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Valentine’s Day Special: Couples Making An Impact!


Working Together to Make a Lasting Difference

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

The importance of love in charity work cannot be overstated. Love is the foundation of all charity work, as it motivates people to give their time, energy, and resources to help others in need. Love provides a sense of purpose and meaning to the work being done, and it helps to foster a sense of community and solidarity among those involved in the work. It also helps keep people motivated and passionate about their work, as they are motivated by more than just the financial rewards of charity work. Finally, love in charity work can create a powerful ripple effect, as those who are helped by charity often return the favour by helping others.

Love is important for a missionary couple because it is the foundation for their relationship and work. As a couple, they will likely face numerous challenges in their missionary work, such as cultural differences, language barriers, and homesickness. Love provides the strength and motivation to overcome these obstacles together.

In addition, love is a powerful tool for reaching others with the Gospel. When a couple demonstrates love towards those they serve, it can open hearts and minds to receive the message of Christ. Love can bridge gaps between cultures and languages and help create a sense of community and belonging.

Ultimately, love is at the heart of the Christian faith and is the message that missionaries seek to share. A couple who embodies this love in their relationship and ministry can be a powerful witness to the transformative power of God’s love.

Working Together to Make a Lasting Difference

As we have observed in many projects, be it migrant worker ministry, female empowerment, community development or taking care of abandoned children, love is incredibly important.

On Valentine’s Day, we’re looking at some lovely couples involved with ImpactHope.

Being surrounded by love can be extremely important during ministry work, whether from one’s partner, family and friends or the kindness of strangers such as the staff and patients. ImpactHope is honoured to work with individuals and couples from different backgrounds and locations, many of whom have dedicated their whole lives to showing the love of Christ to the most vulnerable.

Canada: Eleazer and Lila Quezada

Lila and Ellie Quezada and their eight children have served faithfully in ministry for over 25 years. She married Eleazar, her Mexican American husband, in 1983. Presently, they reside in British Columbia and help the migrant workers near them. Lila continues to be involved with Casa Compasiva fund-raising, promotion in local churches, writing and editing materials on their behalf, and maintaining relationships with the Oaxacan staff.

Ellie continues his involvement with the migrant workers in the Delta area of BC. This year it has mostly taken the form of picking up, fixing, and delivering bikes to workers who need them and sharing gospel materials, an audio Bible, and prayer with each worker.

“As time and strength permits, we open our home in hospitality to others, share the gospel and pray for those who need it, mentor and counsel those who ask, and provide for the physical needs of others in practical ways as we are able.”


In Cuba, two national couples – Jorge & Sandra and Carlos & Rosa, are committed to reaching and serving their people, seeking to share the love of God with children, families, and seniors as they help in practical and tangible ways.

Jorge & Sandra

Jorge and Sandra minister at a church in Palma Soriano, built on land that belongs to the state, and gangs steal the little that the land produces. Jorge and Sandra barely make ends meet from Jorge’s job as a church administrator. Jorge was affected rather severely by covid last year, which caused him to be admitted to the hospital for an extended time. Jorge could not afford the treatment for his bronchiectasis, but thanks to our generous donors, Jorge could purchase medicines for his treatment.

Carlos & Rosa

Carlos and Rosario de Ponce serve the community in Camaguey. They have impacted the lives of many kids, seniors, and families, particularly children. With the help of generous donors, they could financially support several pastors and their families. The couple works hard to bring hope to many who are struggling to make ends meet.

Nebaj: Dr. Juan Pablo and Carolina Noriega

Years ago, Dr. Juan Pablo and Dr. Carolina Noriega had a dream – a hospital that would provide quality healthcare with respect and dignity for the community of Nebaj. Carolina studied microbiology in Guatemala City and moved with her husband to Nebaj, a mountainous region struck by the civil war in the 1990s. Together, they had the vision to provide a higher level of medical care and to start a clinic for the indigenous people. JP and Carolina managed to create sustainability in their efforts. In addition to a hospital for the community, they have also started a church, a hospital lab, and two auxiliary nursing schools (with over 1000 graduates!). They have two children.

Huehuetenango: Gilberto and Ruth Noriega

Gilberto and Ruth Noriega work in Huehuetenango to impact the quality of education and increase access to education for indigenous children. They are Juan Pablo’s parents and have served in the mission field for many years. They went to seminary in Guatemala City and since then have worked with various churches, serving particularly in Christian mission and education.

They have worked hard to support over 28 schools started by Christian churches that desire to impact their communities and provide an avenue for parents to give their children a high-level education.

Cubulco: Alejandro and Kathryn Ortiz

Our partners Alejandro and Kathryn Ortiz pioneer a chicken project in Cubulco, a small town in the mountains north of Guatemala City. Their vision is to bring hope and food security to low-income families. Alejandro, originally from this community, has previously worked in church planting, Bible translation, community development, literacy, and a weekly Christian radio program in the local Achi language. They have four children.

