Our Team

Speaker

Michele serves as the orphan care pastor at Overlake Christian Church near Seattle and is the founder and emcee, along with her husband Andrew, of The Refresh Conference (www.therefreshconference.org).  Michele and Andrew built their family through adoption and reside near Seattle, WA with their three children

Retreat Staff
Thora attended California State University in Chico, earning dual purpose teaching credentials in the graduate school program.  She and her husband adopted daughters, first a baby, then a five year-old with multiple disabilities. She left public school teaching and taught their girls at home between many surgeries, recoveries and the necessary but demanding weekly therapy.  Now, their oldest adopted child is 19 and in college. Their youngest at 18, reads and writes as a kindergartner, happily doing her best. The girls names are Grace and Joy. Truly God loves beyond measure! It is with great delight Thora shares her passion mentoring other adoptive and foster mothers with art and craft relaxation. See you soon at our upcoming retreat!
Site Director

Melissa lives on a small farmette in PA. She will be married for 14 years this summer, and currently has 4 kids…2 bio, and 2 foster. She and her husband have been fostering 4.5 years and have had a total of 11 foster kids in their home. She loves hiking, cooking and baking, spending time with her family…including dates with her kids, and serving other foster/adoptive moms.

Melissa is very excited to bring Rejuvenate to the Pennsylvania area!

Ever since she was a little girl, Kristin has had a heart burdened by the plight of orphans. She felt certain that God had called her to adopt, and she and her husband had even begun researching agencies, when life threw them a curveball in the form of their beautiful, precious firstborn daughter, who was officially diagnosed with autism last year. This unexpected shift in plans left the door to adoption closed for her family (at least for now) but fortunately God opened another in the process: a way to become involved in preventing children from being orphaned in the first place! Kristin’s work with Trades of Hope is keeping families together all over the world by creating sustainable, dignified work for mothers at risk of abandoning their children to orphanages. Last year Kristin was able to travel to Haiti with Trades of Hope and spent a week with the artisans she partners with in Port au Prince, where she was blessed to witness first-hand the lives that are being transformed by this beautiful partnership. And the greatest blessing is that Kristin has found a way to make an impact around the world while staying at home to care for her daughters through this season of life. She is so excited to share with you how what was discarded is being turned into beauty that is keeping families together in Haiti through the creation of cereal box beads, and how you can be part of the work of orphan prevention around the world!

I currently work at Refreshing Mountain as the Animal Program Manager and Riding Instructor. I’ve lived in Lancaster, PA my entire life and although I’ve traveled quite a bit, there is just no place like home. I love working with horses and dabbling in cooking, music, photography, and artsy things…just to name a few. 🙂

One of my favorite quotes is Proverbs 3:5-7 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”

Hello! My name is Abi Dougherty. I have been married to my husband Sean for almost 13 years now. We have been blessed with four beautiful children and one daughter in heaven, who we were blessed to carry for five months, and we are expecting our 6th child in May! I feel so undeservedly blessed to be living my dream as a wife and mom. It takes a lot of sacrifice and dedication, but it is so rewarding. I am passionate about leading women in worship, singing and songwriting. I love serving the women at the Good Samaritan Shelter in Ephrata by leading worship once a month. Last year I was given the joy of writing a song specifically for their benefit banquet. My single, I Belong, is about the life of many of us. It’s about finding a place we belong. I believe that place is in Christ! I am so excited about the opportunity to lead you-an amazing group of sacrificial moms who give so so much of yourselves day in and day out to serve the children in the foster care system, as well as, for many of you, your biological children, as well. I admire your sacrifice and service and applaud the gift you offer this world through your loving parenting

Each mom who attends the Rejuvenate Retreat is assigned at least one person to pray for them. Beth will be coordinating prayer warriors for the Pennsylvania Rejuvenate.

Beth is a “city mouse” living in Lancaster County, PA. Born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, she fell in love with a country boy- and married him 7 years ago! They live on his family’s farmette with their toddler son. She’s got some great stories about goats, chickens and cows from a city girl’s point of view!

Beth and her husband became foster parents in 2015 and adopted their son in 2016. They feel God’s call to continue in foster care and adoption as a lifelong ministry. They are excited to see who else God will bring into their family! For now, she is enjoying her dream job as a stay-at-home-mom.

