Howard and Connie have been leading mission trips around the world since 2001. They have a passion and the experience to coordinate your mission trip to Puerto Rico. As a former Missions Pastor at Bear Valley Church in Lakewood, CO for 14 years, Howard gained so much knowledge about how to put an effective team together, and match it with the right ministry project!
Just talk to them for about 20 minutes and you will hear their excitement about a potential trip for you and your group. Their skills range from budgeting and logistics to hospitality and creativity.
They will design and coordinate a mission trip tailored to your needs and goals for your mission team members. Come for a week, 10 days or two weeks. You choose your area of ministry.
Do you want to teach, preach, hold an evangelistic outreach, work in schools, senior centers, do light construction, painting, sports or music ministry? Or some of each area? You decide. We do the rest. We provide you with a complete ground package that includes your housing, transportation, and ministry costs.
Our mission is to share Christ while building partnerships with the people and churches of Puerto Rico. We believe we should engage, equip, and encourage local pastors to grow their churches and plant new ones. Our experience tells us that if we can connect a local church with a U.S. church, that partnership will thrive. And living in Puerto Rico gives us a great advantage of knowing the local pastors and church leaders, and their specific needs.
The territory's churches represent your fellow Americans. They are as American as each of you, and today they are going through the worst financial conditions in the history of Puerto Rico, not to mention the result of disasters like Hurricane Maria in 2017 and recent earthquakes in 2020. The government has cut most social programs and now the churches need to step forward in a dynamic manner. However, most of the churches in Puerto Rico are small, and their pastors are bi-vocational and ill-equipped to do this job. They are asking for help, for education, for teams to come and teach and preach. They need encouragement
In 2018, we were blessed with over 200 volunteers who came on mission teams to help with disaster relief in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Dozens of blue tarps (tarps given out by FEMA after hurricane) were removed as we repaired roofs on homes throughout mainland Puerto Rico. Several churches received painting from the volunteers. Some churches received new chairs, air conditioning, plus major and minor repair.
In 2019, more than 120 volunteers each gave at least one week at their own expense to come to Puerto Rico mainland and Vieques, PR, a small island just east of mainland. While they also did a tremendous amount of physical work repairing, cleaning up, and painting homes, most of them came specifically to make new relationships, pray with people and share the Gospel. The work continues on mainland Puerto Rico, and on Vieques island. The need for spiritual ministry is huge.
La Perla is an area that lies between the ocean and the 500-year old wall built around Old San Juan. For many years La Perla was an area that was off limits to outsiders and law enforcement. Crime was an everyday occurrence until about seven years ago when police cleaned up the area from most crime. For many churches on the mainland, it remained a place to stay away from.
A seasoned pastor who spent time in drug-infested Columbia felt God calling him to La Perla. Ivan Rios has opened a church, working to finish a building for his home and ministry activities and is an everyday saint to many in the area. He is an accomplished artist, and is reaching this neighborhood through his Art Studio, which still needs some work.
Vision Puerto Rico has partnered with Pastor Rios to bring local pastors and mission teams into the area. Today we need teams to come to La Perla for construction, demo of a building, and several ministry events. Help us to find a church partner for Pastor Rios.
The area in Toa Baja and the neighborhood is Quebradas Arenas. The young pastor is Francisco Albizu. That young pastor is wanting to plant a church in the neighborhood. The area has little in the way of a Christian Church. His pastor and sending church wants to join hands with a mainland church to establish ministry in this area. What a tremendous need this area has! A few days ago we were in the area and a lady came up to us and asked, "Who are you? We have not had anyone in our area to help since the hurricane!"
Much work needs to be done, in the physical and spiritual area of this neighborhood.
Located seven miles off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico you will find a small island named Vieques.
Vieques has no stop lights, no movie theatre, no bowling alley, and wild horses run freely on the island. It is a quaint place, visited by tourists because of the beautiful beaches. VPR has made a solid Christian impact on this island. With support and cooperation from some church partners, VPR has been able to complete the remodel of an old apartment. What was a rat-infested, bee-hive infested neglected space, is now a clean, modernized, modest Mission House that can house up to 15 people. Visiting pastors and mission teams have used the space.
Below are some ministry projects available on the island of Vieques (Isla Nena):
Provide two days of Christian teaching in the local elementary school (Yes, they let us take Jesus into the schools!)
Block Party for elementary school (grades K-5)
Ministry work at local high school (grades 9-12)
Block Parties in two of the housing projects
Free Car Wash Ministry
Ministry to Seniors at senior center (crafts, music, devotional, visiting)
First Responder Ministry (provide and serve first responders; Bible study with them)
Evangelistic services in the Town Plaza
Sports Camps at the ball fields (basketball, baseball)
Crash Boat Beach is one of the most famous beaches of this community. And it is located about 5 minutes from this church. This church has a pastor who was a former district judge and is on Vision Puerto Rico's board of directors.
They have had some real problems in the past year and need a dedicated team to help repair the church from some vandalism. Also, they need the outside of the church painted and a new window placed in the sanctuary.
But the main emphasis is on reaching the community. They are open to any evangelism opportunities.
For more information email: Howardvpr@gmail.com
Talk about a project that would make a huge difference! These are the ones. Teams coming to provide a retreat and training for one or more of these groups would change so many churches and homes.
The divorce rate is very high in Puerto Rico, pastors leave the ministry each week because of discouragement. Families are in desperate need.
Are you willing to move where only faith can survive? Find out how you can provide a retreat that would change a life and possibly yours.
