Clinica La Esperanza started many years ago with Rafael Ventura (the pastor at the local church) and Keith McBride. Rafael and Keith would go into the camps and show film from the back-end of a pick-up truck. Keith saw the tremendous medical needs of the people in the camps, so he started the clinic on his social security checks, bringing materials down to Mexico little by little.
Several years later, Steve Davis, former full-time missionary at La Esperanza, came to Mexico and ended up spending the night on the beach in his car. The next morning, Virginia (a local woman) made Steve breakfast and told him about Keith. It was at that time that Steve and Keith met. Keith introduced Steve to Pastor Rafael and a brotherhood formed. Steve joined the team and worked for 3 1/2 years brining down materials and helping build the clinic.
Keith was building and soliciting help from anywhere he could find it. Keith’s board turned to Mexican Medical for help who in turn looked to Dr. Gonzalez at Buen Pastor, the hospital in the San Quintin Valley, to help man the clinic. Keith’s board then turned the clinic over to Mexican Medical and a short time later Steve Davis and his family joined Mexican Medical and came to live full time at La Esperanza.
Upon the Davises’ arrival, the clinic was partially completed. Groups from the United States and Canada started coming for week long mission trips. Steve started chapel with the first group that came down, started going into the camps with a pickup truck for film ministry and went to get people for church. Steve’s family, Arlene (wife), Travis (son) and Katie (daughter) went to Vacation Bible School (VBS) every day after home schooling. At this time, Arlene saw that most women and many children could not read. She also met women and children with spiritual and medical needs. Arlene began giving rides to the clinic for those in need and would read the Bible as they waited. She would go out to the camps several times a week to minister to various women in the camps.
In very little time it was evident that the people needed to be discipled. They came church, but there did not seem to be any spiritual growth. One day, Steve felt the Lord was telling him to build a Bible school and Pastor Rafael confirmed that God had also put this in his heart. So, new rooms for students were built, and while Rafael Jr. was in Bible college, God was getting him ready to be the new Pastor and Bible school teacher. The school is accredited and each student receives credentials from the Four Square Church and school in Tijuana.
La Esperanza helps support two full-time pastors, the assistant Pastor, Bible teachers, and Gerardo, who maintains and run the clinic. The mission base in Tranquilo (a small town south of the clinic) was built by La Esperanza volunteers and those volunteers also help the local Rehab Center nearby. The ministry is involved in many work projects to local churches, surrounding community, inside the camps and daycare facilities. There is a call to missions put out to the groups and individuals which has been answered by many who are working in the mission field in Baja and at La Esperanza itself. There have been various medical teams who have come down over the years, one of which is Jack and Betty McLaughlin, who come three months of the year to do dentistry. There are summer interns, full-time missionaries, Bible students and others who reside at La Esperanza. The full-time missionaries have outside ministries to individuals in the camps and community, on top of all the other ministries within La Esperanza. Three of the missionaries are also enrolled in the Bible school. The missionaries frequently give rides to people to and from church, to hospitals, and many events that have to do with church business, some as far as Tijuana.
During the summer months, the clinic is busy with groups from the United States and Canada who come for a week for a short-term mission trip. During the week, the groups are involved in chapel, work projects, VBS and film ministry. They also attend the church services offered throughout the week. During the other months, La Esperanza hosts various medical teams who come from anywhere from a weekend to three months. These medical teams include dentists, chiropractors, audiologists, ophthalmologists, general practitioners, nurse practitioners and more. The people in the camps are blessed by the services provided by these professionals, but, more importantly, each person that comes to the clinic hears the Good News of Jesus Christ our Savior. La Esperanza is a growing ministry with various outreaches. Please consider joining our team and changing lives both physically and spiritually.