In 1980 as principal of Garland Christian School in Garland Texas, Ray was challenged by a missionary to get the young people in our church and school involved in missions. That year Ray and Leah led their first mission team to Mt. Hebron Bible Institute in Monterrey, Mexico. The Hansen's continued to host mission teams annually, then bi-annually, then quarterly until they were asked to help with a children’s home in Jimenez, Chihuahua. After their first year in Jimenez, Ray and Leah attended language school at Rio Grande Bible Institute in Edinburg, Texas. The language school is located on the border between Texas and Mexico and the Hansen’s became aware of the need for a children's home across the border in Reynosa. In 1991 Ray went to the mayor of Reynosa and requested permission to start a children’s home in their city. Soon after the city of Reynosa donated a plot of land to build Casa Hogar Rio Bravo.
The new land was covered in garbage, cactus and scrub bushes. There were no roads, no electricity or running water, and no sewer system. Before construction could begin mission teams helped clean the garbage and fence the land. The cement for the foundation of the first home was mixed by hand with water that was carried in from the home two blocks away. "This was the beginning of our faith-built children’s home,” say the Hansen’s. Today the children’s home that started on a trash dump has been called, “The model for children's homes across the state of Tamaulipas". This statement was made by a former Director of Social Services for the State of Tamaulipas.
Ray and Leah on their first mission trip in 1980.
The road in front of Rio Bravo Ministries in 1991.
Groups cleared trash and brush for the first year.