Dennis and Joanne Thuman:
Dennis grew up in Amherst, NY and he came to know the Lord at the age of 18. Joanne was raised in a Christian home in Lockport, NY and came to know the Lord at age 10. Dennis and Joanne met at church and were married in 1995. That same year they moved to inner city Chicago to work with inner city children. Dennis began his ministry with the K-3rd grade children there and eventually became the Director of Ministry Operations of the ministry. Although Joanne has her master's degree in occupational therapy she decided to change career paths and she worked with high school girls while in Chicago. In 2007 Dennis and Joanne decided to move back to Western New York to pursue ministry with urban children there. They moved to Niagara Falls and bought a storefront building directly across the street from the elementary school with the hopes of opening a youth center. The storefront became a restaurant called Denny's Kitchen where Dennis is the sole cook. The dining room is transformed into a youth center every Wednesday and Thursday at 3:00 for the children. Dennis and Joanne have one child, Raven, who is 5 years old. Raven asked Jesus to come into her heart and forgive her sins during one of the clubs in December of 2009!
Steve and Amy Hosler:
Amy and Steve were privileged to grow up in Christian homes. They were both taught about the importance of ministry from a young age. Steve grew up in Haiti as a missionary kid and then later moved to Pennsylvania where his father became a pastor. Amy grew up in New York at a Christian camp where her parents were camp directors and later moved to Michigan where her father was a pastor as well. Steve and Amy both came to know the Lord at a young age. Amy attended Moody Bible Institute where she received her degree in Urban Ministry. Steve graduated from York College with a degree in International Finance. They both moved to Chicago to work with inner city youth and this is where they met. They have two small children Charity and Daniel. They moved to Niagara Falls in May of 2009 to help with Hope Club. Amy enjoys leading girls' Bible studies and providing leadership during club. Steve enjoys helping with club once a week. Steve also works full time and preaches occasionally at Yovata Community Church in Kenmore, NY where they are both actively involved. It is an Haitian American church plant near Buffalo.
Linda Stein grew up in Niagara Falls and came from a family of 8 children. At the age of 6 she was placed in foster care. Her siblings at the time ranged in age from infant to 13 years old. Linda was raised in a catholic tradition although she was exposed to many different types of churches. Linda had many struggles growing up, but her faith and trust in the Lord got her through many trials. She was married in 1982 and raised 3 children. Her children are Eric, 25, Leah, 21 and Jonna, 10. In 2005 the Lord led Linda to Forestview Church of God where she became involved with AWANA on Wednesday nights. It was in church one Sunday where Linda heard an announcement from the pulpit that Hope Club was in need of volunteers. Linda brought Jonna and has been a faithful volunteer ever since. She enjoys being present for each club, each activity and anywhere she is needed. She loves seeing the kids each week and watching them as they grow in Christ, learning and facing the challenges in their lives with HOPE!