Rachel Krueger (president/founder)
I’ve been married for 18 years to my husband, Charlie. I am a mom of three children, two sons and a daughter. Our family has a small Pomeranian, Willow. We have lived in St. Michael, MN for over 12 years. I have been working in the dental field for over 23 years as a dental hygienist.
I became passionate about the people of Haiti after going on my first mission trip to Haiti in January 2011. I have been back numerous times since. After my second trip, I asked God to lead me to some sort of mission in Haiti. I asked him to help me find a way to earn money to help a family get on their feet. The hope was to help someone and they would, in-turn, help others that have been placed before them.
That happened in mid-2012. I started on an adventure to fix up homes as a way to earn money for Haiti missions. Little did I know, God had a bigger plan for these profits. Shortly before my first ‘flip’ was complete, God had been working within our team to bring us together and start what we know today as Anchored Beginnings. I whole heartedly believe all things are possible with God. He equips the ill-equipped, such as me. God continues to work within us, if our eyes and hearts are open to it. God has answered my prayers and is doing amazing things through Anchored Beginnings. I am thrilled to be a part of it.
Karen Schaaf (secretary/founder)
I have been married for over 29 years, have five beautiful children, and two adorable grandchildren. Over the past years I have helped operate our own constructions company and ran a licensed daycare. I now work full-time as a personal care attendant.
I feel blessed and honored to have helped get Anchored Beginnings off the ground. God is so good as he has been ever so present in this journey. He guides our every move. We are so thankful for all the blessings Anchored Beginnings has seen and will continue to see in the future.
Trent Elder (Life Skills Advocate)
I am 42 years old, and have two teenage daughters. I have worked in the criminal justice/juvenile corrections field for 18 years. I currently work with Teenage boys as a Life Skills worker. I also served 4 years in the US Air Force, stationed in Texas, California, Saudi Arabia, and Greece. The last several years God has guided me to be part of a mission team. When the opportunity to be part of Anchored Beginnings, I knew that God wanted me to be part of that.
In November of 2015 I had the opportunity to travel to Haiti for the first time. God guided every step preparing for the trip to Haiti. During the week our team was there, the experience was awesome. God watched over our team while we were there, and created many opportunities there to support our family in Haiti. Connecting with our family in Haiti was a great experience, and I pray that God will provide me with future opportunities to continue working with the Jean family in Haiti.
robert benjamin (Child/Family advocate)
I am a native to Haiti. I play many roles in Haiti. Some of which include; a professor, interpreter, administrator and theologian. I am one of the leaders at the Baptist Church in Fermathe, Haiti. I have been married for 5 years to my wife, Valencia Benjamin. We have 2 little boys, Victor (4 yrs old) and Ryan (3 yrs old). I have been working alongside Anchored Beginnings since it began in 2014. I am currently serving as their child advocate. I am excited to see what God has in mind for Anchored Beginnings.
Bernot Jean (driver)
Bernot is a kind, soft spoke, gentle man. He has 2 businesses he runs on his own. He is a welder and a tap tap (taxi) driver. He owns his own home. He provides for his mother and 2 sisters. Bernot is a hard worker. His faith in God is amazing. He's always saying, "God knows the way". He drives our teams around when we come to Haiti. Everyone who meets Bernot enjoys him so much. He is an important part of this team. We feel blessed to have him working with us.
Lauren Simmons (Jewelry designer)
I am the sole creator and owner at CoastalCreationsMB. I'm married to a man that I adore, and am excited to be coming up on 10 years of married life with him. I am the mother to a daughter who is my world and just celebrated her 4th birthday. I'm a full-time professional and entrepreneur. I love the beach and all animals.
I started this small, handmade business in April 2015 after collecting lots of sea shells from the beach! It all started when my family relocated to Myrtle Beach, SC in August of 2014. I began to make home decor using shells collected from our local beaches. In January of 2016, I found interest in hand stamping, immediately fell in love, and decided to expand my business to offer unique, stamped, metal pendants. I continue to work a full-time job, then enjoying my stamping and home decor business in my spare time-from my craft corner in the garage! I like to take inspiration from daily life, and love to create custom items that are unique and personalized.
Mickelson Jean (Child/Family Advocate)
Mickelson has been working for Anchored Beginnings since the 2014. He is 1 of 2 of our child/family advocates. His main role is support. He works directly with the children and families. During the school year he helps the children with their homework and checks in with the local schools the children attend to make sure they are thriving.
Mickelson is going to be starting his 3rd year of law school at Ecole de Droit et des Sciences Economiques des Gonaives. After finishing law school he hopes to be hired on as Anchored Beginnings Haitian attorney. He has truly been a blessing to all who know him.