Our Staff

Hank de Jong

Hank de Jong Executive Director

This amazing organization has been a part of my life since 2003. Initially I worked 15 hours a week from my basement while maintaining full-time employment at Mission Services in downtown Hamilton. This lasted a short period of time before funding was available for my position to be full-time.  I have seen the results of our organization first-hand by personally meeting many students in developing countries who have been touched by the Gospel through Christ-centred education. I am increasingly convinced that Christ-centred education is an incredible tool for transformation. 

Our vision is to see communities transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our mission (how we work towards that vision) is to advance Christ-centred education.  I appreciate this sharp focus.  We don't dig wells, or train Pastors, or get involved in micro-finance initiatives.  We leave that important work for others.  We desire to be experts in global Christ-centred education…and then partner with others who are also working towards the transformation of communities, both locally and globally.  

My primary role is to lead the staff in the direction that the Board of Directors has prayerfully set forward. I love working with the staff in an effective team context.  Building on my undergraduate degree from Redeemer University College, I completed my Master of Arts in Leadership from Trinity Western University in 2013.  These educational pursuits have been valuable building blocks for my leadership of this organization.  

Apart from my role at EduDeo Ministries, I serve as elder in my local church. I love my church.  I also serve as a Board member for the Canadian Christian Relief and Development Association (CCRDA) and am a member of the Board for the Foster Parents Association of the Hamilton Children’s Aid Society.  

My wife Michelle and I are blessed with four children and we have also been actively involved in fostering young children in our city for the past three years. For fun, I enjoy hockey and running…and watching the Leafs.  #nextyear

Email: hdejong@edudeo.com

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Philip Beck

Philip Beck Operations Director

I joined EduDeo Ministries in August 2012.  My wife Stephanie and I have a son named Elijah. Prior to joining EduDeo Ministries, my wife and I served as missionaries with Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) in Jos, Nigeria for seven years. For our first year in Nigeria, I taught Social Studies and Bible to middle school students at Hillcrest School and then transitioned into an administrative role as the CRWM Nigeria Team Leader. Prior to our time in Nigeria, I taught middle school for two years at John Knox Memorial Christian School in Fruitland, Ontario.

As the key contact for Canadian Christian Schools, I am excited by the numerous opportunities to serve the Christian school community throughout Canada and also support the development of Christian schools globally. I see this role as a perfect blend of my teaching and mission experiences and desire to engage and walk alongside Christian school communities in Canada as we jointly learn about and promote Christian education throughout Christ’s kingdom.

If you are a Christian School teacher, administrator and/or parent in Canada who desires to learn more or become more fully engaged in Christian education globally in unique and meaningful ways through EduDeo Ministries, please feel free to contact me!

Email: pbeck@edudeo.com

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Tim Bootsma

Tim Bootsma International Partnership Director (Part Time)

I come to EduDeo with a deep desire to see the lives of the poor and vulnerable transformed by Christ's love. I see incredible potential being unleashed worldwide as schools equip children with a Godly understanding, character and worldview, and am convinced that Christian education transforms the lives of children, their families and communities! I marvel and rejoice in seeing the global body of Christ working together and the blessings that result. I'm excited about how "majority world" Christians can help Canadians better understand community, hospitality, compassion and much more.

My wife Andrea and I live on a farm with our 3 sons: Austin, Jordan and Luke. Previously, I served as a missionary with Christian Reformed World Relief Committee in Zambia. There I worked with indigenous churches and Christian groups ministering to the needs of the poor in their communities. In preparation for my work in Africa, I interned with Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO) in Florida and completed a BA Degree in Plant Science at Dordt College in Iowa. I have also spent time in Papua New Guinea, Russia, Haiti, and Australia and have lead short term mission trips to Mississippi, Tennessee, Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, Belize and Nicaragua.

