About The Ministry
The opportunities for ministry are endless! Each group comes down with it's own unique giftings. Our goal is to give them opportunities to use their gifts and talents to help the local churches reach out to their communities. As a result, ministry takes on many different forms!
Ministry opportunities include:
- Construction projects
- Children's clubs
- Food hampers
- Clothing distribution
- Medical clinics
- Wheelchair ministry
- Street ministry
- Basketball camps for youth
- Cooking classes
- Teaching English
- Assisting at local orphanage
Make sure you also take a look at the Fall 2010 Update featuring some of the stories of how God worked this past winter as well as what we are looking forward to for this coming year.
Meet the Staff
We invite you to take some time and get to know who we are as well as the ministry of Casa de Esperanza. It's exciting to see not only how God has brought this team together but also how this ministry has come into being. Read on to find out a little more about each player on the team and also some of the history and the vision that we have for Casa de Esperanza.
Art & Brenda Koenes
Art and Brenda oversee the ministry, have been with Casa de Esperanza right from the beginning. Brenda has been working in Mexico for over ten years, hosting short term mission teams in San Carlos, Mexico. Art walked onto the scene as the walls of the mission center were going up as a member of one of the missions teams only to find that he would be returning to stay a short time later!
Brenda was raised in Estevan, SK and entered full time ministry upon graduation from Millar College of the Bible beginning in her home church. She served with Youth for Christ for nine years followed by four years as a dean at Peace River Bible Institute where she began to lead missions teams to Mexico. This opened the door for the hosting teams full time in San Carlos, Mexico, which she has now done for the past twelve years.
Art was raised in Grand Rapids, MI and later moved to Montana where he began grain farming. His call to full time came unexpected as he was part of a short term missions trip to Casa de Esperanza in the winter of 2006 and met his future wife, Brenda. Not long after that Art found himself serving fulltime alongside Brenda.
Art and Brenda continue to spend their summers farming outside of Bozeman, MT and spend their winters serving in Mexico.
Juan Carlos Olivera and Maribel
Juan Carlos has been working with Casa de Esperanza for four years. Having grown up far from God, in a lifestyle of drugs, Juan Carlos was first drawn to a local church in Guaymas as he witnessed a team from Casa de Esperanza constructing a pastoral house for this church. Drawn to this church body and the example shown by the missions team, he soon came to know the Lord. With a firm grasp of English and a passion to serve the Lord wholeheartedly he came to join the ministry.
With a passionate enthusiasm, Juan Carlos is the upfront evangelist and translator. He has a passion to share the Lord with those he encounters and is a valuable part of the team.
Itzel, originally from San Carlos, has lived and served with her parents who are church planters in the nearby Sonora River Valley. Having lived and spent some time in Canada and working with missions teams here in Mexico, Itzel too has a firm grasp of English but even more, a love for the Lord and for the people around her. She is full of energy and has a passion most of all to serve the Lord, wherever or however that may be.
Having sensed the call to serve here in Mexico, she is excited to join the team of Casa de Esperanza. Her responsibilities will include overseeing the housekeeping as well as aiding in the administration of the missions teams.
Omar is from the Ranchitos in San Carlos. Before he knew Christ, Omar visited the center each weekend on his days off. I remember the day Omar told me he did not understand why he always wanted to be at the center but found there was always so much peace and joy that he just wanted to be apart of it.
After receiving the Lord in 2011, Omar joined the team. Omar is growing significantly in his walk and enjoys ministering to others through his God given abilities.
Ramon has been an answer to our prayers. In December we invited Ramon to join the team. He had longed to finish his high school education and we were able to find a sponsor for his schooling. In the afternoons, Ramon works with the team in translating and ministering.
Ramon has quite the story from which the Lord rescued him and has set Ramon apart to do the "works that He prepared in advance for him". We are excited to have Ramon on staff with us.
Matt and Dona Coleman
Matt and Donna, with a strong desire to serve the Lord full time, will be joining the team to oversee medical teams and aiding in those who need medical assistance. Presently both are employed as MT's in British Columbia. The relationship with the Colemans has been ongoing for years. It was while helping with one of the medical teams that a desire was shown to be more involved back in ministry as Donna had previously served in Columbia for a number of years prior to marrying Matt.
This past season they joined us on one of the bike trips and were able to distribute vitamins, take blood pressures and give general care for those in need. Matt and Donna Coleman will join the staff team full time in September 2014 and are presently raising support for prayer coverage and finances.
History of Casa de Esperanza
Casa de Esperanza had it's beginnings many years ago as Brenda, while dean at Peace River Bible Institute, began leading missions teams down to Mexico. She would come down several days before the team arrived and arrange all of the work projects and ministry opportunities for the soon arriving teams. Feeling the pressure of arranging everything on such short notice basis and also immensely enjoying the experience of leading missions teams here in Mexico, the idea came of one day doing this fulltime, perhaps in retirement.
However, it seemed that God had a different timetable in mind and after her time at Peace River Bible Institute found herself serving fulltime at first at the Baptist mission center in San Carlos, hosting short terms missions teams. Several years later, Brenda moved out on her own, renting a house and hosting the teams there.
About five years ago, God provided to purchase the land and to begin construction of the mission center now known as Casa de Esperanza. Through the help of many volunteers and many different teams that came down as well as the financial support of many, this mission facility became a reality.
Casa de Esperanza has become a year round facility with two very different "seasons". In the winter season more than a dozen groups from Canada and the US will come through taking part in a variety of missions experiences from work projects to street ministry, all in partnership with the local Mexican churches. In the summer, while some Canadian and American groups do brave the heat, primarily it becomes a retreat center for the local Mexican churches. This past summer nearly every weekend was occupied with church groups here from Guaymas or as far away as from Hermosillo or Obregon.
The future? It is always exciting to think of what God has in store. With just about every summer weekend booked, a few weeks available during the winter season, the capacity of Casa de Esperanza is stretched to the max! For a number of the groups, sleeping accommodations have been needed beyond what is available here at the center. The possibilities of purchasing more land and adding more sleeping accommodations are being looked at as we seek God and His desires. Plans are in place for this coming winter to construct another building to help alleviate the need for sleeping accommodations and also for storage space.
Vision and Mission Statement
To train servant leader to know God, to model his Character, and to build into others the life changing principles of His Word.
Through short term missions teams, servant leaders will have a hands on experience to ministry. They will witness missionaries in action and will work along side them in the ministry. The discipleship model is to share the Biblical principles while they are being carried out.
"We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me."
- Colossians 1:28-29