Meet Our Team

Lydia and Barbara.jpg

Lydia Kayongo

Lydia is the mother of four active boys and surrogate mother to a number of other children who have been welcomed into her home. She works in healthcare administration and has been in leadership with the Uganda  Association of Minnesota. She and her sister, Barbara, carries the same passion for New Hope for Africa Orphanage & School that first inspired her mother, Annet, to get it started and keep it going!

Lydia and Barbara.jpg

Barbara Jensen

Barbara, and husband Rob, are thrilled to be new parents to Benjamin. Barbara is a business analyst. Barbara brings passion, integrity, commitment, love and faith to our team and has made working on 360 Vision such a JOY. She and her sister, Lydia, carries the same passion for New Hope for Africa Orphanage & School that first inspired her mother, Annet, to get it started and keep it going!

73352360_10220746718921713_3035485616964

Kristina Nyquist

Kristina "Krissi" Nyquist gushes with enthusiasm about all things Africa! That is, after her first loves Ryan, Soren, and Ezra. Oh and put Jesus at the top of that list. Kristina is creative, energetic and full of passion. She traveled to Bulembu, Swaziland on two trips in 2011 and 2013. That was more than enough to capture her heart. Kristina is eager to help make a difference for children at New Hope for Africa. Her deep faith, her youthful exuberance and her creativity make her a wonderful addition to the team.

Behind the scenes ...

Gretchen Carlson

Founder/Director - 360 Vision for Africa

September 17, 2022 ... Today I had the privilege of talking about this ministry with people who stopped by my vendor table to ask questions. We were attending a community connection event at Gospel Lighthouse church in St. Paul Park. I loved hearing people's stories, questions and even longings related to helping people and the desire to travel to Africa. Situations like this often feel like "Divine connections". This summer I visited my longtime friend Barb in Montana who one evening invited a couple of friends over for dinner. At one point in the middle of games and laughter, Barb asked me to share more about 360 Vision. I discovered that one of the friends' sister is the executive director of a large nonprofit that helps provide medical equipment and resources for children and families impacted by AIDS. They have a Uganda location among others. Who knows what kind of connection this may evolve into for 360 in the future. We also have an opportunity this month to present to a local Rotary Club. It's an exciting time! These types of connections remind me that God is an amazing connector of people, and His good plan for us continues as Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."  Of course, I don't do this work alone! This team of women you see here meets regularly to discuss projects and seek ways to keep it moving forward. I'm thrilled to work with them.

A little about me ... I've worked for Community Education for over 25 years. I first started sponsoring a child from Guatemala in 1984 but it was in 2003 that I became aware of the impact that AIDS had taken on pockets of Africa. Wanting to help, I sponsored a child from Africa, then brought child sponsorship to my church. If you're curious about how I met the founder of New Hope for Africa orphanage, I've written more about that under About Us/Gretchen's Story. Please consider joining us on our journey to help children in great need. Our main priority has been food for the children. In November 2020 we launched a campaign to raise money for a much-needed computer lab for the children. A new lab is now ready to go when the children return to school! (The government shut down school for most of COVID but thankfully it's scheduled to open in January.) This season we're focused on providing a Christmas Dinner and Grocery pack for 100 families.  I'd love to have your help. We can't do everything, but we can do something. Your partnership with us will help children to thrive. Thanks for taking time to see our website!