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David is the husband to Susan and the father to Katie, Jenny, and Reid Heckel.  He's a manager at GE and has worked there for over 25 years.  He helps oversee and support RafikiFriends on the business side.  He loves supporting his family and sending them to Ghana.  

Our Promotional Officers
Martha Kate Stratton,

Martha Kate graduated from Mississippi State in 2013 with a degree in Educational Psychology.  She married Minor League Baseball player, Chris Stratton so she travels with his team wherever that might be and spends the other half  in their hometown of Tupelo, MS.  She visited Rafiki in December of 2011 with a group from MSU and God worked in her heart. She fell in love with Rafiki and knew it would always be a part of her life.   She's excited to write about Rafiki and raise awareness for their needs.

Beth Rhodes,
Graphic Design

Beth is a Mississippi State Alumnus with a degree in Graphic Design.  She lives in Birminham, Alabama, where she pursues her art dreams.  She had the opportunity to travel to Ghana with the MSU Wesley Foundation in 2009.  She has loved seeing it grow over the years and loves designing t-shirts, logos, and so much more.  We're thankful to have her on the team!

Susan Heckel,
Fundraising Chair

Susan is the wife to David and the Mother to Katie, Jenny, and Reid Heckel.  She first traveled to Ghana to visit Rafiki in August of 2011.  She fell in love to say the least.  She has built special relationships with the children and the staff, but especially the mothers at Rafiki.  She has big plans to help RafikiFriends help Rafiki.  We're glad to have her on the team.

Hugh Griffith,
Vice President
Pat Ward,

Pat Ward is the lead pastor at the Orchard in Oxford, Mississippi.  He was born in Oxford but spent most of his life in Tupelo, MS.  Pat has a heart for those who have never expereinced the beauty and grace of God and he dreams about a church in Oxford where real life change can happen.  Pat is passionate about looking after orphans and is so glad to be serving as President of RafikiFriends.  Pat's wife, Sarah, also shares his passion about Rafiki.  They have two children: Sawyer and Noah.

Hugh Griffith is the campus minister at Mississippi State University's Wesley Foundation.  He has been there for 22 years.  Hugh is a State alumnus, an ordained elder in the Mississippi Annual Conference, the husband of Linda, and the father of Rebecca and Benjamen.  Hugh has supported and helped students plan their trips to Ghana since 2008.  He believes in the mission of RafikiFriends and he's glad to serve as Vice President.

Chris Magee is a State alumnus and a pastor at his church Sojourn.  He works as an Industrial Engineer at ExxonMobil in Houston, Texas.  Chris is the husband to Kate, and the father to Heiden.  Chris and Kate traveled to Ghana in 2011 to visit Rafiki and to spend time with their sponsored child, Mabel.  Chris and Kate are both passionate about the work being done at Rafiki and long to continue to care for the children there through child sponsorship, board membership, and prayer.

Katie is one of the co-founders of RafikiFriends.  Ever since she visited Rafiki in 2008, she has felt a responsibiltiy to look after and care for the children there.  Katie works as the Assocate campus minister at Mississippi State University's Wesley Foundation.  She is also a singer/songwriter from Oxford, Mississippi.  Her CD's raise support for Rafiki.  Check her out on iTunes.

Chris Magee,
Senior Director
Katie Heckel,
Executive Director

Our Executive Directors

David Heckel, Buisness Administrator
Lindsey Finn,
Jenny Heckel,

Lindsey is a graduate of Houston High School.  She has traveled and done missions in Honduras and Ghana.  She spent time at Rafiki in 2009 and 2011, and hopes to be going back again soon!  Lindsey graduated from Mississippi State University in December of 2012 with a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics Education.  She is currently teaching junior high and high school math at Bethlehem Christian Academy in Bethlehem, GA.  She's a lover of all things organization and math, so we're happy to have her serving as RafikiFriends Treasurer.  

Jenny is a Mississippi State Alumnus with a degree in History and Teaching.  She is getting her Mastors in History at Clemson University in South Carolina.  She's traveled to Ghana three times now and has grown to love the children at Rafiki and the children love her.  She's excited to be on the team.

Rebekah Herald
non-profit Assistant

Rebekah is a Junior at Mississippi State University majoring in Special Education. She traveled to Ghana in May 2013 to serve at Rafiki for two weeks.  She fell in love with the culture and all the kids, but epseically Leticia.  She now helps sponsor her.  Rebekah spent 3 months in Ghana this past summer at Hand in Hand, which is a place that helps handicapped children in Ghana.  She has a heart for this nation and longs to share the light of Christ with its people.

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