Tereza Afande | Kitchen Supervisor
Tereza has been with IAA since January of 2016. She is an amazing cook, and she loves getting the opportunity to teach the children at IAA how to make some of Kenya’s classic dishes. When she isn’t in the kitchen, Tereza enjoys swimming, reading her Bible, and traveling.
Beth Calvert | Advisory Board Member
Beth went on her first mission trip with Into Abba’s Arms in 2007. She has been a cheerleader for IAA since that time. She and her husband, Dave, returned to IAA in 2011 with a team of 12 adults from their church, who offered a five-day Vacation Bible School to both the IAA Family and the surrounding neighbors. The IAA Family served over 200 children during that exciting week. They have enjoyed seeing their sponsored child, Simon, during those trips.
As an Advisory Board member, Beth is available to offer encouragement, insight, and challenge to any situation for which she is invited to advise.
Beth has been privileged to serve at River Cities Community Church, Huntington, WV, in the role of directing the Life Skills Ministry for over 25 years. This ministry serves the church family as well as the community by offering counseling, classes, and support groups.
Hannah Chege | House Mom
Hannah started working for IAA in December of 2020. She is a House Mom for girls ages 0-7 years old. When she is not busy caring for children, Hannah enjoys reading, singing, watching TV, and spending time with friends.
Banks Chisum | Director of Site Development
Banks is the President of JB Chisum Company, Inc. He 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 the 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 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, Banks can be found on the streets of San Antonio surrounded by the homeless as he works with Taking It to the Streets, a ministry in Boerne, Texas. He also enjoys exploring new countries and cultures and spending time with family and friends.
Kathleen Curnutt | Treasurer
Kathleen is the Vice President of Finance at the 12th Man Foundation, Texas A&M Athletics’ fundraising arm responsible for funding scholarships, programs, and facilities in support of championship athletics. Kathleen is responsible for managing day-to-day activities and procedures related to all financial and accounting functions, such as financial reporting, budgeting, and cash management.
Kathleen actively volunteers for and serves on Into Abba’s Arms’ Board of Directors. She first traveled to Kenya in 2010 and became very passionate about serving the children at IAA. Her passion for the ministry and its children continues to grow.
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.
James Ekamais | Driver & Maintenance
James has been working for IAA since February of 2000. His dedication to the ministry of IAA shows in the number of years he has worked for us. James oversees maintenance projects on-site, as well as drives the bus taking the primary-aged children to and from school.
David Gardeen | Chairman
David has been happily married to his wife, Linsey, and together they have two boys. David is currently working for Wells Fargo Bank in Woodlands, Texas. He helps run and manage 20 different employees. Prior to Wells Fargo, David works overseas in Quito, Ecuador, for an International Church. He has also served as the Associate Pastor at English Fellowship Church overseeing administrative and youth ministry aspects. David and Linsey feel called to serve full time overseas and are in the process of being trained by WoodsEdge Community Church to become long-term missionaries. David also serves on the WoodsEdge Spanish service worship team.
David graduated from the North Park in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organization Management and Leadership. He is bilingual in Spanish and English, using Spanish frequently in work and personal relationships. David has a heart for displaced people and third culture youth. In his free time, David loves spending time with his family and enjoys playing soccer, basketball, and golf.
Marcy Karanja | House Mom WoodsEdge Home
Marcy joined the IAA family in 2020. She is a House Mom for the young adults living in Woodsedge Home, IAA’s new transitional home for college students. In her free time, Marcy enjoys singing and playing volleyball!
Mercy Karitie | House Mom
Mercy started working for IAA in 2019. She is a House Mom for the middle school and high school girls. She is the mother of four children of her own. One of Mercy’s favorite parts about working at IAA is getting to tell the children stories and listening to them share their own viewpoints about life.
Lilian Kigarrda | House Mom
Lilian, also known as, Mum Lily, joined the IAA family in September of 2020. She is a House Mom for girls ages 9 to 12 years old. In her free time, Lily enjoys singing, reading a book, or watching a good movie.
Robert Kotut | Agricultural Assistant
Robert joined the IAA family in the spring of 2021. He works alongside, Timothy, as the Agricultural Assistant. Robert attended Tertiary College of Stone where he learned valuable skills in the livestock farming industry. Robert is married to his wife, Doreen, and together they have been blessed with a son.
Agneta Kupalo | House Mom
Agneta began working for IAA in the spring of 2012. She is a House Mom wherever needed helping to fill in for the other House Moms during their breaks. In her spare time, Agneta enjoys singing, reading her Bible, watching TV, and traveling.
Falyn Matsudaira | Secretary
Falyn Matsudaira grew up as a missionary kid in Eastern Europe and graduated from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in 2016. In Houston, TX she worked as a Case Manager for foster and adoption families and facilitated many successful placements and several adoptions. After two years in social work, Falyn transitioned into full-time ministry at WoodsEdge Community Church as the Director of Immigrant and Refugee Ministries. In this role she was introduced to the ministry of Into Abbas Arms. She first visited in 2018 and returned in 2019, leading a team from WoodsEdge. While she was very impressed with the structure of the ministry, she was also amazed by the way the children were cared for by the Kenyan staff.