Email: tbootsma@edudeo.com

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Uche Nweke

Uche Nweke International Partnership Director

I believe that education is one of the best gifts a society and the church can give to children, especially those children who are faced with a bleak future both spiritually and materially because of where they were born.  And when it is rooted in a biblical worldview, then, we are passing on to the next generation, the best gift that we can give and are contributing in the best way possible to the redemption of all things for God’s glory.

My desire is to contribute to EduDeo's mission of advancing Christ-centered education for Children worldwide, especially, vulnerable children. One of the things that increased my desire to serve at EduDeo is the sincere desire by EduDeo to do international ministry well; in ways that bring honour to God and with a posture of service to partners.

I joined EduDeo in January 2019 after eight years in sociolinguistic research, advocacy, and organizational relationship building in the bible translation ministry with SIL Nigeria, a partner organization of Wycliffe Bible Translators. I just completed an MBA from Edinburgh Business School, Scotland. I am from Nigeria but reside in Canada. I am married to Rachel and we have a daughter. For fun, I play ultimate frisbee and board games.

Email: unweke@edudeo.com

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Jonathan Horlings

Jonathan Horlings Innovation Director

As someone who has a passion for learning and the Gospel – I’m thrilled to join the EduDeo team as the new Marketing Director. I’ve attended Christian schools my whole life, getting my B.A. in Theatre Arts and English Literature at Dordt College. I love storytelling in all its forms and look forward to exploring God’s world with you, the EduDeo community! God has great things in store for us, I’m sure, and I can’t wait to discover His plans.

I’m married to the beautiful Kimberley (yes, that one) and am proud father to four curious children, Sofie, Hallelujah, Melanie and Simon. If you have any brave new ideas for fundraising – feel free to call or email me (see below).

Email: Jhorlings@edudeo.com

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Amy Hoogstad

Amy Hoogstad Controller (Part Time)

I joined EduDeo's Operations Team in March 2016. EduDeo has been a mainstay in my community for the past decade and as I was already somewhat acquainted with the work and mission, I was delighted to be able to join the team. I share the core values of having a passion for excellence (kind of par for the course when you’re a numbers person), a dedication to learning (for me it’s more through non-traditional forms like audio and video), committing to serve through global partnership (the most challenging and rewarding part of my job here), and working towards the renewal of all things.  Being able to work together with a close-knit team of skilled people with whom I share a worldview is very fulfilling. God is doing great things here!

I earned an Honours B.A. in Business from Redeemer University College in 2003.  While there, I also earned my MRS degree.  My husband Kevin and I live in the great city of Hamilton with our three children, a set of twins and a singleton, all born within 16 months.  I enjoy playing music with my children, growing food in our backyard A.K.A. urban homestead, and experimenting with traditional cooking.


Email: ahoogstad@edudeo.com

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Ryan Geleynse

Ryan Geleynse Key Relationship Manager

I am excited to join EduDeo Ministries as one of the Key Relationship Managers.  This role provides me an opportunity to listen and grow alongside our supporters.  I consider this a humbling privilege. I come to EduDeo Ministries with an undergrad in International Development and a broad set of international experiences. I previously worked for World Renew with our volunteers, interns, and work teams across the globe. 

Outside of work, my wife Amanda and I love life in the great city of Hamilton. Many of our close friends live here, which means there is always a group around to hang.  I love my recreational sports and I’ll gladly talk pop culture, the Leafs and new hot spots in the city to eat.


Email: rgeleynse@edudeo.com

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Hannah Moerman

Hannah Moerman Key Relationship Manager

I joined the EduDeo team as the Western Canada Key Relationship Manager in June 2017, thrilled to be a part of a team that desires to see transformation in all communities through the advancement of Christ-centred education. It’s an honour to work for an organization that works wholeheartedly, every day, to make that vision a reality. I’m privileged to be able to grow deeper in relationships with our donors, churches, and schools in Western Canada!

Before EduDeo, I went to Ryerson University, and graduated in April 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts and a minor in non-profit management. During that time, I travelled to Honduras twice and fell in love with the Honduran people, the Honduran coffee, and good, intentional international development as a whole. After graduating, I moved to Edmonton, where I worked for a local Christian social service agency. I love getting to call Edmonton home! (Go Oilers!)

