Our Team

Michael and Julie Meissner

Our Founders:  Executive Director and Ministry Director
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Michael and Julie have been married 23 years and have three children:  Caleb, Courtney, and Joshua.  Pastoring churches for 22 years in San Antonio, Colorado Springs, and Cypress, Michael is the founding pastor of LifeBridge Church in Cypress, and has an M.Div. from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO.  Michael has a passion for gardening, the outdoors, good conversation, and telling “dad” jokes.  He can be found most days working in the garden or visiting with a neighbor.

Julie, with a B.A. in education from Concordia Texas, homeschools their children, is a certified spiritual director through Leadership Transformations Inc. and a member of the Evangelical Spiritual Directors Association.  She offers soul companionship and spiritual formation through Dwell Ministries.  Julie loves great books, inspiring art, nature, and cooking/eating with her Paleo friends.  She can most likely be found helping the children in the home with their school work, cooking up dinner in the kitchen, or hiding in her prayer closet with Jesus.

Their family has fostered children through Loving Houston, a YWAM ministry that provides Christian foster homes for street babies.  They have taken numerous overseas mission trips to Nepal, Africa, and Belize, and worked extensively with local refugees from a variety of nations.  One of their greatest delights was hosting four girls from the India Children’s Choir to live in their home for a month in 2004 and 2005.  Together, they have a passion for helping women and children in vulnerable situations, especially refugees.  The Meissners will live in Abba’s House to work daily with the refugees in residence.

Wendy Lemmons

Administrative Directorwendynepal

God led Wendy to LifeBridge Church in January 2012.  A few months later she went on her first mission trip… 3 1/2 weeks in Nepal.  During that time God filled her with such a love for the country and people of Nepal that she did not want to leave.  On May 29, 2013, Wendy arrived “home” in Nepal where she worked alongside Nepali Christian church planters, helping with their micro-finance program for 2 years. In early 2016, having returned to the States, Wendy joined a small group from LifeBridge that began meeting to fellowship and pursue the possibility of something God had been putting on all of their hearts for years, and at last it seemed God was guiding them towards His plans for Abba’s House. Of course, having lived overseas, and having experienced first-hand Nepali Christians who lovingly helped her learn a new language, new customs, and how to simply navigate day-to-day activities, Wendy feels beyond blessed to offer those same gifts to refugee women and children who will be arriving in America.

Renee Johnson

Life Skills Volunteer CoordinatorReneeJedited

Renee home educated her 2 beautiful daughters through their high school graduation and has been married to her husband, Ricky since 1995. During her years of home educating, she served on the leadership team for multiple home education cooperatives and performed duties such as volunteer coordinator, teacher and scheduler.   She has a heart for missions and has been on mission trips to Mexico and Guatemala.  Renee is excited to serve the Lord in the mission field right here in Texas!

Shanna French

Children’s Education Directorshanna

Upon graduation from Texas A&M University with degrees in Biochemistry and Genetics, Shanna and her husband Jason moved to Houston, TX where she began working as a Technical Sales Representative in the refining and petrochemical industry. Since being entrusted with three sons, Gavin, Wyatt and Luke, Shanna has been blessed by the opportunity to stay at home with them and relish the homeschool adventures God has entrusted to them.

God has created a love and passion in Shanna for studying His word and sharing His great love and hope with others. A passion for relationships and intentionality shapes their family, as well as a heart for journeying with the broken in spirit. Shanna also enjoys reading and spending time in nature and with people. She loves dance, as music speaks volumes to her soul. “Jesus is my greatest love and my reason for all I do.”

Carolyn Watkins

Children’s Education Volunteer Coordinator

Angie Trevino, LVN

Health & Wellness Director Angie

Angie met Rob in 1996, and they married in 2000.  All she wanted to do since she was a little girl was take care of people and make them smile–a calling she does so well.  In her vocation of wife and mom, Angie cares for her husband and their four children, which brings her heart great joy.  As a nurse, Angie has worked in hospitals, doctors’ offices, a nursing home, natural medicine, and a school over the past 19 years, including Hotze Health and Wellness Center in Houston, TX.  Ever since Lifebridge Church began working with refugees at Los Arcos several years ago, Angie has felt compelled to care for these vulnerable people in a more real and direct way.
“And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”  Isaiah 58:10

Heather Pedoto

Artisan Skills and Creative PlayHeather

Heather Pedoto is an award-winning author, as well as an artist. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Houston’s honor’s college, where she majored in creative writing. In her free time she enjoys experimenting with different forms of art, from sewing and weaving to sculpting and painting. She’s also working on learning Swahili and French to help the women and children she will be working with feel more at home. She has a particular soft spot for making sure people know that they’re valuable and loved in the eyes of God (and that she loves them, too). On any given day she can be found with paint smudged in her hair, glasses, and clothes.

Rick Sims

Campus Project Coordinator17883699_10212653503438586_5937758000520004433_n

Rick has been married to the love of his life, Julie, for 35 years. They have three grown sons: Cooper, Ben and Matt, and one daughter-in-law: Natasha. After 30 plus years in sales, Rick has found a new home in the nonprofit world as a disaster case manager with Hope Disaster Recovery. He also works alongside a ministry based in India that operates orphan homes, trains pastors and plants churches in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. If you have a group interested in volunteering for one of our many campus projects, Rick is your go-to man for the job. He may be contacted at rick@abbashousetexas.com.

Cindy Wu

NewsletterCindy M Wu

In addition to serving on our Board, Cindy is also the producer of our Abba’s House newsletter.  A two-time published author, she is the perfect person for this role!

Cindy M. Wu holds an M.A. Religion from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She has served in church-planting contexts in the United States, Mexico, and East Asia. She co-authored Our Global Families: Christians Embracing a Common Identity in a Changing World (Baker Academic, 2015) with Todd M. Johnson, director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, and her book A Better Country:  Embracing the Refugees in our Midst was published and released in 2017. Cindy is a research associate with the Center and one of the editorial assistants on the World Christian Encyclopedia, 3rd ed. (2020). She enjoys reading and writing about refugees, and is currently writing a book about Houston’s refugee history. As much as Cindy enjoys writing and volunteering with refugees, her main job in this season of life is part-time homeschooling her three children.

Fred Billings

Landscape ArchitectFred Billings

Fred, co-owner of Buds and Blossoms in Cypress with his beautiful wife Barbie, has developed a gorgeous master plan for the property on which Abba’s House is situated.  As groups volunteer to take on various campus projects, this plan will come to life over the course of the next year or so.  We are incredibly grateful to Fred for lending us his gifts and skills so that our guests can enjoy the beauty of God’s outdoor creation!

 Team pic