Rafael Ventura
Listing Category
Short Description
Pastor Rafael “Jr.” Ventura has devoted his life to serving migrant workers in the San Quintin Valley. He became a pastor in 2002. During the pandemic, he noticed the pressing need for food and essentials for newly-arrived workers in the consolidated Camp Vergel. Responding to their interest in Bible studies, he planted churches inside the camp and a nearby neighborhood. Now, he is working in building “La Casa de Esperanza y Fe para el Migrante” (House of Hope and Faith for the Migrant).

Pastor Rafael “Jr.” Ventura has been serving the San Quintin Valley’s migrant workers and their families since he was a boy, when he would accompany his father (Pastor Rafael Sr.) at film ministries and other outreaches in the many nearby migrant camps.

Throughout the ‘90s, teenaged Rafael Jr. was a fixture at VBS programs and other ministries in the migrant camps, serving with the local church as well as with visiting missions teams from the US and Canada. After high school, he went to Tijuana to attend Bible school, and, after graduation, was asked to serve as pastor at the church where he grew

up, accepting the role in 2002. Over the years, his many ministries have included leading the Bible school at La Esperanza, discipling the students who live on-site, serving on multiple missions trips to Chiapas and Cuba, and continuing to minister at the migrant camps.

During the early 2000s, the largest ranching company in the area began to close smaller migrant camps and consolidate its workers into a single large camp, Camp Vergel, which has a capacity of thousands. Early in the pandemic, migrant workers continued to arrive in the San Quintin area to work in agriculture, but they were required to spend their first two weeks in quarantine before they could start their jobs. Because they weren’t being paid during that time and almost all arrived with minimal funds, Pastor Rafael Jr. recognized the great need for distribution of food and other essentials (hygiene items, diapers for those with babies, etc.).

As these various groups of newly-arrived workers were released from quarantine, many were interested in joining Bible studies, and through the faithful service of Junior and others who worked alongside him, a church was planted inside Camp Vergel, as well as another one in a nearby neighborhood.

The church plant and other ministries inside the camp are using borrowed space that is not necessarily available long term. A piece of property was purchased, which is located directly across the street from Camp Vergel to create a community center. The lot was one of the last available in the immediate area, and it will provide a stable long-term location for their current ministries, as well as the possibility of additional outreaches, such as a children’s after-school program, feeding program, and other services. 

The vision is to open “La Casa de Esperanza y Fe para el Migrante” (House of Hope and Faith for the Migrant) to serve migrant workers and their family members, ministering to all areas of their lives–social, material, physical, academic, and, above all, spiritual.

Please pray for God’s generous provision so the project can become a reality.