Our mission is simple: Demonstrate unconditional love to at-risk young people in America.
We go far and wide, to answer every call and every opportunity possible for ministry.
We encourage and educate security-cleared, qualified lay people to become involved in juvenile assistance programs in their communities, and to raise much-needed financial support for those programs.
Our Message of Grace and Promise
All juvenile offenders and at-risk youth deserve and desperately need to hear the powerful, life-changing message of Jesus Christ, and how that message includes and embraces them, their current circumstances and their very future.
Our Devoted Team
Reaching America’s youth in prisons, schools, churches and special events with The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ requires a team of believers whose gifts, talents, dedication and faith allow at-risk youth to see Biblical truth in a way they can grasp and reflect upon for themselves, and learn how to apply in their own lives.
We invite young people to attend and participate in an engaging, fun, interesting and welcoming forum in which we discuss and demonstrate the consistency, reliability, strength and perfect unbreakable trust between us and the canine servants with whom we are blessed.
“ Whoever welcomes one child in my name welcomes me. ”
Our mission is simple but our work is hard – and needs your help.
Join us in answering the Call
In our workshops with America’s youth, we discuss and illustrate the bountiful rewards of obedience, positive behavior, resisting temptation; being honest and truthful, exercising self-control, making the right choices, and finding the strength, discipline and courage to make often-difficult, challenging decisions as God commands us.
We reach juvenile offenders and at-risk youth through Christ’s teachings, and through prayer, music, illusions, athletic feats, discussions, and testimonies of profoundly-changed lives as we model and demonstrate the easy, solid trust and unconditional love between follower and Master.
We mentor students still held in incarceration through correspondence, small-group Bible studies, one-on-one mentoring visitations, and vocational training and experience workshops.
Our outreach to America’s at-risk and incarcerated youth would not be possible without you!
We welcome you to Volunteer, Donate or Both!
A Story of Service & Success
Since 1999 Faithful Friend has taken trained service dogs to visit incarcerated juveniles in at-risk youth facilities. These service animals have been used to improve the lives of troubled teens and to promote discernible change in their behavior. The Faithful Friend program has publicly documented proven results in reducing inmate violence.
The program stimulates the desire for better behavior and encourages better study habits with corresponding improvement in educational test scores. The cumulative result of Faithful Friend intervention is reduced recidivism.
Faithful Friend has implemented mentoring programs for youth during their incarceration, their time of partial furlough, and their post-adjudication release. Faithful Friend volunteers are interdenominational, and the principles taught are Biblically based.
Les Castro lives in Dallas Texas and is the president of Faithful Friend.
Les is the former CEO of H & L International, Incorporated and holds a master’s degree in International Management from the Arizona State University Thunderbird School of Global Management. He has been a college lecturer in international business at four universities and is an entrepreneur and business owner, having developed products for international import and export. Les has traveled widely and enjoys fishing when time permits.
Les began going into juvenile prisons in 1994 with a Dallas-based prison ministry. Through that ministry he met Jennifer, his wife, who was a volunteer counselor with the same group.
Together they lead Faithful Friend Ministry.
“ Lord, if it really is you, command me to come to you on the water and I will come. ” He said, "Come."
2010 – PRESENT
Pepper is a Schutzhund-bred solid black German shepherd dog bred in Texas at Germelhaus Kennels. “Schutzhund” means “working dog,” and Pepper comes from a long line of champion working dogs.
In fact, Pepper’s great-great-grandmother Winnie was the mother of Ayla, the very first Faithful Friend Ministry partner. We know for sure that Pepper comes from good stock!
Pepper was bred for abilities in obedience, tracking and bite work rather than for her looks. Working dogs are often mislabeled as attack dogs when in reality most of their training focuses on obedience. Of course to be a good guard dog, the dog must be willing to bite. However, this is taught by very strict guidelines of obedience as to when, how, and whom to bite. She has belonged to Les and Jennifer since she was eight weeks old. Pepper has a wonderful temperament.
Our thanks to Cindy Gordon Photography for this photo of Pepper.
Pepper’s early training has developed into assertiveness, and this assertiveness can be channeled into a strong willingness to protect the human master. Pepper can be accurately called a personal protection dog, and she quickly became a faithful friend to Les and Jenn.
The application of Pepper’s early training has transferred very well into doing presentations. Her focus and willingness to work are exceptional. She can be dramatic or funny, ferocious or loving depending on what she is called to do. She commands respect by her structure but attracts undivided attention with how she interacts so closely with her master. Many of the key truths she depicts so well are a combination of her relationship with Les and her obedience that is so clearly demonstrated.
2001 – 2010
Shiloh vom Fancherheim was our second Faithful Friend.
God has used His creation incredibly to minister to so many, and it was a privilege to watch His angels guide her as she worked.
Although the she is gone now, she will forever be in our hearts and will never be forgotten.
1991 – 2001
Ayla vom Germelhaus was our very first Faithful Friend.
She was originally purchased from Germelhaus Kennels to be a personal protection dog, and although she served that role amazingly well as a strong-willed alpha female, God had other plans for her. She was a fierce protector and loyal companion for Les, and her primary focus was pleasing her master.
Wondering how the Lord wanted to use him in the kingdom, Les began to pray for direction. The Lord impressed upon him to surrender and use ALL he had to the Lord. Everything… even the dog.
Having been through Schutzhund training, Les knew she was very smart and extraordinarily obedient. Not coincidentally, Les had been invited to participate in a weekend event ministering to incarcerated teenagers. He saw a need, and a ministry was born.
In the years that followed, Ayla traveled with Les to California, Illinois, Oklahoma and much of Texas to minister to at-risk and incarcerated youth under the umbrella of a Dallas-based organization.
Loyal until the very end, Ayla passed away at the foot of Les’s bed on a prison ministry weekend at (now closed) Victory Field Correctional Academy in Vernon, Texas. Within hours, the news of her passing reached through the entire Texas Juvenile Justice Department (formerly Texas Youth Commission), and letters and calls of condolence poured in from students and officers alike who had been touched by Ayla’s life.
The regal beauty she embodied was matched only by the fierceness of her love. We miss her every day.
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