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 had 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 a 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 need as 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 so graciously provided. We are confident that everything that has happened thus far has been His plan. To see the smiles on our children’s faces has made every challenge along the way worth it. Selfishly we would like to see more children benefit from the ranch, but we also want to be careful and listen to what God would have us do. At this point, He has provided prayer warriors and financial support for every aspect of the project.
If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact us. There are numerous opportunities for support both prayerfully and financially, but most of all we enjoy telling folks the story of God’s goodness and provision at Rancho de Esperanza. We would love for you to follow us on Facebook or stay up-to-speed by checking in at our site. Either way, we always welcome contact from new friends.
Thanks for taking the time to read about us.