Our Team

Jacob Thon Guot

Founder & Executive Director

Jacob was one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, a refugee of the war between the northern and southern parts of his country. At the age of seven, he was forced to run away from an attack on his home village. He became a refugee, ultimately trekking 1,000 miles between Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya while dodging rebel soldiers, unfriendly tribesmen, wild animals, and fording dangerous rivers teeming with crocodiles. He spent 4 years in an Ethiopian refugee camp and another 9 years in a camp in Kenya, before being brought to the United States at the age of 21.

From his first days in Houston, Texas, Jacob was recognized as a leader. He raised funds with Aim Sudan Foundation for refugees living in the city, co-founded the Sudanese Community Church, helped with resettlement of South Sudanese refugees in Houston, led Bible studies in the maximum-security prison and even organized support from his fellow “lost boys” to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina. He has never stopped working, learning, and moving forward in his efforts to help those living as refugees.

Kent E. Kroehler


Kent Kroehler is a UMC clergy (retired) from Eastern PA. He served for 45 years in Philadelphia and Lancaster PA and as Conference staff for 8 years. He used a Lilly Endowment “Clergy Renewal Grant” to bicycle across the USA in 2002, and buoyed his final decade of ministry.

Kent earned his BA at Asbury University, his M.Div. at Asbury Theological Seminary, and his D.Min. at Wesley Theological Seminary. He and Joy have been married for 52 years. They have 3 children and 7 grandchildren.

In retirement, he has a passion for creating a culture of extravagant generosity in God’s people.  He serves on the Mid-Atlantic UM Foundation Board, chairs the MAUMF Stewardship Committee, and is a Group Facilitator with the MAUMF Financial Leadership Academy. He chairs the Board of Sudan Rebirth Ministry, providing scholarships for South Sudanese students in east Africa. In Lancaster, he serves with Have a Heart for Persons in the Criminal Justice System, Anchorage Breakfast Ministry Board, the West District Board of Church Location and Building, leads a maintenance team at First UMC, and sings in two church choirs.

Board Members