Executive Director, Founder & PresidentJamie@ashasrefuge.org
With the support of her family and church, Jamie Jones has developed a unique understanding of refugee urban resettlement. She has worked since 2009 in the Memphis, TN area face to face and in the homes of disadvantaged refugees successfully building lasting friendships. Jamie is well traveled. She has lived among those she has humbly served in poor villages and jungles with cultures, religions, and people groups much different from her own. Jamie has over 15 years leadership experience in non-profit and private sector work with a passion first for Christ and then for people of all cultures and backgrounds. The many hardships and challenges throughout her childhood and young adult life have proven to strengthen and encourage her while giving her a driven and understanding heart to care for those who struggle to find hope. Jamie has 16 years of professional experience productively working in high stress, fast paced environments directly under pastoral, executive and presidential officers. She takes the initiative to tackle problems creatively and enjoys serving others. Jamie founded Asha’s Refuge in 2011, increasing her opportunity to serve and share her hope with all people but particularly with the least of the least of these.
Vice President & Chairman of the BoardDeborah@ashasrefuge.org
Deborah Eaton served as Director of the IRS Employee Resource Center from May, 2004 until her retirement in August, 2008. Prior to that position she served in a variety of IRS roles in administrative services, help desks and taxation, serving both internal and external customers. Throughout her adult life, Deborah has volunteered with a variety of nonprofit organizations including churches, International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, MERC Foundation, Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief, Tennessee Baptist Chaplains, and Asha’s Refuge since 2011. Serving with Asha’s Refuge brings her joy because she loves seeing how God is at work in the lives of clients, volunteers and in her own life. She feels blessed beyond measure by the loving support of her husband, daughter and extended family as well as her home church, Highpoint Collierville.
Treasurer & Board MemberErica@ashasrefuge.org
Erica serves vital roles in Asha's Refuge related to finance and fundraising. Born in Little Rock, AR, she has lived in the Memphis Area since 1990, graduating from Collierville High School in 2000 and attending University of Memphis (Political Science/History). She has certifications for over 2000 hours of Drug and Alcohol Education and Training and worked with the Shelby County Sheriff Dept. to start a Drug and Alcohol Education program in the schools. She has been a member of an United States Senate Advisory Committee on Drug and Law Enforcement. Erica is an active Member of High Point Collierville, along with her husband and son, and has a passion for serving refugees through Asha's Refuge. She also has worked at Tencarva Machinery for over 10 years, using her skills in office management, accounting, sales, customer service, engineering, project management and administration.
Driver & Board Member
David is a graduate of Carson- Newman University, with a B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics. He served in the US Navy, completing Naval Flight Training. His service includes search and rescue missions, Special Services, Helicopter Mine Countermeasures, squadron personnel officer, quality control officer, and recruiter. He served in the US, Southeast Asia, Egypt and the Mediterranean. After retiring from the Navy he worked in corporate aviation including domestic and international flights for Federal Express. David and his wife Barbara are active at Highpoint Church Collierville. He is inspired to serve with Asha's Refuge by these two verses:
Matthew 9:37-38 “The Harvest is truly plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.”
Volunteer Coordinator Assistant & Board Member
Henrietta brings extensive social work experience to Asha's Refuge, with special expertise in the areas of immunization, women's health, and finances. Her heart's desire is to serve those in need and to show God's love to everyone she meets. Her work with Asha's Refuge enables her to use her many talents and skills to help refugees obtain vital services and to love them like Jesus does. She and her husband Percy are active in Fellowship Memphis Church. Henrietta enjoys Percy’s love and support in her service with Asha's Refuge.
Office Manager and Board MemberJenny@ashasrefuge.org
Jenny is a native Memphian who’s passion is to serve the least of these in her city. She has served locally with Memphis Athletic Ministries, Manna House, and Memphis Union Mission, among other local opportunities. Outside of Memphis, she has experienced other cultures serving on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico, and abroad on several trips to Tegucigalpa, Honduras as well. She especially loves the idea of sharing the love of Christ with the nations right here in Memphis through Asha’s Refuge. Jenny and her husband Scott are active members of Highpoint East, serving in the student ministry there, and she is a mom of two teenagers.
Family Services Assistant
Elizabeth Zahedi is a native Memphian and 1969 graduate of the University of Memphis. She has taught in the primary grades, as well as teaching high school English and Spanish. She spent several years in Iran where she taught English as a second language for the Iranian Air Force Language Center under the auspices of the American Defense Language Institute. Her last teaching job in the Middle East was with Telemedia, Inc., a teaching subsidiary of Bell Helicopter, Inc.
Returning to the USA in the late 1970’s Elizabeth began her career as a case manager with the Tennessee Department of Human Services from which she retired. Along the way, Elizabeth has counted it an honor to serve the refugee community. She has worked with South East Asian boat people, Iraqi refugees from the first Gulf War, Rwandan genocide survivors, and Iranian Bahai refugees. She believes that as a Christian, the best way to show the love of Christ is to demonstrate His love.
Elizabeth continues to serve as missions director at Hope Apostolic Church,and also as an adult Sunday School class teacher. She also crochets for the shut-ins and hospitalized of the church. Her greatest desire is to “occupy” until Jesus comes.
