Serving where God leads is Jennifer’s biggest joy. Her husband, Emil, and 4 great kids are her first and best calling. God has also called Jennifer to several practical needs-based ministries, working with refugees in Tucson with Tucson Refugee Ministry and International Kids Kamp, and volunteering with Casas Church’s Global Outreach to bring the joy of Christ to the other side of the world. Evangelism and teaching the Bible in several different venues are gifts God has given her. Jennifer is a graduate of Iowa State University with a BA. She recently completed her Master of Divinity from Gateway Seminary and is currently working on earning her Doctorate of Ministry.
Marjie attended college in Kutztown, PA. She obtained her BA in Special Education. Marjie, her husband and their four children moved to Arizona in 2001. The kids are now grown and she loves spending time with them as well as her two grandchildren. Marjie and her husband attended info sessions where Cherie Gray would present valuable info about international cultures as well as local opportunities to connect with refugees. Marjie felt so encouraged by hearing Cherie speak that she wanted to know more and she began volunteering in many ways. She values the calling within the hearts of God’s people to get involved. And she loves mentoring the church as they build relationships with refugees.
Jesus was born and raised in Tucson, AZ. He graduated from Amphitheater High School where he enjoyed being a part of student leadership. While serving as president of 2 clubs, he was introduced to the refugee community and was eager to help raise awareness for their well-being. Jesus has two certificates in Ministry Leadership through Ministry Resources Institute. He has worked alongside several local churches, agencies, and nonprofits to raise awareness for refugees. He has also partnered and volunteered with Tucson Refugee Ministry since 2011.
Rhonda was born in Illinois but has lived in Tucson for 20 years. She graduated from James E. Rogers College of Law at the U of A in 2017. Rhonda has been volunteering for a variety of Tucson ministries for the past two decades, and has been involved with Tucson Refugee Ministries for four years, serving in a variety of ways including being a craft teacher, craft coordinator, and counselor for Kids Kamp for the past 4 years. Rhonda serves as Community Outreach Director for Goshen International Church.
Amy was born and raised in Tucson and is a 5th generation Tucsonan. She graduated from Amphitheater High School and attended Pima Community College. Amy and her husband of 28 years, Charles, have 2 grown children. Even though she is new to the Refugee community, she and her husband have volunteered together over the last 3 decades in many facets around their community. She is excited to learn more about our new neighbors from all around the world.
Gary’s passion is for serving ministries that are centered on Jesus and that reach out to every tongue and tribe and nation. He has degrees from Indiana University in Religious Studies and History, as well as an MBA in International Finance. Gary, his wife Susan, and their daughter Anna, arrived in Tucson in 2001 to restart Vineyard City Church. The church became the most diverse church in town, with folks from all economic, educational, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. During that time, Gary and Susan became leaders for the Vineyard church in Sri Lanka and currently work with six congregations there. Four years ago they helped start Goshen International Church, a diverse congregation aimed to be a community for young African refugees. Gary is now an advisor and mentor for the Tucson Refugee Ministry staff.
Claudia was born in the US but raised in Italy. Her mother was an Italian citizen and met her dad while he was in the Air Force and stationed in her mother‘s hometown, Vicenza. He learned to speak Italian fluently and proceeded to be stationed in Vicenza five times. When they weren‘t living in Italy, Claudia’s family visited every summer and lived with her aunt and cousins. Claudia came to the US when she was 18 for college. She graduated from the University of Colorado Denver campus with a BA in English Lit and a minor in Psychology. She was married briefly when she was 23 and had her oldest son, Sean. Claudia met her current husband, Mike, when she was 25 and they have been married for 27 years. Mike adopted Sean and they had one child together named Daniel. Daniel is married to their daughter-in-love, Ivy, and they have 2 grandsons named Arlo and Ike. They have lived in Tucson for 22 years and Claudia has been volunteering in various capacities here for the past twenty years. Claudia started volunteering with Tucson Refugee Ministry in 2008. She fell in love with TRM’s multicultural approach to sharing faith with the nations at our doorstep. Growing up in a completely different culture has helped Claudia to appreciate and connect with refugees struggling to learn how to live in a place so different from where they started. Claudia recently joined the TRM board and is looking forward to seeing and experiencing everything that God will do moving forward.