About us

Our Co-Founder, Faa

Sumitra (Faa) Choemue is the co-founder (along with Pastor Ivanildo Trindade) and Country Director of GROW (Grace Refuge Outreach Worldwide)  in Thailand. The ministry focuses on rescuing at-risk children from the stark reality of physical and sexual abuse in Southeast Asia. Faa is Akha, a minority group, known in Thailand as “hill tribe,” that has been the victim of discrimination for many generations. She is the youngest of 12 children and came to Christ while living in a Christian home for girls. Faa is a dedicated, vibrant, and multitalented disciple of Christ. She is one of only about 100 people from her hill tribe (population about 70,000) that has managed to graduate from college. Additionally, she is a fierce advocate for some of the most vulnerable children in Thailand. Since 2009 GROW has been rescuing and bringing healing to children, families and their communities, using a solidly biblical approach to caring for “the least of these.” GROW is home to 30 children, which most were rescued through the efforts of Faa and the GROW staff.

To read Faa’s entire story, visit the October Prayer Calendar.

Our Mission

GROW was founded in 2009 when a group of like-minded people met Faa in the US, heard her passion to rescue at-risk and abused children and saw her resolve to fight this evil in SE Asia. Since then, GROW has existed to rescue at-risk children, restore their broken lives, and equip them to impact their families and communities.

Our Focus

1.    We focus primarily on children from minority groups who are living in abject poverty which puts them among the most likely to be sold into sexual slavery. Read the Hill Tribe Story to learn more about these children and their plight on the December Prayer Calendar. 

2.  We are proactive in trying to save children prior to their being caught by the web of the sexual exploitation business.

3.     We provide the children we rescue with a complete approach to healing, including the mind (education), soul (faith) and body (physical). To learn more about our program, read the GROW Profile on the January Prayer Calendar.

4.     We focus on the child with the purpose of helping to change the family and the whole village.

5.     We give preference to children who are not eligible to enter other ministries, like orphanages, for example, or any other
social program. In other words, we want the children nobody else wants.

6.  When we are unable to bring a child into the GROW home, we seek to help the child and the family in their village.  Some of the ways we do this is by building relationships, holding parent/family education classes, and offering scholarships so the children can go to school which greatly increases their odds of staying out of the slave trade.

Our Team

Faa Sumitra

Co-Founder and Country Director Thailand

Jeana Harley

Executive Director

Melissa Lemon

Board Chair

Part-time Physical Therapist

Image of Bethany Foreman in a Circle

Bethany Foreman


School-based Pediatric Physical Therapist

Joan Mccracken

Previously worked as an administrator in investor relations at a community bank

Hillary Egert

Board Member

Business Owner — bakery

John Eccleston

John Eccleston

Board Member

PA Licensed Social Worker

Tara Arnold

Board Member

Educational Field Supervisor

Rick Chrosniak

Board Member

Customer Service Representative

Zac Harley

Board Member

Medical Sales Consultant