Joe was born in Pasadena, TX, in 1964. Following the death of his mother and at the age of eight, Joe, his father, and brother gave their lives to Jesus. Twenty years later, Joe met his wife, Lorraine, at a high school debate tournament. Married for 30+ years, they have one daughter, Becca. Joe graduated with a BS in Computer Information Systems. Joe and Lorraine founded Visualutions, Inc. in 1995 with one customer. It has grown to 75+ employees and 300+ customers. The focus is primarily on Healthcare IT with 90%+ customers being Federally Qualified Community Health Centers, many of which have a Christian basis. Joe and Lorraine also have a Christian base in their business. Joe has attended Houston NW Church for 20+ years. He has served as Deacon, Trustee, and has led the Greeter Ministry for 10+ years. Learning about World Hope through a message delivered by Pastor Willy Dengler, WH South Africa, Joe and Lorraine began to learn about, support, and get more involved with WHMI. Together, they have been on several mission trips through Global Reach. Joe joined the Board in 2011 and became an officer in 2013.
Russell Ginn grew up in Houston and his family was active in the church. At the age of 8 years, he confessed his sins and asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior and has been growing in his relationship with Him ever since. He has been an active believer in Baptist churches in the greater Houston area since then. Russell has spent the last fifty-three years in a varied business career, including twenty-five years in oil industry equipment and services, thirteen years in the valve industry, five years in the metal building industry, two years in mortgage banking and real estate development, and eight years practicing Public Accounting. Russell received a BBA from the University of Houston in 1967 and is a Certified Public Accountant and formerly a licensed real estate broker in the State of Texas. A long-time Trustee of the UBA, Russell also became involved with multi-denominational work and served for 18 years on the Board of Open Door Mission (serving as President of the Board about half that time). Since then, he has served on the Boards of The WorkFaith Connection, National Christian Foundation Houston, and Angel Flight South Central. He disciples a group of young married men from Houston NW Church, meeting once a week. Currently, he and his wife, Beverly, have 5 children, all married, 13 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. All live in the Houston area except one son and wife (he is a pastor) in Bridge City, TX, one son and daughter-in-law and two grandkids in Austin, TX. They also have a daughter-in-law in the Houston area who is the Jr. High minister at St. Luke's Methodist. Russell believes that World Hope Bible Institute is an extremely cost-effective method of training and discipling pastors in countries where seminary training is either not available or beyond their ability to pay. Russell has taught for the Bible Institute numerous times since its inception.
Drew Howard grew up in the Klein area attending Trinity Lutheran School and Church. He graduated from Klein High School and then went on to attend Texas A&M University. He has a Masters of Arts in Religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and MD from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He is a bariatric and general surgeon practicing in The Woodlands, Texas. Drew grew up in a strong Christian home but really began a real relationship with Jesus after time at a Young Life Camp in Colorado before his senior year of high school. He attends Faith Bible in The Woodlands where he remains actively involved. He is a Board Member of The Woodlands Christian Academy. In addition to being a Board Member of World Hope Ministries International, he also has been an Instructor for the World Hope Bible Institute on many occasions. Drew lives in The Woodlands with his wife and four kids. He loves to coach his kids' sports, enjoy lake activities, teach, and enjoy Aggie sporting events.
Larry began life in Little Rock, AR, which explains his affection for the University of Arkansas sports. God blazed the trail for him to meet his wife, Penny, when his family moved to south Louisiana while he was in high school. Raised in a Christian home, Larry received Christ as his Savior while attending a local revival when he was 8 years old. Larry and Penny are active members of Houston Northwest Church where they serve as teachers, mentors, and small group hosts. They are proud parents of one son, twin daughters (peat and repeat) and one daughter-in-love. Professionally, Larry has worked in the Oil & Gas industry for 34+ years. He has held numerous leadership positions, believing strongly "no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care." In his spare time, he loves to travel, read, exercise, and watch sporting events. Larry is proud to serve on the WHMI Board. He believes in the vision, mission, and purpose of WHMI and is committed to helping WHMI expand, educate, and edify the world with the truth of the Gospel.
