Crisis Care Training International (CCTI) is a global ministry of WEC International to children in crisis founded in 2004 by Dr. Phyllis Kilbourn.
Phyllis is a child advocate, trauma trainer and author/editor of a number of handbooks focused on interventions for children in crisis and has served in Liberia and Kenya with WEC International.
She holds the PhD in education from Trinity International University, Deerfield, Illinois. Dr. Kilbourn has taught crisis care training seminars and/or conducted research in many countries across Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America.
Dr. Kilbourn traveled in dozens of countries visiting children-in-crisis projects and conducting training seminars. She knew the local church’s participation in the response to the cries of the world’s suffering children was the only answer to their overwhelming needs.
Training to equip local churches to participate, however, would be a mammoth undertaking. To facilitate the training would require a joining of hands and networking of like-minded individuals and organizations. Along with providing the necessary training tools, CCTI seeks to be a catalyst in this process.
To bring the healing and hope of Christ to children and families in crisis situations, through training and resources.
To see every church:
• equipped to reach in to every child in their community
• equipped to reach out to the children of the world
• equipped to realize and utilize the resource of children and their God-given gifts as the church of today.
Of the 2.2 billion children in the world, two-thirds (1.5 billion) are hurting—they are children at risk and children in crisis. These are precious children who have been subjected to abuse, abandonment, neglect and/or exploitation. What a strategy of the enemy to destroy the image of God and hinder them from knowing their Savior.
Our task is to equip communities, including the local church and caregivers, with the training and resources necessary to bring the healing and hope of Christ to children and families in crisis.
- Building awareness of global children-in-crisis situations and subsequent ministry opportunities.
- Developing resources and training materials including a curriculum, books and a training newsletter.
- Training and equipping communities, local church members, and caregivers to effectively and compassionately minister to children and families in crisis.
- Developing a pool of trainers to assist with global training needs.
- Working towards establishing a fully equipped and accredited training center available to all in children-in-crisis ministry.
Phyllis holds the Ph.D. in education from Trinity International University, Deerfield, Illinois. Dr. Kilbourn has taught crisis care training seminars and/or conducted research in many countries across the globe.
Rosemary Sabatino – Director:
Rosemary spent the majority of her life as a wife and mother and as a Division Manager for grass roots political action organizations. However, her passion has always been working with children both in her community and as a Sunday School Teacher. In 2004 her passion took her, late in life, to Columbia International University where her focus was Education and Biblical Studies. In 2007 she joined Crisis Care Training International where she now serves as director. She has personally been a caretaker for orphaned and abandoned street children in Africa and, in partnership with Dr. Phyllis Kilbourn, has taught globally on Trauma Care for Children in Crisis.
Rosemary is a widow with two grown children and the proud grandmother of Ricky and Eli Sabatino—beautiful grandsons who love the Lord.
Howard and Virginia McConnell were both born in Colorado, where they accepted Jesus as their Savior at an early age. After graduating from Adams State College, they moved to Minnesota and Howard taught accounting in a Community College. Virginia was a stay-at-home mom for their two children.
After seventeen years, God called them to go to WEC International to serve in finances for WEC-USA. Twenty six years later, when they were beginning to think retirement, God again called; this time to New Zealand. They served in New Zealand for four years, where Howard once again worked with finance and Virginia worked in the office and in hospitality to the field. As the door closed on their time in New Zealand, God opened the door for Howard and Virginia to come to CCTI to serve in Finance and Operations Management.
Marissa holds an M.A. in Missions and Evangelism and a second degree in Christian Education from Asbury Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky. During her time in seminary she also served with GO International as Children’s Ministries Coordinator.
In the past 8 years, Marissa has served children by focusing on training indigenous church leaders in the importance of ministering to children on the local level. She has also written a training manual for this purpose. Marissa joined CCTI in 2009 with a passion to serve children in crisis as God leads.
Marissa is married to Dan Phelps, a graduate of Asbury Seminary with a Master in Divinity and Music. They have three children: Abriel, Haylie and Benjamin. Dan, Marissa and their children currently live in Artesia, NM where Dan serves as pastor of The First Presbyterian Church.
Tami began her work with children in crisis by ministering to the orphaned children in Kyrgyzstan. After leaving Central Asia, Tami began a ministry of advocacy for children in crisis. She is the co-creator of Red Card, a family curriculum for churches designed to raise awareness for children at risk, mobilize prayer on their behalf, and equip families to offer practical help. Tami realized the need to equip the church by training indigenous leaders and caregivers of children in crisis and joined the CCTI staff as Training Coordinator in January of 2013. Tami and her daughter, Tabi, live in Colorado.
Tami holds a BA in Business Administration from Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO and has completed a Certificate in Theology from Denver Seminary.
Amy, and her husband Ed, have been serving in missions related work to children since 2002. They worked full time in Mexico City during 2009-2010, where they helped to establish a community center for Street Children. Since their return to the states, Amy continued to serve with Pioneers and their children’s ministry, Stand4Kids. God then opened doors for Amy to work with WEC and Crisis Care Training International. She is now excited to serve as an Editing, Marketing and Training Associate, while she works from home in Holly Springs, NC. Amy also home schools her sons, Caleb and Jadon. Amy’s husband, Ed, has completed his Physicians Assistant degree and is now working at an urgent care facility in Virginia, where the family resides.
Amy holds a BA in Psychology and Elementary Education from Meredith College, Raleigh, NC. She also attended Moody Bible College where she completed a Certificate of Biblical Studies.
Kathy has served in missions since 1976 with CAM International, ACMC, and Pioneers. She is a graduate of Valley Commercial College, Modesto, CA and holds a degree in Graphic Design and Fine Arts from Palomer College in California. Kathy has a desire to use her expertise to help hurting children.
Natalie Flickner – Curriculum Developer & Staff Trainer:
Natalie graduated with a masters degree in Pastoral Counseling from Columbia Biblical Seminary. She is currently serving as a curriculum developer and staff trainer for Crisis Care Training International. Her passion is to advocate on behalf of children around the world with disabilities. Natalie and her husband, Kevin, reside in Columbia, South Carolina.
Valerie Downs – CCTI Staff Administrator & Trainer:
Valerie grew up in Ohio and graduated from Cleveland State University. She worked five years as a physical therapist before God called her to the Tibetans of West China (1993-2014), where she was especially drawn to children and widows. Currently she is living in Charlotte with her elderly mother and niece, and serves as a new staff member of CCTI in Fort Mill, South Carolina.