Directors of Jacob’s House International
John and Jane Mehrens
Bio coming soon
Bobby and Carolyn Wolkins.
Bob Wolkins retired from Lucent Technologies, formerly AT&T after a career spanning 42 years. He also served in the Active Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard for over 31 years. After retiring from the ARNG, Bob went to work for Northrop Grumman as an Army Contractor in the intelligence field. He has been working for Northrop for the past 15 years and continues in that position.
Carolyn Wolkins worked at various Secretarial jobs and then became a stay at home mom. After raising two children, Carolyn worked for a Prominent Law Firm in Omaha Nebraska where she spent 25 years as a legal secretary.
When JHII was formed, Carolyn assumed the role as President and CEO. She served in that position for 12 years and then turned over the reigns to our new president, John Mehrens. Since the inception of JHII, she has worked tirelessly sewing and knitting gifts that were given to the needy in Romania and Moldova.
Carolyn has completed hundreds of blankets, scarves and lap robes, that took thousands of hours to create and that are greatly appreciated by the poor families in Maderat. She has been a constant supporter. In addition to the Romania projects Carolyn is sewing “Hug-a-Bears” for the Heartland Council of the New Outlook Telephone Pioneers. These Bears are given to hospitals, police, fire and sheriff departments to be given to any child they find that is under a great deal of stress. These bears bring a great deal of comfort to the kids. As of July of 2014, The Pioneers have donated over 32,000 bears to the above listed groups. All of these bears are made and stuffed by local volunteers from the Omaha Nebraska Metropolitan area.
Don and Linda Wolkins
Don served in the U.S. Navy upon graduation from High School. After serving in the Navy, he earned an undergraduate business degree under the G.I. Bill. Don was employed by a fortune 500 corporation for 36 years. At retirement, Don served as a member of senior management with responsibility for development and sale of 25,000 urban acres of land in 103 cities in the western 2/3 of the United States.
Don and Linda moved to Panama in September of 2011 and currently live in the Gorgona/Coronado area. Their passion is to help orphans and underprivileged people in Panama.
They founded Jacob’s House – Panama in 2014 to assist with the education of young women who otherwise would not be able to attend university. Educating young women is their primary goal.
Linda earned an undergraduate degree in Computer Science. Linda’s first career was with Northwestern Bell in Omaha. Upon earning her degree in Computer Science, she worked as a programmer for a public/private utility in Omaha. Her third career involved appraisal of residential homes in and near Omaha, Nebraska.
Bud and JoJo Wolkins
Bud was born on May 6, 1933 in Mills County Iowa, He was a member of the Army National Guard. He was drafted in 1956 and upon discharge, he joined the California Air National Guard. He started a package delivery business which he sold in 1995 and then worked full time with the Air National Guard until retirement in 1993.
After retirement, Bud enrolled in night classes at Bellevue University in Omaha. He spent days working for the Post Office and nights studying. He received a degree in business administration in 1996 and entered the Master’s program the same year, earning an MBA in 1998.
Bud married Jo Ann Serania in 2012 and started working with impoverished children in a squatter’s settlement. They purchased food, played games, read bible stories, sang songs, etc. In 2013 while visiting Panama they acquired about 80 Raggedy Ann dolls and took them back to Davao City for the children. The big smiles on the faces of the children inspired them to do more.
The children they work with are extremely impoverished. Some cannot afford school. We want to make sure they all attend school wearing the required uniforms and having money for lunch. This is where JHI can help. They want to make sure they attend school, and also provide their families with a 5 kilo bag of rice per week. There is no fee for the schools, but the uniforms, the jeepney fare, and school supplies are more than many can afford.
Jo Ann was born on June 26, 1978 in Davao City, Philippines. After completing school, she attended the University of SE Philippines in Davao City, earning her degree in 1999. She worked as a cashier until obtaining her teacher’s license after which she taught at a small private school. She resigned in 2008 due to health reasons.
Bud and Jo Ann moved to Davao City in 2013 and reside there at the present time.
Nearly 25 years ago, Vicki Wolkins took a three-hour drive to help with a Bible club on the Santee Sioux Reservation. This small step began a life-long journey into the joy of missions. She passed through Tijuana to hear the call into full-time missions, stopped in Urubamba to do street evangelism, relocated to study the Bible and cross-cultural ministry at Moody Bible Institute, rushed to Erd to work with Romani children, and stayed in Arad to encourage persecuted believers. All along the way, her passion for missions grew.
Vicki’s next step in this journey is focused on continuing to build her relationship with the children and their parents during trips to Davao City each winter. In the meantime, Vicki is a small group leader for 8th grade girls at Harvest Bible Chapel.
Marilina M. Daplin was born on November 7, 1968, in Alburquerque, Bohol, Philippines. She grew up in a household where her father labored and her mother took care of the home. She attended college at the University of Bohol and graduated with a Bachelor of Elementary Education specializing in English.
After receiving her bachelor degree, Marilina earned her license to become a teacher. Though not able to acquire a job in her home town, she was determined to reach her goal. She moved to Davao, Philippines in search of work and accepted a position as a teacher at Nikkei Jin International School in Davao. While teaching she also earned her Masters and has been working at the same school for the past fourteen years.