We are Mike and Karen Rhea. We left the U.S. on our boat from St. Petersburg, Florida in 2001, with a new-found faith in Christ not knowing where we would land. We had a desire to serve wherever God would have us and eventually, after much prayer, God called us to the Rio Dulce region in Guatemala.
We really had no idea exactly what God has in mind for us, just that we should go. After spending time in the local community, we quickly saw a need for a clinic to serve the sick and the hurting in the area. Karen's background was in nursing, so we scraped together the resources and started a clinic. We operated the clinic for five years. During that time, it was evident that the only place provided for orphans was poorly-run orphanage. Not only were the children being raised without an understanding of the Gospel, the orphanage itself was involved in questionable activities. We saw this as a need being so great that we began to pray for an opportunity to start our own orphanage in the region
The vision was for a self-sustaining farm that would provide a home for children, a loving Christ-centered atmosphere, and training for the children to prepare to go to school or work a trade as they got older. God has orchestrated everything along the way in His vision for our lives: from relationships, to support, to 40 acres of overgrown land turned into a Christ-centered safe haven for children in the area.
We hope you will follow us as we seek to be attentive to Christ's leading and expand this project for which He has graciously provided. We are confident that everything that has happened, has been His plan. To see the smiles on our children's faces has made every challenge worth it. God has always provided. We trust He will continue.
If you would like to know more, reach out! Also, there are multiple ways to support through both prayerfully and financially, but most of all we enjoy telling folks the story of God's goodness and provision at Rancho de Esperanza. Thank you for your time!