Raul & Rhesa live in Phoenix and serve as school teachers while simultaneously reaching out to internationals in their community. They met GCMI in 2021 and served as mission interns with us starting that Summer. They officially joined the GCMI team in the beginning of 2022. Between the two of them, they speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, and French.
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico to Mexican immigrants, Raul was raised in a cultural dichotomy between Mexican (at home) and American (at school) values and customs. Further, he was raised in a multicultural neighborhood officially known as the International District.
Throughout his upbringing, Raul was frequently invited over by his friends who were also children of immigrants from several different countries. These cross-cultural experiences stirred in Raul an affinity for languages and global cultures.
Raul began to walk with Jesus in 2011 shortly before the end of his senior year in high school. Throughout his collegiate studies at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico, he was discipled in a student ministry, the Baptist Student Union. While at his university, Raul studied both Spanish and English Language Development Education.
During his time at ENMU, Raul started an English table talk which included several international students from countries such as Brazil, China, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and many others. This table talk cultivated many relationships and learning opportunities.
Rhesa was born in West Virginia to a preacher, teacher, and 6 older siblings in 1992, but grew up in Roswell, NM until age 14. She decided to follow Jesus at age 7 and immediately discovered an excitement for evangelism. Rhesa attended the University of New Mexico, originally planning to major in Vocal Performance. Her plans drastically changed as she was brought into a disciple-making movement by the BSU Christian Challenge, and she was hungry to abandon everything to become a missionary.
Having discovered a passion for foreign culture, travel, language, and the Gospel over those years, she finally graduated in 2014 with a BA in Foreign Languages. She was able to participate in 4 summer long mission trips including Colorado, China, India, and Mexico. Not soon after graduation, she met Raul, with whom she enthusiastically married in less than a year. Since then, she has worked as a high school foreign language teacher, while simultaneously being on mission to international people in the cities of Albuquerque and then Phoenix.