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***Azmera is a registered 501(c)3. Donations are tax deductible. Thank you!***

Support Azmera's COSTA RICA Volunteers

SPEAKER - Peg Forrest

Peg is passionate for living out her calling to teach and disciple women of all ages, whether through the spoken or written word. Peg leans on her years of “on-the-job-training” as a worker in Kenya, as a biblical counselor and Dean of Women at Arizona Christian University, as well as, her experiences in leading women’s bible studies, and her love of sharing Jesus-relevant-stories, to draw women into deeper intimacy and a more secure identiy in their Savior. Peg considers herself a simple woman with a simple message to which ladies everywhere relate and are encouraged... Peg and her husband, a former 6′ 10″ NBA center for the Phoenix Suns, began Focus Ministries in 1992 on their return from Africa (, and travel world-wide, using their life-stories and experiences to share the gospel with a FreshOutlookCentering Upon the Savior. Together they have written and/or co-authored six books.

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Joy has a heart for leading worship and encouraging women in their faith journey. Having lived internationally, she brings a unique perspective to both. Joy leads worship weekly in the Dallas area, where she lives with her husband Roger, and at retreats and conferences globally. She understands third culture kids, and is inspired by her children’s choices to serve in the military and with Every Village, a ministry based in South Sudan. She is “JoJo” to her four young grandchildren.

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Charlene Benson

Charlene is passionate about travel and helping others improve their lives.  She’s been to all 50 states and several countries for pleasure, church festivals, and missions. They have two sons (26 & 23), two daughters-in-law, and 2.5 grandchildren (3rd due in June).  She and her husband have been involved with Adventures in Missions since their son did the World Race in 2011.  Since becoming a counselor in 2007, she developed the Ditch People© model and Targeted Negative Belief Replacement© TNBR. She enjoys sharing the insights she learned about relationships and assisting in the healing journey of others. What better way to do that then impact women who are impacting the world?

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Kari Berglund

Kari lives in Littleton, CO and is married to her high school sweetheart, Tim. She recently retired from homeschooling her three children. Zach lives with his wife, Dorothy, in LA. Hannah is a student at Columbia International University pursuing a degree to help her serve overseas one day. Sarah is a dog groomer in training. Kari loves to come alongside women in their faith journey through prayer, encouragement, and study. She has been a Bible study leader, youth group worker, and is currently the prayer chairman of a Community Bible Study. She has many friends that serve overseas and enjoys the challenge of maintaining those friendships and partnering with what God is doing around the world in any way she can. In her free time, she pursues photography and anything crafty.

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Cherry Childs

Cherry loves teaching children at church, works part-time, gardens as often as she can, and enjoys cooking for others.  She is a Razorback fan who lives in Conway, Arkansas. 

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Karla Childs

Karla is a retired social studies and English teacher.  After being overseas with the DoD Education Activity for thirty years, she and her husband moved to Manchester, TN, where she taught Adult Education for ten years.  She has led women's Bible studies for many years, as well as participated in church choirs.  In her free time, Karla enjoys reading, water aerobics, and puzzles.  Karla and Mike are blessed with eight delightful grandchildren; their son's family lives in Nairobi and their daughter's family is in Knoxville.  

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Robin Dean

Robin  has successfully homeschooled her 3 boys from preschool into college. She is a licensed physical therapist with her masters degree and has worked off and on for the past 26 years in outpatient rehab and home health. She has a degree in exercise physiology and wellness and has worked as a wellness counselor at Southwestern Seminary helping missionaries pursue healthy lifestyles through nutrition, exercise and faith. Robin has been involved as a small group Life Leader with her husband Eric for over 25years.  Passionately involved with loving, encouraging and leading people to know Jesus and to live life to their fullest is her calling.  

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Sandi grew up in a small Texas town with a big desire to see the world.  During college she was privileged to travel with an international music missions team and gained a passion for ministry and encouraging the body around the world. After marrying, she and her husband dove into full-time ministry. She has a great desire to encourage women to see who they are in Christ and realize that their true beauty rests in the eyes of the ONE who loves them most. She lives with her husband, Bram, of 24 years, their 2  boys, Cadence and Canon (their 2 girls -Demi and Lyric- have moved away to college), and two dogs on 30 acres in Central Texas.

