Trauma Healing Staff
Mission Trauma Healing Managing Director
God has such a beautiful and unexpected way of preparing us for our calling. In Drew’s case, the path was a winding one: from marketing to ministry, hotel management to business ownership, photography, writing, teaching, and above-ground-pool-installation, just to name a few. If you have time one day, ask him how God wove together all of those experiences in order to equip him to support the people you see on this page (and the broader global community of practice) as they reach more people with the resurrection power of Christ’s love.
Drew graduated from LSU with a degree in writing and philosophy. He went on to get a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and one day he’ll finish that seminary degree, he’s sure of it.
He and his wife, Leah, live in Philadelphia with their two amazing boys, Emery and Soren, and their ferocious cat, Beef. His highest aspirations are courage, curiosity, compassion, and joy, but only one of those comes naturally for him. Drew is overwhelmed with gratitude for this calling that allows him to witness firsthand the powerful love of God that redeems and restores all things.
Dr. Harriet Hill
Director of Trauma Healing Institute
When it comes to Bible-based trauma healing, Harriet wrote the book. Literally. She got together with three really gifted friends and wrote the book. Harriet combines the passionate, courageous, and faithful heart of a missionary with the imaginative, resourceful, and relentless mind of an academic. It is that combination of big heart and big mind that puts her at the nexus of a global movement of Bible-based trauma healing. She’s been doing this work in some of the toughest places on the planet for more than fifteen years, and she still wakes up every day looking forward, asking God “what’s next?” for this mission.
I don’t know what you were doing when you were a teenager, but that’s when Harriet committed her life to helping people encounter God in the Bible. And if you’ve ever been through one of these trainings, or met someone who has, you know that she has fulfilled that commitment.
Harriet and her husband Ralph served with Wycliffe and SIL for 18 years in Côte d’Ivoire, and then in other countries for another 10 years. Harriet has her bachelor's degree from Trinity College, her master’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a PhD from Fuller in intercultural studies. Today, she and Ralph live in downtown Philadelphia within walking distance of the ABS headquarters. And I can guarantee you that even as you’re reading this, she’s hard at work making this trauma healing ministry reach further and deeper into the wounded hearts of the most vulnerable people on the planet.
Carine (say it with me: /ka-REEN/) is our bridge and our balance.
Having grown up in Haiti, she balances the Caribbean spirit of serenity and peace with the perpetual urgency and energy of Jersey (where she’s lived since age 9). She finds peace in the calm of a yoga studio or in crushing her opponents on the volleyball court. She’s a professional counselor with a gentle approach to helping people overcome their trauma. And she’s a strategic thinker who helps ABS and its partners reach further faster through smarter implementation. And in all things she radiates God’s spirit of justice and truth.
She speaks multiple languages, including Spanish, French, and Creole, and has traveled the globe extensively. Before joining our team, Carine spent 11 years directing international missions at Stone Hill Church of Princeton. She has also worked with survivors of traumatic events including the tsunami in Thailand, the earthquake in Haiti, and hurricanes in the Gulf Coast. Carine holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business from Fairleigh Dickinson University, a Master of Arts in Counseling and Personnel Services from The College of New Jersey and an Education Specialist post-master's advanced degree from Rider University. She is a spectacular trainer who brings together such a wide range of skills and perspective, and we are thankful to have her on our team.
We like to say, “The Dana is in the details.” She’s one of the most thorough and systematic, detail-oriented thinkers on our team. We usually turn to her to help with our most complex issues, and we all benefit from her commitment to excellence in every level of detail. On top of that, she makes us all want to be better people. You know that whole part of 1 Corinthians 13 that talks about being always patient and kind, never arrogant or testy, relentlessly faithful and hopeful, and rejoicing when truth prevails? She makes all that look easy.
Dana comes to American Bible Society with broad vocational experience in trauma counseling, teaching, editing, and program management, as well as diverse ministry experience in North America and Latin America with immigrants, refugees, sex trafficking survivors, and at-risk youth. Her formal education includes a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Covenant Seminary and a Master of Arts in Counseling with a specialization in trauma counseling from Biblical Seminary. Her deep compassion and commitment to excellence make her an incredibly gifted trainer and mentor. She is passionate about facilitating emotional and spiritual healing in those affected by trauma, and helping the church become a safer place for the most vulnerable among us.
