Meet Our Ugandan Staff

Aidah, Babirye, Matron/cook
Aidah has 9 children from her first husband, who died in 2010.  Some of her children stay with us at the kids house.  She recently remarried and has one child from her new husband.  Aidah loves the children and loves to cook.  She is a hard worker and always has a smile.

Esther, Nansamba, Social Worker. Esther is married with 2 children and has a diploma in Social Work.  She grew up around some of our other staff members, Susan and Kenneth.  Esther is trustworthy and honest.  She is a good friend to all our girls and loves her work with the children.

Jesca Biribawa, Matron/cook
Jesca was our first staff member in 2008.  She has 5 children from her late husband.  He contracted cerebral malaria and would wander.  One day he did not come home.  Two of her children stay with us.  Jesca loves the Bible and reads every day.  She is always happy and loves to laugh with the children.

Kenneth Nsekera, Warden/Lead social worker
Kenneth loves the children and football (soccer).  He graduated from college with a degree in Social Work and Administration in 2015 from Kyambogo University in Kampala.  He was the first college graduate from his family and his home village.  Kenneth is a natural leader and trusted by all our children and staff.  He has a quick wit and usually has the children falling off their seats in laughter. He loves to organize football (soccer) games with the boys at a nearby field.  They have a lot of fun.

Lydia Namulemo, Matron/cook
Lydia has 5 children.  Four of them stay with us at the kids house.  She loves to work and cook.  Along with Jesca, Lydia lives at the children's house.  Lydia's husband works in town.  She is quiet and loves the children.

Moses Wakiroko, Daytime Watchman
Moses has worked for us since the beginning when Philip moved to Uganda in '07.  He is a hard worker and loves Jesus.  Moses preaches at a local prison nearby every Sunday.  His sister was the first believer in that part of Uganda in 1967.  Moses was put in prison several times by Idi Amin back in the early '70's for preaching the gospel.  Moses has 6 grown children and one still in school.

Scovia Namutamba, AssistantDirector/Supervisor.
Scovia is our mom and Grandmother.  She loves all the children and calls them her grandchildren!  Scovia has started several churches and has been a successful business woman.  She has 5 children of her own.  She loves to preach and pray for all our children and staff every day.  Scovia is also in high demand as a speaker to ladies groups in nearby countries.

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Simon Apedel, Social Worker.
Simon, is from an area nearby where most our children call home.  He has a degree in Social Work and Social Administration from Kyambogo University in 2015.  Simon is quiet and greatly respected by our boys.  He lives just a few hundred feet from the children's house.  Simon is trustworthy, straight forward and always has a kind word.

Susan Isabirye, Executive Director/Founder
Susan is 'Mom' to our children.  She sets the bar high for our staff to be faithful and dedicated.  Susan often uses her own resources to be sure everyone else is take care of first.  Susan has the gift of administration - and - great respect and trust with the local business community.  Susan is a widow with 3 children of her own.  Her children are called, Kwagala (love), Kirabo (gift) and Kwikiriza (faith).  All our children run to meet Susan when she comes with big smiles.  She still loves to play dodge ball with the girls.

Stephen Maganda, Patron/Cook.
Stephen is one of our longest serving staff members.  He has work with is since 2009.  Stephen has 5 children.  He always has a smile and is ready to work when the need arises.  The boys love to get Stephen in football (soccer) or basketball games when he is not cooking.

Meet our Board of Directors

Jon Muncrief is our President and has been friends with our Founder, Phil Jones, for more than 25 years. They have been through many ups and downs together, forming a brotherly bond over the years. Jon is retired from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and now has more time to spend on his hobbies of bike riding and camping, as well as giving of his time to be on the board of IS A 117. After he and his wife hosted Susan when she visited from Uganda, and knowing what the ministry means to his friend Phil, Jon is interested in helping the organizationcare for the children of Hope Children’s Home in Iganga, Uganda, while improving the lives of the children in the home’s care.

Marvin Denison is our Vice President.  He is a passionate believer and servant to everyone he knows.  Marvin came to Christ when he was 8 and then surrendered to God's call as a pastor/minister of the gospel when he was 18.  Over the past 35 years, Marvin and his wife, Paula, have served several churches from Arizona to Texas as a Pastor, Youth Pastor and a Missionary (church planter).  Marvin met Phil during his days in college at East Texas Baptist College in Marshall, Texas.  They became brothers and accountability partners in ministry as they continue today.  Marvin has had a passion for missions since his days in college and loves the quote from David Livingston, “God had an only Son and He made Him a missionary.”  Marvin's servant heart is reflected in what he lives by, "The branch that bends the lowest bares the most fruit." (Ancient proverb) and Isaiah 6:8, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

Sue Henson is our Treasurer. With a strong desire to provide water for women in Africa, she established her foundation, Waterfall in 2011. As a part of this ministry was led to help a children's home in Iganga, Uganda by providing a water well for their use. This led to a love for the children there and an involvement with Phil Jones, the founder of Hope and IS A 117 ministries. Travel to Uganda and the meeting of her sponsored children brought home the need to work with ISA117 as a board member. Her passion for this ministry has spread to her family members who also sponsor the children of HOPE. She is the mother of five children and grandmother of ten and loves serving others She has served on the Mission Board at her church in San Antonio for many years.


Chris and Dee Ann Tindell first learned about the children's home through Phil's college friends.  They decided to sponsor a child but as the months passed and they learned more about the needs of these children.  Phil asked them to join the board of ISA117 and they were happy to become more involved.  Dee Ann has a passion for helping Christians from different parts of the world.  She is currently teaching ESL classes to a group of Burmese women that have recently immigrated.  The Tindells are also involved in supporting several ministries that help displaced Christians in the Middle East.  

Chris and Dee Ann have been married for almost 19 years and have one daughter and one son.  Dee Ann works at home, home schooling her two children and Chris is a regional sales manager for the fluid sealing company, SEPCO, Inc. 

Sandy Marek is a retired educator of 32 years.  She first visited Uganda in 2004 as an evangelist and teacher to the villages on the mainland and islands in Lake Victoria.  She has traveled there 16 times and continues to work in the villages and with the children at Hope Children’s Home.   She has watched the children grow over those years and developed many lasting relationships with the children and staff.  Presently she serves as secretary on the board of directors of ISA117 Ministries.   She says, “It’s such a blessing to pray for and love on these beautiful children of God.   I hope to continue our relationships for many years to come and then for eternity in heaven.”


Thomas and Erika Grammer serve on the board together. They first met Phil at their church near Memphis in 2014. His stories of the children and staff at the orphanage in Uganda touched their hearts deeply. When he returned in 2016, he shared new stories that grabbed their hearts even deeper. They began supporting a child from the orphanage and began to pray for other ways they could serve H.O.P.E./ISA117. They felt led to become a part of the board soon after. Thomas and Erika have three children (Kabel, Kora, and Kaylee), and they currently live in a small town near Memphis. Thomas is an electrician and business owner, and Erika homeschools the children and helps with the family business. Together, they minister to men, women, and couples in their local community--sharing hope in the healing and grace of God. They count themselves blessed to be a part of the work with ISA117, and they encourage those around them to pray for, sponsor, and support God's work in Iganga, Uganda.