Our Staff

Staff 2018-01-04T18:10:44+00:00
Elisa ZiegExecutive Director

We are pleased to announce the hiring of Elisa Zieg as our new Executive Director. Elisa is an experienced and enthusiastic non-profit leader with over 10 years’ experience in advocating for vulnerable children and youth. With a BS in Family Studies and an MA in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation she has been able to navigate challenges our children and youth face and give them hope for a bright future.

“Elisa will bring leadership and creativity to The Nest, and she has a breadth of perspective needed for this important role,” stated Board Chair Kirk Kasicki. “We are all very impressed, not only by her deep understanding of our mission, but also her obvious passion for the work.”

“I am beyond excited to have been called to the role of Executive Director with The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home for homeless, pregnant, and parenting young women and their children. My passion to serve children and youth began at an early age when I had the privilege of growing up in a children’s home in Texas which demonstrated that family is more than blood—family is who you love and who loves you back.”

Alyssa HilburnCase Manager/Volunteer Coordinator

Alyssa worked as a case manager for Children’s Division prior to joining The Sparrow’s Nest. She attends First Baptist Church of Harvester.

“I am so excited to be a part of the team and ministry of The Sparrow’s Nest! I believe that the young women we serve deserve to know the love of their Creator and Heavenly Father. I also believe that they need to find their voice and be empowered to reach their full potential. I am committed to helping them in every way that I can.”

Sue OttingerBusiness Manager

Sue and her husband attend Harvester Christian Church.  They have 3 children and 4 grandchildren – Tracy and Rob, Zoey and Judah, Matt and Jenn, Ashlyn, Sarah, Abby.

“For some time I had felt God nudging me to do something. I was always so busy I didn’t think I could fit one more thing into the day, but I knew God wanted me to trust Him and just take the step.  After hearing about The Sparrows Nest at church I knew it was what He wanted me to do.  I didn’t know what I would do, but He did!  I took the step forward anyway and here I am.  Retired and loving what I do at The Sparrows Nest!  Little did I know that what I have done for a living for the last 25 years is what God wanted me to do for The Sparrows Nest.  I am so blessed that God is using me in a way I never thought could be used to help His little ones know His love, His forgiveness, His redemption and how much He cares for them.  I love the picture of how God rescues and  heals us in Psalm 40:1-3.  I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”

Deborah CrawfordHouse Manager

Deborah has attended Church on the Rock for ten years. She works in the Greeters ministry every Saturday. She has worked with children and teens for over twenty years. She has a degree in interior design and a deep passion for it. She has two wonderful children of her own – her daughter, Sierra Farmer (26) and her son, Kamron Mills (17).

“About two years ago I prayed and asked God to bless me with a job. And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. Habakkuk 2:2. I did exactly what the scripture told me. A year later I was blessed to find The Sparrow’s Nest and now I’m here to sing my Song. I was a young teen mother, homeless, and had a mind and heart with no hope. God had a different song for me. Now Jesus and I sing together. What a wonderful SONG!”

Katie WrightHouse Aide: Weekend Manager

Katie Wright graduated in May 2016 from Truman State and is currently enrolled in the Masters in Social Work program at UMSL. She is a member at Matthias Lot Church.

“I wanted a job that pertained to my field and had a purpose and ministry. The Lord has always provided me with opportunities and jobs that help me learn to serve Him in so many ways. I found the Sparrow’s Nest through a friend and saw an opening and jumped on it, knowing the Lord is at work in this place. I love walking alongside these girls and fellow staff members and seeing how the Lord makes all things beautiful. His love is so evident and I am grateful each and every week for this opportunity.”

Lois LanhamHouse Aide

Lois and her husband John have been married for 10 years. Together, they have six grown children – five daughters and one son – as well as one daughter-in-law and four sons-in-law, plus seven (and counting!) grandchildren.  Lois and John are active in several areas of ministry at their church, West County Assembly of God.  She is an RN who retired from nursing in September, 2015, after working 17 years at St. Luke’s Hospital in postpartum and newborn nursery, then 20 years in a large pediatric private practice.   Lois’s favorite hobby is reading, mostly fiction.  She also enjoys scrap booking and some wood crafts.  She is a homebody, but loves travel when it involves spending time on a beach, or visiting children and grandchildren.

“Several years ago, while reading a book by a favorite author, Francine Rivers, God spoke to my heart and challenged me to find a way to help moms who choose to give life to their babies.  Through a series of circumstances, I found The Sparrow’s Nest online.  I became a TLC in June, 2014.  I quickly fell in love with the ministry at The Sparrow’s Nest.  I enjoyed my opportunities to interact with the young women and their children, as well as the house parents and other TLCs.  I was thrilled with the opportunity to become part of the Sparrow staff in July 2016, where I am now working as a house aide.  Watching the ways God transforms the lives of the girls who come to the Nest is so exciting!  These girls are beautiful, brave, and strong.  I have gained far more from being with them than I will ever be able to give back.  And I get to love on their babies too!  The Sparrow staff is truly wonderful.  Sometimes I can hardly believe that I am not only allowed to share my faith in Jesus at work, but am encouraged to do so!  I know that God has called me to this ministry, and I am so blessed to be part of the Sparrow family.”

