Roberto Rodriguez will be our site coordinator in Monclova. His wife Rhesa, who is an R.N., will be working with our medical team. Both Roberto and Rhesa are graduates of SNU.
Robert was born and raised in South Texas speaking both English and Spanish. He grew up in ministry with his family in Mercedes Texas where his mother was a local licensed preacher.
Rhesa grew up in Guatemala, the daughter of missionaries. She spent most of her life there, until returning to the States to attend college.
Robert and Rhesa met at Southern Nazarene University, and were married in 2003. Together they seek God and desire more than anything serve the Lord in cross-cultural settings.
Roberto has served as a children’s pastor, worship leader, and Hispanic pastor at churches in Texas, Missouri, and Tennessee. He is a certified public school teacher and an ordained minister with the Church of the Nazarene. He served for three years as an administrative and marketing assistant for the Spanish division of Nazarene Publishing House and has also taught for the Creative Discovery Museum of Chattanooga TN.
Rhesa is currently a Transport Nurse at El Paso Children’s Hospital and has served as a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit nurse for over ten years.
The Rodriguez family currently serves as Mission Corps Missionaries with the Nazarene Border Initiative based out of El Paso Texas. Their responsibilities include encouraging and supporting current churches, both English and Spanish, on both sides of the US Mexico Border and help host Work and Witness teams to El Paso.
They have three children, Ruthy 7, Josiah 6, and Mikayla 5. As a family, they have served in Central Asia, speaking Russian, as volunteer missionaries for the Church of the Nazarene.
It was a missionary call that took Steve to Olivet Nazarene University where after his junior year, he was selected to be part of a summer ministry in Argentina. His training for the trip took place at the border between Mexico and the U.S. It was at this missionary boot camp that he met a young lady from Pasadena College who was heading to Peru. Debbie was the daughter of Elmer and Dorothy Nelson, who pioneered Nazarene work in the Republic of Panama.
Two years after meeting on that summer mission trip, Steve and Debbie were married, and have enjoyed 33 years together. They have been missionaries in Peru, Colombia, and Argentina. In Peru, one task was starting a mission service in the Amazon jungle for the Aguaruna Indians. In Colombia, they planted a church with 80 members that has since grown to include over 8,000 members!
Debbie became ill, and the couple was forced to return to the States. But this didn't stop them from being missionaries. They started an African American church in southern Georgia as a result of a flood. They later moved to Alabama and started three Hispanic churches and opened another African American church. Following this, another invitation came to serve in California. In the next ten years they went on to start 25 Hispanic churches. Four years ago, the Bakers formed a new nonprofit ministry called Latino Missions Evangelism.
After 15 years in the States, World Mission asked the Bakers to become global missionaries once again. So three months ago, they once again hefted their belongings and moved elsewhere, this time to Mexico, where they coordinate the Nazarene Border Initiative. With this, their goal is to plant 500 churches on both sides of the border.
Steve met Debbie met on the border of Mexico in 1973, and now, 33 years later, he says she's still flirting with him there. He finds planting churches fun and thinks only Heaven can be better than this.
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E-mail us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Write us: Commission Unto Mexico, Southern Nazarene University, 6729 NW 39th, Bethany, OK 73008