Rick serves as President of Mercy Rains Africa. He and his wife Laurie are the Missions Coordinators at their local church. Rick serves on the worship team and assists with men's ministries. Rick felt the call of God to missions in 1982 and has been involved in several mission trips including Jamaica, New York, and Romania. His heart is to love on people and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Rick loves the mountains and anything with an engine. He enjoys riding motorcycles and driving his sand rail at the Oregon Dunes. Rick is known to break out in song as the moment inspires him.
Laurie (Nyiraguhirwa) serves as Rick’s lifelong helpmate. She serves with Rick as the Missions Coordinators at their church. As a registered nurse, Laurie has worked in clinics, hospitals, and camps. She has been on four medical mission trips to Romania which introduced her to the reality of the underserved. Laurie likes to be active whether it’s hiking, biking, running or paddling. She prefers to skip the ‘engine’ activities and move the muscles. She loves worship, hanging with her kids and holding babies.
Heather serves as one of the Board Members of Mercy Rains Africa. She has spent the last several years as a specialized para-educator working with children of all ages and backgrounds. Heather loves Jesus and believes He has called her to serve kids. She leads a bible study and is a youth leader at her local church. When she is not at work or with the kids at church she enjoys hanging out with her husband. Heather has an insatiable hunger for books! She is also convinced that Pizza and Cheesecake are the only main food groups.
Larry (Nsabiyunva) serves as the administrator of Mercy Rains Africa. He serves as a board member in his local church and is on the missions team. Larry has been on missions trips to Kenya, Uganda, and Burkina Faso. He is currently pursuing theological and ministerial studies. Larry is a business owner in the welding and fabrication field. He would like to use his skills to start a trade school in Uganda. Larry is passionate about caring for children in the developing countries. He enjoys traveling and hiking with friends and family. He believes that Cheetos will be in Heaven.
Charla serves as the Project Coordinator of Mercy Rains Africa. She traveled to Africa for the first time in 2015 where she fell in love with the people and the culture. Her favorite thing to do in Kisoro is dance with the kids, family and friends. Her Ugandan name is Nyiramunezero, which she feels humbled to have been given by the community. Charla has worked as a Speech Language Pathologist for the past 32 years. She loves spending time with her family and hiking to far-away places. She is certain that Cheetos will not be in Heaven.
Grace serves as the Correspondence Coordinator for Mercy Rains Africa. She is currently employed on the accounting team at World Vision US, and engages with her passion for kids through involvement in local youth ministries. Grace studied Mathematics and Finance in undergrad, and is currently in pursuit of her master's degree in Organizational Psychology. Some things Grace enjoys in her free time are playing piano, going on outdoor adventures, and staying active through soccer, tennis, running, and hiking. She thinks that the elite, unspoken food group is ice cream!
Gilbert serves as a consultant to Mercy Rains Africa. He is the Founder of Love Restoration, a community based organization in the Kisoro District of Uganda. Gilbert had opportunities as a formerly sponsored child through Compassion International to overcome poverty. He holds a Master's in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University. Gilbert has such a wonderful story, we have dedicated an entire page just to him. Read more about Gilbert's full bio here.
Gilbert believes the only food group is meat.
MEDIA & EVENT COORDINATOR
Courtney serves as the Media & Event Coordinator for Mercy Rains Africa. She has spent many years working as a Child Sponsorship Advocate through Compassion International and has a heart for using her skills to serve. Courtney is a licensed Nutritionist and public health professional with a background in communications. She uses her experience to improve connections between sponsors and their children as well as update social media. She also keeps a close eye on her father’s (Larry Travis) love for Cheetos.