Our Board

Our structure is simple! We have two organizations in two countries (South Africa and the United States) that work together synergistically.  Leadership from both regions work together to reach more children, the elderly, and women in South Africa. We have some cross-overs on our boards but we are all servant leaders working together in Unity. This allows for seamless communication flow and awareness.  In the USA, we are known as a 501c3 nonprofit organization; in SA, we are known as an NPC(Non-Profit/tax-exempt Company). We uphold all laws and rules of both countries to maintain good legal standing with respective governments. 

Terry Brown
Terry Brown, USA Board Director

Terry is US Area Vice President of Alliances with technology firm ServiceNow. Terry has worked in the technology industry, beginning 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 Columbus Ohio, and are the parents of three children and five grandchildren.

Claire Brown
Claire Brown, USA board member / SA Board Director / SA Executive Director

Claire graduated from Anderson University with a Biblical Studies and Christian Missions degree. After being actively engaged in mission work domestically and in Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica, Swaziland, Australia, and Ethiopia, she has now settled in eManzana (formerly known 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. She also has been inducted into the Centerville, Ohio Education Foundation Hall of Fame with the 2019 Distinguished Alumna Award.

Berta Medina
Berta Medina, USA Board member

Berta is a vibrant leader, a coach of coaches, and a passionate advocate for women and children in Africa.  She has served in multiple capacities with US and International organizations and ministries for years and brings sage wisdom to the organization as we look to reach more women, elderly, and children.  Berta is an empowering force in the coaching world, dedicated to helping coaches, speakers, and entrepreneurs unlock their full potential. With a passion for business solutions and accountability, Berta has transformed countless lives, guiding individuals to achieve unparalleled success in their respective fields.

Kristy Keck Steppe
Kristy Keck Steppe, USA Board Member

Kristy is a lover of missions, people and Jesus. Growing up, Kristy’s family housed missionaries in the summers. She was asked at a young age by one of them, dear Brother Murphy, “Kristy, what will you do for Jesus?”

Kristy studied missions at Johnson Bible College (now University) where she met her husband, Jeff. They have two blessings from above, Josiah and Caroline.

Lydia’s mission is named after a great woman of faith who we are told in Acts 16:14 was a “worshiper of God.” Kristy’s prayer is that this phrase is true of her, too.

Kristy is thrilled to serve on the board and be a cheerleader for what’s happening across the globe!

Jane Lowmass
Jane Lowmass, SA 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, SA 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, SA board advisors

Randy and Karen have been married 34 years and have two daughters. Orginally 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 their two grandchildren are also full-time missionaries in Montenegro. Their youngest daughter Shelly, is also in full-time ministry in Swaziland.

Minah Shongwe
Minah Shongwe, SA board member

Minah Shongwe is a local community member living in eManzana, South Africa for the past 10 years.  She was the first employee of Lydia’s Mission, and shortly after she was promoted to the Operations and Employee Supervisor.  To this day she still works as a machinist on the sewing project, along with her supervisory role. She is highly respected by peers and community members, and is a vital to the success of Lydia’s Mission.  In her free time Minah is a committed member of the Evangelical Gospel Church.  She has one daughter, Celiwe and is a proud grandmother of three. One fun fact you may not know, is that Minah is a super-fan of wrestling!

Les Barnett
Les Barnett, USA board member

Les Barnett retired in 2020 after a career as an independent sales agent for educational software companies covering Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. After graduating from Indiana University with a Business Transportation degree, he began his career in the air freight industry and later transitioned to educational sales.
 
 
Les and his wife have been active volunteers in the churches they’ve served, leading teams in various capacities. They attend SouthBrook Christian Church in Dayton, where Claire Brown attended and they knew the Brown family. Now in retirement, Les and Dana continue their focus in volunteering and serving, as well as travel and time with family, including their two children and two grandchildren.
 
 
When reflecting on his experience serving with Lydia’s Mission he shares:
“Henry Blackaby said: ’The reality is that the Lord never calls the qualified; He qualifies the called’. That is certainly what you see with Lydia’s Mission and Claire Brown using chickens, a dump, and stuffed animals to lead the lost and hungry to Christ in South Africa. I am humbled to see God working thru Lydia’s Mission and to join Him in His work.”
We’re grateful for his work in supporting this ministry.

Mitch Hildebrant
Mitch Hildebrant , SA Board Director / USA Board Member (ex-officio) / USA Executive Director

Pastor Mitch Hildebrant joins Lydia’s Mission in the USA in a new role to support our expanding ministry to women, children and the elderly in eManzana.

He will be providing leadership in a number of growth areas for Lydia’s Mission and has a rich history in serving nonprofits. A background in Christian radio, management and leadership, launching and overseeing ministries in South Africa and eSwatini, pastoring a vibrant church in South Dakota and most recently serving in a senior leadership role with an international holistic child development organization.

Mitch and his wife Charlotte have sat on the board of directors for Lydia’s Mission since the ministry’s inception and have been a blessing beyond measure for the ministry and for Claire. When Claire moved to South Africa, they connected and developed a deep friendship and ministry partnership that has strengthened over these past 8 years.

“Serving with Lydia’s Mission brings our passion of reaching the African people with tangible love of Christ together with connecting those precious people to wonderful individuals in the US. We believe in this ministry, its design and impact in the kingdom” – Mitch