Jane Gravis, Founder and CEO
Into Abba’s Arms Foundation
Jane graduated from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas and began her career as a dental hygienist in Port Neches. Shortly after moving to Sugar Land, she began attending Sugar Creek Baptist Church. In 1997, after a dream about Africa, Jane felt called to travel to Kenya with a medical mission team from her church.
During the trip, Jane witnessed the deplorable conditions facing Kenyan orphans, and upon returning to the states, she could think of nothing else. She felt the Lord leading her to build a home for the orphaned children of Kenya, and nearly 20 years (and 56 children) later, the organization she founded is considered a hub for Christian ministry in the central highlands of Kenya.
In addition to providing a home for double orphans and introducing them to the love of Christ, Into Abba’s arms is the sole provider of clean drinking water for its surrounding community, hosts an annual pastors’ conference, and provides minor medical care for its neighbors. Visiting teams to Into Abba’s Arms also provide educational programs for area schools, police, and hospital personnel.
Kathleen Curnutt, Controller
Small Steps Nurturing Center
Kathleen Curnutt is the Controller at Small Steps Nurturing Center, a non-profit preschool that provides early childhood education and social and emotional support for economically at-risk children aged two through six in Houston, Texas. Kathleen is responsible for managing day-today activities and procedures related to all financial and accounting functions, including but not limited to financial accounting and reporting, accounts payable, budgeting, cash management,
external audits, payroll, and restricted funds. She works closely with the organization’s Executive Director, Board of Directors and Development staff.
Kathleen actively volunteers for and serves on the Board of Directors of Into Abba’s Arms, a non-profit children’s home in Kenya managed in The Woodlands, Texas. She has traveled to Kenya on numerous occasions to develop relationships with the children, mentor and tutor, assist with various chores, and prepare fun activities and outings off-site. Kathleen has a true passion for fulfilling God’s work in serving His precious children and a strong motivation to positively influence the lives of others.
Kathleen earned a BBA degree in Accounting, graduating magna cum laude, and a Master of Science in Marketing degree from Texas A&M University. She is an avid Texas A&M football fan and enjoys traveling, volunteering and spending time with her husband.
David Gardeen, Assistant Branch Manager
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
David has been happily married to his beautiful bride Linsey for almost 7 years this coming August. Together they have been blessed with two boys, 5 and 17 months old. David is currently working for Wells Fargo Bank in The Woodlands Texas. He helps run and manage a staff of 20 employees ranging from tellers to a business specialist. David has a total of 8 years in the banking industry and has been promoted several times. Prior to Wells Fargo David worked overseas in Quito, Ecuador for an International Church. He served as the Associate Pastor at English Fellowship Church, overseeing the administrative aspect of the church as well
as overseeing all student ministries from Junior High through college and young adult. David and Linsey feel called by God to serve full time overseas in the next couple of years. David and Linsey currently attend Woodsedge Community Church and are in the process of being trained by Woodsedge as a long-term missionaries. He also volunteers for the Spanish service worship team.
David graduated from The North Park in 2008 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Organization Management and Leadership. David is bilingual in Spanish and English and uses Spanish quite frequently in work and within his personal relationships. David has a heart for displaced people, third culture kids and youth. In whatever free time David has he loves spending time with his family. Also enjoys soccer, basketball and golf.
Elissa Adams, Interior Designer
NMG Workspace Solutions
Elissa lives in Houston and works at NMG Workspace Solutions where she is a manager of interior construction projects for healthcare facilities in the Middle East. She has been designing and managing renovation projects at NMG since she graduated from Texas Tech University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Interior Design.
Elissa enjoys spending her free time with her soon to be husband, Tyson. Their favorite weekend activities are long bike rides around downtown Houston, trips to the park with their dog, Piper, or anything else outdoors.
Elissa first visited Into Abba’s Arms in Kenya in 2010 and her initial interest quickly became a passion. She has been involved with IAA ever since and currently makes a visit on a yearly basis. Spending time with the children and staff is always a highlight of her year and Kenya holds some of her favorite memories.
Banks Chisum, President
JB Chisum Company, Inc.
Banks Chisum was born in Leakey, Texas, a town of less than 500 people. From a humble background, Banks found his career early in life and completed his first residential spec home shortly after turning 18. This led him to establish JB Chisum Company, Inc., a commercial construction and development company.
Banks recognizes his abundance of blessings, and remembers from childhood how his father demonstrated the importance of serving others. His father’s influence was instrumental in leading Banks to employ his practical business and communication skills in various organizations and ministries across the globe.
Banks is an active member of First Baptist Church in Wimberley where he has served as a teacher in Sunday school and in music ministry. He currently holds a position on the International Missions Committee.
Banks takes his interest in the community a step further and serves as the vice president of Wimberley Fire & Rescue. As such he witnessed first-hand the devastating floods of 2015 – one of the worst natural disasters in the history of central Texas.
In his spare time, you will likely find Banks either on the streets of San Antonio surrounded by the homeless as he works with Taking It to The Streets, a ministry based in Boerne, Texas or exploring a new country and culture. He also enjoys spending time with family and friends back home on the banks of the Frio River.
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