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
CCTI’s curriculum, Offering Healing and Hope for Children in Crisis, is a flexible, multi-module curriculum for training caregivers working with children who have experienced trauma from crisis experiences such as physical, sexual or emotional abuse, abandonment and/or exploitation.
Module l, Trauma and Crisis Care, is the core module that usually is taken first. It lays a foundation in understanding children’s response to trauma. Surrounding the “hub” are several “spokes” that examine specific trauma-producing situations. Those highlighted in yellow are completed, those in pink are underway and those in white need contributing authors.
Module 1: Trauma & Crisis Care
Module 2: Street Children
Module 3: Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children
Module 4: Children and Soldiers: Working with Children In Situations of Armed Conflict
Module 5: Train the Trainer
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.
To accomplish our mission CCTI is:
- 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 Kilbourn, Ph.D. – Founder & Director of Education:
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.
Tami Snowden – Director:
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 has taught multiple modules of CCTI’s Trauma Training material throughout the USA and abroad. Tami now serves as the Director of CCTI.
Tami holds a BA in Business Administration from Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO and has completed a Certificate in Theology from Denver Seminary.
Tami and her daughter, Tabi, live in Colorado.
Amy Wilson – Editing, Marketing & Training On-line Coordinator:
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 has been serving as an Editing, Marketing and International Online Education Coordinator for CCTI since 2012. Amy also home schools her sons, Caleb and Jadon. Her husband, Ed, has completed his Physicians Assistant degree and is now working at the Emergency Department for the Wake Med System in NC, 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.
Howard & Virginia McConnell – Finance & Operations Management:
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.
Rosemary Sabatino – Member Care Director:
Rosemary is a widow with two grown children and the proud grandmother of Ricky and Eli Sabatino—beautiful grandsons who love the Lord. 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 served as the director through 2017. She now serves as the teams Member Care Coordinator. 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.
Natalie Flickner – Curriculum Developer & Staff Trainer:
Natalie Flickner is an associate missionary with World Evangelism for Christ (WEC) serving as a part of Crisis Care Training International (CCTI). She graduated with a BA in both Intercultural Studies and Bible from Columbia International University. Then she continued studying at Columbia Biblical Seminary and earned an MA in Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Formation. Natalie has ministered with CCTI since 2013. Her role at CCTI is Disability Coordinator and Trainer. Under this role she has written a module for CCTI curriculum called “Restoring Hope to Children with Disabilities”. This module is being used worldwide to educate caregivers. She also speaks at conferences regarding the current worldwide state of children with disability. She uses her personal experience of living with mild cerebral palsy in both her writing and speaking engagements. Natalie also trains caregivers of children in crisis through CCTI online courses. She lives with her husband, Kevin, in South Carolina.
Valerie Downs – CCTI Staff Administrator & Trainer:
Valerie grew up in Ohio and graduated from Cleveland State University. She worked as a physical therapist for five years before God called her to the Tibetans of West China (1993-2014), where she was especially drawn to children and widows. She has served on the CCTI team in the office and in member care since her return to the states in 2014.
Valerie lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her nephew and niece.
Denise McCarthy – Trainer:
Denise was born and raised in the Adirondacks of upstate New York.
Later in life, Denise, her husband and their three children were called to Dakar, Senegal, to serve at Dakar Academy. In 2008, they opened the country’s first American-run day center for talibé street boys. Talibé means “disciple of Allah.” As early as age four, these boys are given to a supposed teacher in the faith and are forced to beg for a daily quota and food. They receive no education or care; they are treated as slaves until they turn 16. The day center continues operating with International Baptist Church.
In 2016, they were called back to the U.S. Denise lives in Valencia, California, with her husband, Dave, who serves as the Director of Operations for Real Life Church. Their three children are grown now, and they have one grandson.
Francisca Viloria – Spanish Coordinator and Trainer:
Francisca Viloria is the most recent addition to the CCTI team. Francisca was born in Venezuela. She received her doctorate from the University of Reading, in the UK from 2002-2005, then returned to Venezuela to live until the end of 2017. Francisca began working as a WEC missionary in 2014, where she quickly began training the CCTI material in her home country, as well as many other South American countries. She moved to the US to continue her work with CCTI at the beginning of 2018. She serves as a trainer and with translating the curriculum resources into Spanish. Francisca has one son, Andres, who is pictured with her.
Kathy Walker – CCTI Graphics Coordinator:
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. She is currently serving in Mexico with her husband, Larry, and helps with CCTI as the Graphic Designer for our Barnabas quarterly newsletter, as well as other graphic projects for the team.
Marissa Phelps – Director of Children’s Prayer & Advocacy:
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.
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.