Rehema Ministries and In Step Foundation were founded simultaneously in 2006 by two couples that God brought together. They discovered a shared heart and passion for Africa and its children. Co-Founders Ron and Joyce Panzero and Jeff and Carla Picicci chose to step out in faith and live out their shared motto of “No Regrets!”
Our first baby was found abandoned in a cornfield in Kenya on a cold, rainy day in July of 2006. She still had her umbilical cord attached. Jeff and Carla named her Rehema Grace. Rehema means Mercy in Swahili. On that day, Rehema Ministries was birthed. The two pictures on the logo were an inspiration from a painting of Rehema in the cornfield and the shoes from a little girl named Sharon. Sharon showed up at the door of the children’s home wearing a pair worn-out shoes. Those shoes are a reminder of the needs of the children and the humble beginnings of a rapidly growing children’s home.
Co-Founders Emeritus, Ron and Joyce Panzero, continue to live in Anacortes, Washington and will always have a passion and heart for the children at In Step. However, after 12 years of amazing dedication and sacrificial service, they are looking forward to retirement and the next chapter of adventure that God will be directing in their lives. We are so happy for them both and hope they will enjoy spending more time with their precious grandchildren.
The Board and Staff of Rehema Ministries are so thankful that the Panzero’s answered God’s call in 2006 and gave of themselves so generously for the past 12 years to the ensure the children at In Step were cared for, fed, educated and loved. Their hard work and sacrifice laid the ground work for Rehema Ministries’ future success. The Panzero’s willingness to share their passion with others ensured more and more people became aware of the children God was bringing to In Step. Ron and Joyce have left an amazing and inspirational legacy of love that will continue to unfold for future generations.
Rehema Ministries is a 501(c)(3) corporation, with headquarters in Kennewick, Washington. Rehema Ministries raises awareness and funds in order to issue grants for projects and programs that benefit orphaned and vulnerable children in Kenya. A majority of the funding is stewarded toward projects and programs that support the children being raised at ISF and/or the surrounding community. Rehema Ministries also provides technical support for projects, handles the coordination of travel for international visitors to ISF, and helps recruit short and long term mission workers to add necessary human capital to build capacity and implement best practices. Rehema Ministries is overseen by a dedicated and passionate U.S. based Board of Directors and is entering a new chapter by the strategic hiring of a new Executive Director, Brooke Fleming.
In Step Foundation (ISF) is registered as a company formed under the Kenyan Companies Act and is a separate organization from Rehema Ministries. ISF owns the land, buildings and other assets in Kenya. The children’s home is also registered as a Kenyan entity under the Kenyan Societies Act under the name In Step Children’s Ministries. This registration allows the organization to officially operate as a licensed children’s home that provides care for the children. Jeff and Carla Picicci continue to be a huge source of inspiration to all who are blessed to know them. The children at ISF are blessed to have Mama Carla and Baba Jeff at the helm! Rehema Ministries leadership is so thankful for Jeff and Carla’s hard working, sacrificial, and dedicated work ethic. The Picicci’s work closely with Rehema Ministries leadership to help convey the current and future needs of the children, and the infrastructure at ISF that supports their efforts.
Rehema Ministries and In Step Foundation are excited to continue to partner with people who are passionate about bringing hope, love and care to abandoned and abused children in Kenya. To learn more about us, please check out the following links: