Welcoming The 2018 SERVANT TEAM!

The Lahash office in Portland is quite a bit busier these days! A new year is underway for the Servant Teams program, and we are excited to have four interns settling in under the leadership of Director Mandee Campos and Coordinator Yevette Garcia. In addition to their time in the office, they are impacting the city of Portland through serving at the Union Gospel Mission and at the Rosewood Initiative. They will be based in Portland for these first five months of the program, and then will travel to East Africa at the end of January to serve with our ministry partners there.

They are hard at work and busy every day, but they did take a little time out to share a few thoughts so that our greater Lahash community could get to know them a little bit. Here you go!

VALERIA Colmenarez

Valeria definitely traveled the longest distance to join Servant Teams – she made her way to Portland from Venezuela. Although she has some family connections in Oregon, most of her family is in Venezuela. She’s eager to share her culture and heritage with the Lahash community, and says simply that she decided to join Servant Teams as an act of obedience to God. “I’m so excited about all the learning, people, and experiences this upcoming 10 months has in store!”

NICOLE Verrett

Nicole found out about Servant Teams a few years ago from the founder and first director of the program, Clark Blakeman. She was drawn in by his vision for the program, and specificially, “What helped me see myself truly a part of this team was when he explained a question that none of my professors had been able to give me a clear answer for: how to get diversity and low-income students into the mission field. This program was that answer. He said the way of Servant Teams fundraising was not for one person but was as a team of one. This stamped a place in my heart that I could never get rid of.” Most of you know that Clark has since passed away, so it is extra special to have a team member this year who joined because of his influence. Nicole is excited to be meeting new people, is eager to go to Tanzania and join the work going on there, and is hoping to come away from Servant Teams with genuine, lasting relationships.


Esther brings a lot of East Africa experience to the team, having served with another ministry in Uganda for four years! She found out about Servant Teams right at a transitional time in her life, and says, “The motto of Love God, Serve Together really resonated with me, as I have a passion for doing ministry to God’s glory!” Although Portland is quite a distance from her family in Texas and her East African family in Uganda, she is glad to be welcomed into the Lahash family, too. “I am most excited about learning and growing in God through community with my teammates, as well as with the greater Lahash family both in Portland and East Africa.”


Eryn clearly sees how God led her toward the Servant Teams programs through previous experiences in ministry and outreach. She was part of an intensive discipleship program called Masters Commission, which included an outreach trip to aid victims of human trafficking. This trip helped her recognize God calling her into a season focused on mission work. She is also from an area in Minnesota with high populations of East African refugees, from Kenya and Somalia. The connections she has formed by spending time in these communities have opened her heart to the people and cultures of East Africa. “When I was praying for open opportunities and reaching out to different ministries and missions, I could not find any peace,” Eryn says. “Eventually I came across the Servant Teams program. Immediately I knew. The presence of God fell upon me, I began to cry for no reason. I felt the call. So here I am. Every single step has been God-initiated and God-ordained. He has created this freedom. This peace. I’ve had no anxiety, worry, or fear throughout this process. He has provided everything. This truly is where I am called to this season.” Eryn looks forward to seeing how the tools, skills, talents, knowledge, and experiences that God has given her are able to fit into this year with Servant Teams!

So, there you have it! Four amazing young women who are already diving in deep to the journey of Servant Teams. Let them know how glad you are that they are here, they are enthusiastically accepting encouragement and support and all the following ways:

  • Prayer – each of them greatly value the prayers of family, friends, and wider community!
  • Follow their journey via social media (and comment! and share!) Click here to visit the Servant Teams Facebook page to see recent photos and updates.
  • Financial Support – they are just beginning their team support-raising efforts, so every gift is a huge boost!


Welcome, Servant Team! We are glad you’re here and excited for the year ahead!