David Lavine received a BA in 1976 from Temple University and Eisenhower College and an MBA in Finance from Rutgers University in 1979. In 1981, he left New Jersey and moved to Houston to work in a machinery business started by his grandfather. David has spent the last forty-two years in a varied business career, as a principal dealing in industrial equipment/machine tools, in a national industrial auction firm, ten years in the Wealth Management arena, several years in public accounting, and now enjoys plying his skills and network selling luxury automobiles. He has also served on a variety of non-profit Boards, including Angel Flight South Central as Chairman, President of his Rotary Club, and currently as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Career Gear Houston. In 2014, David confessed his sins and trusted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. David has been growing in his relationship with Him ever since. David became familiar with World Hope Ministries International during his transition of becoming a Christian and seeks to help spread the message of salvation now so crystal clear in his life. He is an active member at Second Baptist Church, where he regularly attends weekly services and Bible studies. David and his wife, Elaine, have been married for 42 years and have been blessed with 2 boys and 4 grandchildren.
LaDonna Lesikar, CPA, has lived in the Houston area since 1988. She is married to Steve, a native Houstonian. She has been a committed Christian since she came forward to accept Jesus at age 9. LaDonna and Steve are currently active members of Wildwood United Methodist Church in Magnolia, TX. She has held leadership roles within the church serving on the church council, finance committee, and mission team, as well as teaching small groups and Vacation Bible School. Her community engagement also includes 10 years on the Board of a local food bank and assistance ministry in the Magnolia area. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where she earned her degree in accounting. During her career, she has served as an accounting consultant for a variety of businesses as well as serving as a financial officer for a private Christian school. Most recently, she spent 10 years as the CFO of a local steel plate processing company.
LaDonna was introduced to World Hope Ministries International several years ago and was impressed with the cost-effective way they work to train pastors and ministry leaders, who are called to serve but have no access to formal training. LaDonna and Steve have a son and daughter-in-law, as well as a daughter, who is engaged. They are blessed with four grandchildren. LaDonna loves the outdoors and does quilting and machine embroidery for fun.
At the age of 12 years, Merle fully understood what it meant to be a Christian. Three years after high school graduation, Merle began attending a church in Seattle where intense Bible and categorical theology was taught. He and his wife, Cindy, attended this church together. A field assignment with The Boeing Company took Merle and his family to Texas, where he sat under the teaching of Dr. Tony Evans and then Pastor Tommy Nelson. Another assignment took Merle and his family to England for 3 years. Working daily as Quality Manager at Boeing, Merle, along with Cindy, are also Hospice Patient Care and Bereavement Companions. Merle is a WHBI Instructor, having taught in Africa, Ecuador, Honduras, and Haiti. Merle also serves on the Board of the Providence Hospice Foundation. Merle and Cindy have 2 children, Morgan and Dustin, and 9 grandchildren.
Self-described as a 45-year old husband, father, entrepreneur, and sinner, Jeff has been a Christian since the age of 16. A friend invited him to church and also to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior. Though at times it is a struggle to stay in the Word, Jeff continues his walk with Jesus. In 2012, he and a couple of friends started a charity event to help raise funds for Christian charities (www.ashelteredlife.org). To date, $925,000 has been raised. Jeff's company, TopSpot Internet Marketing, built WHMI's website and maintains it for WHMI. His interest in the work of WHMI led him to join the Board in 2014.
Daughter of WHMI Founders, Harold and Frances Davis, Cindy feels blessed to have been able to grow up in a Christian home. As a young child, she remembers walking down the aisle and telling the pastor that she wanted to be saved. One night at a youth revival at the age of 14 years, Cindy found peace as she talked with God and asked Jesus into her heart. Raised in Austin, TX, Cindy made her way north to attend Baylor University. Soon after graduation, she married Mickey Powell, one of her most favorite gifts from God. Together, they have 3 children and 4 grandchildren. Cindy's degree is in speech therapy and learning disabilities. Over the years she has served with children, youth, and adult ministries as well as disaster relief, homeless ministries, and WHMI. She and Mickey currently worship at Crestview Bapt. Church where they direct a Sunday School class for their age group. Cindy co-leads a women's Bible study group in homes. She and Mickey also participate in Ministry of Hope, a Bible study and prayer group for those who have a serious illness.