Vanessa is our Brazilian Army knife—which is like a Swiss Army knife, but way more interesting. Vanessa has a sharp sense of humor, a tenacious commitment to excellence in all things, a strategic mind that cuts right to the essence of any issue, and she cares deeply for others. I sometimes wonder if Vanessa can see the future, but really she’s just smart enough to see three to five moves ahead of any decision. She’s got an impressive combination of mind and heart and strength, really, and it helps us reach further faster better.
Vanessa moved to the United States from Brazil as a young girl. She lived most of her life in Northern New Jersey before crossing over to Philadelphia, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology—and eventually a master’s degree in nonprofit management—from Eastern University. She has spent many years volunteering in her community, and has a passion for helping others in need, which helped prepare her for her current role as a program manager.
She lives in Havertown, PA with her husband Doug and two boys, Aiden and Landon. They are die-hard Yankees fans trying to make it in a Phillies town.
Rebecca is world-renowned for being an incredible advocate with an incredible story. She has spoken here and here and here, and you can see videos of her here and here and here. She also knows people here and here and here and continues to speak and meet new people everywhere all the time. She brings great insight and integrity to our team, and she uses her voice in powerful ways to serve God’s Kingdom.
Rebecca came to the United States, having been a Lost Girl of Sudan after living for eight years in Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya. The violence she experienced as a child during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983–2005) has given her a deep empathy for the millions of children and young adults who face similar situations today.
She holds a BA from Calvin College in international development, with a minor in social work, and an MA in ministry leadership from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In 2007 she spent a semester studying with ISDSI in Thailand, where she also volunteered in a refugee camp for Burmese families. Today, she and her husband, Jordan, live in Holland, Michigan. She loves travel, hiking, good conversation, and international cuisine. I’d like good conversation, too, if I could speak five languages like Rebecca, who speaks Dinka, English, Arabic, Swahili, and Thai.
Dr. Margi McCombs
Children & Teen Specialist
Margi is the kind of person you don’t want to stop being around. She’s warm and wise and welcoming, humble and humorous and (if we’re keeping with the “H” theme) heroic. She’s too humble to agree with the heroic part, but we know it’s true. She would go anywhere and do anything to help any young person meet Jesus and experience his love, acceptance, and sense of purpose. She has devoted her life to serving young people: understanding them, supporting them, advocating for them, and helping them grow towards the light of Christ.
And on top of all that, she’s super brilliant. Margi holds an undergraduate degree in elementary and special education, a master’s degree in Christian counseling, and a PhD in education. She grew up in West Africa, and her experience includes working in schools as a teacher, director, administrator, and founder, both nationally and internationally. She has also served churches and organizations to develop effective children’s ministries. She now serves American Bible Society as a consultant in Children’s Trauma Healing. God has certainly blessed us to have someone with her skills and strengths, her compassion and courage. She lives with her husband and family in Sanford, Florida.
Debbie is connected, courageous, and compassionate, and she exudes the humble wisdom of God. You can’t talk with her for long without realizing that she is connected to God’s Spirit in a special way through prayer and Scripture. She’s also courageous enough to follow God’s Spirit into some of the most treacherous areas on the planet. Her deep compassion allows her to join people in their suffering as she shares the healing power of Christ’s love.
Debbie is married to her best friend, Steve. Together, they served with Africa Inland Mission for 30 years in Central Africa. Debbie has been involved in community health and development, including training community health workers.
When she heard about Healing the Wounds of Trauma, she felt led by God’s Spirit to get involved. From her ministry in Central Africa, she knew that the most intractable issues are issues of the heart. She is passionate about sharing the news of Jesus, our healer, with the world. Debbie and Steve live in Arkansas and have three children and two grandchildren.
But please don’t call him Frederick. Or Fred. It’s Barasa (like Adele or Bono or Cher or Sting). In fact, this is the first time many on our team will realize that he even has a first name. Somehow Barasa knows nearly everyone on the planet, and he has an uncanny ability to connect with people.
Barasa came to the Trauma Healing team with a ton of global ministry and program leadership experience. He also has a strong background in research, and he uses those critical thinking skills to help all of us ask the right questions and make the best decisions. Before joining the team, Barasa served as Senior Research Analyst for Global Scripture Impact, worked as a program manager for Geneva Global and—before that—served in the same role for Handicap Initiative in Kenya and Somalia. And before that, he worked as a social worker with orphans in Kenya.