In my spare time, I love exploring coffee shops, visiting the Edmonton Public Library, asking people about their morning routines, learning to design, and appreciating well placed semi-colons.

Email: hmoerman@edudeo.com

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John Huizinga

John Huizinga HANDS Coordinator

Coming to join the EduDeo Ministries Team has been an incredible opportunity to continue passionately in that which I strongly believe! After previously serving over 10 years in the Dominican Republic with another Christian organization, I can continue my desire in making a sustainable difference in people’s lives. Watching children grow to embrace education, taught through a Christ-centred perspective and then to radiate this comprehension within their families and communities, is inspiring! Better yet is when we can see so many of these precious creations, sharing this new found educational knowledge and experience with others. I first personally witnessed a child from an early primary class teaching her mother, who was illiterate, how to read. This in and of itself is truly a reason to be a part of the HANDS Team and subsequently the HANDS Team family. Making a lasting difference, one life, one family and one community at a time.

Being the HANDS Coordinator gives me, and all of us united, the ability to spread these lifechanging educational opportunities to people on both sides of the social and economic divide. As HANDS Team participants, we can all assist in making a lasting difference in these present lives that will span for this and generations yet to come. Instilling into these children of God, the ability to see past todays challenges, into tomorrows possibilities with a Christian perspective.

If this doesn’t seem rewarding enough, I enjoy this life adventure while spending time with my incredible wife Jane, our grown and growing children along with our 10 grandchildren. Life is good and our God is lovingly awesome!

Email: jhuizinga@edudeo.com

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Diane Stronks

Diane Stronks Walking Together Co-Leader (Part Time)

I am pleased to be joining EduDeo Ministries as a joint partner in the Walking Together program.  I continue to work as the Executive Director of Edifide Christian Educators Association until I retire in the summer of 2017.  I joined Edifide (formerly known as the Ontario Christian School Teachers Association) in 2007. My career includes being a high school educator, vice-principal, principal and Special Education liaison at Woodland Christian High School.  I began my career as a Mathematics and Science teacher but after completing a Masters in Christian Education with a focus on Worldview, taught Media and Family Studies as well.  Since coming to Edifide, I have become a facilitator in Restorative Practice as well as working towards a diploma in Mediation for the ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) Commission of Ontario.

I am passionate about young people and their learning, social justice, and the creation of thriving communities of learning.  I believe that all of our choices as educators need to reflect our faith commitments and our beliefs about children.  In the area of employment services or human resources, I wonder if working with restorative practices can create thriving and healthy workplaces for Christian communities, schools and churches.  I am also hopeful that Canadian Christian education can learn and grow through their possible association with EduDeo.  I have a dream where International Christian educators and Canadian Christian educators may be mutually blessed by connection and collaboration.

I have also served on a number of boards that have some connection to the Christian education community:  Canadian Christian Schools International Pension and Insurance Board, EduDeo Ministries, Cardus, Christian Educators Journal and Christian Schools Canada. 

My husband Henry and I greatly enjoy our 4 children and their partners as well as our growing number of grandchildren.

Email: dstronks@edudeo.com

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Elco Vandergrift

Elco Vandergrift Walking Together Co-Leader (Part Time)

I have been involved in Christian Education for 34 years (21 years as a teacher, vice principal, and principal) in BC and Alberta. The last 13 years I have served as Executive Director for the Prairie Centre for Christian Education (PCCE). That responsibility came to a close at the end of July this year.

Over the last 4 years, I was privileged to work as a Walking Together Learning Leader with a family of schools in Zambia, a partner with EduDeo. I loved my work there, as I walked alongside their community of leaders. The challenge of learning from each other and coming to know the depth and passion for Christ-centred schooling were only two of the many blessings encountered in this type of work. Wow!!
As always, I am especially thankful for the support of my wife Joanne, my children, and now my granddaughter in the different roles I have had over the years.
I am looking forward to my new role as a Walking Together Leader with EduDeo Ministries and extending my understanding of Christ-centred schooling with new people and diverse settings.

