Meet The Team

Leadership

Sarah Hilkemann

Program Director
In 2013, Sarah Hilkemann left the cornfields of Nebraska for the rice fields of Cambodia, where she made her home in big cities and little villages. In 2018, sensing the Father’s push back to the US, Sarah transitioned into her role with Velvet Ashes as the Program Director. She is grateful to be close to family again while missing her home on the other side of the world. <a href=”https://velvetashes.com/author/sarahh/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”><strong>Posts by Sarah</strong></a> <a href=”https://unendingjoyadventures.com/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”><strong>Sarah’s Website</strong></a>
×
Sarah Hilkemann

Sarah Hilkemann

Program Director

Denise Beck

Executive Director
[email protected]

Being shaped by her years in S. Sudan, Denise’s heart grew for women who take the unknown and carve out beauty in all its forms.  When she was introduced to Velvet Ashes, she found a place that celebrated that beauty as well. Partnering with this team to provide connection and courage for women in their cross-cultural lives has been another reminder of the beautiful gifts God gives.  Her favorite places to be are anywhere her 4 kids are, next to her husband no matter what country, and anywhere that gets her close to the feet of Jesus.

Posts by Denise

×
Denise Beck

Denise Beck

Executive Director

Danielle Wheeler

Founder and Director of Spiritual Development
[email protected]

Danielle Wheeler sat on her porch one day and had a dream breathed into her heart, a dream of global women linking virtual arms to find connection and courage for their cross-cultural lives. As Velvet Ashes’ founder, she loves watching this dream grow beyond what she ever imagined.  Mother to four, she and her husband ride the waves of life and culture, leaning hard into the One who leads.

Posts by Danielle // Website // Twitter // Pinterest //Instagram

×
Danielle Wheeler

Danielle Wheeler

Founder and Director of Spiritual Development
 

Contributors

Ashley Felder

Writer

Ashley comes from a small town in Missouri and now lives in a city of millions in northeastern China. She first fell in love with other cultures while spending time in Nigeria. She never dreamed of coming to the Far East, but has now fallen in love with those around her, finally beginning to see through the Father’s eyes that all people are beautiful and need His love. She has two young boys that keep her laughing and an innovative, encouraging husband that keeps her going. In her dubious amounts of free time, she enjoys reading a good novel (with a cup of chai tea in hand, of course), connecting with others, making lattes, trying new recipes, crafty projects, and perusing for more recipes and crafts.

Posts by Ashley// Website // Pinterest //Instagram //

 

×
Ashley Felder

Ashley Felder

Writer

Elizabeth Trotter

Writer
[email protected]

Elizabeth leads the cross-cultural website A Life Overseas and is the co-author of Serving Well: Help for the Wannabe, Newbie, or Weary Cross-cultural Christian Worker. After a military childhood, a teenaged Elizabeth crash landed onto American civilian life. When she married her high school sweetheart, her life plan was to be a chemical engineer while he practiced law. Instead, they both fell headlong into youth ministry and spent the next ten years serving the local church. When her husband later decided he wanted to move overseas, Elizabeth didn’t want to join him. Now, after eight years of life in Cambodia with him and their four children, it’s hard to imagine living any other way.

Posts by Elizabeth // Website //  Facebook

Personal Link ×
Elizabeth Trotter

Elizabeth Trotter

Writer

Joy Smalley

Writer

I am a TCK, a mother of 4 kids, a wife, a lover of God and still a newbie to SouthEast Asia where I am learning to combat the perpetual heat while God shows himself to me differently every day.

Posts by Joy // Blog

×
Joy Smalley

Joy Smalley

Writer

Megan Smith

Instagram Team

I am a currently serving in Africa. I teach primary school (K, 1 and 2 this year). I am originally from California and am always craving the beach and Mexican food.

Instagram

×
Megan Smith

Megan Smith

Instagram Team

Bayta Schwarz

Connection Group Leadership Team

Bayta has spent most of her adult life overseas – 15 years in the UK with shorter stints in France and Russia. After several years back in her “passport country” of Germany (albeit in the very international city of Berlin), this past year she embarked on a new adventure and moved to Copenhagen, Denmark. A fresh start, in a new culture, learning a new language and a new ministry – life is certainly never dull! Being involved in equipping and coaching people as they serve cross-culturally is what she is most passionate about, along with building relationships with locals and expats from around the world who also call Copenhagen home.

&amp;amp;lt;a href=”https://velvetashes.com/author/baytas”&amp;amp;gt;Posts by Bayta &amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;gt;

×
Bayta Schwarz

Bayta Schwarz

Connection Group Leadership Team

Chris Wheeler

Logistics and Donor Development

Chris comes to Velvet Ashes after 7 years of developing and running a growing child sponsorship ministry in SE Asia. A proud Texan, she has made her home in the Midwest for the last 27 years.  Her heart for cross-cultural work began when her son and his family moved to Asia to pursue God’s calling. Chris loves to be behind the scenes, helping other shine. She brings passion for her work, desiring it to point to her Creator. When she is not working for Velvet Ashes she is supporting her pastor husband in Michigan and loving her 3 grown children and 6 grandkids.

