidance, can come true.