Meet Our Team

Staff

John Sparks

President/CEO

For the past 10 years John has served in India ministering and visiting almost every state. John studied Business at Portland State University and has experience in both for-profit and non-profit business in the US. He also ran his own businesses both in India and the US.

John grew up in the Pacific Northwest, but he went to India in 1994 and discovered he’d been born in the wrong country. He fell in love with India and it’s people. He ate the food, drank the water, and fell in love with what God was doing in a variety of ways in India. John and his wife Sarah were married in Chennai, India, where she was born and raised. John and Sarah both did their theological studies at Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, OR. In 2002 they moved to the Northern state of Uttar Pradesh where they were based.

John has been a part of the ministry of India Partners since 1996. He has visited four out of the six partner sites, and also served as the very first IP Field Representative. Together with his wife, they led one of the first teams from India Partners on a short-term trip to visit one of the partners living in the remote jungles of India. 

Read John's Full Bio here

Dean Rees

Director of Operations

Dean graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.S. in Finance. Over the years, Dean’s schooling and value for ethical stewardship has led him to assist numerous companies, nonprofits and churches with their financial accountability.

Prior to joining India Partners, Dean worked as the Financial Manager for Holt International Children's Services from 1995-2011. Dean has worked closely with U.S.-based and overseas program staff to develop budgets, manage financial support and monitor spending. He has also aided recruitment and training of overseas financial staff, development of policies and procedures for overseas branch offices, preparation of grant and donor proposals, as well as monitoring of restricted donations.

Dean has traveled to numerous countries including India, Romania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Vietnam, China, Haiti, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Brazil.

Before working in international aid, Dean worked for General Motors Acceptance Corporation as a Credit Representative, where he was responsible for maintaining a portfolio of auto loans and supervising a staff of three.

Dean has served on the India Partners Board of Directors as Treasurer, and Westside Christian Church in Eugene, Oregon as a Trustee since 2006. He was a member of the Eugene Active 20-30 Club from 1991 to 1995.

When he is not crunching numbers for the benefit of those in India, Dean enjoys camping and skiing the slopes of Oregon, as well as auto racing and restoration.

Dean lives in Springfield, Oregon with his wife Cosette and their three children, Morgan, Derek and Amelie.

Jennifer Heacock

Administrative Assistant & Sponsorship Administrator

Jennifer grew up in Springfield, Oregon. She then attended Eugene Bible College and earned her B.S. in Christian Counseling. A missions trip to Mexico City, cross country travel and her time at EBC helped confirm in her that she wanted to make an impact in people’s lives with what she did for a living.

After working in the Eugene area for a few years, she moved to Bend, Oregon where she lived for 7 years. During that time she worked for 4 and a half years at a local church working first with volunteers and then in children’s ministry.

Now, back at home in the Eugene/Springfield area, Jennifer is enjoying being closer to her family, especially her nieces and nephews. During her free time she enjoys crafting, sports (basketball is her favorite) and theater.

Bethel Willocks

Staff Accountant

Bethel was born in Eugene and raised in Creswell, Oregon. She was raised in a home where overseas mission work was prayed for, talked about and supported. Missionaries were often in the home or at meetings. Through this exposure Bethel gained a compassion for reaching the world for Christ. Doors for long-term service were shut over the years, but she found great joy in traveling to Europe and China in the 80s; and hopes for further opportunities to travel and serve.

She has spent over 30 years in the accounting field, working for or with a variety of small business; sharing her knowledge of the bookkeeping process, computerization and organization. Most recently she had her own business as a consultant and “the small business CFO”. She also recently finished a degree focused in accounting, business and speech communications.

Bethel enjoys camping and traveling with her husband, Kent. She also enjoys baking and reading stories from other cultures and historical times.

Donna Glass

Programs Coordinator

Donna Glass was born and raised in the Seattle area. While on active duty in the Air Force, Donna was awarded a three-year scholarship and graduated from the University of Washington with a B. S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. She was stationed in Japan for part of her career. After working in electrical equipment repair, satellite operations and quality management, she retired as a Captain in 1995.

Upon retirement, Donna moved to Oregon with her family and devoted her time outside the home to volunteer work in both school and church. She has served in leadership positions at both the local and state level for her church. She has organized and led several teams to India.

She and her husband, Kevin, have two grown sons. They reside in Richland, Washington, support the local performing arts and enjoy the abundance of fresh, local foods.

Melissa Kruse

Communications Coordinator

Melissa is an island girl who grew up in Kaneohe, Hawaii. She traded in the sunshine for the rain, when she decided to pursue an education at the University of Oregon, where she received a degree in Journalism and a minor in Multimedia.

During her years in college, Melissa designed for several university magazines and was a graphic designer for the University of Oregon College of Business and Publications Department. She was heavily involved with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and had an opportunity to work with refugees living in Cairo, Egypt. Teaching English in the urban slums made her realize God’s love for the poor, neglected, and marginalized. The experience fueled Melissa’s passion for serving people who are often overlooked.

Melissa also interned at KATU News in Portland, Oregon for several months and worked with a translations company before joining the staff at India Partners.

Melissa and her husband, Fredrick, got married in Hawaii and now happily live in Eugene, Oregon. They enjoy jamming on the guitar and ukulele, riding bikes, and serving international students on the University of Oregon campus.

Prabhakar Jena

Field Representative

Prabhakar Jena was born in the state of Orissa, India. In 1990, Jena went to a youth meeting along with his friends, not intending to hear from God. Out of God’s mercy, Jena encountered Him in a very special, personal way, which brought a radical change in Jena’s life. In 1991, after he received a specific calling from the Lord for His ministry, he dedicated his life to serve Him. In the same year, Jena enrolled in Axen Bible College and finished a three-year course.

After completing his studies in 1994, Jena served as a pastor and district leader in the Sundargarh district of Orissa until 1996. In 1996, he joined Calvary Commission India Hyderabad, where he served as Staff Training Coordinator initially, and then as Field Manager until 2002. In 2002, Jena enrolled in Jubilee Memorial Bible College in Chennai, India, where he finished his Masters of Divinity. Soon after completing his degree, Jubilee Memorial Bible College asked Jena to join the collegiate faculty as a lecturer. Jena taught at the college between 2007-2010, and served as the director for the practical ministry, as well as the men's resident director.

In 2011, Jena accepted the position of Field Representative for India Partners, and currently works from Chennai. Jena and his wife, Satya Ranjani Jena, have two children.

Supporting Cast

Kaytie Fiedler

India Team Leader and Event Coordinator

Kaytie grew up in Lake Oswego, Oregon, the daughter of a pastor. Kaytie's family has been traveling to India for over 20 years and has a long history of working with the people of India.

Kaytie attended Oregon State University and Linfield College. She has held sales, development, and leadership positions at various businesses and nonprofits, including the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and Open Arms International. She is very active in the Portland community, serving on numerous boards, committees, and advisory teams. She has organized and led 20 volunteer teams to India.

Kaytie and her husband, Lance, have been married for 27 years and live in West Linn, Oregon. They have two grown children and one granddaughter.