About Lydia’s Mission

Our Mission

Lydia’s Mission is a non-profit organization that empowers women by addressing their physical needs, while embracing their hearts for Christ.

About Lydia’s Mission

There are women in eManzana, South Africa who spend agonizing days scavenging the dump to recycle just enough to feed their children that evening. Lydia’s Mission was created so that women can care for their families with dignity, allowing them to be fully introduced to and accept their value in Christ. When they do, they break decades of poverty and impact generations!

Read More

Claire Brown, founder and director of Lydia’s Mission, understands at the deepest level that every woman deserves to know she is loved and valued by Christ. In order to do that, each woman needs to be introduced to Christ in a safe environment from someone she respects and trusts.The problem is women in eManzana, South Africa are burdened with worry about caring for their children. With few income-generating opportunities, women are forced to spend long, labor-intensive days in the dump trying to find enough to recycle to feed their children that evening.

There is no room in a woman’s day for anything beyond feeding her children, leaving her feeling hopeless.

Living alongside these women, Claire can feel their heartache and sees how desperate they are to care for their children. That’s why she founded Lydia’s Mission, a 501(c)(3) organization.

Lydia’s Mission helps each woman in the program by:

  1. MEETING HER NEED: Gifts from partners, like you, help to secure regular income-generating activities for women eager to feed, educate and provide for their families.
  2. EMBRACING HER HEART: As part of the program, women are invited to join other women in discipleship and bible study. Suddenly, they’re no longer alone.
  3. CHANGING HER WORLD: Feeling confident, loved and divinely worthy – these women will break generations of poverty and light up their worlds with good news about Christ’s love!

When you partner with Lydia’s mission, you invest in women, so they can stop feeling
hopeless, understand their value in Christ, and impact generations…forever!

Meet Our Team

Claire Brown
Claire Brown, Founder/Director

Claire is a graduate from Anderson University with a degree in Biblical Studies and Christian Missions. After being actively engaged in mission work domestically and in Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica, Swaziland, Australia and Ethiopia, she has now settled in eManzana (formerly know as Badplaas), South Africa. Claire’s heart is to serve God with her time, thoughts and actions. She states, “it’s not my life to live but the Lord’s to live through me”. In 2012, she was awarded The Jefferson Award: Student of the Year for Public Service.

Lydia's Mission

Lydia’s Mission has an Advisory Board that provides for mission accountability in addition to financial, strategic, spiritual and financial guidance ensuring the organization operates in accordance with our constitution and stated mission focus. The board is made up of volunteer members with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Mitch and Charlotte Hildebrant
Mitch and Charlotte Hildebrant, Board Directors

Mitch and Charlotte were missionaries in Swaziland and South Africa for six years. They founded the organization called Spark Foundation, which focuses on self-sustaining children’s feeding ministries leadership and pastor development. Mitch worked in Christian Radio and management for eight years prior to moving to Africa. Mitch is currently a Pastor at Hillsview Evangelical Free Church in Piedmont, South Dakota.

Terry Brown
Terry Brown, Board Director

Terry is a Global Client Director with a technology firm, ServiceNow. Terry has worked in the technology industry for 34 years starting at IBM and in multiple tech startup firms. He has also been active in church ministry and community service for more than 35 years serving in multiple capacities. Terry earned a Business Administration degree in Finance from the University of Dayton and has completed numerous professional and ministry training courses. He and his wife, Rita, are residents of Dayton Ohio, USA and are the parents of three children and two grandchildren.

Jane Lowmass
Jane Lowmass, Board Member

Jane Lowmass was born in South Africa. She has a background in art and design. Jane is an environmentalist and supports the empowerment of women. Jane spent many years living in the UK where she met her husband. She and her husband, Phil, currently reside in eManzana, South Africa enjoying their retirement with their four dogs.

Busisiwe “Busi” Mkhombo
Busisiwe “Busi” Mkhombo, Board Member

Busi was born in and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. She then moved to eManzana, South Africa in 2008 when she married her husband. She is a mother of two school age children and works hard supporting her family. Busi has played a key role in helping to navigate the culture and works as a translator for Lydia’s Circle.

Randy and Karen Brennen
Randy and Karen Brennen, Board Advisors

Randy and Karen have been married 32 years and have two daughters. Originally from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, they now consider Swaziland their home. They have been full-time missionaries in Swaziland since November 2006. Their passion is to train pastors and raise up leaders in the church, primarily in the rural areas where they do not have access to sound biblical training. Since May 2016, they have worked together with a team of pastors to plant six churches. Their oldest daughter Kay, and her husband Mark Bojovic, and grandson Jadon are also full-time missionaries in Swaziland. Their youngest daughter Shelly, is also in full-time ministry with YWAM in Liverpool, England.