Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Missionary Spotlight | Ryan & Leanne de la Peña & Family

Meet Ryan and Leanne de la Peña and their seven kiddos. Ryan is currently one of our Team Coordinators. He works hard to ensure our teams are organized and prepared for their trips. He joined staff back in 2003 as a resource coordinator. After a few years away, he decided to return in 2013.
Interview with Ryan

1. Tell a little bit about yourself and where you're from.

  • I was first introduced to Casas por Cristo in 2001 when I came on a trip with my home church from Colorado Springs to build a home for a family in Juárez, México. My wife and I have seven beautiful children, Aurora (11), Ethan (10), Silas (8), Eli (7), Landon (5), Elliana (3), and Israel (2). My current responsibilities include building with teams in our four locations, Juárez and Acuña, México, San Raimundo, Guatemala, Santiago, Dominican Republic, and scheduling trips as Team Coordinator. Leanne stays busy caring for our growing family and homeschooling our children. We are excited and thankful for the opportunity to use our lives to serve God in México, Guatemala, and the Dominican.
2. What made you choose to serve at Casas por Cristo?

  • After experiencing firsthand the poverty of México and seeing the need for the Gospel, I followed God's call on my life by becoming an intern. After completing 3 internships, I felt God leading me to come on staff full time in 2003.

3. How have you seen God through your ministry at Casas por Cristo?

  • I have seen God in several ways. I have seen Him through the growth and strength of the local church as a result of our Casas Teams and through the impact on the families who have received homes.

4. What has been your biggest challenge so far?

  • With a large family it has been difficult to raise enough support to sustain us. Without a strong support base it is difficult to maintain a household. Regardless, I trust God to provide for us, and my family and I will continue to serve him despite our circumstances.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for our family as we continue to try and raise support.
  • Pray that we would raise our children in the fear and admonition of God. 
  • Pray for our ministry here at Casas and for the work I do with our teams and families.


Friday, July 24, 2015

New Office Plans | Property Development

After Casas por Cristo's humble beginnings in 1993, the small group of employees operated out of a home on Tularosa Street in El Paso, Texas, then a store front on Piedras Street, and later a home on Gold Street.
After hopping around from place to place, in 2006, Casas por Cristo purchased a parcel of land at 7201 North Loop Drive and made it the permanent home for our headquarters. Since then, we have converted old existing adobe homes into office and warehouse space. After ten years here, our old adobe office buildings have begun to deteriorate, and our ministry's growth and expansion have left us bursting at the seams.
Existing offices at 7201 North Loop Drive
Therefore, we are excited to announce our plans to construct new office and warehouse spaces and sell a portion of our land to help fund the proposed projects.
We need volunteers to donate their services to help us complete these projects in a fiscally responsible manner. Please contact us if you would like to offer your skills pro bono to help us continue to reach families with the love of Christ through the building of quality homes.

Needed Services
  • Architect
  • Structural Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • MPE Engineer (Mechanical, Plumbing, Electrical)
  • Landscape Designer
  • Interior Designer
  • Certified Electrician
  • Certified Plumber
  • Certified HVAC
  • Other Construction Trades


Pastor & Family Spotlight | July 2015 | Juárez, México

Pastor & Family Spotlight
Ciudad Juárez, México
Meet Pastor Jose (Joe) Borntreger (pictured to the right). He has been an active member on our Pastors Committee since 1997. He is originally from the US, but has been serving the people of Juárez for many years.
Jose and his wife have helped start five churches in Ciudad Juárez over the last thirty years. Since 1997, Pastor Jose has been sponsoring families to receive homes through Casas por Cristo. In his years of service, he has helped provide quality housing and share the Gospel with 168 families. He is in a unique situation as one of our local pastors because he is fluent in both Spanish and English. Therefore, he is able to share about Christ with both the families he sponsors and the volunteer teams that come to build homes.

Torres Family
Valdez Family
Pastor Jose recently sponsored the two families pictured above to receive homes through CpC. Both of their homes were built by a group of youth and adults from Parkview Christian Church in Mt. Carmel, Illinois. At the home dedications, Pastor Jose shared with each family that the homes were not just a physical blessing, but they were also to serve as a reminder of God's love and provision for his children. These homes were to represent hope and grace to the entire community. Pastor Jose then shared with the team that he appreciated their sacrifice, time, and energy to help him in his ministry. He said he feels the volunteer teams really come to help him and his church. While the homes were being built that week, Pastor Jose was busy visiting the work sites and overseeing the addition of a second story to his church's building. As a result of Pastor Jose's partnership with CpC, their church is now bursting at the seems and needs more space to keep up with the steady growth! 
At one home dedication, Josefina Valdez (pictured above), the matriarch of the family, broke down in tears as she tried to convey how much the home meant to her and her family. She has been praying for God's provision for her family for a long time. You see, this has been an incredibly difficult year for Josefina, her four children, and her seven grandchildren, who have all been living together in a tiny shack made of pallets and cardboard. Earlier this year, Josefina lost a four month old granddaughter to an illness. She said this new home represents hope for the future for her family. She thanked God for sending a group of strangers from another country to provide for her.


Team Casas

Join other individuals to complete a home building project and help bring hope to a family in need!

We need volunteers for the following Team Casas dates.

The deadline to register is 30 days prior to each México trip and 60 days prior for trips to other locations.

