I’m a Mom of three who cares deeply for my children and yours. I wasn’t always this passionate about our kids, but God gave me a second chance to be a great parent and role model. I believe wholly that much pain here on earth is preventable and that we can equip parents to do and be more for their kids.
About seven years ago, I turned away from my profession to pursue working within a non-profit and volunteering in areas of nutrition and kids. I currently serve for AmeriCorps VISTA, and have helped refugee women from Myanmar (Burma) develop entrepreneurial skills as they garden and sell produce at local food markets.
I think that in a community, we can be stronger. I trust that we can break barriers for our children if we work together and value every person as if they were family.
Lew Everling Be You Program Director
I’m a father, husband, John Maxwell coach, and founder of Be You Leadership. My pastoral heart and concern for the disenfranchised, isolated souls have led me to dive deeper into the hurts of my own life. We all have a story, and life is better when it is shared.
Armed with a thousand lifetimes of stories, my diverse work experience and education in AAS in Business, BS in Humanities from Indiana University as well as an MA in Ministry Leadership from Indiana Wesleyan makes for an interesting dynamic. I share how my failures propelled me forward, my success’ turned to pride, Be You was born from a thought from my six-year-old son, and is the culmination of my experiences.
Wilkin Accilien, DDS Love Ministry For Haiti Program Director
I am a leadership trainer, Founder and Director of LM4H. I am a proud son of hardworking parents. I have lived in Pignon, Haiti with my family all my life. Pignon is in the central north plateau of Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest in the developing world.
I spent my childhood assisting several missionaries in Pignon and making many friends along the way. Today, I am married to my wife Jenni and live in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
I was born into a poor family, but with what we have, we always bring joy to those in need which is why I stand in the gap for the voiceless and the hopeless.
Jenni Accilien President
I am a Nail Tech Professional and business owner who for the last 28 years has served women of my community through my profession. I was 19 years old when I started my business. Connecting with my clients through time, I have been blessed to live a lifetime of experiences through these women and I am forever grateful for the lessons I have carried forward in my life.
In 2007, I went on to Haiti on a mission trip which is where I met my beloved husband. That cultural experience changed my life perspective forever and I knew in those moments of serving the people of Haiti that I would actually be the one being served. My heart and soul is overwhelmed with love and pride for the resilience of our Haitian brothers and sisters. I live and love daily, with a part of Haiti. My husband, Wilkin is a gift to my life, he lives like Jesus and I am in love with his compassionate heart. Our hearts are filled with hope and love to stand in the gap.
Cassie Van Es Secretary Treasurer
I am a recent college graduate from UNI with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Social Work. I am originally from Northwest Iowa and moved to Cedar Falls for college. My passion is to work with people who are in need of support, encouragement, an extra hand, or someone to listen to them, with the goal of helping them thrive and finding the strength to continue.
God has revealed to me my heart for those who are not like me, who may look different, speak a different language, or have different beliefs than me. I grew up in a privileged white community where I didn’t understand what that meant until I left Northwest Iowa and saw my privilege. It saddens me that I grew up in a town that lacked diversity, but I am thankful that I recognized it and love all these differences because we are all made perfectly by God. It is now time for us to bring our differences togethers and cherish each other for who we are.
Lew Everling Community Outreach
John Nemec Education Outreach
I'm an advocate, messenger, provider and whatever else it takes to serve people under God's will. I learned at a very young age that I was called to help the sick, disabled and those who just need a little extra help. My wife nurtures our land by restoring prairies and we live in Waterloo, Iowa. We don't have children of our own but I now know after working in education and pursuing my teaching endorsement in Special Education that all of God's children are a part of us.
Grace Anne Ryken International Health Awareness
I am a dreamer, inspired by the needs I see in the world around me. I am passionate about empowering others to live healthy and whole lives. My bachelor's degree in Global Public Health along with my experience overseas has given me heart for those who see and experience the world differently than me to have the tools and information they need to be physically, spiritually, and mentally healthy. God used my experiences overseas to open my eyes to the need for mental health care and education in global populations and give me a passion to work in the global mental health field.
Emma Husome Church Liaison
Hey, there! I’m Emma Husome! I am a third generation native of the Cedar Valley and it’s given me the opportunity to embrace the beauty of the cultural diversity around us. I believe now more than ever, our neighbors need to be loved through our actions, and not just our words.I am a counseling student and my dream is to help people learn about who God created them to be, and go through the process of untangling all of the trauma in their life to fully step into what God has prepared for them.
My strengths include encouragement, hospitality and communication. I also own a small business called Prophecy Letterworks with the aim of empowering others through affirmation based jewelry. I am a natural leader (just ask my mom! Ha!), a lover of learning, and honored to serve my church family at Hope City Church as a worship leader and in various production team roles. My favorite color is yellow, and in my spare time you can find me with friends supporting one of our amazing local businesses in the Cedar Valley, or doing homework.