Possibilities Africa – USA is a 501c3 non-profit that exists to come alongside and support Possibilities Africa in East Africa so they can empower churches in rural villages while they transform their communities. We do this through:
1). Mobilizing financial support
2). Providing prayer support
3). Organizing short-term mission trips
4). Encouraging the staff in Africa
Our partnership is a critical aspect of the ministry that takes place in East Africa. Our support/involvement allows PA staff in Africa to focus on teaching pastors and leaders the life giving message of holistic transformation.
Our USA Staff
Doug Reed – Managing Director PA USA
Doug and his wife, Jill, live in Holdrege, Nebraska, they are the parents of three adult children. Doug grew up on a family farm and after graduating from the University of Nebraska with a degree in Ag Economics he engaged in farming for 10 years. In 1998 Doug felt called to full time ministry as the pastor of student ministries at Trinity Church and then later associate/missions pastor. During this time he completed his Masters of Divinity from Bethel Seminary. Doug has led numerous missions trips over the years and has lived briefly in Africa. In the summer of 2019 Doug started working full time with Possibilities Africa. “Martin and the staff of Possibilities Africa is doing amazing work in Africa, it has exceeded my expectations!” Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Farrol Shada – Financial Assistant
A Nebraska native, moving from the central part of the state to Omaha two years ago after the death of her husband, who was a pastor. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Education from Kearney State College (now University of NE at Kearney). The next 13 years of her life were spent working in various positions at two different banks, and then she worked 24 years for a fellowship of churches. She now considers it a privilege to have worked for PA since 2011. Her walk with God, two children and six grandchildren make her life complete.
Our USA Board
Matt Shada serves as the lead pastor of Steadfast Bible Fellowship in Omaha, NE, a church which he helped to found in 2003. He grew up in Lincoln, NE, attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in teaching. He went on to get his Master of Divinity Degree from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Matt and his wife, Catherine, have three children. In his spare time Matt enjoys spending time with his family as well as hunting, fishing, reading, working out, and coaching his kids in sports activities.
Merrell Mcilwain grew up in Charleston, West Virginia in a Christian home. While attending the US Air Force Academy, he met and married Cheri and afterwards they moved to Nashville where Merrell attended law school. For the next 25 years he served as a lawyer in public and private practice and in various capacities. In 2001 with their children in college he decided to study God’s word full time and they moved to Chicago. There Merrell graduated from Moody Theological Seminary with a master’s degree in Biblical Studies. It was at Moody that he met Martin Simiyu, and participated in the graduate school’s mission trip to Kenya with Martin in the summer of 2002. This first mission trip had a lasting impact on him, and he decided he “couldn’t come back to the US and just do nothing.” Several members of the graduate school began to pray about what became Possibilities Africa. Since then Merrell has served in various capacities with PA, and is currently a board member and its president.
David Watson resides in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife Jamie and their four children. David first learned about Possibilities Africa in 2006 from Jamie who had taken one of the first missions trips to Kenya. He later heard Martin Simiyu speak and became passionate about the holistic ministry model seeing the efficiency and scalable impact it would have. A couple years later David joined the PA board and has taken a half dozen trips to Africa to see the continued progress. David works full time in the apartment industry. He is the Founder and CEO of a company called RentVision and he also serves as Chairman of the Board for Century Sales & Management. David’s educational background includes an entrepreneurial management degree from TCU where he served as Student Body President. He currently serves on the Elder Council at Faith Bible Church.
Matthew Jacobson grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from Texas Christian University before moving to New York City where he started and continues his career as an investment professional. Matt lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters. He enjoys spending time with his family, is dedicated to his local church and travels to the Vermont mountains every chance he gets.
Martin Simiyu is the founder of Possibilities Africa. He currently provides overall leadership to the ministry and oversees the development of its activities in Africa as the Executive Director. He is based in Kenya from where the ministry work in Africa is headquartered. Previously Martin has worked as a pastor at Christ is the Answer Ministries, a large denomination headquartered in Nairobi. He has also worked in other organizations during his career growth including serving as a part time lecturer at Pan Africa Christian University and as a guest lecturer at Moody Bible Institute in USA. Martin has two MA. degrees in Organizational leadership from Biola University in California, USA and MA. Intercultural Studies/Missions from Moody graduate school in Illinois, USA. He also studied BA. Bible and Theology at Pan Africa Christian University and Diploma, Applied Statistics at Kenya Polytechnic in Kenya.
Logan Watley lives in Elkhorn, NE with his wife Jenna, two young daughters Isla and Willa and two dogs Lucy and Henry. Logan works at Access Bank as a portfolio manager and is a licensed CPA in the state of Nebraska. He has been involved with Possibilities Africa in his role as Treasurer since 2015.
Tyson Griffin serves as the lead pastor of Tunnel Hill First Baptist Church in Tunnel Hill GA. He received a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He went on to earn a Master’s of biblical studies degree at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Tyson and his wife Renee have eight children; Two biological sons, two adopted from China, one adopted from Chicago, and three through foster care. Tyson believes it is a unique privilege to see how God is blessing the ministry and the work of Possibilities Africa.
Dan Frese resides near Manhattan Kansas with his wife of 17 years, Julie, and their 3 children. Dan first became involved with Possibilities Africa in 2009 when he went to Kenya on a mission trip with his local church in Kearney NE, where he was residing at the time. Dan and his wife Julie are both veterinarians, and met while attending Kansas State University in 1998. Dan serves beef cattle producers throughout the central United States and has spent his life working in production agriculture in different capacities after growing up on a farm in central Nebraska. He enjoys spending time with his wife and kids as much as possible. Dan has been a board member since 2014.
Jerry Safranek grew up on a farm in central Nebraska that raised corn, wheat and cattle. He has a younger sister and brother who he is very close to. Jerry joined the army and he worked in an operating room for most of his time in the service during the Vietnam era. After that, he came back to the farm and married his high school sweetheart, Karen. They started attending the E Free Church in the area and they both accepted Christ soon thereafter and have been active in the church for over 30 plus years . Jerry has always been interested in mission projects and went to Africa in 2012. As a result of that trip, he has been involved on the Possibilities Africa board ever since.