Life Impact Staff
Wendy has been with LI for many years and is our own in-house donor care person!
Larry and Jean handle many operational and administrative projects! They truly understand member care.
Erin Bruzda is our Communications and Promotion coordinator.
Board of Directors
Terry & Marilyn Braught
Chairman and Treasurer
Terry and Marilyn met while on a summer mission trip in 1981 while in college. Terry was called to teach in public schools in Oregon and is still continuing that mission field today part time.
Marilyn wanted to do medical mission work so her degree is in Microbiology. While raising their four sons, she worked part time in hospital laboratories and volunteered at church and in the community. With children raised, more time is available to work to impact lives both professionally and volunteering.
Together we work with pre-marital and troubled marriage couples on skills in communication, conflict resolution, finances and other topics that impact their marriages.
We have been involved in missions by going on several in country and overseas mission trips with our home church since 1984. Each trip has taught us more about how we all need Jesus and how necessary it is to rest and gain perspective in order to be effective at home and in work.
We see Life Impact as a ministry that our life experiences very much align with as we reach out to those around us with our talents, resources, and gifts to strengthen and encourage others and to continue doing all we can until Jesus calls us home.
Founder and President Emeritus of Life Impact - Board Secretary
Dave & Sheri Grissen were involved in Foreign Missions and Humanitarian Aid work for over 30 years, they lived in and raised their family in Europe and Central Asia for 20 of those. Dave strongly believes that only an intimate relationship with Jesus can remedy the personal and major issues facing people around the globe.
Finance Committee board member
My wife (Marjie) and I have been involved in encouraging missionaries who are supported by our church for over 20 years where I serve as a teaching elder. We have often taken trips to visit our missionaries in their host countries and to learn firsthand the challenges they face in the field. Our youngest daughter served three years as a missionary to Poland. We have always tried to encourage our missionaries who come home on furlough, allowing them to relax and take time to enjoy the beautiful area we live in. When we were invited to a Life Impact fundraiser, we came to understand the critical work of Oasis retreats for missionaries and Christian workers. I desire to see this ministry grow worldwide and be an even greater blessing to our missionaries and Christian workers both here and abroad.
Doreen "Sam" Button
fundraising committee - board member
I’m Doreen Button, aka Sam. I am author Randy Alcorn’s staff editor. I love Jesus, enjoy my grandkids, reading, traveling, and making new friends.
Last fall, I attended a fundraising dinner for Life Impact. Two things happened there that have changed my life. One, I heard a statistic that appalled me: A majority of missionaries who spend years training and garnering support for full-time mission work leave the mission field burnt out after 5 years or less. And two, the president of Life Impact asked for some of us to consider joining its Board of Directors. Twenty-plus years ago, long before I’d heard of Life Impact, I felt a desire to purchase a vacation home in order to provide missionaries with a peaceful place to rest and be refreshed while they were on furlough. That dream, though not fulfilled in the way I had envisioned, never left me and is now being fulfilled in a different way. I accepted a position on the Board because Life Impact exists to facilitate exactly what I had hoped to do, but on a much larger scale.
Larry’s first cross-cultural experience was serving in Medical Group Administration as a clinic manager in New Mexico, a ministry serving the American Indians.
In 1984 the Lord called Larry and his wife (Jean) to serve overseas as Business Administrator for Action International Ministries in the Philippines. Then in 1994 they returned to the USA and joined Paraclete Mission Group and still serve with them today. Being seconded to various mission organizations, they have lived and served in six other countries as well as the MS Doulos – a missionary training ship.
Serving in Chiang Mai, Thailand at The Well Member Care Center, gave Larry and Jean a passion for member care. This led to an invitation for Larry to serve on the Founding Board of the Olive Tree Counseling Center in Antalya, Turkey. Presently, he is assisting with administrative projects for Life Impact.
Larry and Jean live in Mesa, Arizona and are easily accessible with the modern means of communication. They have three grown sons and five grandchildren.
Eric’s first exposure to missions was in 2006 with a short term trip to Russia and then in subsequent years serving on the missions board at Sunset Presbyterian from 2007-2011. In 2010 and 2012 he and his family had the opportunity to serve missionary families at a sending agency's semi-annual conferences held in Turkey. Having a heart for missionaries and their families serving on the board of Life Impact is great way to continue to serve. Eric graduated from Oregon State University in 1993 with a degree in accounting and finance and currently works as a Corporate Controller.
Paul is happily married to Katie, his wife of 8 years and father to three rambunctious children. His experience with missions is through Katie who served in Poland as a missionary three years before they were married. Through Katie’s experience returning to the States and the stresses she experienced while on the field, Paul had the vision to create a safe, restful place for missionaries to be served.
When on a survey trip while he and his family were prayerfully considering serving as missionaries, they stumbled upon a Life Impact Oasis in Slovakia doing the very thing he felt called to do. While it is still their goal to start an Oasis of their own with Life Impact, they are waiting on the Lord and raising their young family until God makes it possible. In the meantime, he is happy to serve the board of Directors for Life Impact.
Karen has a heart for God’s Kingdom work around the world. After she served short term in Mexico and the Philippines, she and her family spent 23 years in Cameroon, West Africa involved in Bible translation and missionary care. She visited her first Oasis in 2007, and now has been back to several more. She found them to be places of rest and comfort.
David & Theresa Knauss
President, International Director
David and Theresa have 20+ years of cross-cultural experience living and working in Central Asia church planting and leading a development organization to accomplish a variety of services including English, orphanage, business development, medical, cultural exchanges and humanitarian aid projects. David serves as president and reports directly to the board of directors – Theresa is a board member.