Kenya: Ishmael and Molline

Ishmael and Molline began ministering in a slum in Nairobi by tutoring, educating, and feeding a few children. Their early efforts produced birthed Shelter of Hope. In the same slum, they first started ministering; there is now a school with approximately 150 students (Kindergarten to grade 8). Their efforts expanded to the Nyanza province, where Ishmael was born and raised. Together, they saw a vision to address issues in the community. Following the inception of the school, they started the Shelter of Hope Academy and other programs (a health clinic, agriculture, and women empowerment – to name a few).

Oaxaca Province: Isaac and Fer

Originally from a small town in Oregon, Isaac’s family moved to Oaxaca, Mexico, where his parents served as missionaries for 18 years. He returned to the USA to study music and theology in Spokane, Washington. After university, he returned to the Oaxaca area, where he met his future wife, Marifer (from Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico.) Eventually, Isaac and Fer were married in January 2018! They began working in Oaxaca, teaching music privately, and Fer also worked at Casa Compasiva (a birthing center ministry in Oaxaca). They desire to help local Christians develop authentic worship music in their own language, releasing a greater expression of praise to God that cannot but help draw others to Him – one language group at a time! Isaac and Fer were blessed with a baby last year.

Peru: Rodolfo and Saraid

Rodolfo grew up in Iquitos, Peru, under the care of his aunt and uncle since his father was an aggressive alcoholic and his mother left to live in another city. He had a life-changing experience with God at 22, which changed his future. Because of his difficult childhood, Rodolfo has always had compassion for reaching children without the opportunity to feel God’s steadfast love and acceptance. Rodolfo and Saraid have two children. For years Rodolfo and Saraid have built relationships with drug addicts, prostitutes and parents in the hopes of bringing the light of the gospel to many of the dark places that exist. Hogar Genesis is a children’s home that cares for 12 children.

Rodolfo and his team hold kids’ clubs and visit the prison, drug holes and families in crisis. Their dedication and passion for Christ are like no other!

Peru: Scott and Tracy Blackburn

Scott and Tracy are from Ontario, where they lived attending Emmanuel Baptist church while for many years running a masonry business. They were led to Peru in 2014 and have lived there ever since. They are dedicated to serving children who have experienced pain from their past. Working closely with the local Government, permanent and transitional care is provided for children who are victims of family violence, abuse, abandonment, trafficking, or homelessness. Tat’s Place opened in January 2020.

Quoting Scott here – “Question: What kind of God would put people through such agony? What kind of God would give you families and then ask you to leave them? What kind of God would give you friends and then ask you to say goodbye?
Answer: A God who knows that the deepest love is not built on passion and romance but on a common mission and sacrifice.”
In the summer of 2018, their daughter Tatiana Blackburn died tragically in a car accident. We have a fund called Tat’s Kids Peru to honour her memory. Tat was a talented writer who had a wonderful way with words. Read Tat’s incredible blog on ‘love’ here.

Being the Hands and Feet of Jesus to the Most Vulnerable

Missionary work has always involved sacrifice. If some sacrifices are necessary, then the blessings will be all the more abundant. Through the power of love, these couples have impacted thousands. God has faithfully met their needs so far but moving forward into 2023, we ask that you consider supporting them.

More news & updates from Impact Hope

Transforming The Lives of Vulnerable Children in India

We are excited to share a heartfelt guest blog post from Santosh, our dedicated partner representing LOAM ministry in India. In this post, Santosh highlights the remarkable work being done at the LOAM School in the village of Chelligada, Odisha. Through the power of education and compassionate care, the LOAM School is transforming the lives of orphans and needy children, offering them a future filled with hope and opportunity.

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Supporting Fathers, Transforming Communities

In the heart of Nebaj, Guatemala, the Mavericks Men’s Ministry is transforming lives. Every Wednesday morning, men from all walks of life gather at Servicios Medicos Vida y Esperanza hospital to support and uplift each other. This group provides a safe space for men to discuss their struggles, grow in their faith, and become better fathers and husbands. The impact is profound, with many members experiencing significant positive changes in their personal lives and their roles within their families…

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A Story of Hope and Resilience in Cuba

In the heart of Camaguey, Cuba, the economic situation is dire, with many families struggling to meet their basic needs. Amidst these challenges, ImpactHope’s partners, Carlos and Rosa, have been making a profound difference through their dedicated ministry. One particularly moving story is that of Yesdeiker, a 42-year-old man living with a severe disability. Despite immense hardships, the support from ImpactHope has been a lifeline, providing essential food supplies and hope..

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