Our mission is to obey Christ’s call to sow into the lives of those in need. The funds we receive are utilized to break the vicious cycle of poverty and to supply children with a means to defend their right to thrive. We want to serve children who suffer the devastation of poverty by providing essential needs that will affect their SPIRIT, MIND & BODY, equipping them with the skills to become future leaders.
Offering to meet the spiritual needs fills the gap between the mind and the body. It gives people hope through the life transforming message of the Gospel, bringing a joy and hope that nothing else can offer.
We want to combat the effects of extreme poverty by giving children a chance to learn and grow into individuals who make a positive impact not only in their communities, but the world at large.
Meeting the physical and material needs of those in desperate situations allows people to look to other things besides where their next meal will come from. The funds received are directed towards monthly budgets that include food, clothing, school supplies, and infrastructure costs.
Earl Dean is a father of 5 children and has 6 granddaughters. He is an "IT" professional that has a great heart and passion for missions. During the past 20 years, he has been involved in missions here in the U.S. as well as in Brazil and in different regions in Africa. Over a year ago, Earl had gone with a group to Kenya and spent time serving the Lord at AIC Zion in the Mathare Valley area. His passion for missions, his love for people and the great needs of the children was realized, which lead him to become a board member of Welcome the Children.
David Ellenwood - Executive Director
I have been a follower of Christ most of my life. I never really understood what that meant fully until later in life. I turned my life over to him completely in 1998 and He continues to mold me in the image He desires. In 2006 I married the love of my life, Evelyn, and moved to the South Hills of Pittsburgh. I am the proud father of 2 daughters, Erin age 41, and Tina age 42. I have 4 granddaughters and now two great grandsons. I also have a wonderful step daughter that I love and she also has a daughter that I call my granddaughter.
In 2013 I learned about Welcome the Children and began supporting it financially. I believed that what was being done for the children in the slums of Mathare was such a worthwhile project. In January 2014 I had the privilege of going on a vision trip with other men from the Chapel. What I saw there moved my heart, such a great project in the midst of abject poverty. The smiles on the faces of the children told the whole story. Upon my return I was asked to be on the board of directors for Welcome the Children. Shortly after that I was asked to become the executive director. I has been my honor and privilege to serve in that capacity ever since then. As we continue to search God’s will for these children our board has evolved and changed. I continue to serve according to God’s purpose and pleasure.
Mike Rollage recently retired after 30 plus years as a public accountant. His passion for doing Gods work along with his financial skills have become a perfect fit to serve on the board of Welcome the Children. Serving, most often "behind the scene", Mike has the ability and knowledge of handling the necessary financial aspects. Mike has also served on the board of Youth Opportunities Unlimited and was the Treasurer for Church Army, USA.
Wayne Johnson is currently the Director of the Bible Institute and Pastor for Older Adults at the Bible Chapel in McMurray, PA. Prior to that he served 36 years with Campus Crusade for Christ, 28 of those years with the Nairobi International School of Theology in Kenya. Wayne has a B.A. from Northwestern University, Master of Divinity from the International School of Theology and a Masters of Theology in New Testament and Ph.D. in Theological Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Wayne has been married to Dee, his partner in life and ministry, for 36 years. He has three grown children: Brandon, Justin, and Krystan.
Wayne got to know the pastor of AIC Zion Church and Director of the AIC Zion School, Reverend Johnson Wambua, while living in Nairobi and Reverend Wambua was a student at the Nairobi International School of Theology (now called the African Leadership University – Nairobi). He had first hand experience with Reverend Wambua’s ministry in the slums and became deeply moved by both his character and his vision for impact of the church and school in the slums of Mathare Valley. Now that he is based in the U.S., Wayne wants to use his experience in Africa and knowledge of AIC Zion to help see Reverend Wambua’s vision become reality.
John Zanker has been married 28 years to his wife Kristen and they have been blessed with three daughters. In 2010, John and Kristen opened their heart to a young man from Kenya who they now consider their son. John grew up with a basic knowledge of who God was, but it was not until November of 1988 that he fully gave his life over to Christ. At thirteen, John suffered the pain of his parents’ divorce, which led to the absence of his biological father. God revealed to John that He is the Father to the fatherless, and that only He can fill the void left by his earthly father. This is one of the reasons he feels compassion for children growing up in desperate situations, most likely without a father figure in their lives.
It became apparent after John’s second trip to Kenya that God had a plan to use his life to make an impact for Christ in the lives of children and young adults. John was then asked to be a part of the Welcome the Children team, to which he gratefully accepted. He continues to thank God for allowing him the privilege to serve others.