×
Chris Wheeler

Chris Wheeler

Logistics and Donor Development

Cosette Wang

Content Creation

<span class=”il”>Cosette</span>’s life changed when she was called to teach English in Central China, shortly after graduating from college in 2013. What was supposed to have been a one-year stint turned into a 6+ year journey. She’s gone from teaching college to second grade to now teaching high schoolers in Eastern China. When she isn’t busy teaching and keeping up with lesson planning, she enjoys cooking, reading, and trying out new and delicious places to eat at. You can follow along with some of her adventures on her <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/cosettie_91/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”><strong>Instagram</strong></a> account.​

×
Cosette Wang

Cosette Wang

Content Creation

Rachel Kahindi

Book Club Co-Leader

Rachel can often be found reading, drinking coffee, or lying on a beach – or all three! She’s an American married to a Kenyan. They and their two sons live, worship, work, learn, and play in Kenya. Rachel shares bits of their lives on her blog and Instagram.

×
Rachel Kahindi

Rachel Kahindi

Book Club Co-Leader

Spring Davis

Instagram Team

Spring is a closet writer who enjoys blogging and reading to the light of her kindle. She is a mom of 4 children whom she homeschools. They serve Deaf and live in Belize. Spring is struggling through the process of learning her third language: ASL.

×
Spring Davis

Spring Davis

Instagram Team

Katelyn Comer

Instagram Team

I, along with my husband and two sweet kiddos, have the privilege of serving in the tiny island country of St Kitts & Nevis. We lead Celebrate Recovery ministries at our local church, in the prison, and with the juvenile detention center. In addition to CR, we get the opportunity to pour into the lives of veterinary and medical students who have come to the island for school.

Website // Instagram

×
Katelyn Comer

Katelyn Comer

Instagram Team

Maria Mullet

Writer

Maria has a blue passport (USA) but is currently living under a different red, white, and blue flag in Thailand’s deep South.  She works as an English teacher at a local university and is helping to launch a small English Center.  Maria is single but has nine nieces and nephews who she likes to brag on. She loves deep conversations, trying new things, being active, cooking, and is a bit of a fanatic when it comes to baseball.  Follow her on IG @howdymaria or read where she once blogged (and really wants to do so again) at marmaladejar.wordpress.com

Posts by Maria 

×
Maria Mullet

Maria Mullet

Writer

Laura Cerbus

Writer

Originally from Western Pennsylvania, Laura now lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children, where they are part of a local church revitalization. Her days are full of homeschooling, teaching English to immigrants, and learning to see and love her new home as Jesus does.

<a href=”http://lauracerbus.com/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”><strong>Website</strong></a>

<a href=”https://velvetashes.com/author/laurace/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”><strong>Posts by Laura</strong></a>

×
Laura Cerbus

Laura Cerbus

Writer

Monica F

Writer

In 2015, Monica was introduced to the Velvet Ashes community, where she experienced nourishment and meaningful soul care during a sabbatical. After serving in Africa and Asia for 17 years, Monica and her family are now settled down in the Pacific Northwest. She is a community health nursing instructor at Seattle Pacific University, and works with under-served communities in the greater Seattle area. She also continues to serve as a health consultant and adviser for several overseas agencies. Monica is passionate about promoting transparency and acceptance within the community of women serving overseas. Monica loves to hike, swim, teach nursing students, and write about her life in far off places. She considers doing life with her husband of 23 years and three awesome children the greatest adventure of all!

Posts by Monica

×
Monica F

Monica F

Writer

Kate Milosevic

Facebook Team

Kate grew up immersed in the British church, drinking copious amounts of tea and avoiding the quiche. After a stint in kids ministry she went to Serbia as a career pause but fell in love with a local. Her placement city doubles as her husbands childhood home, so it’s unsurprising she has a real heart for those who straddle the called to a place and the immigrant wife. Her main ministry is in writing kidmin material that is suitable for translation and building imaginary worlds with her young son.

Website

 

×
Kate Milosevic

Kate Milosevic

Facebook Team

Jenny Erlingsson

Writer

I am an author dwelling in Iceland with my Viking husband and four feisty children. After years of working with youth and women in a church setting, I am learning how to embrace what God unfolds in the land of fire and ice. You can follow along on Instagram and Milk and Honey Women.