Beth is looking forward to the Rejuvenate Retreat, with hopes of expanding her foster/adoptive mom circle of friends. It is a joy to be able to serve as the Prayer Director! “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18 (NLT)

Melissa Drew was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has been happily married for nearly 7 years to her husband, Brian. Melissa & Brian have had a strong desire to start a family of their own since early on in their marriage, but the Lord has had different plans of what their family would look like. After years of trying, and enduring two ectopic pregnancies, the Father has recently blessed them with becoming Foster Parents for a beautiful little girl. Fun Fact: Melissa’s husband, Brian, is Jennie Owens’ brother!

Melissa is a stay-at-home wife and foster mother, as well as an Independent Distributor for Young Living Essential Oils. She also enjoys party planning, decorating, arts & crafts, and is a die-hard thrift shopper! With a knack for aesthetics, Melissa brings her savvy style to the Rejuvenate events, along with her nurturing spirit & gift of hospitality.

Angie is a Licensed Professional counselor and holds a Master’s Degree from Lakeland College. Angie currently is employed at Rawhide Youth and Family Counseling working in the Appleton and New London Offices. Prior to starting her work as a counselor, Angie was a special education teacher for 9 years. Angie’s passion is working with individuals and families ages 4 through adult. She has experience working with PTSD, RAD, depression, anxiety, life adjustment issues, behavioral challenges, difficult family dynamics, self-esteem issues, ADHD, and grief/loss. Angie enjoys integrating biblical truths and principles into her work as a counselor. She enjoys using creative and interactive treatment modalities including equine assisted psychotherapy, Brainspotting (a trauma processing technique), and play therapy. Angie integrates positive psychology, trauma informed care, cognitive behavioral therapy, client-centered therapy, DBT skills, and other techniques into treatment.

Angie is excited to be a part of the Rejuvenate retreat. She has had a heart for foster care and adoption since she was 9 years old when her family was blessed with their first foster child who was then adopted. Angie considers it a privilege to be able to offer counsel and Brainspotting to moms at the conference.

Kristen Berry
Speaker

Kristin is an author, blogger, speaker, adoptive mother and former foster parent. She is the co-creator, along with her husband Mike, of the blog www.confessionsofanadoptiveparent.com which is read by more than 25,000 people around the world, every month. In 2015 she co-authored the book The Adoptive Parent Toolbox along with Mike. They have been married for 16 years and have 8 children, all of whom are adopted. They reside in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Indiana. You can connect with Kristen on: Her Blog – www.confessionsofanadoptiveparent.com

Co-Founder

Lynn is a Tri-Cities native. He graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago in 1994 and studied at the University of Wisconsin before beginning his ministry to at-risk youth at Rawhide Boys Ranch in New London Wisconsin. After five years doing residential care, Lynn accepted the call to become the youth pastor at Appleton Alliance Church, where he lead one of the largest ministries to Jr. High Students in that state . It would be only four years however, before he felt the tug on his heart to return to residential care for some of the neediest children in the world…those without Parents.

In 2005, Lynn and his new wife, Jennie, moved from Wisconsin to Florida where they lived in & opened a new emergency shelter for boys. Their second resident was a six year old boy that had been in and out of shelters his entire life. One year later Lynn and Jennie moved to Washington State to raise pursue their passion of adoption and that boy and his 10 year old sister became Jennie & Lynn’s first children. Just 2 days after their adoption was finalized, they welcomed their third child into their home, a 10-year-old boy from Washington.

Combined, Jennie and Lynn have lived with and worked closely with over 100 children in foster & group care over the past 20 years. Their passion to help abused and neglected children prompted them to found Forever Homes. As adoptive parents to three older foster children, They continue to receive on-the-job training in helping children heal every day. Their vision is to make sure that every abused, abandoned and orphaned child in the world will have a permanent safe and loving home.

Currently Lynn is the co-owner of Canyon Lakes Family Counseling Center and the Director of the Forever Homes Child Trauma Treatment Center, a collaborative effort between Forever Homes and Canyon Lakes Family Counseling Center.

Training and Certifications

Lynn received his Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Regent University. He completed an 84 hour Post-Graduate Certificate in Attachment-Focused Therapy taught by Deborah Gray, MSW, MPA sponsored by Cascadia Training and Nurturing Attachments.

Additionally Lynn studied under Dr. Bruce Perry, MD and the Child Trauma Academy to receive Phase 1 certification in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics. The ChildTrauma Academy acknowledges that Lynn Owens has completed NMT Training Certification through the Phase I level. For more information on NMT Training Certification and the NMT Assessment Process, Click Here.

As a member of the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Lynn has received advanced training in the treatment of sexual assault and abuse.

Lynn is a Child Mental Health Specialist (CMHS) as defined under the Washington Administrative Code  388-865-0150.

Lynn is Board Certified (NCC) by the National Board of Certified Counselors.

