In 2011, after seeing the success of Compassion Clinics in Portland as a model for uniting churches, a small team of AZ volunteers held the first Compassion Queen Creek. Despite unprecedented rain and cold the event was a huge success. We learned that not only were the churches in our community hungry to work together, but the people were seriously under-served. Exit interviews proved that this area had a huge lack of social services and community resources.
The biggest problem: Social service agencies and churches providing services to this area needed a place to meet clients.
Out of this need was born The San Tan Valley Compassion Care Center. A small building, in an impoverished community that is referred to by residents as “Little Mexico”, now provides a place where those in need can come and receive a wide variety of services ranging from Parenting and pregnancy counseling to English as a second language classes, job services, rent and utility assistance, food, clothes, help with state benefits and much more.
Statewide to date Arizona has 3-4 Compassion Clinics per year, participates in at least a couple human trafficking awareness or prevention activities and operates The Compassion Care Center Tuesday-Saturday.
Gary and Jennelle Esquivel, Regional Directors
Meeting in high school and marrying shortly after, Gary and Jennelle just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. They are the proud parents of 4 wonderful children, a beautiful daugher-in-law and 1 grandson. While they were raised in Arizona and Portland, they have called the San Tan Valley/Queen Creek area home for the past 12 years.
In 2010 they brought Compassion Connect to Arizona when they began building the first Compassion Queen Creek team. With the support of several very faithful friends, and their home church- Epic Christian Church, CQC 2011 was a huge success and with it the AZ Hub was born. Currently, Jennelle spends most of her time at the Compassion Care Center and Redeemed Threads as well as providing support to new and existing clinics and hub development. Gary manages and maintains all medical and dental equipment, set-up and tear down of all events and endlessly supports the work at the center and store.
Both Gary and Jennelle came to faith in Jesus as children but Compassion Connect has provided great opportunity to serve together, along with their children who are always willing to do hard work for the Kingdom. It has both brought them together, and been the source of more than one disagreement- but grown their faith and relationship tremendously.
Minister Larry Hunter, Co-Executive Director & Voncelle Hunter, Public Relations
Minister Larry and Voncelle Hunter are faithful members of True Glory Ministries in San Tan Valley, AZ where they have both served for 10 years. Minister Larry and Voncelle have a strong desire to serve the Lord through the Compassion Connect Arizona organization. Together they have joined the Compassion Queen Creek Executive Leadership Team. Minister Larry serves as Co-Executive Director and Voncelle is responsible for Public Relations and Marketing for the annual event. They own Well Served Media, LLC which is a spa & wellness media marketing company.
Minister Larry is a United States Army Veteran and is currently employed by the City of Phoenix Water Services Department. He is responsible for the Bio-Solid Solar Drying Process for five cities in the valley. He is a current member of the City of Phoenix Employees for Christ and leads a weekly Bible study at the water treatment plant. As a licensed Minister, he is making efforts to unite the churches of Queen Creek and San Tan Valley through consistent community outreach and the building of relationships with other ministries.
Voncelle is an internationally recognized Spa & Wellness professional and the co-founder of the Southwest Spa Alliance (SWSA) with wellness educator Thuy Karr. The SWSA provides continuing education resources and develops global partnerships that empower spa professionals to become outstanding business leaders. The SWSA is the host of the Spa at Compassion. This year they will be providing aesthetic and massage treatments with the support of several spas in the valley who have volunteered their services. As a licensed skin therapist, Voncelle is an advocate for healthy skin. A to Z Dermatology will be joining CQC 2018 medical team to offer full body skin cancer screenings.
The Compassion Queen Creek event is aligned with God’s vision for their marriage which is to spread the love and gospel of Jesus Christ through service.
Tiffani Chavira, Redeemed Threads Store Manager
Gale Lasley was born and raised in Arizona and now resides in San Tan Valley, Arizona. Gale has six wonderful grandchildren, four girls and two boys, and her loving husband Lawrence. Gale coordinates women’s ministry in her local church, and currently Gale and Lawrence open the doors to their home on Wednesday nights to mostly non-Christian, non-believing neighbors to share dinner and conversations about God and his word. Gale is both excited and thrilled to be a part of the Compassion Family and for the hope that is held out through the Gospel of life.
Joe Guinn, Advisory Board Member
Joe spent years working in full time ministry in Texas where he excelled at running community ministries and finding creative revenue sources for his church. God eventually called Joe away from vocational ministry and lead him to starting a couple of successful business that eventually lead him to AZ with his wife Amy, and three young daughters Lisa, Bethany, and Rebecca.
Joe serves on the advisory board of Compassion Connect AZ, and helped organize the centers first of hopefully many successful fundraisers. Joe also built and maintains the organizations websites, and serves as the co-executive director of Compassion Queen Creek. Joe is just happy to be serving by using his talents to help Compassion Connect AZ.
Chuck Combs, Arizona Hub Medical Area Coordinator
Chuck is a Director of Nursing at a long term behavioral health facility in Phoenix, AZ. He has
worked in behavior health for over a decade and is deeply passionate about this area of
nursing. He is currently a full time Nurse Practitioner student and will continue to get his
specialty in mental health.
Chuck is married to his wife Erica and they have 5 children whose ages range between 10
through 25 years old. They attend Rock Point Church where Chuck serves at the Rock Point
mini- clinics and on the Rock Point medical and missions team.
In Memorial Of
John Allee, Arizona Hub Champion
A dedicated supporter of the Compassion Connect Arizona Hub since 2011, John Allee passed away in September of 2016. John first became precious to Compassion Connect when he was the principle at Walker Butte Elementary School in 2011. It was due to him the Arizona Hub was able to hold the first Compassion Queen Creek Clinic at Walker Butte. He was crucial to our success for the first four years of the event and would always stay from open to close to make sure that we had everything we needed. He also served as a Life Connector, walking guests to their appointments with them, praying for them, sharing in their struggles, loving on them and showing them Jesus. John and his wife Konnie continued to support the Hub when the Compassion Care Center opened, assisting with construction and furnishing the store with antiques from their own home. John Allee left a legacy of service and compassion in the community, and he will be greatly missed by all those he touched during his life.