Through her multicultural upbringing, social work background, and ministry experience she brings a unique perspective to the Board. Falyn currently lives in Orlando, Florida and works for the Walt Disney Company. She and her husband desire to move overseas in the coming years and are excited to see where God will lead them next.
Joseph Muraya | Social Worker & Assistant Administrator
Muraya joined the IAA family in 2016. He and his wife, Stella, are the parents of two girls. Muraya is passionate about caring for vulnerable children and enjoys getting to witness how God is working through IAA to bring hope to the vulnerable children in Kenya. What he loves most about working at IAA, is getting to listen and spend quality time with the children on-site.
Lilian Mutai | On-site Administrator
Lilian has been serving with IAA since December of 2013. She attended Kenya Institute of Management and completed online courses on business and accounting fundamentals from schools in the USA. Over the years, Lilian has acquired skills and training in leadership, administration, project management, computer operations, basic counseling, handling of trauma related issues, and understanding child developmental stages. Through her service at IAA, Lilian expresses having grown in her faith and knowledge of God. One of her greatest joys is getting to defend the vision and mission of the IAA and loving all the children helping them to grow.
Outside of IAA, Lilian is a member of New Life Christian Church in Nairobi where she serves as a deaconess, children’s Sunday school teacher, and national women secretary. Lilian is married to her husband, Philip, and together they parent three children. Family is extremely important to Lilian. They are her support system, and all share her love for IAA. Lilian most enjoys spending time traveling, being with family and friends, and serving on the Lord’s mission field.
Kimathi Muturi | House Dad
Kimathi joined the IAA family in January of 2020. He is a House Dad for boys 9 to 14 years old, as well as the high school aged boys. Kimathi’s favorite part about being a house parents is getting to spend quality time with the children through playing games and participating in extracurricular activities with them.
Timonthy Ngunyu | Agricultural Supervisor & Assistant Driver
Timothy joined the IAA family in the spring of 2016. He oversees all things agricultural on-site, tending to both the garden and the livestock. In fact, the cows “moo” whenever they see Timothy coming. He is a hard worker and an excellent teacher.
Julia Welch | Board Member
Julia is originally from Illinois and moved to Boerne, Texas when she was a teenager. She attended Texas State University where she graduated with a Bachelors in Social work, and met her husband while serving in Young Life.
As a social worker, Julia has experience working as a caseworker for Department of Family and Protective Services, an Behavioral Intervention Specialist at a residential treatment center for domestic minors of sex trafficking, and now she supports at-risk and truant elementary students at the district level for a public school district. Julia’s experience in the social work field is what led to her involvement with IAA, as she helped by volunteering social work consulting services. She was overjoyed to be invited to be on the board and continue serving the children of IAA!
Beldine Yambo | House Mom
Beldine joined the IAA family in 2018. She is a House Mom for boys ages 0 to 7 years old. What Beldine most enjoys about her job is getting to spend quality time with the children. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading her Bible, and listening to worship songs.
Dennis Kiplagat Mutai | Assistant Social Worker and Office Assistant
Dennis joined IAA in April of 2022 as our Assistant Social Worker and Office Assistant at our site in Kenya. Dennis is passionate about helping care for Kenya’s most vulnerable children, and that shows in his everyday work and interactions with the kids at IAA. He also consistently goes above and beyond as office assistant, and helps in so many ways. His favorite part of working at IAA is contributing to the children’s smiling faces and seeing them getting basic things like education, good health, and shelter.
Lydia Waithira Njuguna | House Mom
Lydia joined IAA in March of 2023. She is a house mom at our site in Kenya. She was born and raised in Nyandarua North, and is married with 3 children. She is a born again Christian.
Mathew Ochako Omonywa | Chef
Mathew has been with Into Abba’s Arms since April of 2022. He is passionate about his work in the kitchen to ensure that the children get a balanced diet. He also loves to share his skills with the children, and talk with them about the Gospel word.
Richard Kinyor Ruto | Missionary
Richard has been with Into Abba’s Arms since July of 2021. He is a father of 4 children, and is dedicated to help and teach the IAA children on spiritual growth. He is a motivator to many on site and always ready to serve the Lord.
Alice Naliaka Wanjala | Kitchen Assistant
Alice joined Into Abba’s Arms in February of 2022. She is a mother of 4 children. In addition to working in the kitchen, she is ready to serve and to assist the children by mentoring to them.
Mary Chemeli Tonui | Missionary
Mary joined Into Abba’s Arms in July of 2021. She is a mother of 4 children. She is dedicated to nurturing the children on site by teaching them to be God fearing children and to develop in spiritual growth.
Margaret Wambui Njoroge | House Mom
Margaret joined Into Abba’s Arms in July of 2021. She is a mother to 2 children. She is passionate about her work and always ready to work and assist the children.