Sandi Floria

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Gail Fray

Gail is a southern gal who’s been happily transplanted to Colorado.  She has been married to the love of her life, Jeff, for 36 years, and they have three grown sons, two lovely daughters-in-love, and two grandchildren.  Gail has the gift of administration, and gab!  She enjoys helping things run smoothly, but is also very happy to get to know other people, their passions, their concerns, and hear their life stories.  She loves the Lord and enjoys sitting at His feet in worship and listening to His teaching. She’s made numerous international trips and has served in overseas ministry. Gail is trying her hand at writing her first book.  She also enjoys hiking, biking, camping, and sitting around the campfire in the deep woods.  She is eager to share life with the ladies at the Costa Rica retreat!

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Cindy Gellinger

Cindy lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon.  She has served at 4 overseas retreats, supporting women who work cross-culturally. She brings her skills as a massage therapist, and enjoys blessing in this way.  Cindy has been married to her husband Mark for 41 years, and has 2 adult children. 

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Becky loves to encourage women through the ministry of the word of God. She has received Level 3 certification from the Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship and enjoys meeting with women one-on-one. She is a former BSF teaching leader and teaches a Sunday school class for single women at her home church. She also loves to participate as a lead worshiper by playing her assortment of flutes in the worship ministry. In her everyday life, Becky parents two active teenagers while managing the provider reimbursement team for a national health care program. Becky ponders life and preaches the gospel to herself on her blog

Becky Milligan

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 Melissa has served with Ripe For Harvest overseas in Central America and has a background of 15 years as a highly qualified educator.  God has led her into a ministry of serving global women workers. Melissa is a support to those on the front lines and uses her giftings and skills of encouragement, prayer, lay-counseling, coaching, personal debriefing, retreats, personal visits, Bible studies, and educational consulting to support these women. A friend has described her as having a freelance member care role.  She works with global women workers that serve in various ministry roles, denominations, and passport countries. Because of her background overseas and on-field experience many women are able to open up about their heart, their needs, and their challenges so that she can support them well.

Melissa Ruble

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Shirley Suedkamp

Shirley had a passion for storytelling and writing early in her life. When she came to the Lord at age 7, through a worker in Bangladesh, she got involved in her church right away. A friend of her mom encouraged her to be a teacher, so she did for several years. Twenty years ago the Lord led her to go to beauty school, instead of pursuing a masters in education. Now she knows that her training was to be used to care for workers. Shirley is happily married, with 2 adult children.

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Karen Thacker

Karen Thacker is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Smalley Marriage Intensive Coach in Lafayette CO. She helps women, men and couples effectively navigate the challenges of life. Her primary focus is guiding people toward the freedom we all have in Christ on this side of heaven through counseling, coaching and a new workbook, The Journey Forward Workbook: Daily Steps to Achieve Emotional Balance, Healthier Relationships and a Life You Can Love which will be available Fall 2017.  Karen lives in Erie, CO with her husband, David. They treasure opportunities to be with friends and family especially their five children and four grandchildren. Karen has elected to pay her own way, all donations made to Karen will go directly toward scholarships for women to attend the Haven Retreat.

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Priscilla Young

Priscilla is an adult “third culture kid” – born in the Canal Zone, Panama, raised in Ethiopia, and served for a number of years in Eastern Europe. She and her husband have partnered in ministry for 37 years, teaching and discipling men and women around the world to fully engage in the mission of God. She loves traveling and encouraging women who live and serve overseas, but her favorite trips are from her home in Denver, CO to Dallas, TX where her four (and counting) little grandchildren live!

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Amy Young

After nearly two decades in China, Amy Young has returned to her Colorado roots. With an MA in TESL and another in Counseling, she held many leadership positions during her time in China. She’s the author of Looming Transitions and Love, Amy and helped to found Velvet Ashes, an online community for women serving overseas. Bottom line, she is a life enthusiast who loves Jesus and the Denver Broncos and TV. Oh, and Diet Coke too!

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***Azmera is a registered 501(c)3. Donations are tax deductible. Thank you!***

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