Lisa RandolphHouse Aide

Lisa has been employed with Missouri Department of Social Services for over 24 years. She obtained her graduate degree in School and Professional Counseling from Lindenwood University in 2004. Currently, she counsels the teen moms at Sparrow’s Nest as well as others in the St. Charles County community through Christian Family Services. Lisa is married and has two children. She enjoys scrapbooking, DIY projects, other crafts and growing a garden. Lisa is a member of Connection Christian Church.

“I am excited to be part of the Sparrow’s Nest team! God has guided my path to be an integral part in the lives of the residents. I met Carissa at a Ladies Bible Study where I heard more about the mission and goals of Sparrow’s Nest. I knew then I wanted God to use me in the capacity to encourage and empower young single moms. I am passionate about equipping young women with godly tools and strategies to be strong leaders in their homes and the community. It is truly a blessing to share God’s love and mercy and be part of a wonderful team.”

Kim McKnightHouse Aide

Kim and her husband, Tom, have been married for 33 years and have three sons, two daughters, two daughters-in-law, three grandchildren, and two dogs. They are members of Calvary Church and enjoy leading a small group that meets in their home. Kim feels blessed to have had the privilege of teaching their children for the past 24 years. She also enjoys reading, digital scrapbooking, doing puzzles, listening to minor league baseball, and organizing anything.

“As I have entered my final years of homeschooling, I have had more time on my hands and had been praying about either a job or a place to serve. Just a short distance from my house I noticed a sign that read “Sparrow’s Nest”. After driving by it a couple times, I decided to look up the Sparrow’s Nest online. I read a little about the ministry, and I immediately knew that this was a ministry for which I’d like to volunteer. I called the number listed and within minutes found myself sitting in the office learning more about Sparrow and their volunteer opportunities. I began serving there by sorting and organizing donations in the office. A number of months later I became a TLC so that I could spend time encouraging the sweet girls that live at the Nest, and just recently took the next step to become a part of the Sparrow staff. I’m so thankful that God has allowed me to be a part of this incredible ministry.”

Sara AndersonHouse Aide

Sara grew up in the St. Louis area and has been at her home church, New Heights Christian Church, for 20 years. Sara attended Saint Louis Christian College (SLCC) beginning in August of 2009 and has since graduated with a Bachelor’s in Music & Worship and the Bible and a second Bachelor’s in Behavioral Ministry. In between her times at SLCC, Sara moved to Knoxville, TN to earn her Master’s in Elementary Education in 2014-2015. Sara has spent most of her adult life in school and volunteering at her home church. She now works part time at New Heights as the Worship Ministry Leader and the Administrative Assistant and continues to volunteer as a youth sponsor.

“For the past six years, I have loved working with teens at my home church. In the past, I had the opportunity to work at Emergency Shelter and Transitional Living Program in the area and I loved the work. However, my schedule was very intense in my time there and there were personal issues that lead me to step away from my position there to seek full-time employment. In August 2016, God laid it on my heart to seek work in the field again. Just a few weeks later, I heard about the opening at The Sparrows Nest and learned of this amazing organization. In my interview process and in my time thus far with The Sparrows Nest, every red flag and frustration I had in the field prior to finding The Sparrows Nest has been addressed. God has proven to me that this is where he wants me and I am so glad to be a part of this amazing team of people and organization.”

Mackenna DarnellHouse Aide

Mackenna grew up in the St. Charles, Missouri area and has been a member of Harvester Christian Church for over 10 years. She has been involved in many children’s, women’s, and young women’s ministries associated with Harvester. She and her husband are advocates of seeking joy in all circumstances.

“Listed on The Sparrow’s Nest website is the mission statement, part of which reads, ‘The mission of The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home is to provide a Christ centered shelter and to educate homeless, pregnant, and parenting young women by providing a wide range of services that empower them…’ There is more stated after that, but how could I turn down an opportunity God had placed so heavily on my heart? An opportunity to be a part of empowering young women, while pouring as much of Christ’s love onto them and their babies as possible? The answer is that I couldn’t turn it down. I am eager and grateful to be a puzzle piece of the Sparrow’s Nest team!”

Rebekah HammockHouse Aide

Rebekah is a member of Grace Baptist Church in St. Charles and has been going there the past 28 years. While at GBC she has been and still is involved in various ministries that she loves. She works in the nursery and is the Director of the Cubbies Awana program. She is a staff worker in the Grace Student Ministries (GSM) high school class. Rebekah loves to sing and is a member of her church choir. She also volunteers to go with her church one week out of the year to a church camp.