He’s another really bright one on our team, speaking four languages including English, Swahili, Luhya, and Hindi. Barasa received his master’s degree in social work and a bachelor’s degree in sociology, economics and political science from Dr. Babaseheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Maharashtra, India. He and his wife have two amazing children and they live about one rough commute outside of Philadelphia.
Senior Manager of Operations
Nate has a naturally calm and reassuring presence, which comes in handy when he’s doing what he does best: questioning everything we do in search of a better way. If you read his job description, you’d see things like increasing operational efficiency and improving technology and communications systems and maximizing global reach through partnership development. But at the end of the day, Nate and his team simply make everything work better—more efficiently, more effectively, and more transparently—all to increase impact. And his heart for people on the margins comes through in all that he does.
Nate is passionate about God’s call to serve “the least of these.” He’s spent the last 15 years working for the most vulnerable among us, designing and managing community-based programs for people experiencing homelessness and poverty here in Philly.
Nate lives in Northwest Philadelphia with his two wonderful children and his wife, Kate. He enjoys riding his bike to work. Ten miles each way. Every day. Well, anyway, we’re impressed.
Sarah is intelligent, thoughtful, and kind. But she also has a fierce side. She’s fiercely attentive to detail. Fiercely compassionate toward those in need. Fiercely focused on getting things done. And fiercely protective of those Cadbury chocolates that she keeps locked in her desk drawer.
She’s also fiercely experienced. Before joining American Bible Society, Sarah spent six years serving World Relief’s national refugee resettlement program. Her passion for serving marginalized populations later led her to Cambodia, where she worked to support survivors of sex trafficking. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Dickinson College, and a Master of Arts in International Development from Eastern University. She lives in West Philly where the parks are lovely and the coffee is plentiful.
Christina brings great joy and passion to her database work, along with… Wait, you heard that, right? I used the words joy and passion in the same sentence as the word database. It’s true. She not only sees the mission value of our vast database of trainers and beneficiaries, but she’s always finding ways to improve it to make it a more effective ministry tool.
Christina brings a wealth of technical knowledge and database experience to the table, along with a deep commitment to this work and compassion for suffering people. With equal parts humor, compassion, and sharp thinking, she makes our work more fun, more meaningful, and more productive.
Christina was born and raised in the Pennsylvania region, and she is a proud mom of three children (Justin, Joshua, and Megan), one step daughter (Dessie) and has 3 grandbabies.
Regional Coordinator: West Africa and Sahel Region
Gueneba draws on her wide range of education and professional expertise to help traumatized people experience the healing power of Christ. She is a wise and humble leader who guides us and our partners with grace and clarity. But really it all comes down to that joyful and winsome laugh of hers. It’s the joy of the Lord coming through in her that draws all of us in and reminds us that God is forever near.
Did I mention she’s brilliant? Before joining ABS in 2016, Gueneba gained international experience in various roles including as a counseling psychologist, a teacher, and a researcher. She has her master’s degree in counseling psychology from Daystar University in Nairobi, along with another master's degree in rural development engineering from University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. She also has her bachelor’s degree in theology from West Africa Baptist Advanced School of Theology in Togo.
Gueneba has two children (of course they’re also brilliant) and she lives in Burkina Faso with her husband, Maxime.
Sr. Administrative Assistant
Ten seconds into meeting Marlaina, you’ll see that she radiates the joy of the Lord (she will warn you about her loud laugh). But her real superpower is her ability to draw people in, listen to and understand them, and help them discover a more excellent way forward. She’s got that rare quality of being equally gifted with people, with words, with details, and with ideas. She understands complexity but can make it clear for all, and she brings a spiritual depth to everything she does that helps keep us focused on the “why” behind the “what.”
God has given Marlaina a wide array of skills and experiences that she now uses to help hurting people encounter the restoring love of Christ. Just before joining the team, Marlaina spent five years at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Having become a doula and studying to be a home birth midwife, she resonated with the integrative and personalized approach to patient care in both roles. Before that, she worked at Congreso de Latinos Unidos helping welfare recipients find employment and self-sufficiency.
Marlaina and her husband Josiah are modern missionaries—along with their three children: Judeah the wise, Jordan the kind, and Jericho the fun. They planted a church in Camden, NJ (nicknamed by Walt Whitman as the Invincible City) where they now live and serve.