Larry Zimmerman - President

larry@bethaniakids.org

  • Highland, Maryland
  • President
  • Board member since: 2013
  • Background:
    • Retired since 2013, I reside in Highland Maryland with my wife Susan. We have three grown children: Laura, Carl and Paul. We have three wonderful daughters-in-law: Wenqi, Nicole, and Molly. We also have three grandchildren, Raymond, Caroline and Emma Kate with another due in July 2018. My greatest joy is my family followed closely by visits to Bethania Kids in India where I see the results of our programs and the hope it brings to those in greatest need. Join us in service to the children and families in India.

LarrySusan and I are lifelong Lutherans, and our first introduction to Bethania Kids was in Laurel MD with Our Savior Lutheran Church. At that time, OSLC supported the construction of Bethania’s first ministry facility. OSLC and our family have been supporters since then and are pleased to be in Service to our Lord, who works through us in to the Ministries in Bethania Kids. I am amazed where God has guided and blessed Bethania Kids for the last 26 years. I am glad to be working with our Brothers and Sisters in India who nurture, educate, care for, and bring the love of Christ into their lives. There is no more noble cause.

Dr. Claudia Trautmann - Vice President – Marketing and Communications

claudia@bethaniakids.org

  • St. Louis, MO
  • Vice President – Marketing and Communications
  • Board member since: 2013
  • Background:
    • Kodaikanal International School
    • University of Missouri-Columbia – B.A.
    • Logan College of Chiropractic – D.C.

claudiaGrowing up in south India has given me not only a profound awareness of the desperate needs of so many but also an understanding of what a huge difference just a little can make in the life of one person who has been helped. I was privileged to see the founding members of Bethania Kids reaching out to those in need even before Bethania Kids was formed; to witness the results of their vision and their faith in what has now become Bethania Kids begs for a deep commitment to continue God’s work as first inspired through them.

What makes Bethania Kids so extraordinary is that they care not just for one, or two, or a few, but at this time, 986 children. They provide care not just for their immediate physical needs like food, clothing and shelter, but for all their needs–emotional, spiritual, educational and health needs. And the commitment to each and every child in their care is not just for the present but from the time they come to us until they are ready to stand on their own and become independent, self-sufficient members of society with the belief and confidence in their own value as learned through the care and nurturing of Bethania’s incredible staff. It is a humbling honor to be a part of Bethania Kids. This is unquestionably God’s work here on earth.

Dr. Kate Teece - Secretary

kate@bethaniakids.org

  • Minnetonka, MN
  • Secretary
  • Board member since: 2010
  • Background:
    • I was married to Scott in 2005, and our son Simon was born in 2011. I work as an audiologist. When I’m not engaged in either home or work, I enjoy participating in my church small groups, children’s ministry, yoga, hiking, travel, social media, organizing photos, family dinners, and relaxing with a good book and warm coffee.

KateBethania was first introduced to me when I was a child. My mother recruited my siblings and me to fold Bethania newsletters on our dining room table. As a sophomore in high school, I spent one semester studying at Kodaikanal International School. Fourteen years later, I was able to return to India and witness the growth of the Bethania Kids Ministries.

I am inspired by Bethania’s passion to share the gospel with the children of India. Real transformation is happening, not only in the lives of these children, but in their families and communities. The light of Christ shines so brightly in the midst of these dark circumstances.

Amy Pitts - Mission Trips Committee Chair

amy@bethaniakids.org

  • Laguna Nigel, CA
  • Mission Trips Committee Chair
  • Board member since: 2014
  • Background:
    • I am a graduate of Valparaiso University (1984) with a degree in Elementary/Special Education. I have taught learning disabled students, worked as an instructional paraprofessional and tutored students at Huntington and Sylvan Learning Centers. My husband, Steve, and I currently live in Fort Worth, TX, and we have three grown sons. I am a donor to Bethania Kids Sponsor-A-Child and also an Advisory Board member.

FullSizeRenderI was introduced to Bethania Kids through long-time supporters, Terry and Renita Wold. They had traveled to India to visit the Bethania sites and, upon their return, gave a presentation about their experience to our church’s congregation. That’s when I became hooked and wanted to be involved. My husband and I began donating to Sponsor-A-Child and we’ve had the privilege of hosting home gatherings, as well, when our Indian partners have visited the United States.

