Elizabeth Hankins, executive director
Elizabeth Hankins is an author and human rights activist. For the past decade, she has worked in the areas of genocide intervention and prevention, specifically related to South Sudan, Darfur and northern Uganda. She is committed to the healing story that God is authoring among the people of South Sudan – and eager to see the sister effect change lives of women and girls in both world hemispheres! Elizabeth has a masters degree in peace and conflict studies from the University of Sydney in Australia. She and her husband David have two beautiful daughters and an incredible son-in-law.
Lizi Bailey is a singer, songwriter, worship leader and Sister Effect’s worship architect and deputy director. She is married to Matthew and mom to five amazing children. She recently traveled to Tonj, South Sudan and is committed to being a part of the hope and healing for this region of the world.
Jessica graduated from Greenville College with a degree in Communication: Public Relations. Most recently, she worked as the Events Coordinator and Executive Assistant for the non-profit Every Village. Jess leads worship alongside her husband and worship pastor, Dave, at Bear Creek Baptist Church.
Audra Kirkendall, secretary
Audra Kirkendall was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas. She holds a Masters in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science with a concentration in global health. Audra has served as an expatriate school teacher in Mbale, Uganda and now works as a project coordinator with Children at Risk, North Texas, a non-profit policy research and advocacy organization that focuses on improving childhood quality of life. She and her husband Sam live in Dallas, Texas where Sam works as a general surgery resident.
Betsy Smith is a licensed professional counselor at Small Steps Nurturing Center, a nonprofit organization that provides services to at-risk families in the inner city of Houston, Texas. Besides offering training to teachers, staff and volunteers, Betsy counsels children and families, conducts crisis counseling, parent instruction, and individual and group play therapy for children. Betsy is mom to a wonderful daughter and is looking forward to being part of Sister Effect’s healing working in South Sudan!
After growing up in East Africa as the son of missionaries, Peter and his wife, Shauna, served as missionaries in South Sudan. At the end of 2005, they moved to Houston where Peter became the Executive Director of Every Village, a nonprofit organization working for the transformation of every village in South Sudan. Peter has learned two tribal languages and has a Doctor in Intercultural Studies degree from Fuller Seminary. He is the proud and grateful father of three precious children, a daughter and two sons.
Secily Torn is a pediatrician in Houston, Texas. She and husband Scott have four wonderful children and participate in efforts to serve at-risk kids throughout the Houston area. Along with a commitment to Sister Effect’s work for women and girls of South Sudan, the Torns have established Ozark for All, a foundation which allows inner city children to experience Camp Ozark, a Christian sports and adventure camp in the Ozark Mountains.
Ashley Brusenhan is the College Girls’ Director at Central Baptist Church in College Station, TX. She graduated with a marketing degree from Texas A&M, where the Lord began to burden her heart for college girls ministry. Along with serving in her third year at Central, she is the founder and director of Intimacy (a college girls’ worship night), worship leader, and serves on the prayer team for the non-profit Jesus Said Love Bryan/College Station team. She is so excited to be a part of Sister Effect and finding ways to encourage others to be a part of change in South Sudan.
Sarah Idiaquez is a pediatric nurse at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas. She spent the summer of 2011 in Tonj, South Sudan. There she served as a nurse and midwife at In Deed and Truth Ministries, Sister Effect’s partner in women’s health. Sarah’s passion is for improving the health and lives of mothers and their children around the globe. She is thankful for the opportunity to join Sister Effect in changing the lives of women and girls and transforming communities both at home and in South Sudan.
Jim was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He served in the United States Navy and graduated from The University of New Orleans with a BS in Accounting. After five years in public accounting he enjoyed a twenty-two year career in the oil and gas industry in a variety of financial planning, special project and senior management roles. Since retiring in 2001, Jim remains actively involved in men’s ministry at his church, loves photography and travel. His connection with South Sudan began several years ago when his daughter Googled ‘midwifery in Africa’ and subsequently became associated with In Deed and Truth and Sister Effect.
- Achel Gak, community liaison
- Darren Moore, Esq., Bourland, Wall & Wenzel P.C.
- Diyo Deng, community liaison