Bill & Marsha Myers, Executive Directors – Bill and Marsha have been involved with the children centers in the Dominican Republic for over 10 years. They have led many teams on short term missions to the CIMIV center. They have also supported VivaKids by promoting the child sponsorship program, heading up fundraising events and assisting with multiple Vacation with a Purpose trips. Early in 2017, they answered God’s calling to take over leadership of VivaKids as Executive Directors. While without knowing it, He has been preparing them for this role for years. They are honored to have this opportunity to move the vision and mission of VivaKids forward and provide direction to this ministry for the benefit of all involved and above all for the glory of God!
Bill and Marsha recently celebrated their 25th anniversary and have become grandparents for the first time. Their family currently consists of 3 children, a daughter-in-law, grandson. With two weddings on the horizon, they are looking forward to expanding their family to nine by the middle of next year! All have been to the Dominican Republic (with the exception of their 7 week old grandson ) serving alongside Bill and Marsha on various trips to the centers. The Dominican Republic has been a part of their lives for many years and they are excited for many more years of faithful service with VivaKids.
Lori Barr, Operations Manager – Lori is our Operations Manager and is located at VivaKids international headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Lori has been with VivaKids for the past 7 years. She manages the child sponsorship program and provides administrative support for the children centers in the Dominican Republic. Lori also interfaces with the international sponsors and their sponsored children, facilitating their relationship.
Lori is a proud parent of a 22 year old son and spends as much time as she can with him and others camping, kayaking, swimming and hiking as they enjoy God’s amazing creation. She enjoys playing tennis in leagues and tournaments, she plays doubles tennis and has for 35 years! Lori enjoys traveling and loves visiting NC mountains and waterfalls. She is also very involved in her Church, attends bible studies and Christian concerts. Lori also volunteers with other ministries as she serves and provides leadership.
Lori is very grateful that God has given her the opportunity to use her previous work experiences and accounting skills at VivaKids. She considers it a blessing to serve God and the children and a privilege to assist in the advancement of the ministries vision and mission.
Jomaris Mercedes, Field Director, Dominican Republic – Jomaris has worked with the CIMIV center for many years as she is the daughter of Enerio and Leo Mercedes. Growing up, her father, together with a group of brothers from church, started the CIMIV. With frequent visits from missionaries, Enerio encouraged his children to learn English in order to be able to communicate with them, so Jomaris is bi-lingual. She is taking on a full time position with VivaKids starting in July. This expanded role will include implementing the objectives of the child sponsorship program for all of our partner children centers. Jomaris will be working closely with the children as she also facilitates the communication with their sponsors. She will provide translations, communicate the children’s needs, and purchase and deliver gifts to the children on behalf of their sponsors.
Jomaris attended primary and high school in San Pedro de Macoris, and then went to medical school at the Central East University located in the same town.
She is a relatively shy person with a friendly personality and she is the mother of a 16 month old, sweet little girl!
Today she is willing to go wherever God leads her, and work to benefit all those in need, not only with food or material things, but to show them the love of God as well.