Staff & Board

Cameron & Kaitlyn Mullens

Cameron & Kaitlyn Mullens

President / Founder | Director of Operations / Founder

Cameron was born and raised in Dallas, TX. He completed his Bachelor’s of Psychology from the University of Texas at Dallas, and his Master’s of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He has been volunteering with refugees since 2006, and officially working with them since 2010. He and Kaitlyn founded For the Nations Refugee Outreach in 2011. He enjoys getting to know the families, working with the refugee men, and running all the ins and outs of non-profit ministry. He and Kaitlyn have 4 children.

Kaitlyn was also born and raised in Dallas, TX. She completed her Bachelor’s of Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M University. Kaitlyn taught kindergarten in Richardson ISD from 2006-2009, and had many refugee students in her classes. She spent time volunteering with the refugee families of these students, and in 2009 she decided to begin working with refugees full time so that she could help educate entire refugee families. Kaitlyn enjoys working alongside Cameron and being a mother to their children!

Christy Gehlbach

Christy Gehlbach

Director of Development

Christy grew up in Houston and received her undergraduate degree from Baylor University. Upon graduation, Christy worked on Capitol Hill, ultimately becoming the Chief of Staff for Chairman Jack Fields (TX). After participating in the passage of major telecommunications and securities laws, Christy returned to Texas to begin a career in management at SBC Communications. When her son was born, Christy traded the workplace for many volunteer opportunities in her church, school and community. Christy was drawn to For the Nations after a friend’s introduction and her church’s support of the ministry. Volunteering as a teacher in the GED class, Christy made many new friends and quickly came to love the ministry and the people it serves. Desiring to devote her experience and energies to help the refugees, Christy recently joined the staff as Director of Development. In her free time, Christy enjoys reading, travel, being outdoors, and spending time with her husband, Mark, and son, Grant.

 

Chrys Mundy

Chrys Mundy

Director of Community Relations

Chrys Mundy and her family volunteered at the FTNRO Christmas Store in 2015 and she fell in love with the people she met that day. She showed up the following week to assist in an English class, later began teaching ESL classes, and then eventually joined our staff as Director of Community Relations. Chrys was born and raised in Abilene, Texas, and completed her Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies at Texas A&M University. She taught Reading, Social Studies, American History, Geography, and Contemporary World Cultures in the Richardson ISD for nine years. Teaching English, writing, speaking, building relationships with refugees, networking and linking them to the community, and helping them tell their stories are just a few of the things she loves most. Chrys is married to Mike and they have six children.

Tristan Guthrie

Tristan Guthrie

Director of Adult Programs / ESL Instructor

Tristan was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1999 he married his high school sweetheart Robin with whom he has three children: Noah, Claire, and Josie. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies from Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque, IA and a Master’s in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He has 10 years of experience working with the youth at Cedar Valley Bible Church and teaching at Cedar Valley Christian School. He began working with refugees through youth group trips to Dallas in 2009 and 2012. He is excited about using his education, experience, and sense of humor to minister to the refugees in the DFW area.

Stephen Buerger

Stephen Buerger

Director of Language Instruction / ESL Instructor

Stephen grew up in Warr Acres (the Big WA), OK, a small suburb of Oklahoma City. He received his BA in Spanish from the University of Central Oklahoma and his MA in TESL/Linguistics from Oklahoma State University. He worked in several international contexts prior to joining the For the Nations team, including the international communities at university, refugees communities in OKC, and various travels abroad. He loves language and being in the classroom with students. Stephen married his beautiful bride Elizabeth, who is also from OKC, in October of 2013. They have one son, Samuel. Elizabeth graduated with a bachelor’s in architecture from Oklahoma State University and loves design. Their shared hobbies include reading, arting, playing and listening to music, cooking, and eating.

Sarah & Jake Waid

Sarah & Jake Waid

Director of Acculturation | Bible Instruction / Citizenship

Sarah was born and raised just off the banks of the mighty Mississippi in Burlington, Iowa. Since finishing her coursework toward a degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services at Iowa State University in December of 2013, Sarah has been an active advocate for foster youth and the eradication of human trafficking in Iowa with Youth and Shelter Services. Sarah looks forward to using her skills and resources to impact the refugee community in her new Dallas home. Sarah enjoys being creative, working and learning beside Jake, and quoting Home Alone at any given opportunity.

Jake hails from the town of Jewell, Iowa. He completed his undergraduate studies at John Brown University with a degree in Biblical and Theological Studies. While spending time pursuing a degree, he also spent time pursuing his lovely bride, Sarah. Jake began working with refugees as a counselor at East Iowa Bible Camp and spent the summer of 2012 as a programs intern at For the Nations. He is excited to jump into newly-wed life with Sarah while serving together in the refugee community. Jake will join the team at For the Nations while attending Redeemer Seminary.

