In 1997, on a short-term mission trip to Kazakhstan, Tami received a dramatic calling to leave her sales career and serve the Lord in full-time mission work with children at risk through Pioneers. She attended Denver Seminary and received a Master’s certificate in Theology. Tami trained under Dr. Phyllis Kilbourn in many courses on children at risk – such as trauma and crisis care, street children, orphan care, and HIV/AIDS.
Tami served for 3 years working with orphans of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. During her time in Kyrgyzstan, she met an orphan with severe facial deformities named Tabi. Tami worked with the Kyrgyz government to bring Tabi to America for facial reconstruction. Through the process, a mother-daughter bond developed between Tami and Tabi. Tami decided to pursue adoption. This seemed like an impossible feat because the Kyrgyz government hadn’t allowed a foreign adoption in decades, and never to a single woman.
Tami’s faith was challenged and her relationship with God deepened as she relied on him to do the impossible. Tami was able to adopt Tabi in December 2004.
Tami continues to work with Pioneers on the Stand4kids team as an advocate for children at risk. She works on two fronts. In the U.S., she raises awareness of the desperate needs of children at risk, is a resource for the church, and works to mobilize the church to action to care for the “least of these.” Internationally, Tami is a resource and consultant for the many Pioneers field teams. Tami’s goal is to impassion and ignite workers to respond to the needs of children that surround them.
She bases her ministry on Proverbs 31:8, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” Read Tami’s blog here.
Karen Hardin is passionate about equipping kids to understand God’s global purposes and embrace the roles they can play in advancing his kingdom. She felt called to pass on God’s heart for the world to the upcoming generation while taking the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course.
Karen holds degrees in child development and education. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience in the public schools. Her local church ministry has included teaching children in a variety of settings (Sunday, mid-week, Vacation Bible school, Awana, and Bible camp and developing ongoing mission programming for kids). She has also had opportunities to teach missionary kids in Europe and train children’s workers in Central Asia and Africa.
Karen has been a children’s mobilization specialist since 2002 and currently serves with Stand4Kids, a ministry of Pioneers. She developed curriculum for Caleb Project’s Kids Around the World series, created children’s prayer tools, and served as writer/editor for Outside the Lines, a children’s version of the Perspectives course. She co-authored Red Card, a family curriculum on children at risk. In addition to writing, Karen also teaches mission workshops, serves as a consultant for churches and mission agencies, and leads children’s events. She is involved in the 1 for 50 strategy training initiative. Read Karen’s blog here.
Julie A, missionary