2015 Team Casas Schedule

October 9 - 12 | Juárez, México (2 volunteers needed)
December 28, 2015 - January 1, 2016 | Acuña, México (11 volunteers needed)
December 28, 2015 - January 1, 2016 | Juárez, México (12 volunteers needed)
December 27, 2015 - January 2, 2016 | San Raimundo, Guatemala (15 volunteers needed)
December 27, 2015 - January 2, 2016 | Santiago, Dominican Republic (6 volunteers needed)

2016 Team Casas Schedule
February 5 - 8 | Juárez, México
March 13 - 19 | San Raimundo, Guatemala
March 13 - 19 | Santiago, Dominican Republic
June 13 - 17 | Juárez, México
June 12 - 18 | Santiago, Dominican Republic
July 3 - 9 | San Raimundo, Guatemala
October 7 - 10 | Juárez, México

800.819.8014  |  questions@casasporcristo.org   casasporcristo.org


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Missionary Spotlight: Seth, Traci, & Scarlett Brooks

Missionary Spotlight
Seth, Traci, & Scarlett Brooks
Meet Seth Brooks, his wife Traci, and his beautiful baby girl, Scarlett. Seth joined staff in 2013 as the Juárez Field Coordinator. He creates maps to our work sites and follows up with families after they have received a home. He also works closely with our pastors committee in Juárez and our volunteers and interns.
Interview with Seth

1. Tell a little bit about yourself and where you're from.

  • I am from Clarkesville, Georgia, a small town in the Appalachian Mountains. I grew up being outdoors and still love being outside. After high school, I attended Truett-McConnell College where I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Theology and met my beautiful bride. After graduation in May we were married in June. One year later we came to El Paso and became a part of Casas por Cristo. We are members of Cielo Vista Church here in El Paso where we love serving. Traci and I also welcomed our first child into the world this year. Scarlett Faith was born on February 12 weighing 9lbs 2oz. She has stolen our hearts and taught us so much about God and His love for His children.
2. What made you choose to serve at Casas por Cristo?

  • Traci and I came on a Casas trip in April of 2013 with Living Water Church out of North Carolina. We came with no thoughts that this would become our lives, however, God had completely different plans. We instantly fell in love with Casas and with the work that CpC does. We loved (and still do) the way that CpC utilizes the local church and volunteers from all over.

3. How have you seen God through your ministry at Casas por Cristo?

  • I have been able to be a part of providing homes for people in all different walks of life. In the span of a couple of months I built for a man who was 107 years old and for a family whose baby was born the day we dedicated the home. I've built for people with virtually nothing and for pastors who needed a place to do ministry. Through all of this one thing has remained constant, they are all His children that He is providing for. It is a privilege that God would allow me to be a part of His work.

4. What has been your biggest challenge so far?

  • Thus far my biggest challenge has just been acclimating to life as a missionary. I just became a father, I have only been a husband for 3 years, and now I am a full time missionary. All of these are things that I love with my whole heart, so trying to strike a balance between all of my different roles can be challenging.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for our family as we continue to try and raise support.
  • Pray that we would raise our daughter in the fear and admonition of God. 
  • Pray for our ministry here at Casas and for the work I do with our pastors and families.


Family Spotlight - Santiago, Dominican Republic

Family Spotlight
Santiago, Dominican Republic
Meet Winston, Maria, Antoni (9yrs), and Warlin (3yrs). A Canadian group from the University of Calgary built a home for them the first week of May.  




Meet the Winston Family
When Winston and Maria first were married, they never dreamed ten years and two children later they would still be living in Winston's parent's home. Maria felt she had nothing of her own. Everything in the kitchen was her mother-in-law's. Everything in their living room was her mother-in-law's. She had no say, but when your family of four is living on $34 a week, you do what you have to do to survive.  
Winston earns a living as the community barber and works out of the front of their home. Whenever a neighbor or a family member needs a haircut, Winston's their guy. Every so often, Maria is hired by Campamento Canaan, a housing location Casas uses for teams, to help prepare meals for large groups. Therefore, when Juan, their local pastor, spoke to them about receiving a home from Casas, they were ecstatic.
At the end of every day when the Project Amigo crew would circle up to pray, it took everything in her to hold back the flood of emotions that were racing through her heart. A dream that Winston and Maria had never thought possible was unfolding in front of their eyes, and it was all in the name of Jesus Christ. Christ, the man who died for their sins and rose again so they they could have a relationship with the One True God, the God who heard and answered their prayers.  
Winston, Maria, Antoni and Warlin are delighted with their new home. The boys love having a bedroom that's bigger than mom and dad's where they can run around and play. Maria has hopes to fill the room up soon with more children! Winston uses their covered porch as a barber shop in hopes that business will be better then ever, and Maria finally has a place to call her own. She can now cook in her own kitchen and sit in her own living room. They all see the home as a reminder of Christ's love. Every time they walk into their home, they thank God for it and for sending University of Calgary to be His hands and feet.  


Time for a Change

Time for a Change

Old Model
Since 1993 Casas por Cristo has built a model home in México that looks like this. But that's about to change in our Acuña location. 
Letter from the Director of Operations

Since 1993, the single, pictured above, has been the project that has served thousands of families, keeping them safe and secure from the elements. In 1999, the double was introduced as a larger home, providing shelter for larger families living in the locations in México we serve. Over the last 22 years we have continually sought to improve and provide the best home for families. Beginning January 1st in our Acuña, México location we will debut our next-generation home.

Our Acuña project will introduce a single design that combines both the single and the double floor plans and improves their layout and functionality. In addition to changing the floor plan, we are working to use new materials that will add years to the lifespan of the home. We plan to build the first prototype homes in late summer to early fall. 

The Acuña project is designed for groups of fourteen to twenty-two people. The project cost will be $6,500 ($295 to $433 per person). As you are planning your trips to Acuña, México for 2016, we hope that you will be as excited as we are to provide next-generation homes to families in need. Over the next few months, look for updates from us as we provide more details about the Acuña project. 


Jason Laffan
New Model
Starting January 1, 2016, we are switching to a new and improved $6,500 model home. The new house plans are still in the works, but we'll be sure to keep you posted with updates.