National Director, Justice & Mercy Amazon
Sarah was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She is married to Magno Rodrigues and lives in Manaus, Amazon. At the age of seventeen, God called her to full-time ministry. Sarah received degrees from the South of Brazil Baptist Theological Seminary in Theology and the Baptist College of Florida in Missions. Sarah’s greatest joy is to be used in any shape, form, time or place by God. She feels God has blessed her with the privilege of serving Him among the people in the Amazon. Her desire is to bring the lost into a true understanding of Christ and what He has done for us and to mobilize and train God’s people to fulfill the Great Commission.
Logistics Coordinator, Justice & Mercy Amazon
Thalita was born in the city of Manaus, Amazon. She is a graduate in Tourism and now manages finances and logistics for Justice & Mercy Amazon. Thalita primarily focuses on taking care of our sponsored special needs children, partnering with jungle pastors and visiting the river communities in order to help families. She also helps with the logistics of all of JMA’s short-term mission trips.
Mission Trip Coordinator, Justice & Mercy Amazon
Néia works hard coordinating all of our trips to the Amazon for both American and Brazilian teams. She has an extensive background in missions and JMA is thankful to have her on our team!
Ministry Training Coordinator, Justice & Mercy Amazon
Sponsorship Coordinator, Justice & Mercy Amazon
Stephanie was born in Manaus, Brazil. She spent five years being a tutor for kids that weren’t doing well in school. Alongside this, she worked with the children’s ministry at her church at the time. Stephanie is passionate about learning and teaching, she believes that children are the most urgent matter in our world and that everyone should work together so that they can grow in mind, body and spirit. She is graduating at Amazonas State University on a Portuguese Language and Literature degree. She loves to serve children not only by teaching them the love of God, but also helping develop to the max of the potential they were created to be.
Mary Katharine Hunt
Mary Katharine Hunt is the Executive Director for Justice & Mercy International. Previously Mary Katharine spent 20 years investing in the ministry of LifeWay Christian Resources. Most recently she served as the Vice President of Marketing for B&H Publishing Group, a division of LifeWay.
Mary Katharine has a heart for missions and a passion for advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. Over the years, Mary Katharine has volunteered for and led dozens of mission trips to Mexico, Moldova and Brazil. She served on the inaugural Board of Directors for Justice and Mercy International in 2008.
Hunt, a native of Tennessee, is a graduate of The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. She also attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
Director of Programs & Church Partnerships
Email: [email protected]
Chris Hardy has been married to Traci for 25 years, and they have two children: Kara-Anne and Will. Chris studied at Berry College (B.A. in Psychology), Church of God Theological Seminary (M.A. in Counseling) and United Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry). He has worked in multiple roles within the local church for 29 years. From March of 2000 to May of 2019, he served on the pastoral staff at Westover Church in Greensboro, NC where he provided oversight for equipping, life development, leadership development and most recently served as Staff Pastor. His heart for missions began after college and since that time he has led multiple teams serving the vulnerable, poor and least reached people around the world. God then called Chris to join the ministry of JMI, combining his love for the local church and his passion for missions. Chris had already joined three JMI mission teams before feeling called to become part of JMI. His family proudly supports JMI, and sponsors a child in Moldova and a pastor in the Amazon.
Steve received a Bachelor’s degree from Dallas Baptist College, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a M.A. from St. Mary’s in Counseling. His passion for disadvantaged children began in 1989 working with abused children on a children’s home campus in San Antonio. That position morphed into an international ministry that took him to Russia, Romania and Moldova. Serving now with JMI allows him to continue a history in Moldova that dates back to 1999 and have the privilege of implementing programming in some of the most destitute countries in the world.
Tara Owen is a CPA and has her Masters and BBA in Accounting from Baylor University. She performed audits with KPMG, served as an Analyst with LifeWay, performed and managed Accounting and Operations for organizations in real estate, health care and non-profit sectors, and developed a process for a wealth management company for delivering a new financial service.
