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Denver Resource Center Source of Hope

Volunteer Stephanie DenBraber (standing), of First CRC Denver, teaching Cascade of Hope’s beginner level ESL Class.
Volunteer Stephanie DenBraber (standing), of First CRC Denver, teaching Cascade of Hope’s beginner level ESL Class.

Cascade of Hope Community Resource Center reaches out to the urban communities of Denver, Col., in the hope of bringing together a multicultural, multigenerational body. In August, the ministry moved from Mountainview Reformed Church of America to Hillcrest Christian Church, a Christian Reformed congregation. Pastor Victor Perez-Ballesteros, a graduate of Calvin Seminary and associate pastor and church planter supported by Hope Fellowship CRC, also in Denver, leads Cascade of Hope with his wife, Sandra.

The Perez-Ballesteros are equipped with the skills to lead this ministry, but they also have the heart to do so. After coming to America to find new opportunities for themselves and their family, the couple discovered how essential English was for everything—from public transportation to filling pharmacy prescriptions. “The power and ability to communicate with other people in their language is very important for the socio-economic and cultural development for a better life,” the couple explained.

Wishing to equip other newcomers with English language and other skills, the Perez-Ballesteros connect with supporters, recruit volunteers, and reach out to potential students through Cascade of Hope. Volunteers have provided classes in English as a Second Language (ESL), United States citizenship, and computer basics for over four years.

Resonate Global Mission is a partner of Cascade of Hope, supplying grants in each of the last three years and providing coaching and consultation. Christian Reformed congregations and other churches in the area are also partnering with financial and volunteer aid.

“Volunteers are the heart of Cascade of Hope ministries,” said Victor. “They make this ministry possible; without volunteers there would not be a way for us to serve and impact the community as we have been doing.”

Clients Orlanys Fuenmayor and her 6-year-old daughter, Victoria Martinez, have been deeply impacted throughCascade of Hope. With their home country, Venezuela, caught up in economic and political crisis, Fuenmayor and Martinez moved to Illinois, then to Texas, and finally to Colorado. In Colorado, through Cascade of Hope, Fuenmayor learned to speak English, enabling her to communicate with her daughter’s teachers and to take her immigration interview and become a permanent resident. “From the first moment I entered, [Cascade of Hope] felt like family, and I felt great confidence to be able to learn and leave my fears,” Fuenmayor said.

Beyond being a resource center, Cascade of Hope also serves as a Spanish worship home for several families. Hillcrest is already a bilingual (English and Mandarin) congregation. Now, the Perez-Ballesteros are taking steps with Hillcrest to move toward multicultural worship in all three languages.

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