Email: evandergrift@edudeo.com

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Hannah Vermeer

Hannah Vermeer Administrative Assistant

I joined EduDeo in May 2017 as the new Admin Assistant, or the resident 'office ninja,' as I'm fondly known. Quality Christ-centred education has been instrumental in shaping my story, and I'm thrilled to now be a part of an organization dedicated to advancing that education globally. I come to EduDeo with a passion for stories and finding how each of ours fits perfectly into the greater story of the Gospel.

I was born and raised in Hamilton, and my love for this city keeps growing. I'm excited to be a part of EduDeo's commitment to see Hamilton's community transformed through local partnerships. I majored in English Writing & Religion/Theology at Redeemer University and followed that with an Editing Certificate from Simon Fraser University. 

I love crocheting, grammar, 70's & 80's music, and quoting movies with my family. If you have a chance to stop by the office, there might be a piece of my famous banana bread waiting for you! 

Email: hvermeer@edudeo.com

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Stephanie Webb-Addei

Stephanie Webb-Addei Communications Coordinator (Part Time)

I joined EduDeo in September 2013, excited to be part of an organization that embodies the ideal of transformation that comes through education rooted in a Biblical worldview. Having seen how the combination of these two elements can empower a child to rise out of the cycle of poverty and the benefits of forming partnerships with Christian organizations in various countries, I am thankful to be able to offer my skills and experiences to this vision. 

I previously worked as a professional graphic designer for 7 years before entering into missions through YWAM (Youth With A Mission). My passion for social justice and advocacy against human trafficking led me to aquire a degree in Human Rights and Human Diversity from Wilfrid Laurier University. During this time I completed a summer internship with the non-profit organization International Needs in Ghana (excitingly now one of our partners!) where I met my husband Festus. We now reside in Hamilton and enjoy the laughter and adorable (yet mischevious) smiles of our two boys.

Email: swebbaddei@edudeo.com

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Jenna Cottrill

Jenna Cottrill Design & Communications Assistant (Part Time)

I was born and raised in the tiny fishing village of Pugwash, Nova Scotia (it’s a real place, I promise!) and moved to Kitchener to study Advertising and Marketing Communications at Conestoga College. After spending a year with EduDeo covering a maternity leave, I spent six months doing Communications for a malnutrition clinic in Haiti. Upon returning to Canada, I returned to EduDeo part-time, as their new Design & Communications Assistant. 

My life has been greatly impacted by receiving a quality education and even more by receiving the gift of the Gospel. On various trips to Haiti over the past number of years, I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the importance of both. It was there that God placed a strong desire in my heart to use my creativity and passion to serve others. 

I enjoy road trips, hand-written notes, The Office, spending time with the people I love, and exploring whatever city I find myself in.

Email: jcottrill@edudeo.com

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Nicole Vos

Nicole Vos High School Co-op Student

I joined EduDeo’s team this past September as their half-day co-op student.  I’ve been enrolled in Christian education my whole life and have been able to witness the impact that quality education has on the lives of children. 

Here at EduDeo, I have the opportunity of being involved in many different roles and jobs, so that I can gain more of an understanding of who EduDeo is and how they are implementing their vision and mission worldwide.  After the adoption of my two youngest siblings from Ethiopia and three trips to East Africa, I have developed a growing passion for equal opportunity for all individuals worldwide.

Right now I am a grade 12 student at Hamilton District Christian High School.  After I graduate, I hope to spend a year in Kenya volunteering for a disabilities program, and then head to Trinity Western University to receive my Bachelor of Arts in International Development. 

In my spare time, I enjoy painting and drawing, listening to country music, watching Dragon’s Den and exploring the outdoors.

Email: volunteer@edudeo.com

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