Our Staff Consists Of:
Phil Douce, Director and Visionary along with his wife, Debbie
Phil and I (Debbie) and our four children relocated to Quito, Ecuador in 2002 from Columbia, MO where Phil was the director of a family advocacy center and non-for-profit emergency shelter for abused and neglected children, and I served as a teacher and career foster parent. We initially were invited by International Teams Youth World for Phil to direct their new training and retreat center outside of Quito. Little did we know that God was laying the groundwork for ministry with at risk children and youth in Ecuador. As a family, we developed a special friendship with a group of street boys. Three years later, what started for us as a weekly pizza night, turned into what we know today as Casa Gabriel, a full-time discipleship training ministry to former street boys.
Jorge and Laura Estevez, House Parents
Jorge and Laura came to Casa Gabriel as our full-time House Parents in November of 2017. They had worked with Casa Gabriel previously, getting to know many of the original boys who came to the home, before sensing God's calling to return to Ecuador and work as the full-time House Parents. Jorge and Laura (along with their two kids) do daily life with the boys, adding a needed sense of home, plus security and love, to their lives.
Senor Angel, Academic Coordinator
The role of Academic Coordinator and tutor is very important to the academic success of the boys. Angel enrolls each of the boys in high school, monitors their grades and tutors them, purchases their school supplies and uniforms and helps keep them on course to graduate. He keeps track of everything academic and is a huge help to making sure they can graduate high school and plan for their futures.
Dr. Cristina Orellana, Psychologist
I´m 34 years old, married with Eduardo Gutiérrez with three kids ( Arianna, Mirela and Eduardo). I grew up in Ecuador, my family was part of MAF (Mission Avition Fellowship), and we were missionaries for 17 years in our own country.
I have been a Psychologist for 14 years. I´m bilingual (Spanish and English) and have been working for more than 4 years with Child and Protection in Ecuador and 2 years working specifically with CSPN (Child Safety and Protection Network), doing interviews and follow-up. Working for many years with kids and teenagers has given me tools and especially a heart for broken families. Serving at Casa Gabriel is a new challenge for my life as a Christian, as a professional, and as a mom. Helping these boys that are dealing with difficult emotional processes in their lives gives me the opportunity to understand and have a new perspective of the social reality in my country. Now I can say that I´m a witness of how God can change street boys from the inside to transform them in good leaders.
Sonnet Medrano, Administrative Assistant
I'm a native Texan who has been blessed with a loving Christian family and the opportunity to travel, learn, and experience God's amazing grace. Since I was a little girl I have felt that one day God would call me to the mission field full-time. After several years of going on short-term trips and working for a maternity ministry and then my church, I felt God saying "Now". I moved to Ecuador in January 2014 after doing missions and language training. I greatly enjoy assisting in behind-the-scenes administrative work wherever possible, whether it is organizing events, handling finances, or sending out email updates, as well as being a sister in Christ to the boys and laughing, crying, praying, and rejoicing with them.
Señora Melba, Social Worker
As a social worker, Melba is a liaison who connects us with the families of the boys, many of whom are in very difficult situations. She handles the main correspondence with the families, helps coordinate visits, and takes care of any legal actions which need to happen. Alongside this, simply having someone else who is investing in the lives of the boys they way she does, listening to their stories, fears, and hopes, is a blessing for everyone.