“I am beyond excited to be apart of the Sparrow’s Nest family and team. God has given me a great love and desire for people….teens and children especially, and to spread His word. I know God led me to this ministry to help others learn and grow in Him…to help those who feel lost, alone and hopeless. For years I have felt like I needed and could do so much more for God and others but I just didn’t know what that was…now I know. I love these young ladies and their children so much and I want them to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, the Creator. God began a great work here at Sparrow and He is far from finished with it. I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for His little Sparrows and the Nest!”

Taylor KroeseHouse Aide

Taylor grew up in the St.Charles area and has been at Grace Community chapel for 8 years. She is currently attending Missouri Baptist University where she is pursuing a degree in human services and psychology. She enjoys people and traveling.

“After recently returning home from a three month missions trip working with victims of sex trafficking in Italy, I began to ask God why he brought me back to the U.S. I wanted another opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus to girls who are looking for hope. I took a tour of Sparrow before I left for my trip and when I returned home God immediately brought the organization back to the front of my mind. I quickly applied to be a weekend house aid. After my interviews and conversations with the team, God made it very clear that this is where he wants me to be. I can’t express how thankful I am to have the opportunity to serve alongside a staff who is pursuing Christ so passionately and loving others deeply as a result.”

Hannah SlavichHouse Aide

Hannah and her husband John have been married for three years. They have a one year old daughter, Evelyn. Hannah attended Lincoln Christian University from 2011 to 2016. She has a bachelor degree in Spiritual Formation and Ministry and an Associates in Education. She and her family just recently moved to St. Charles and attend Matthias’ Lot Church. She has been involved with many different children and youth ministries since she was in high school.

“I have spent the last few years working with the children of young mothers and in foster care. Through my experiences, I have learned the value of support and education for a young mother. It is invaluable to her children and the family as a whole. The Sparrow’s Nest provides both of these to young women, along with giving them a family. I am so excited to be a part of this ministry and to be witness to the great works of God as His love is poured out. I am humbled to be a part of the Sparrow Team and am excited to see what God has planned.”

Nicole CulbertsonHouse Aide: Kitchen Coordinator

Nikki is a college student at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. She is majoring in history and minoring in Spanish.

Your mission seems like the perfect opportunity for me. In addition to being able to provide for myself, I will be able to make a difference in the lives of the young women that we are serving.  

I have experience in several areas that I feel have helped prepare me for a role like this. As the second-oldest of nine children, I have grown up cooking and cleaning and I am especially skilled at cooking for large groups of people. I have been involved with mentoring teen girls for several years in my church family in addition to my own sisters and cousins. I am also very experienced with babies, including newborns, and I really enjoy caring for children. When I was a teenager I often babysat and worked in my aunt’s daycare and I have been a nanny to a five-child family for four years.  

I also was a college-level tutor for two years and I am experienced and able to help the girls study for college entrance exams or the GED test, if that is a goal that they would like to pursue. In addition to academics, my time as a tutor also helped me develop patience and understanding when dealing with different personality types and behaviors. I am able to communicate in Spanish, as I am currently studying it at the university, and I also know some American Sign Language.  

I am a calm, no-nonsense person who feels that everyone deserves respect, compassion, and most importantly to be shown the love of God. I welcome the opportunity to serve and help in any way possible.  

And the verse (One of many, of course 😁 ) that I try to live by is Proverbs 31:26 — She opens her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Allison BoggsHouse Aide

Alli and her husband and one-year-old daughter recently moved to the St. Louis area for her husband to attend Covenant Theological Seminary. Previously, they lived and worked in Portsmouth, Ohio as missionaries to the East End of the city–ministering to addicts, prostitutes, and the homeless. Alli also worked for CRADLE Pregnancy Care Center, where her passion for ministering to pregnant women began. She and her family attend Trinity Presbyterian Church in Kirkwood.

“With so many experiences working in ministry over the past decade, I am always amazed at how God has set me up for my next role in serving Him. From youth ministry, to pastoral ministry, to missions, and now ministering to pregnant women, God continues to reveal pieces of His plan for my life. It is such a beautiful thing to walk alongside a pregnant woman, sharing in her joys, her aches and pains, her confusion, and the arrival of her child. I was blessed to be able to do this at CRADLE, by discipling and counseling women through their pregnancy and into parenthood. Now that I have the opportunity to continue in this type of ministry, I am so thankful. It is such a tender time in a young woman’s life, and I pray that God will continue to use me in order to help equip these young ladies for their lives as new parents.”

Jenna KeithHouse Aide

” I’ve been on this whirlwind ride of life for about 24 years and I’ve learned God puts people, places and experiences in our path as teachers. It was about time that I stopped to listen to them. I heard His message through them and responded, when I did that – my cup started running over. BIG TIME.

You know that feeling you get when God is clearly leading you somewhere? Me too. Through my interview process at Sparrow God made it abundantly clear to me that this was my position, the place He wanted me to be, and the people He wanted me to surround myself with.

God has absolutely prepared my path to be at The Sparrow’s Nest serving these girls, their babies, and Him. I pray we are teachers, motivators, and sanctuaries for each other everyday.”

“God is within her, she will not fall.”
Psalms 46:5