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Mark Pluimer considers it a privilege to have served as the President of One Child Matters since 2007. When he began his career in Christian radio, he wanted to find a way to share the Gospel far and wide. Today he sees the hope of Christ take root in a child’s heart despite distance and culture. Early into his more than three decades of radio broadcasting, Mark became aware of ministry opportunities with One Child Matters. He traveled the country for One Child Matters, speaking on the ministry’s behalf, spearheading the 28 Hours of Mercy sponsorship broadcast events, and leading countless mission trips with other sponsors. In his travels, Mark has met many flourishing adults whose lives were changed through sponsorship. Mark and his wife Dee have sponsored dozens of children into adulthood, and few things give them more joy than watching a child’s life – and the lives of their family members – be transformed by the power of hope. They take pride in young women like Lavinia (Romania) and Bonnie (India), the first in their families to finish school who are now finding stability and success thanks to their strong foundation in Christ through sponsorship. And they continue to pray over young men like Melvin (Dominican Republic) and Mureu (Kenya) as they come to understand they can be world changers, too. Mark has been married to Dee for 40 years. Together they have three grown children, Kate, Mason, and Emily, and a growing brood of joy-filled grandchildren.
Jenny KennedyJenny Kennedy has served with One Child Matters for 24 years in several capacities. She is currently the Vice President of Sponsor Ministries, a role she considers in line with her heart’s desire to inspire others to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives. It is a vital part of ministry to encourage children impacted by poverty who may have lost all hope. Jenny sees sponsorship as part of Jesus’ teachings in Luke 9:48 that “whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me.” Having traveled to 9 of the 16 countries One Child Matters serves, India has a special place in Jenny’s heart. Because One Child Matters was founded there several decades ago, you can see the long-term impact in the lives of children and their parents. In one of the schools One Child Matters partners with that serves and ministers to children in one of the largest and most devastating slums of New Delhi, Jenny visited a classroom full of children who were clean, healthy, and happy. At the back of the class was their teacher, a beautiful young lady radiating with joy and confidence, a formerly sponsored child herself from that very slum area. The project provided her the opportunity and encouragement to complete her education and return as a teacher; a life-changing opportunity for her and one that provide a better life for her, her mother, and younger brother. Jenny considers it a special privilege to pray with and encourage the thousands of sponsors who make this ministry possible. When she is not traveling, Jenny enjoys the company of her grandson and her two daughters.
Rick MitchellRick Mitchell, Vice President of Marketing for One Child Matters, has dedicated his life to serving children living in poverty. For 25 years he has been telling others about the value of child sponsorship. Over the years he has traveled to 20 countries, many of them multiple times, and visited over 200 child sponsorship programs. In the process he has seen first hand the impact of sponsorship in the lives of thousands of children.Most of us have a specific experience that has motivated and shaped us. Rick’s story involves a young girl named Anna. She was seven years old when he first met her. She had eight siblings and half-siblings. One had died of HIV/AIDS related causes. Through child sponsorship, Anna completed secondary school – the only one in her family to do so at the time. She went on to secure a job in a local travel agency. Through involvement in the local church that housed the child development program, she accepted Christ as Savior. Her mother and three of her siblings also came to faith in Christ. Meeting Anna and countless others like her has compelled Rick to serve the needy.To this day, Rick’s favorite thing is to take people out into the field to see how sponsorship changes the lives of children, families and communities. As a result, One Child Matters partners with churches across the country to mobilize their communities to come alongside children and projects. Rick and his wife Terri have two adult children.
Jack EansJack Eans, Vice President of International Child Ministries, has a favorite country—the one he is in at the time! Jack is our world traveler, having been in all 16 countries One Child Matters serves multiple times. Over those journeys he has met hundreds of staff and countless sponsored children. Jack sees tremendous value in sponsorship—it keeps children out of slavery and puts them in schools. Sponsorship gives a child self-respect, dignity, belief of their value, and hope that they can really make a difference.One child in particular stands out in Jack’s memory, a girl in a teeming slum in Delhi, India. Jack visited her home where seven people lived and lay down on the only bed in the home. His head was touching one wall, his feet touched the other, and even at that he had to bend his knees slightly to fit. The father brought the family from a rural area and was picking rags so his daughter could go to school. She is escorted by a trusted male relative to and from school to make sure she isn’t kidnapped and sold into an exploitative situation. Yet she has so much hope and is clearly the joy of the whole family. She carries that responsibility with pride.Jack recently achieved a dream of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro and took more than 20 other sponsors and staff with him to the summit. An avid mountain climber, Jack considers the 10+ years of sponsorship funds he raised for a young girl named Faith in Kenya by climbing the greater accomplishment. Sponsorship can help move mountains in a child’s life! Jack has three children—Kaitlyn, Kelsey, and Josiah. He and his wife Ana travel the world together.
Michael CalhounMichael Calhoun is passionate—passionate about serving children who are “the least of these” and passionate about leaders who have a vision to change the world.Not content to sit behind a desk, Michael has traveled the world to see firsthand how One Child Matters gives hope, truth, life, love and mercy to 40,000 children living in extreme poverty. When he returns, he always has a story to tell and the pictures to go with it—over 6000 on his phone alone. It is through this lens that Michael talks with pastors and leaders around the country about the ministry of One Child Matters and how churches can partner for greater engagement in a world desperately in need of God’s love and provision.As Vice President of Communications, Michael is our chief storyteller, directing a great creative team. Together, they deliver stories in every medium to encourage existing sponsors and to engage future sponsors. He works to resource churches, allowing them to fulfill the command of Jesus in Acts 1:8 to be His witnesses, “even to the ends of the world.”Michael and his wife Jennifer currently live in Colorado Springs.
Chris JorgensenChris Jorgensen, the Accounting Manager for Once Child Matters, may be relatively new to the team but not to ministry. He has worked with ministries for the areas of accounting and financial oversight for past eight years and has previously served as treasurer at the church where his family attended prior to joining One Child Matters. Chris is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Colorado and Certified Fraud Examiner.In the time that Chris has worked at One Child Matters, he has been to two of our countries: Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Before joining One Child Matters, he also visited Cambodia three times. He loves that what he does in accounting helps children break the cycle of poverty and hear the gospel. Chris focuses on providing accurate and up-to-date financial information that enables One Child Matters to make accurate and timely decisions in order to make the most of the resources that we’ve been blessed with. Chris’ background as a Certified Fraud Examiner makes him a valuable asset in providing financial oversight and structure to the field in the 16 countries we serve. Chris has been married to Cynthia for seven years and they have two young boys: Corban and Conley. They have their hands full!