Born to Christian parents in 1954, Steve was raised in a Christian home and came to know Jesus at the age of 9 years. Steve loved playing all types of sports, particularly baseball and golf. While attending Stephen F. Austin University, Steve met his wife, Lane. Because of his great love for the outdoors, Steve went to work for Texas Parks and Wildlife at the San Jacinto Battlegrounds. After Lane graduated from SFA, they were married. Desiring to be in sales, Steve began selling in the trucking industry and has been in the industry ever since. In 2001, he and his business partner opened up Majestic Transportation, a 3rd party brokerage and logistics service company. On January 2, 2019, he sold his interest in the company to his partner and has retired to enjoy more time in ministry, traveling, and enjoying grandchildren. Steve and Lane have been active members of Houston NW Church for 20 years, where he serves as Elder. Steve became involved with WHMI when he went on his first mission to South Africa. Soon after, he became a Board Member of WHMI and later was asked to become Finance Chair. He is now serving as Vice Chairman of the Board. The trips to Africa have multiplied, with Steve and Lane overseeing the children's home in Lemoru, Kenya, and taking an active role in helping graduate students seek higher education. Steve and Lane have 2 children and 2 grandchildren.
Greg was raised in a Christian home where he gained a knowledge of Christ, the Trinity, and the Bible. He made a personal commitment to Christ, relying on His saving grace while in college. Since then, he has continued to grow in his faith as an active member at a variety of denominational Spirit-filled churches, including Methodist, Evangelical Free, Baptist, Bible, and Presbyterian. He has served in a variety of capacities in these churches and has also served on various non-profit ministry boards. In addition to his undergraduate degree in Finance, Greg also earned an MBA and a Law degree. His career has resulted in his family living in five cities in the United States. His career has included the private practice of law and has been a general counsel and executive officer in the grain industry, the waste industry, private equity, oil field services, and death care. He believes there is an exciting opportunity to scale the impact of WHMI to expand its impact in underserved parts of the world and is delighted to serve on the board of WHMI. Greg has been married to his wife, Jane, for over 40 years, and they have two children, both married, and five grandsons.
Laura Sorrell has lived in Houston since graduating from Baylor University. Her husband, Mark, is a native Houstonian and his family attended South Main Baptist Church for multiple generations. Laura has been a committed Christian since her profession of faith at age 9. Her faith community has been lifelong support no matter where her feet were planted. All of the Sorrell family for generations have loved our city and have been involved in international mission work. As a result, we recognize WHMI's vision, mission, and impact as vital to the growth and extension of the gospel. Theological education has profoundly shaped Laura's own faith and her interest in furthering the spread of a gospel message that is true to the scripture and encompasses the entire gospel message. Laura's approaching the 40-year mark in the executive search industry that includes time spent working for a major international search firm and serving as a principal of her own firm. Laura's clients include global, public, closely-held, high-growth, private equity, faith-based and nonprofit firms. Her assignments range from identifying organizational needs to succession planning for leadership teams and executive/board recruitment. Laura received her B.A. in English from Baylor University and Masters, Liberal Studies from Rice University. In addition, Laura has served in a variety of volunteer/nonprofit board roles within the faith-based community both domestically and globally.
Matt Wenaas grew up in Canada but has lived and worked in Houston, TX since 2007. He was raised in a Christian home and came to know Jesus at an early age. Matt has been an active and involved church member serving in various areas including preschool children ministry, helping lead a newlywed ministry for several years, and teaching and leading community groups. Having been long-time supporters of WHMI and a firm believer in its mission, Matt traveled to Uganda with WHMI in 2019 and witnessed the incredible work that God is doing firsthand. Matt graduated from the University of Calgary, with a BComm in Finance. His career began in the banking industry and he has spent the last 12 years in the natural gas industry with a focus on analytics, strategy and optimizing assets. He and his wife Ashley have three young children and, when time allows, enjoy golf and scuba diving.
A native of Austin, TX, Carolyn is the sister of WHMI Founder, Dr. Harold Davis. Raised in a strong Christian family, Carolyn accepted Jesus at the age of 11. After graduation from Baylor, Carolyn's family grew with the blessing of three children. After moving their family to Orlando, FL, Carolyn found herself divorced. Four years later, Fred Dalton walked into her life and they shared a wonderful marriage of 38 years. After moving back to Austin, TX, Fred and Carolyn both developed businesses, seeking God's direction in all they did. Fred and Carolyn were invited by Harold, her brother, to become involved with World Hope. Carolyn considers it a blessing to continue serving on the Board. Following the death of her husband, Fred, Carolyn spent much time with Harold and his wife, Frances, laughing, crying, hugging, and praising God for revealing His plan regarding the Bible Institute. As a Board Member Emeritus, Carolyn continues to pray often for the continued blessings God so generously bestows on the Ministry. It makes her heart happy to see how the growth is spreading and what impact the Bible Institute ministry is having on all who attend. She has committed to continue to support WHMI on a monthly basis. Carolyn writes, "The most lasting gift I receive is the relationship with Board Members and the loving office staff."