Lydia’s Mission is a registered “Public Benefit Organization” with the sole object to carry on one or more public benefit activities as defined by the Republic of South Africa Nonprofit Organizations Act (NPO Act) of 1997 in a non-profit manner and with an altruistic or philanthropic intent. Lydia’s Mission operates as a non-profit NGO (Non Governmental Organization) based in eManzana, Mpumalanga in South Africa.
Lydia’s Mission employees a discipleship-based ministry model with specific focus areas of:
-Lydia’s Circle Women’s Ministry groups
-Lydia’s Market microbusiness economic development projects
-Feeding sites for food insecure children ages 5-17
-Clean drinking water for rural villages without wells
Purpose for NGO: There are 3 key benefits to starting an NGO in South Africa that help to facilitate Lydia’s Mission ministry:
-The organization is able to write invitation letters to anyone who wishes to visit South Africa for longer than 90 days. This provides a way to invite others who wish to work with Lydia’s Mission in South Africa
-South African retailers and business offer discounts when buying supplies for NGO projects. This offers potentially significant savings, over time, for Mission projects.
-Lydia’s Mission can accept tax-deductible donations of funds, good and services from residents, businesses, or other organizations in South Africa.
Lydia’s Mission has an Advisory Board that provides for mission accountability in addition to financial, strategic, spiritual and financial guidance to ensure the organization operates in accordance with our constitution and stated mission focus areas. The board is made up volunteer members with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
Founder/Director: Claire Brown
Claire Brown is a graduate from Anderson University in Central Indiana with a degree in Biblical Studies and Christian Missions. She is passionate about missionary work especially in Africa. She spent a year in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during 2014-2015. Now she lives and works 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”. Claire was raised in the church, SouthBrook Christian Church, which helped her gain a solid foundation in her faith. Also, it helped to teach her how it’s about a relationship with the Lord instead of being about a religious checklist. Claire realized at a young age she had a passion for missions and has been on over 18 mission trips. The locations she has visited for mission trips are: Mexico, Ethiopia, Honduras, Jamaica, Swaziland, South Africa, Australia, New York, Standing Rock Reservation (North Dakota), Cass Lake (Minnesota), Cincinnati (Ohio), Moore (Oklahoma), Kentucky and multiple outreaches in her home town of Dayton (Ohio) along with Anderson (Indiana). In 2012 she was awarded The Jefferson Award: Student of the Year for Public Service.
Board Directors: Mitch and Charlotte Hildebrant
Mitch and Charlotte Hildebrant were missionaries in Swaziland and South Africa for 6 years. They founded the organization called Spark Foundation, which is focusing on self-sustaining children feeding ministries and leadership/Pastor development. Mitch worked in Christian Radio and management for 8 years prior to moving to Africa. Mitch is currently a Pastor at Hillsview Evangelical Free Church in Piedmont, South Dakota.
Board Director: Terry Brown
Terry Brown is a Global Client Director with technology firm, ServiceNow, working with General Electric Company worldwide. Mr. Brown has worked in the technology industry for 34 years stating 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 3 children and 1 grandchild.
Board Member: Jane Lowmass
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. Her and her husband Phil currently reside in eManzana, South Africa enjoying their retirement with their 4 dogs.
Board Member: Busisiwe “Busi” Mkhombo
Busi Mkhombo was in born 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.
Board Advisors: Randy and Karen Brennen
Randy and Karen Brennen have been married 32 years and have 2 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 6 churches. Their oldest daughter Kay, and her husband Mark Bojovic, and grandson Jadon are also full time missionaries in Swaziland. Their youngest daughter Shelly, is also in full time ministry with YWAM in Liverpool, England