Our Team
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. She also has been inducted into the Centerville, Ohio Education Foundation Hall of Fame with the 2019 Distinguished Alumna Award.

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 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 was a pastor at Hillsview Evangelical Free Church in Piedmont, South Dakota for 3.5 years and now works for OneChild.

Terry Brown
Terry Brown, Board Director

Terry is a Director with a technology firm, ServiceNow. Terry has worked in the technology industry for 36 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 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, 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!