Michael Funderburk

Michael Funderburk

Welcome Team Coordinator / ESL Instructor

Michael was born in Dallas and has lived in the Metroplex area for most of his life. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University and a Master’s in English from the University of Dallas. Since then, he has taught literature, history, and theology to middle and high school students. From 2009-2011, he lived with his family in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia while working with orphans and vulnerable children. This time in one of the poorest countries in the world opened his eyes to the experience of society’s most vulnerable—the orphan, the widow, and the refugee—while also helping him know better the God who makes himself vulnerable in Christ. Michael is married to Jana, an art teacher at a local private school. They have two daughters and one son. When he’s not serving with For the Nations, Michael enjoys reading, writing, basketball (watching and playing), quiet walks in the early morning, and spending time with his family.

 

Brian Hogan

Brian Hogan

Coordinator of Trauma Healing and Biblical Counseling / ESL Instructor

Brian was born and raised in Dublin, GA and has lived in Utah and Philadelphia before moving to Dallas. He received a B.A. in philosophy from Mercer University in Macon, GA and a Master’s of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary in which he concentrated in biblical counseling. After graduating from Westminster in 2014, he served as a pastoral intern with Mercy Presbyterian Church, Dallas, TX. Brian is married to the wonderful Simpson Hogan—his better half—who is a Dallas native. Simpson also graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary with a Master’s of Art in Biblical Counseling. They have two children, Bennett and Charlotte. Brian is excited to build relationship with the refugees by walking along side them and learning their stories. When not serving in ministry or spending time with his family, Brian enjoys running and being outdoors.

Todd Linquist

Todd Linquist

Manager of Career Placement

Todd was born and raised in Dallas, TX. He attended Southern Methodist University where he received a B.A. in History and Economics. After working for a global container shipping company in Singapore, he studied Business Administration at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, graduating with an M.B.A. in 1998. Returning to the States and working in product management for a local mobile telecommunications provider for over thirteen years, Todd felt called to a career change where he could serve in ministry and truly make a difference in people’s lives. To prepare for ministry, he chose to attend Dallas Theological Seminary, graduating with a Masters of Theology in 2017. Todd is married to his beautiful wife Michelle, and they have three children, Corey, Tommy, and Charley. When not serving the refugee community in Dallas, he can most likely be found playing with his kids, watching old movies with his wife, reading a book on British history, or spending time in Washington state.

Christy Rodriguez

Christy Rodriguez

Acculturation Support

Christy grew up in Clinton, Mississippi. While in high school, she fell in love with missions through short-term trips her youth group. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology and youth ministry from Covenant College. Shortly after graduation, she headed for an 18-month internship in Dublin, Ireland. This was her first experience meeting people from many different nations, and she was forever changed. She’s been serving people coffee and beautiful latte art for the past eight years and is hoping to get her master’s in social work. Christy loves to travel, dance, run outdoors, paint, and cook.

Nathan Fan

Nathan Fan

Acculturation Support

Nathan has lived in Memphis, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Rochester, NY. He completed his undergrad at Biola University, studying Western classics, art theory, and screenwriting. He is currently working towards a Masters of Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. Before coming to Dallas, he worked as an 8th grade Social Studies teacher and taught the youth group at Memphis Chinese Evangelical Church. Nathan loves working with the acculturation team and driving the big blue bus. He also enjoys writing short stories, reading, doing crosswords, swimming, and drawing.

Karis Buerger

Karis Buerger

Director of Administration

Karis was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ, except for her one year as a high school exchange student in Spain. She attended Oklahoma State University, where she majored in Hotel & Restaurant Administration and Spanish. While at OSU, she met and married Thomas, the love of her life (and Stephen’s brother). After graduating in 2012, Thomas and Karis spent seven months in the Middle East learning Arabic, managing a language center, and growing to love Arab people and their culture. After returning from abroad, they lived in Austin, where Karis served on staff as the administrator for a non-profit pregnancy resource center. She is eager to use her administrative skills and passion for engaging with people from other cultures to serve and learn from refugees in Dallas. In her free time, she enjoys travel, volleyball, baking, and eating.

Sarah Guthrie

Sarah Guthrie

Administrative Assistant

Sarah was born in Michigan, but moved to Ft. Madison, Iowa when she was 9. She studied at Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque, IA. Since marrying Tyson in 2001, she has served in several administrative positions. She enjoys using her administrative skills to help others serve more effectively and loves doing so for For the Nations. Sarah loves spending time with her children-Olive and Simeon. In her spare time (if she has any), she loves making crafts, running, and cheering for her Michigan Wolverines.

Sarah Risdon

Sarah Risdon

Director of Children's Programs

Sarah grew up on a farm in the great state of Iowa and enjoys being outside and doing crafty things. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education at the University of Iowa (Go Hawks!), with an endorsement in K-12 Language Arts and K-8 Reading. She has spent five years teaching in Victor, Iowa where she was in charge of an alternative high school program shared between two districts. She also spent many summers working at East Iowa Bible Camp, where she first came into contact with For the Nations. She is very excited to use her experience both at school and camp to work with refugees!