Dr. Joseph Weems
Medical Civil Surgeon
Joseph L. Weems, MD, partners with Asha’s Refuge to provide required immigration health exams for refugees when it is time for them to apply for permanent resident status. His services enable Asha’s Refuge to provide these required exams at low cost to our clients, and to assist clients in applying for necessary immigration documents. Dr. Weems holds a certification of Civil Surgeon, which enables him to provide this service. He is also certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, the American Board of Hospice/Palliative Medicine, Board of Hospice Medical Directors, and is a Fellow with the American Academy of Hospice/Palliative Medicine. Dr. Weems has a diverse background in medicine and is active in medical missions outside of the US.
Fundraising Developmemt Coordinatorchris@ashasrefuge.org
Chris is an MPA graduate of the University of Memphis with years of fundraising experience with both local and national nonprofit organizations. Since giving his life to Christ in 2015 through experiences and conversations in his college ministry, Chris has grown greatly in his faith in Jesus and his love for the oppressed and persecuted. He is active in local missions, volunteering as a minister and mentor to both college students and middle-schoolers in Memphis. Chris has a heart to serve those in need as well as to help develop more servants in our communal walk with Christ. He hopes to use his platform at Asha’s Refuge to share the gospel and the love of Jesus through his fundraising and outreach efforts as well as through directly serving our clients, staff, volunteers, and community with their needs.
Kathryn (Katy) Mabie
Nurse / Office Assistant
Katy Mabie was raised in Memphis and is a graduate of The University of Tennessee Health Science Center's School of Nursing. She is a Registered Nurse and worked in Intensive Care for seven years in downtown Memphis, during which time she was blessed to be able to love and serve patients and their families in the spirit of Christ. Katy followed her mother, Karen Morrise, into service at Asha’s Refuge and discovered a new passion for loving and serving all of the nations. Katy uses her background in nursing to assist with medical exams and paperwork for Immigration Services. Her expertise in computer skills enables her to help in the office too and she loves to fill in wherever she is needed. She is especially grateful for the time she gets to spend with Asha’s Next Generation students.
Community Relations and International Impact Pastor
Pastor Imani Bashombe is a native of Congo, a refugee and now a US Citizen. He is Pastor of Christ Resurrected Missionary Center, and also the founder of faith based ministries in Congo, Rwanda and Kenya to serve displaced and persecuted people.
Pastor Imani played professional soccer in Rwanda, Kenya, Spain, Mexico, and uses his skills here in Memphis to lead a Congolese community soccer team. He enjoys playing and teaching the game of soccer which allows him to also mentor teens.
Most recently Pastor Imani serves as an Asha’s Refuge community relations representative and as an interpreter of several languages. He helps clients to obtain needed services and learn valuable life skills. He is also serving with Asha’s Refuge’s International Impact Missions program to mentor community leaders and bring the hope message of Jesus through various humanitarian projects to those areas where refugees are living. Pastor Imani is currently working to provide mentoring and support to refugee led organizations such as the Me For You Organization in the Kiziba refugee camp in Rwanda.
Community Relations Advocate and Interpretor
Although Nadine’s family is Burundi, she was born and lived in Tanzania until she and her family came to Memphis as refugees in December 2007. After attending Southwest Community College, she will start MCUTS with Union University in the fall, studying Social Work. Her work with Asha's Refuge gives her many opportunities to give back to the community by loving and serving people, and making disciples of all nations like Jesus commanded. Nadine has served her community in many ways at Christ Church, Lester community center, Service Over Self, Camp Penuel, Binghampton Community Garden, and Binghampton Christain Academy. Coming from a big family, Nadine is happiest being around people, loving and serving them. Nadine is now an American citizen and hopes to one day go to Africa for a visit. Her favorite verse is Romans 8:28: God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
AJ Kamer is a graduate of Belhaven University with a B.A. in Biblical Studies as well as an Advanced EMT in the state of Tennessee. Although he grew up in Michigan, he and his wife have lived in Memphis since 2010. AJ is currently employed by Crosslink Memphis, which supplies medical mission teams with medical supplies and low-cost pharmaceuticals. He uses his medical background and passion for the Gospel to be shared with all nations to serve on medical mission trips. A significant reason he serves with Asha’s Refuge is that we have the opportunity to share the Gospel with nations without leaving the city.
Mary Lou Baker
Board Member, Teacher and Mentor
Mary Lou’s love for the Lord started at an early age and she has developed a strong relationship with Jesus. She desires for everyone to know Him too, and especially loves sharing the gospel with preschoolers at Highpoint Church. She completed two education degrees at the University of Memphis, a B.S. in Education, and an M.S. specializing in Reading. She applied those degrees in her distinguished career teaching elementary students in Memphis City Schools (grades 2-5) until her retirement in 2004. Starting in 2014, Mary Lou has taught a class in the Asha’s Refuge Life and Language program for refugee and asylee adults, helping many adults learn valuable life skills and conversational English. She also mentors young mothers and their babies, assisting in their access to medical care and sharing wisdom about safe child care practices. She loves the people she serves in Asha’s Refuge and finds many blessings in the relationships she builds with her students and young moms. Mary Lou also invites her friends into the special experience of serving with Asha’s Refuge, which has resulted in many other wonderful volunteers joining in serving refugees and asylees.