Mustard Tree Missions (MTM) was founded and is
directed by Rick Burton of Meridian, MS.
He has been active in leadership in local churches for
many years and was also a youth leader for several
years. It was his involvement with the youth ministry
of his church which first led him to start taking mission
trips to Venezuela.
Originally from the Pittsburgh, PA area, Rick moved
south over 40 years ago and began a career as an insurance agent. After
owning his own agency for many years, God led him to sell it in order to give
more time to missions.
Rick and his wife, Lokey, live in Meridian, MS.
Rubén Turtulici, M.Ed. - FUNDAMOST President and Director, Maracaibo,
Rubén is the President of Fundación Árbol de Mostaza
(FUNDAMOST) which is the Venezuelan branch of
MTM headquarterd in Maracaibo, Venezuela.
Rubén holds a Master’s Degree in International
Education from Framingham State College. He also
holds undergraduate degrees in Modern Languages,
Philosophy, and Psychology. He is fluent in 4 languages
– Spanish, English, French and Italian.
A native of Maracaibo, Rubén has served in church ministry for many years
in many different areas including praise and worship, Christian education, and
missions. For several years he assisted Teen Mania mission teams that came
to Maracaibo as a translator and team coordinator. As school teacher, he has
taught both children and adults for 25 years in local and international language
schools and through private tutoring. He is a practicing psychologist and also
teaches online courses.
Rubén is now living in Dubai, UAE. He attends Fellowship Dubai and
serves in their “Compass” and “Celebrate Recovery” ministries. He is still
actively invloved in MTM’s ministries in Maracaibo and maintains frequent
contact with José Andrade, our Assistant Director of Missions in Maracaibo.
José Andrade - FUNDAMOST Assistant Director of Missions in
José is 23 years old and lives in Maracaibo,
Venezuela. He is a psychologist working with
individual clients and also in the Psychiatric
Hospital in Maracaibo. Although he is an official
employee of the hospital, he does not get paid
because of the current economic situation in
Venezuela. He is currently working on a graduate
degree in Clinical Psychology.
He is also working with the projects that the Foundation
(Fundamost/Mustard Tree Missions) has been involved with, including
helping other young people finish their college degrees. About the
Foundation work, he says, "I want to help people. Here in Venezuela there
are a lot of people who need our help, and I think we can do something
good for them. It's a very difficult situation, especially in the Psychiatric
Hospital, but we have to do what we can to help each person who needs
José attends Christ Church in Maracaibo.
Juan Grateron - Missions Representative in
represents MTM in Barquisimeto and
surrounding communities. He is also the founder and
director of Fundación Gotas de Amor (Drops of Love
Foundation). We first met Juan when he was about 15
years old and worked as a translator for us. We have
kept in touch with him for over 20 years, watching him
mature in the Lord and in the ministry. He has been
involved with missions most of his life and has a heart
to help hurting people in his country of Venezuela.
His foundation is currently furnishing food to Iglesia Dulce Refugio (Sweet
Refuge Church) that is hosting a children’s feeding program in the poor
neighborhood of La Sabila just outside of Barquisimeto. Juan grew up in
this neighborhood and MTM has ministered in this community many times
during the years we traveled to Barquisimeto.
Juan is also working on building a mission facility on some recently
donated property which would house his family (his wife, Maria and 2
children), missionaries, and host a feeding program.
Juan, his wife, Maria, and their children attend Iglesia Vida de Cristo (Life
of Christ Church) pastored by José Alberto and Lina Durán in the
community of El Tostao.
See the Drops of Love Foundation Facebook page at
To see more info and pics of what Juan and his foundation are doing in
Venezuela, go to our News page.