Meet Mr. and Mrs. Rawindra and Pushpa, Founders
Mr. and Mrs. Rawindra and Pushpa continued with Rawindra’s grandfather Isanrao’s vision and founded Life Light Ministries in 1990. Rawindra completed his theological education at South India Biblical Seminary and has been involved in teaching ministry for 36 years. He oversees the various endeavors of Life Light Ministries in India.
He and his wife Pushpa’s deep care for children led them to start St. John’s Christian School. Pushpa’s passion was education, and she received her teaching degree and was the principal at St. John’s Christian School where she and Rawindra worked in side-by-side offices until her death in February 2010. The evidence of her legacy remains in all aspects of the ministry today.
John Dongerdive, Executive Director
John is a third generation Christian and the oldest child of husband and wife Life Light founders, John was running away from his calling, pursuing his dreams in hotel and airline industries for several years. Finally, God got hold of him like Jona. His passion is training and sending indigenous Christian leaders and saving one child at a time. After the death of his mother and John stepped into the role of Executive Director so his father could focus more on general ministry oversight, especially their church planting and pastor training of new churches in rural villages around India.
John received his Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) from Asbury Theological Seminary and master’s degrees in English Literature and Political Science. He is the founder of Christi Sahe Jeevan, a youth outreach ministry, has served as Pastor Community Church India, and as youth minister at the Nicholasville Christian Church while completing his studies. When he's not traveling, John enjoys soccer, cricket, and hiking. He is married to Heather for ten years and has a daughter, Abhilasha.
Ruda, Director of New Beginnings Children’s Home
Ruda has her Master’s degree in theology, English literature, and primary education. Ruda is from India and works as the Director of New Beginnings Children’s Home.
James and Pallavi, Christian Educators
James, and his wife Pallavi are directors of the educational aspects of the ministry. After Pushpa's death, James became Principal of St. John’s Christian School. He is passionate about children and the school and loves seeing children being educated and becoming more responsible, God-loving individuals. In addition to his teaching degree, he has an M.B.A. in educational institute management.
Pallavi is an associate teacher at St. John’s Christian School and helps James as an administrative assistant and in promoting the school. She has a master’s degree in computer science. Both are known Christian educators in the area.
Mark Edwards, Board Member
Mark Edwards is the CEO of Edwards Moving and Rigging based out of Shelbyville, KY. The company was formed in 1961 by his father. He is a born and raised Kentuckian. Mark met his wife Rhonda in Hobe Sound, FL where they both were attending college. They have four sons and two daughters-in-laws, along with several grandchildren. Mark enjoys hunting, shooting clays, golfing, UK sports, traveling and being with his family.
Mark has a passion for helping others and wants to share with others the blessings that God has given to him. Not only is Mark’s company involved in local charities, but they sponsor mission trips each year for their employees as an opportunity to give back. Mark became familiar with Life Light Ministries in 2017 when an employee presented New Beginnings Children’s Home as a mission trip opportunity for his company. After spending over a week in India with the ministry, Mark and Rhonda fell in love with the culture and people. They have continued to visit India each year and plan to do so as often as possible.
Bonnie Swaby, Board Member
Bonnie has been married to Scott Swaby for 23 years. They have 3 children: Joshua, Mariah, and Wyatt. Their daughter also has blessed them with 3 grandchildren: Zylee, Kyden, and Carter. Bonnie has been a LPN for 15 years. She works as a nurse for Terre Haute UAP clinic and Pregnancy Choices in Linton IN. She is a proud partner of Pregnancy Choices because they work with women in crisis, who need spiritual, emotional, and physical help. These woman need hope and love, no matter what life choices they have made. Bonnie sees this as her mission in the States. Additionally, she is active in the children ministry at Linton First Christian Church, where she teaches and helps lead grades K-6.
Bonnie has a passion for Christian service and Christian mission work. She loves to help others with physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. She went on her first mission trip in 2014 to Belize, where she returned for several more trips. Then, in 2018, she joined Life Light on her first mission trip to India, planning to return in 2019. Her friendships with Board Member Michelle Ellet and Executive Director John and his wife encouraged her to partner with Life Light by going to India. After her mission trip, where she experienced Life Light's ministries first-hand, she has sought to invest more and more into Life Light's ministry. Life Light is thankful to have another qualified, passionate Board Member.
Rick Shaum, Board Member
Rick provides executive coaching, leadership training, and consulting services to a variety of organizations. And, he also serves on several advisory boards. His practice is built on several decades of work for private equity portfolio companies and family owned businesses.
Rick’s work with human behavior and leaders at all levels has fueled his core belief that each individual has innate strengths and gifts to contribute. Wise leaders seek to identify and acknowledge those individual strengths, and then situate people in appropriate roles for their own individual development and success. In turn, these individuals benefit the teams they serve.
Rick was attracted to Life Light Ministries because of the work being done to reach the people of India through a variety of services with indigenous talent. In particular, he views the educational services offered through schools as a strategic opportunity to impact communities and as a potential path to mission sustainability for the future.
Rick and his wife Gayle live in Colorado where they enjoy skiing, hiking and other outdoor activities.
Kitt Haberman, Board Member
Catherine "Kitt" Haberman earned a B.A. in English from St Catherine University, St.Paul, MN. She and her husband, Mike, moved to Bahrain soon after their marriage in 1993. They spent 6 1/2 years in the Middle East, where they were active in the local church attended by many nationalities.
Having several friends and employees from India, Kitt grew to love not only the food, but also, the gentle nature of its citizens. Kitt learned of the plight of many “housemaids” employed within Saudi Arabia and around the country who were in effect, sex slaves. Back in the states many years later, she struggled with how to make an impact in this ever-increasing crime of human-trafficking. When John Dongerdive, a friend from church, asked Kitt to consider serving as a board member of Life Light Ministries, she knew it was the avenue to make an impact in India.
They have three children; their youngest whom is adopted through foster care. They felt the Lord’s leading to not only add a member to their family, but also make a difference in the lives of orphans. Before being lead to foster care, the Habermans first considered international adoption. However, this door was closed. Instead, they sponsor Lakshminarayana “Lakshi”, providing basic needs and knowing they are making a difference. Presently, Louisville, KY is their home where her husband is employed with UPS and Kitt owns a small business as a health and wellness coach. They are members of Sojourn Community Church.
Michelle Ellett, Board Member
Michelle Ellett is the Director of Children’s Ministry at Linton First Christian Church in Linton, Indiana. She studied elementary education at Indiana State University and currently lives in Lyons, Indiana. She has been married to her husband, Pastor Archie Ellett for 27 years. They have a son (Jake) and a daughter (Charity). In 2012, she made her first trip to Bangalore, India answering the call God had placed on her heart.
It was in 2014 that Michelle met John and Heather Dongerdive at the North American Christian Convention in Cincinnati Ohio. This meeting lead to her going to Aurangabad India to work with Life Light. This past summer she was added to the Life Light board and is excited to see what God is going to accomplish through the ministry.
Chelsea Hilbert, Administrative Assistant
Chelsea works as a part-time administrative assistant for Life Light. She graduated in 2017 from Southwest Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master's of Divinity at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky as a full-time graduate student.
Chelsea is passionate about sharing the love of Christ among her family, friends, and neighbors; she has worked overseas in various capacities and has a heart to serve people. She is excited to invest in Life Light's ministry and be a small part of a big service to the lost and forgotten in India.