For more information email: Howardvpr@gmail.com
Bob Ryan retired from Mile High Baptist Association, Denver September, 2014. He presently serves as part-time pastor, Ranch Drive Baptist Church, Ponca City, Okla-homa while developing the R&R Ranch and Restoration Retreat Center, Inc. in Newkirk, Oklahoma. The ranch is being developed to serve as a short-term retreat center for Pastors under pressure and Combat Veterans seeking help with reentry skills. He currently supervises Doctoral Students for Golden Gate Baptist Theologi-cal Seminary. He serves on the Board of Trustees for Vision Puerto Rico and Church-es of Excellence, Inc. with Attorney Steve Lewis of Edmond, Oklahoma. Married to Charlotte for forty-six years, they have two sons living in Newkirk/Ponca City, Okla-homa with their families. They have eight grandchildren residing on the R&R Ranch (a working ranch) or nearby where he and Charlotte retired.
Karen attends Bear Valley Church in Lakewood, Colorado. She said she supports VPR because, “Having participated in a short term mission trip to the Philippines, led by Howard and Connie I determined to be a part of whatever ministry they would lead in the future. Upon retirement from BVC, the Wallers formed VPR and I jumped at the chance to be a part of their work in this beautiful but challenged land and her people. My heart was further touched by the work they are doing. They have an ability to connect with young people, which astonishes me! I am quite hon-ored to be invited to join the board to help these fine missionaries in whatever the Lord leads them to do. My heart joins them in unity as they love on people of other cultures, spread the gos-pel, and encourage members of the Body of Christ.” In retirement, Karen is a short-term mission-ary, psychotherapist, spiritual coach, and writer. Karen holds a Doctorate in Ministry. She was also Ms. Colorado Senior America, and then 1st runner-up for National Ms. Senior America in 2011.
A member of Bear Valley Church in Lakewood, Colorado for many years, Pam serves on the Pastor prayer team, healing prayer team and choir. Pam says, “I serve on the VPR board because I believe in Howard and Connie. I have known them when they served at Bear Valley. I have worked alongside them on several mission events and trips. I have seen their passion and desire to serve and work with people all over the world.” Pam is an elementary teacher and has taught for 29 years in Denver, having been named “Teacher of the Year” in the Denver Public School District, where she teaches.
I am honored to be asked to serve on the board of Vision Puerto Rico. I am proud to be a native Coloradoan, and the son and grandson of native Coloradoans. I graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in Denver. Before God led me into Education, I worked a variety of jobs. I worked for Hutchinson Homes on various labor crews, I was a collector for Chrysler Credit, and I worked at a photo lab (when we still had those) processing film. God then led me up to Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado, where I earned my teaching degree. I taught elementary school for 12 years, and then I attended The University of Phoenix on weekends to earn my master's degree in Guidance and Counseling. This is my 35th year with Jefferson County Schools and I have been a Counselor at D'Evelyn Jr./Sr. High School for 23 years.
I have always had a heart for the Puerto Rican people because my dad was stationed there during WWII, and he always spoke very highly of the people and the island. Howard and Connie Waller are two of the most dedicated and faithful people I have ever known. That, combined with their energy and willingness to work hard, to serve the Lord are why I believe in and support Vision Puerto Rico.
What a privilege it is to serve on the board of Vision Puerto Rico with Howard and Connie Waller! I love the passion they have to help others in Jesus' name. Their organizational skills, planning, loving spirits and outreach to people, especially in Puerto Rico, is remarkable! I have experienced it first hand on two different international mission trips.
Retiring from a Denver mentoring organization, I currently spend time volunteering in my local church. Being on the healing prayer team, working with an anti-trafficking organization, as well as attending Bible and book studies have helped me grow in my faith. Some of my past experiences include: being an elementary bilingual educator, teaching Sunday school, tutoring, being a mentor to various ages and working with the oppressed and poor. These have helped shape me into a person God continues to use for His glory. My family consist of a married daughter, a son and 5 grandchildren. They make life fun and interesting!!
Bart is currently lead pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Aurora Colorado. He has served in churches in Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado for 40 years. He first fell in love with the people in Puerto Rico when he led a group of volunteers from 10 churches in the Denver metro area to help refurbish a church building in Vieques. The team worked hard. The people there captured his heart and seeing the end results of moving a dilapidated building back to a usable, functioning space got his juices going.
Bart has been doing mission work all over the world most of his ministry years but has been drawn to the work in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic because God has continued to open doors for ministry in those two countries over the last 10-12 years. He LOVES to help people and is excited to be a part of this amazing team! Bart enjoys anything outside and is a huge fan of his family and all of his 6 grandkids. He's been married to his bride Denise for over 40 years.
Sarah graduated from Stephen F Austin University with a Masters in Social Work and Psychology. She has served in the Capitol as a Legislative Aide for the Texas House of Representatives, worked on policies and procedures for non-profit organizations, held CEO positions at The United Way and the Athens Chamber of Commerce, and was involved with Rotary International, Texas State Jr. College Assn., and Court Appointed Special Advocates. She continued to love community involvement and fundraising.
Sarah began her own business, Faith and Fitness, combing her love of the Lord with helping to make a difference in the lives of others. During this time she was blessed with the opportunity to join a Vision Puerto Rico mission trip with supporter, Brian Kleinwachter and Second Baptist Church of LaGrange, TX.
After spending six days on the job site, working side by side with Brian, Howard and Connie, she fell in love with the people of Puerto Rico and what Vision Puerto Rico stands for. She says, "I am thrilled to serve on the board of such an inspiring ministry that truly makes a difference in the lives of so many." Today, Sarah and Brian live in Kerrville, Texas and own America Reclaimed, began by Brian in 2019. Their personal vision for America Reclaimed is to be the hands and feet of the Lord, especially when it comes to serving Vision Puerto Rico.
720.312.3785 (Connie)Our Colorado Address