×
Jenny Erlingsson

Jenny Erlingsson

Writer
 

Board of Directors

Kim Nease

President/Treasurer

×
Kim Nease

Kim Nease

President/Treasurer

Bayta Schwarz

Board Vice President

Bayta has spent most of her adult life overseas – 15 years in the UK with shorter stints in France and Russia. After several years back in her “passport country” of Germany (albeit in the very international city of Berlin), this past year she embarked on a new adventure and moved to Copenhagen, Denmark. A fresh start, in a new culture, learning a new language and a new ministry – life is certainly never dull! Being involved in equipping and coaching people as they serve cross-culturally is what she is most passionate about, along with building relationships with locals and expats from around the world who also call Copenhagen home.

&lt;a href=”https://velvetashes.com/author/baytas”&gt;&lt;strong&gt;Posts by Bayta&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/a&gt;

&amp;nbsp;

×
Bayta Schwarz

Bayta Schwarz

Board Vice President

Denise Beck

Executive Director
[email protected]

Being shaped by her years in S. Sudan, Denise’s heart grew for women who take the unknown and carve out beauty in all its forms.  When she was introduced to Velvet Ashes, she found a place that celebrated that beauty as well. Partnering with this team to provide connection and courage for women in their cross-cultural lives has been another reminder of the beautiful gifts God gives.  Her favorite places to be are anywhere her 4 kids are, next to her husband no matter what country, and anywhere that gets her close to the feet of Jesus.

Posts by Denise

×
Denise Beck

Denise Beck

Executive Director

Jenny Erlingsson

Board Secretary

I am an author dwelling in Iceland with my Viking husband and four feisty children. After years of working with youth and women in a church setting, I am learning how to embrace what God unfolds in the land of fire and ice. You can follow along on Instagram or Milk and Honey Women.

×
Jenny Erlingsson

Jenny Erlingsson

Board Secretary

Dr. Laura Chevalier Beer, PhD

Board Member

Dr. Laura Chevalier Beer is an independent scholar whose areas of expertise are Global Christianity and the history of Christian missions, with a particular focus on the pentecostal and holiness movements. She is especially interested in the relationship between spiritual formation and intercultural ministry. Dr. Chevalier Beer has spent time on five continents and served and taught in a variety of intercultural settings including three years in Kenya working in holistic ministry with children. She has been involved in programs focused on refugees and immigrants, international students, and missionary kid education. Dr. Chevalier Beer loves teaching and is passionate about seeing the Body of Christ participate in God’s mission of reconciliation both locally and globally. In her free time, she enjoys being out in God’s creation with her husband, Austin, and discovering beautiful places to explore with friends and family.

×
Dr. Laura Chevalier Beer, PhD

Dr. Laura Chevalier Beer, PhD

Board Member

Carol Scheuerman

Board Member

Living and working in Asia for 23 years profoundly shaped Carol as a wife, mother, friend, teacher and professional counselor. Knowing God and being known by him sustained her through joyous, beautiful moments and valleys of deep loss and grief in cross-cultural ministry. Carol was privileged to raise four amazing daughters overseas and watch them grow as they embraced their identity as TCKs. Carol and her husband welcomed four wonderful sons-in-law to the family as well as eight grandchildren. Life has come full circle for her, as they now have a daughter and her family working in Asia. As empty-nesters, Carol and her husband have a goal of playing disc golf in all 50 states of the US along with investing in grandchildren. Carol currently works full-time as a licensed therapist and is involved in the mobilization team and teaching ministry in her local church. Carol’s passion is to help others flourish in this broken world.

×
Carol Scheuerman

Carol Scheuerman

Board Member
 

Past Contributors

Kimberly Todd

Submissions Editor, Writer

Posts by Kimberly

 

×
Kimberly Todd

Kimberly Todd

Submissions Editor, Writer

Amy Young

Cofounder
[email protected]

Amy Young wants to help people find the sweet spot between burn out and rust out with ongoing personal and professional development. Founder of Global Trellis, co-founder of Velvet Ashes, she personally blogs at Messy Middle, and is the author of four books (Looming TransitionsLove, Amy, Enjoying Newsletters, and Getting Started. You too can live in your sweet spot.

Posts by Amy // Website // Pinterest //Twitter // Instagram  // Facebook

×
Amy Young

Amy Young

Cofounder

Patty S

Board Member
[email protected]

×
Patty S

Patty S

Board Member

Jayna Gallagher

Board Member

×
Jayna Gallagher

Jayna Gallagher

Board Member

Karen Huber

Graphic Designer and Writer

Karen Huber is a Kansas girl living with her husband and three children in Dublin, Ireland where they serve through the local church and creative communities. When she’s not at home with her kiddos, she’s out drinking coffee with friends, writing in libraries, and laughing louder than is culturally appropriate. You can find Karen’s thoughts on motherhood, marriage, culture and faith at karenohuber.com.

Posts by Karen // Website // Twitter // Instagram

×
Karen Huber

Karen Huber

Graphic Designer and Writer
 

Interested in submitting a guest post for Velvet Ashes?  See our submission guidelines.