Tara loves spending time with her family, volunteering in schools her two sons attend and serving her church in various roles including 10 years as a member of the finance team. She has a passion for sharing the love of Jesus with people around the world, and is thrilled to be a part of the ministry God is doing through JMI.
Sponsorship and Program Manager
Originally from Fayetteville, Georgia, Rachel grew up in the Atlanta area and went on to earn a Journalism/Advertising degree from The University of Georgia. Prior to JMI, she served on the Student Ministry team at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, and has worked with FUGE Camps in various capacities for 7 years.
There is nothing more exciting to Rachel than seeing Jesus move among people around the globe, and she finds great joy in taking the life-giving news of the Gospel to the Nations. Rachel has participated in and led many mission trips around the world, including Zimbabwe, South Africa, Guatemala, Mexico, and more. Rachel is humbled to be joining the JMI team, and is excited to see how JMI will continue to join the beautiful work the Father is doing around the world.
Mobilization and Events Manager
Email: [email protected]
Kari originally hails from Arlington, Virginia, but did most of her growing up in Denver, Colorado. She moved to Los Angeles to attend Azusa Pacific University, where she earned her degree in Youth Ministry and Business Administration and recently moved from San Diego to Nashville.
Growing up in a ministry family opened Kari’s eyes and heart to missions and other cultures. She has led and participated in numerous mission trips, mostly leading young people to Europe and Israel with Royal Servants International and partnering with her parent’s ministry in several African countries. Kari has a heart for encouraging and empowering people around the world and is so excited to be working with JMI and sharing Christ’s unconditional love.
Lucy Paculabo Mhondera
Communication & Development Manager
Lucy was born and raised in the UK and now resides in the US. She spent 17 years working in the UK Christian music industry coordinating and organizing European tours as a PR & Production Manager, before becoming Marketing Manager for Kingsway Communications for 8 years. In 2012 Lucy joined the Kingsway Trust as the Event Manager for their annual worship conference Mission Worship, bringing together her love of Mission & Worship. Lucy has a Diploma in Counseling and more recently spent two years in Germany working alongside Kainos, a not for profit that intervenes and rehabilitates victims of Human Trafficking.
In 2003 Lucy traveled to the Amazon with her family where her eyes were opened to a new world in which she saw worship and justice working hand in hand. Her family committed their lives to serving the people of the Amazon and she spent her following years traveling and serving on numerous mission trips.
Lucy has a passion to see freedom for the oppressed and hope for the hopeless. She feels privileged and excited to be a part of the JMI team to serve and love the poor, the orphaned and the forgotten.
Communication & Design Specialist
Gabrielle grew up in the Tampa Bay area of Florida and recently graduated from Florida Southern College with a degree in Communications and Art.
Teaching art and music to the children in her home church grew her love for working with children. She is excited to be joining JMI with a heart to serve children from different parts of the world and to see the beauty that Christ makes from the broken things in this life.
Data & Admin Specialist
Caryn was born in Mississippi, where she followed her passion for children and attained her Bachelors of Science degree in Educational Psychology/Child Development from Mississippi State University. Then in 2008, Caryn moved to Nashville, TN. For the past 11 years, she has made Nashville her home, including meeting and marrying her husband, Clint. In Nashville, she found her calling within corrections, using her Christian perspective to bring compassion, charity, and forgiveness to guide her work.
Caryn finds a true connection to God by carrying out His grace through acts of charity. Using her eclectic background, Caryn hopes to truly be an instrument of God for both JMI and the lives they touch.
Celia Grace Denney
Celia Grace is a native of Crossville, Tennessee and recently graduated from Lee University with a degree in Communications. Before joining the team at JMI, she served on the Student Ministry team at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville and worked with FUGE Camps in different roles for 5 years.
Celia Grace is passionate about the Gospel and watching Christ restore the broken. She has participated in and led many trips around the world, including Peru, Mexico, Zimbabwe, and Nepal. Celia Grace is honored to join the team at JMI and is excited for all that is to come.