Maryellen Smith

Maryellen Smith

Assistant Director of Children's Programs

Maryellen was born in Dallas, but moved to Cairo, Egypt when she was four. She spent her childhood years homeschooling, horseback riding near the Pyramids, learning Arabic, traveling with her family, hiking, snorkeling, spelunking, discovering native wildlife, and growing in her relationship with Jesus Christ. Since returning to the States for college in 2011, she has enjoyed working with horses, reptiles, youth, and people with disabilities. Although she originally planned on a career in wildlife research, God has directed her heart toward cross-cultural ministry. Since graduating from Bob Jones University with a degree in Zoo & Wildlife Biology, she now lives with her parents in Rockwall, TX, where her dad pastors a church. She first started volunteering with For the Nations in January 2016, and has loved the opportunity to serve and learn from people with all kinds of stories and backgrounds.

Sharlyn (Shari) Guthrie

Sharlyn (Shari) Guthrie

Pre-School Teacher

Sharlyn has taught preschool, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten for the past thirty plus years and has been privileged to give hundreds of children their first classroom experience. For the past 6 years, she has also served as education and music director for Heart of God Uganda, working alongside Ugandan teachers and holding conferences for them. Sharlyn attended Grace University and Iowa Western Community College before graduating from the University of Iowa in 1995. She and her husband John were blessed with three sons (Travis, Tristan, and Tyson), three daughters-in-law, and eight grandchildren—all of whom ended up living in Texas. After spending most of her life in Iowa, she and John moved to Texas last summer to join the rest of their family. Besides teaching and spending time with family, Sharlyn enjoys writing, gardening, biking, and admiring God’s handiwork.

 

Claire Kornfield

Claire Kornfield

Children's Curriculum Coordinator & School Liaison

Claire grew up traveling the world with her family, living in five different states as well as Argentina and Australia. She received a BA in Spanish and Philosophy from Wheaton College and an MS in Communication Disorders from The University of Texas at Dallas. Prior to joining For the Nations, she worked as a speech language pathologist for 8 years, primarily serving low-income and Spanish-speaking children. She loves other cultures and is excited about sharing the love of Christ in diverse situations. For fun, she enjoys reading, board/card games, arts and crafts, and spending time with friends and family.

Sarah Hardin

Sarah Hardin

Children's Program Staff / ESL Instructor

Sarah (Claire) Hardin is a Southern Belle from Calhoun City, Mississippi with the accent to prove it. While pursuing a degree from Mississippi State University in Human Sciences and Early Childhood, Sarah began serving with an on-campus ministry for international students. During this time living life with students from all corners of the world, the Lord gave her a passion for cross-cultural ministry. When it came time for her to complete an academic internship, God’s provision and a random Google search led Sarah to For the Nations. She currently serves with all preschool and children’s programs, teaches an ESL class, and assists the acculturation team. She is excited to use her creativity and love of people to serve refugees in Dallas.

Keaton & Miranda Mathis

Keaton & Miranda Mathis

Keaton grew up in the small farm town of Story City, Iowa. At 20, he joined the United States Army where he served proudly and honorably for 3 years. During that time, Keaton lived in multiple places while serving our country and fellow man. This included a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan, where Keaton first began to truly understand the depth and pain of war. It wasn’t until his first summer trip to For the Nations that Keaton saw God bring his experience overseas full circle with the ministry being provided there. God planted a seed that week that continues to grow and develop. Though Keaton considers himself a jack-of-all-trades, he is a seasoned welder and diesel mechanic. He is excited to use this skill set to serve the refugee community in Dallas in unique and innovative ways. When not serving, Keaton enjoys watching college sports, barbecuing and playing pool.

Miranda is a Southern Sweetie, born and raised in the beautiful Tennessee foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Since completing her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Middle Tennessee State University in 2012, she has spent her time fiercely advocating for those with mental health disorders and intellectual disabilities, as well as other underprivileged and minority groups. Miranda fell in love with refugees during her first summer serving with For the Nations and knew immediately that’s where she wanted to invest her life. When Miranda isn’t serving or going to school she enjoys reading, movies, music and exploring what the world around her has to offer. She is enthusiastic about using her education and passion for people to impact the lives of refugees in Dallas. Miranda will join the team while completing her final year of graduate school at the University of Iowa, where she will graduate with a Master of Social Work in 2019.

Their shared hobbies include traveling, hunting, the great outdoors and snuggling with their two dogs, Cora and Lila. Keaton and Miranda are eager to dive into full-time ministry in the bright lights of the big city.

We are proud to support the refugee community by employing 10 refugees to provide childcare during our classes!

Board of Directors

Cameron Mullens, President
Kaitlyn Mullens, Vice President
Katie Brugger, Treasurer
Marty Paris, Member
Mike Redeker, Member
Marina Walker, Member
David Newman, Member