Board of Directors

Bryon Bhagwandin

Bryon is Chairman of the Board of Directors. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, and currently lives in Centennial, Colorado with his wife Sarah. They have two children, Samuel currently studying at the University of Illinois at Champaign, and Leila at home. Bryon holds a Ph.D. in bioengineering, and until recently served as Vice President of engineering for Ondine Research Labs in Seattle, Washington. Owns independent medical product consulting practice.

Jim Messenger

Jim is the Treasurer of the Malawi Project. He was born in Lebanon, Indiana, graduated from Lebanon High School, and later received a MBA degree from Dallas Baptist University. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the Navy from 1979 to 1999. Retiring as a Commander, and P-3 Orion Naval Flight Officer, he returned to Lebanon, where he served as a Trust officer for a local bank, then joined Edward Jones as a Financial Advisor from 2003 to 2019. He served for 10 years on the U.S. Service Academy Nomination Board for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. His community focus includes past service as President of the Boone County Senior Services Foundation, Lebanon City Council, Boone County Economic Development Corporation, Witham Family YMCA Board of Directors, and currently as a member of the Lebanon Rotary Club. He and his wife, Rae Ann, are the parents of Kristen (husband Lowell) Miller, Stacey (husband Evan) Nordstrom, and Jeff (wife Faye) Messenger. They are blessed with six grandchildren.


Richard (Dick) Stephens

Dick, along with his wife, Diana (Suzi), are co-founders of the Malawi Project. He serves as the Secretary and a member of its Board of Directors. From 1960 to 1980 he served as the editor of the Gospel Vidette, a religious magazine with a monthly circulation of 26,000 copies in 100 nations. This project was in addition to a 50-year career in the graphic arts industry from which he retired in 2010, from his Indianapolis, Indiana business to devote his full efforts as a volunteer with the Malawi Project. Dick has authored 27 books and booklets, including six about Malawi. His articles have appeared in 30 magazines in 6 countries. He has helped develop a ministry program in Uganda, a medical program in South Sudan, and organized mission trips to Malawi since 1995. Dick currently does fund raising, introductory presentations and travels to Malawi to co-ordinate programs between the Malawi Project and Action for Progress.

Diana (Suzi) Stephens

Co-founder, and Medical Director for the Malawi Project. Her career spans over 40 years in hospitals in Ohio, Florida and Indiana. Suzi retired from St Vincent Healthcare System in Indianapolis in 2006 to devote full time to the medical needs of Malawi. Her work has also taken her to South Sudan, Uganda and Mexico. She currently oversees procurement of millions of dollars in medical supplies that are being distributed to over 700 healthcare facilities throughout Malawi. Suzi travels to Malawi each year to review the medical programs, and lead teams of volunteers.

Dan Brewer

Dan Brewer

Born and raised in western Iowa, he moved to Oregon after high school to attend Columbia Christian College in Portland. There he met Debbie Barnts, and they married in 1986. Graduating in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in Education he taught high school for 2 years, then joined the Oregon Army National Guard in 1998. He remained full-time with the Guard until accepting an active duty position at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) in Indianapolis. In 2016, he retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. He moved to a civilian position at DFAS. He has served as a part-time minister for the Lobster Valley church of Christ, the Monmouth church of Christ, and the Lebanon church of Christ. He and Debbie have 6 children, 2 in Oregon, 1 in Arkansas, 2 in Indiana, and one serving in the U.S. military.

Ron Pottberg

Ron Pottberg was born and raised in Alamosa, Colorado and later graduated High School in Olathe, Colorado. He is a 3rd generation Coloradoan with both sets of grandparents homesteading in Colorado. Ron and his wife Susan married in 1977 and have three children and eleven grandchildren. They have lived and worked in ministry in Colorado, Texas and South Africa where they served as missionaries for eight years. Ron’s travels have taken him to over fifty countries around the world. He continues to work and minister each year in ten to sixteen countries, serving as the International Representative for the World Bible School ministry.Ron has served on the World Bible School Board for many years, as well as the Restoration Bible School Board, Jonestown, Liberia from 2014 to the current. He has also served on the Safe Home Children’s Home Board in Flehla, Liberia since 2005, and as consultant for Agriculture outreach in Mzuzu, Malawi since 2003, as well as projects in Malawi’s Southern Region. A family mission work, Alpha Mission Project, has agriculture and community outreach projects in numerous countries for more than 20 years. Ron serves as a consultant for Orphans Life Line International from 2016 to the present, and currently serves as minister for the Thunder Mountain Church of Christ in Delta, Colorado.

Mark Thiesen

Mark Thiesen

The son of missionaries John and Ann Thiesen, Mark was six months old when the family moved to Malawi to begin mission work at the Lubagha Mission in the Rumphi District of Northern Malawi. While spending his childhood in this newly independent nation, he and his five brothers and sisters grew up in a very remote part of the country. After returning to the states to continue his education, Mark worked in Ukraine for four years in mission work, then returned to Malawi to serve as a missionary in the country’s southern region. Fluent in two of Malawi’s languages, Chichewa and Chitumbuka, he speaks with counterparts in Malawi daily and makes regular working trips to the country. Mark holds a Ph.D. in theology and has published a book on church history in Malawi. Mark currently serves as a minister in Vancouver, Washington where he lives with his wife Ginger and two children Erik and Dana.

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