In February 2014, I traveled to India for the first time with a group led by David Granner. What an amazing experience! The greatest defining moment, for me, occurred at the special needs center in Kodaikanal. That’s when it hit me. . . a moment when I felt God’s overwhelming presence and the life-changing power of His love. Jesus, undoubtedly, shows himself to us through Bethania Kids. The wonders of His love radiate in the smiling faces of the children and the compassionate, nurturing staff. God has also drawn me into a deeper relationship with Him through this ministry. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I’m so grateful to serve our Lord and know Him more profoundly by being involved with Bethania Kids.

Dr. Ernest Hahn

ernie@bethaniakids.org

  • Waterloo, Ontario Canada
  • Board member since: 2015
  • Background:
    • BSc, MD, CCFP(EM) McMaster University, Canada Family Medicine/ Emergency Medicine

Ernie with kids 2I was born in Tamil Nadu, South India. My parents were missionaries there from 1953-1978. India has and continues to be a big part of my life. India is a beautiful country, and in the middle of this country is a beautiful jewel called Bethania Kids. But there is something even more special about Bethania Kids. It is the jewel that is shining the light of Jesus and providing hope for many children who could imagine little more than begging on the streets or being abused just for being handicapped or outcast. Bethania Kids is a home in India where children are loved and cared for. It’s a home where Jesus is present.

In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”

Alan Lull

alan@bethaniakids.org

  • West Bend, WI
  • Board member since: 2016
  • Background:
    • I grew up in Northern Minnesota where family difficulties led me to a great sense of Jesus and the plan he had in my life at a very young age. After high school I went to college and heard God’s voice inviting me to go to China. I sold everything and went there for two years. For the past 30 years, I sought every opportunity to share Jesus to the lost. The greatest gift God has given me in this world for the past twenty two years is my wife. Renee is a Proverbs 31 wife. We have a daughter, Hannah, who is a senior at Living Word Lutheran High School, who has been longing to go to India for the past 10 years, and was able to join me in June 2016. We also have a son, David, who has Autism, and is a freshman at West Bend East/West high school.

Alan BOD pageAbout 10 years ago I traveled to India for the first time with David Granner. This was a defining moment for me in my faith walk. I committed myself during this trip to do everything I could to help the children in Bethania Kids. I have gone to India each year for the past ten years or have sent a team from my church, St. John’s Lutheran. I pray for the lost in India, that the kids will marry and that India will become a Christian Nation, one child and one family at a time.

 I thank my wife for allowing me the blessing to go to India to see my dear children, despite the difficulties she faces with my son’s needs when I go. God has called me to go and care for the children of India!

Carol Hart

carolhart@bethaniakids.org

  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Board member since: 2017
  • Background:
    • ESL Faculty at Eastern Michigan University

Carol A. Hart has visited Bethania Kids ministry sites in India several times and is a familiar face on the video, You Are My Treasure, O Jesus. She and husband, Don, live in Ann Arbor, MI, and produced the video through their company, MOVE Communications, helping to create a distinctive brand for Bethania Kids. A member of the Board of Advisors, Carol has been active with Bethania Kids for 10 plus years, developing a dynamic ESL (English as a Second Language) curriculum for use in our homes and care centers. She is on the faculty of the ESL Program at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, and is Chief Financial Officer for MOVE Communications. Carol also serves as Co-Director of Children’s Programs at Cross & Resurrection Lutheran Church in Ann Arbor. We are very excited to add Carol’s passion for our ministry and her skills and experience to the Board of Directors!

Dr. Kristin DeHaven

kristin@bethaniakids.org

  • Winchester, VA
  • Board member since: 2018

I am a gynecologist in Winchester, VA. I first discovered Bethania Kids through my church, Bethel Lutheran Church in Winchester. Bethel Lutheran is very active in the Bethania ministry.  My oldest son, Gus, and I were fortunate enough to travel to India with a group from the church in 2014. The trip was transformative, and I have been passionate about this mission ever since. I am excited to see where God leads me in this ministry.

Kristoff Hendrickson

kristoff@bethaniakids.org

  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Board member since: 2018
  • Background:
    • St. Olaf - B.A.
    • Fellow of the Society of Actuaries

I reside in Minneapolis with my wife Katie and our young son, Bodie. As an actuary, I consult with corporations on the management of their retirement plans. I was introduced to Bethania Kids through the Hennig family and have been a supporter of the organization for several years. I continue to be amazed by the life altering experiences Bethania is providing to God’s children in India.

Dr. David Doermann

ddoermann@bethaniakids.org

  • Buffalo, NY and Ellicott City, MD
  • Board member since: 2018
  • Background:
    • BS Math and Computer Science - Bloomsburg University of PA
    • MS, PhD - University of Maryland, College Park, MD
    • Currently a College Professor-Computer Science and Engineering, University of Buffalo

My wife, Carol,  of 30  years have three twenty-something daughters. Our extended family is in Maryland. My father grew up in India as the son of life-long Lutheran misssionaries. He went to school at the Kodai missionary school and knew the Bethania Kids founders families. I was introduced to Bethnaia Kids by Larry Zimmerman at The Lutheran Church of St. Andrew in Silver Spring MD. With the many changes in my life, (empty nester, career change, father-in-law…) I was happy to be given the opportunity to help expand the mission of Bethania Kids. We have supported the educational roles as both by wife and I are educators. I hope our service will lead to a small fraction of the opportunities we have been given, for those in India.

Deaconess Sally Hiller

sally@bethaniakids.org

  • Bowie, MD
  • Board member since: 2018
  • Background:
    • BA-Valpariso University, Valpariso, IN, degree in Theology
    • MA - School Administration, Trinity College, Washington, D.C.
    • Served at First Lutheran of Bowie, MD, Trinity Lutheran, Bowie, MD, and Ascension Lutheran, Landover Hills, MD
    • Currently Executive Director for Congregational Outreach and District Operations, Southeastern District, LCMS

I am excited to get to know better the work of Bethania Kids and to continue my prayers for the work in India in new ways. In October 1998, I traveled on a Mission Trip to India and met children in classrooms, Bible clubs, villages, and orphanages. I experienced the energy and excitement of these young learners  witnessing and listening to the opportunities to nurture and equip them with the Gospel as well as skills to thrive and make a difference. This is the work of Bethania and I look forward to being a part of this important ministry.

Mark Lee

mark@bethaniakids.org

  • Estes Park, CO
  • Board member since: 2018
  • Background:
    • Educated in business and information systems
    • 30+ years experience in the consulting and software industries

I reside in Estes Park, CO with my wife Karen. Our son, David, is a senior at the University of Colorado in Boulder. I have worked in the IT consulting and software industry for many years and am currently working for a small software company that has an office in Hyderabad, India. I have had the opportunity to travel to India for work many times and have seen firsthand the needs of Indian children. Karen and I were introduced to Bethania Kids and Wendy Oesterling by friends at our church, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal. I recently had the opportunity to visit Bethania Kids Angel Home in Rajahmundry and was inspired to see God’s love at work in the lives of these boys.

The Rev. Dr. John Denninger – Pres. SE District LCMS - Associate Board Member

john@bethaniakids.org

  • Springfield, VA
  • Associate Board Member
  • Board member since: 2018
  • Background:
    • Concordia Junior College, Ann Arbor, MI - AA 1974
    • Concordia Senior College, Ft, Wayne, IN - BA 1976
    • Concordia Seminary, St. Lous, MO - MofD 1980
    • Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA - Doctor of Ministry, Missiology 2000
    • Appointed in 2001 to the Fairfax County (VA) Citizen's Corp Council to represent the 1400 faith communties for the Dept. of Homeland Security
    • Has chaired the Interfaith Emergency Planning Steering Committee, Fairfax (VA) County

My wife Connie and I just recently celebrated our 34 wedding anniversary. We have 3 daughters: Jessica, Laura and Sara who are grown and married with families of their own. My wife, Connie, is a life long educator. I have served as a vicar at Faith Lutheran  in Vista, CA, a pastor at Trinity Lutheran in Auburn, NE, campus pastor at Campus Lutheran, University of Nebraska in Kearney, NE and at Prince of Peace Lutheran in Springfield, VA as both associate and senior pastor. I am currently serving as the President for the Southeastern District of the LCMS. Prior to this I served two terms as 1st Vice-President and two terms as secretary for the same body. I have served in multiple roles at the Circuit, District and Synod levels in addition to other ministry organizations. My mother Florene and Polly Hennig were great friends.