That day, you will have an opportunity to meet Curt Van Ekeren, Executive Director of CASA Homes of Hope (Yuma, AZ). Two framed Collections of Art (by Rosa) will be auctioned on Saturday, June 1, 2019. The event display & refreshments will be from 1-3 p.m. and the auction begins at 3:00 p.m. The art auction will be hosted at The Grove * A Gallery (713 Central Avenue; Nebraska City, NE 68410). Their website is: The theme of the art is “People of Mexico” & “Birds of Mexico” -- drawn by our friend Rosa (CASA Homes of Hope) – “Women’s Works of Art Series.” Note: the public can view the art prior to the auction. It will be on display (May 17 - June 1, 2019) at The Grove * A Gallery.

Auction Details:
On the day of the auction, Curt Van Ekeren, Executive Director of CASA Homes of Hope, will be available from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. to meet attendees and share more about Rosa & the ministry. Refreshments will also be served. The auction will take place at 3:00 p.m. You must be present to bid or have a representative present to bid for you that day. (If you cannot have someone present – please call Cheryl Wichman prior to the day of the auction, so she can take down your information & assist you.) All proceeds from this auction will go toward CASA Homes of Hope.

About the artist:
Rosa and her husband have four children and currently live in San Luis, Mexico. “This family was the first wood home we built in Mexico,” shares Curt Van Ekeren, Executive Director of CASA Homes of Hope. “Our ministry has been working in San Luis for about nine years and during that time, Rosa has had a huge roll in everything we do. Without her commitment, many things would not get done. Rosa always tells me ... we have no money to donate but I can donate my time to help you. Rosa has a heart of humility and yet her actions and talents are bold. She has a hard time looking at her talents as something that anyone would appreciate. Yet every person who meets Rosa is greatly impacted by her love and humility.” 

About CASA Homes of Hope:
“I had a meeting with our Pastor at Calvary Temple of Christ in Yuma, and he challenged me to raise some funds to determine if we could establish and operate a mission in San Luis,” shares Curt. God began to open doors and we just had to walk through these doors and trust Him. We were blessed to have teams from all over the US raise funds for the homes, build the homes, as well as support Casa de la Esperanza. By no means did we start this mission, God did. We just held His hand and followed. Now, over 45 homes have been built, a dozen bathrooms have been constructed, and several homes that people had started, have been completed. Along with building homes, students are being sponsored and different health clinics are offered. God has laid the foundation for the mission, we just build on it as He directed us. 

Why is this artist, Rosa, so special to Nebraska City?
First Lutheran Church has sent four teams of missionaries to San Luis, Mexico to build homes for different homeless families. Through these experiences, many people in Nebraska City have participated: 
• By going to Mexico and building a house
• By giving money toward the build
• By making quilts for each member of the family 
• By purchasing dual language Bibles, Children’s books for the families
• By sponsoring children in Mexico (so they can go to school)

And behind the scenes of this experience, was Rosa. A humble woman who tirelessly gives of her talents to help the mission. She cooks for the teams, she coordinates shopping trips for the missionaries to purchase items for the families and she helps Curt Van Ekeren know what the needs are in her community. Last year, when I (Cheryl Wichman) helped build my first home … I felt badly when we left the community. The family had a brand new home, but I knew that they might not have money for the basics … food, toiletries and cleaning supplies. What I witnessed …. Was that many of the women did not work but had lots of artistic talent. So, we started “Women’s Works of Art” and we now display artwork at various community meetings or churches and “collect donations” for the art. That money is sent back down to CASA Homes of Hope and distributed as needed for the families. This art exhibit is the first for Rosa. She only hopes that it will benefit the mission in some way. We are so proud of the work CASA Homes of Hope is doing and we hope that two bidders will help contribute at the June 1st auction. Thank you!

More history: 
Five years ago, Joel Wichman (Member of First Evangelical Lutheran Church; Nebraska City, NE) served as a missionary through his work, Vetter Health Services. His team went down to Yuma, AZ and each day drove across the border and built a home for a homeless family through CASA Homes of Hope in San Luis, Mexico. 

After that successful build, Curt Van Ekeren, Executive Director of CASA Homes of Hope, challenged each member of the team. “We need more teams to come to Mexico to build homes for the homeless and share God’s Love. I challenge you to bring a group of your own next year!” shared Curt. Joel Wichman took that challenge and brought a team from First Evangelical Lutheran Church (Nebraska City, NE) the following year. Four home builds later … this church as well as members of Hickory Grove are already planning to go back to Mexico in January of 2020. “We’ve built relationships now – so it’s so much more than a ‘home build’ – we’re going back each year to family,” shares Joel. 

Missionaries from First Evangelical Lutheran Church (315 South 16th Street; Nebraska City, NE 68410) & Hickory Grove Lutheran Church (72796 634th Avenue; Auburn, NE 68305) from the last four years (note: several persons have been on several or all of the trips): 

Kim Butler
Graham Butler
Erv Friesen
Marcia Friesen
Don Gerdes
Jan Gerdes
Cory Gerking
Lori Gerking
Jeff Kohrs
Dylan Rasmussen
Pastor Randy Rasmussen
Shelli Rasmussen
Leon Schiermeyer
Ellen Stokebrand
Joel Wichman
Cheryl Wichman
Nathan Wichman

And many more church members have contributed money toward the house builds, quilts, shoes, clothes, books, toys and more! In addition to building homes, some of the members of these builds have also chosen to sponsor some of the children’s education (public education only goes through eighth grade).