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.
Casa de Esperanza had it's beginnings many years ago as Brenda 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 full-time, perhaps in retirement.
However, it seemed that God had a different timetable in mind and she found herself serving full time 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.
In 2004, God provided funds to purchase land and begin construction of the mission center now known as Casa de Esperanza. Through the help of many volunteers, teams, and financial support, 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 U.S. 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, Casa de Esperanza becomes a retreat center for the local Mexican churches.
The future? It is always exciting to think of what God has in store. As He continues His work through us in Mexico, he continues to expand Casa de Esperanza. In 2016 we expanded our dorms to house 56 mission team members, and a bodega for supplies. We are currently working on creating space and opportunities for pastors to find retreat and rejuvination.
Meet the Staff
Art & Brenda Koenes
Art and Brenda oversee the ministry, and 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 sixteen 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 2005 and met his future wife, Brenda. Not long after that Art found himself serving full-time alongside Brenda. His life experiences has led him to lead and oversee the building projects, and he now finds himself spiritually leading the team and sharing his wisdom with everyone he encounters.
Art and Brenda continue to spend their summers farming outside of Bozeman, MT and spend their winters serving in Mexico. Together they have created a strong foundation for leadership and mentoring in their team.
Juan Carlos and Maribel Olivera
Juan Carlos has been working with Casa de Esperanza since 2009. 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 mission 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.
Maribel joined the ministry in 2014 and graduated with a bachelors in psychology. She looks forward to combining her knowledge and her passion to speak life into the lives of women and children. Along with this, she helps both in the kitchen and with the administrative office to guarantee our ministry runs smoothly.
Daniel & Rebeca Baldwin
Both Daniel and Rebeca Baldwin joined our team in 2015. Daniel grew up in Bozeman, Montana and participated in various short term mission trips that took him down to Mexico on several occasions. He loved combining his gift in problem-solving with his love for helping people and serving others. He has since learned that he had a passion for engaging other young people on how they can use their unique gifts to be more involved both in their communities as well as abroad on short term missions.
Having served her whole life in missions with her family, Rebeca was looking for a place to call her home in ministry. She first committed to 3 weeks to helping us translate for an incoming team and God knew she was exactly what we needed in our ministry. We have enjoyed her passions for bringing both the staff and teams into deeper relationship with God.
Chuyita originally came to work in the kitchen as our cook in the summer months in 2015. We quickly saw a woman with a heart for ministry who empowers people to work as a team and not give up on themselves so quickly.
Chuyita has brought a greatly diverse background and understanding to the people she comes into contact with. We asked her to join the team full time in the 2016. She has blossomed since joining and has found her love for fellowship with those she comes into contact with every day in the kitchen.
Peter joined our team as an intern in 2019. Within two months he became a team member. His passion for God and serving others in a life of faithfulness impacts everyone he comes into contact with.
Peter was raised in Bolivia, which has made him adaptive to new cultures, experiences, and people. In 2012 his family relocated to Crystal City, Manitoba. He came down for a short term mission trip in the spring of 2017 and came back again 2 years later where he decided to come down the following fall for a full season. His first language is low German and Spanish, with English being his third language, which has been an asset to our team. Peter does everything from working in the kitchen to every and all construction projects. If there is a mission opportunity to do, Peter is there.
Liberty joined our team in the fall of 2021 for her first full season as an intern. Very early on it was visible that she fit right in with our team as she showed her dedication to serving the Lord and demonstrated her love for playing with kids. Although Liberty does not speak Spanish there seem to be no language barriers holding her back as she loves the kids that are on and off base.
Liberty first came down on a short-term mission trip in the spring of 2017, after her first mission trip she returned every spring until the spring of 2021. Seeing Liberty come and serve every spring it was evident that she had a passion for serving, this led to her being invited to intern with us for a full season.
Interested in interning with us?