Jennie Owens
Co-Founder & Speaker

Jennie has worked with children of all ages for over 20 years and is the author of Dancing with a Porcupine, a real life parable about living successfully as the parent of special needs children.. In addition to her MA in Education, Jennie has received extensive training in therapeutic parenting, trauma, and attachment in adoption. She has worked in multiple group home settings with abused and abandoned children and in several settings providing support for foster and adoptive parents, including doing foster parent Recruitment and Retention through Fostering Together and working as a foster parent trainer for the state through the Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence.

Most of Jennie’s experience, however, comes from the fact that she and her husband adopted three deeply wounded foster children nine years ago, who were 8, 10 and 10 when they came to live with them. All of her children have progressed leaps and bounds further than professionals ever expected, and now as teenagers they continue to provide her with on-the-job training every day.

Along with training foster parents, Jennie provides coaching services through Canyon Lakes Family Counseling for parents wanting to find more effective ways to parent challenging children, as well as parents who have experienced their own trauma through parenting them. Jennie is currently working on a book called “Dancing with a Porcupine.” It chronicles her challenging experiences in parenting their children and her journey back to health and sanity after being told by a medical professional, “If you don’t get rid of your stressors, you’re going to die.”

Jennie speaks at adoption and foster care conferences, retreats and workshops and leads foster and adoptive mom retreats. If you’d like to contact her about speaking at an event, please email her at [email protected]

Site Director
Retreat Staff
Retreat Staff
Retreat Staff
Master of Ceremonies
The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.

Jenny Isom is an adoptive Trauma Mamma to their special needs, 14 year old Ukrainian Princess, Mirra. She is also the Mom to 3 wild heathens… ehum… children: Linkon, 8, Hank, 4, and Ethel, 1. John and Jenny have been married for 10 years… hmmm…. actually that’s a lie…. 12 years, I think!!! Yes 12 perfect, amazing, blissful … scratch that. 12 years. Through all of the disagreements, tears and laughter…oh yeah, and that one time she threw a vacuum cleaner down the stairs to prove a point when in all reality they were just out a vacuum cleaner…urgh!…they have grown together to become a loyal, awesome best friend (with benefits, Wink. Wink) team and love each other unconditionally as they embark in the chaotic life of parenting. She and her little family live in Williston, North Dakota. In all situations that a Trauma Mamma goes through, she strives to live by a favorite quote “The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.”

Retreat Staff
Claudia Deardorff
Massage Therapist
Trauma-Informed Yoga Instructor
I love the way God brings beauty from ashes, and I want to be someone who partners with Him in that work

Abby practices trauma-informed yoga, and will provide moms an opportunity for healing movement!

I love the way God brings beauty from ashes, and I want to be someone who partners with Him in that work. I’m a foster mom (and hopefully one-day, will be an adoptive mom as well!) In 2011, I received my Masters in Social work and after studying trauma, I’ve realized that yoga and creative expression have a unique role to play in the healing process. I started Flourishing Hearts and currently work with incarcerated youth providing trauma therapy via yoga. I also lead classes and workshops for trauma survivors in Colorado Springs and all over through online workshops. You can read more about me and my work at www.flourishinghearts.org.

George and Wendi Miller
Worship Leaders

George and Wendi Miller, from Maple Valley, WA, are a husband and wife team. They have been married for 14 years in March, and have 3 kids. Together they have held various ministerial positions such as Young Adults/Young Married’s Pastors, Small Groups Leaders, Worship Leaders as well as holding various church staff positions. Wendi, who is a graduate of Northwest University, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music. She has been actively involved in leading worship for the last 17 years. George has 3 year of Bible Collage for Pastoral Ministries. George has experience of 29 years of worship ministry, as well 23 years of various Pastoral positions.

George and Wendi are very passionate for what God has called them too. They have a passion to speak life and healing into those in need. George and Wendi have an extended passion to see people free; to experience God’s presence, love, and restoration through the power of the Holy Spirit in worship and teaching as well all the ministries that they put their hands too.

Comedy Sportz
Improv Troupe

A ComedySportz® Match is an awesomely exciting comedy show played as a sport!

If you come to see ComedySportz®, you’ll see one Referee and two teams of Players, one red and one blue– competing against each other in improv games based on the suggestions of the fans watching the match!  There are seven to ten games per match, with the occasional willing volunteer joining us up on the field to help the hilarity ensue!

Everything is made up totally on the spot.  Nothing is rehearsed.  Our Players are trained to be quick-witted, funny and compete as hard as they can to make sure the fans in our audience are laughing.”