Board of Directors
Women of Hope International operates under the oversight and direction of two boards; one in the US, which oversees the overall development and operation of WOHInt, and one in Sierra Leone, which oversees the day-to-day activities and the financial disbursements of WOHInt in Sierra Leone. The US Board of Directors is comprised of the following:
Paul Neeley got his start in international ministry working for 12 years with Wycliffe Bible Translators. He helps ethnic groups compose and record indigenous Christian music in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. President of the International Council of Ethnodoxologists (ICE), Paul is a part of a global network of people who share a vision to see Christians from every culture expressing their faith through their own heart music and arts. He earned a doctorate in ethnomusicology from the University of Ghana where he lived for 7 years. He currently teaches courses and seminars in his field of study, 'music arts and missions,' and multicultural worship while acting as a music and arts consultant to multiple ministry agencies. Paul is an avid proponent of Women of Hope because he knows that if Jesus and the early disciples lived in Sierra Leone today, they would certainly serve Women of Hope clients.
Paul is a part of several global worship ensembles in Dallas, where he resides with his wife, Linda. They have 2 sons, a beagle and an imaginary goldfish.
Sam Davis has known Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior for 37 years. He graduated from Oregon State University with a BS in Business Administration. He served as a Marine Corps pilot for 7 years following college. Upon leaving the Marine Corps, he went to work for Federal Express as a pilot and has been there for over 32 years. He and his family lived in Uijongbu, South Korea for one year ministering with Network of International Christian Schools. He has served on the NICS Board for over ten years. He serves locally as a trustee of Evangelical Christian School (over 14 years) and has been an elder at First Evangelical Church in Memphis for over 12 years. He is also involved with Eikon Ministries teaching and ministering in Tennessee prisons.
Sam lives in Memphis, TN with Suzie, his bride of 40 years. They have five children and four grandchildren.
Joyce has an erratic schedule serving with the Samaritan's Purse (SP) Disaster Assessment Response Team. In her spare time, she is a part-time farmer/rancher in the process of handing the ranch over to their son, Matthew. She is a teacher by trade and got her Master's in Public Health at age 43. She develops curriculum for Samaritan's Purse and occassionally teach workshops on a variety of relevant topics, such as food security, HIV/AIDS, paper making, crocheting useful items from plastic bags, etc. Her philosophy is, if you want someone to learn it but don't have time or knowledge yourself, she can learn it and teach it!
Joyce lives in Centerville, WA with her husband Paul and has two grown children, Matt and Tirzah, and 7 grandchildren.
Paul grew up in Southeast Asia in the Philippines and Indonesia, studied studio art and linguistics at Houghton College and graduated with his B.A. in 2006. He spent 5 months in Tanzania working with Neema Crafts as a technical assistant/project manager in a capacity-building role. He then worked with SERRV Int'l in the West Bank, Palestinian Territories as a communications intern for an olive-wood carver cooperative. He graduated from the University of Buffalo with his MBA in May 2011 and is currently serving with the Network of International Schools in Indonesia, teaching math.
Kim, who serves as the International Director for Women of Hope, has lived nearly half of her life in Sierra Leone, being raised there by missionary parents and serving as a missionary in various capacities during her adult life. From 1990-1993, Kim initiated an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) called Community Health Evangelism promoting health education and disease prevention strategies in the rural northern province of Sierra Leone. This program continues to the present. From 1998-2002, Kim worked with World Hope International developing and managing a rehabilitation program for amputees following the decade-long civil war. She had an additional 4 years of experience in the US in public health program development and management. She served as a health trainer consultant for the United States Peace Corps for 2 years. Kim is compelled in ministry by the Voice behind her and the faces before her, who need to hear the Gospel in a way that is meaningful to them. Kim is a founding member of Women of Hope International and has served on the board since its inception.
Kim, her husband Tim, and their 3 children currently live in northern Mississippi (outside of Memphis, TN) where she works in the Memphis WOHInt office and commutes to Sierra Leone throughout the year.
Taylor Balian thought he would never return to Africa after taking his first short-term trip to Tanzania while studying Engineering at Montana State University. After finishing his undergraduate degree and working as a civil engineer for a year, he felt the Lord leading him back to Tanzania working with a family-based orphan care project. It was while working on this project that the Lord really gave Taylor a heart for the continent of Africa. He left Tanzania in 2009 to begin working with an emergency relief organization doing water, sanitation, and hygiene promotion in Darfur and then South Sudan. Currently Taylor is in Lebanon working with a team to assess refugee care for those affected by the Syria crisis.
Taylor first joined the Women of Hope International team in 2010 because he appreciated the ministry’s wholistic approach and desire to serve immediate physical needs while realizing that life transformation through Jesus is the only true hope. He was invited to serve on the Board of Directors in July of 2012. In his free time Taylor likes to ski, backpack and ride his motorcycle.
Shelley Welch is the Awana Children-at-Risk Project Manager, as well as the International Program Specialist for Awana International. With an MA in Intercultural Studies and Missions, she served on and led several short-term mission trips in Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. While working on her MA, Shelley worked at a church in the suburbs of Chicago organizing, training, and leading short-term mission trips. She has also served a three-year term on the mission field in Kenya, Africa, working with street children, as well as at a church in California as a Children's Ministry Director. In addition, her experience and skills continue to be used on several boards and leadership teams.
Christina Lucas grew up in Northeast Louisiana. She graduated from Louisiana State University in 2001, where she became involved in Campus Crusade for Christ and the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, attending mission trips to Mexico and the Netherlands. After graduation, she set out to work with college students in higher education administration to help students achieve their goals for a college education. She spent 3 years working in financial aid and scholarship at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She then worked for 7 years at The University of Memphis as Academic Services Coordinator for the Department of Health and Sport Sciences where she also helped facilitate a study abroad trip to Shanghai, China in 2010. Christina graduated in 2011from The University of Memphis with a MS in Leadership and Policy Studies and through her graduate studies, has developed an interest in grant proposal writing.
She currently lives in Starkville, Mississippi, with her husband, Al, and their two pound puppies.