Lydia House International exists to spread the love of God by supporting and enabling the empowerment of women, children, and underserved people throughout the world through education, practical assistance and provision, and financial support in the name of Jesus.
We seek out partnerships across the world with ministries working to alleviate suffering and empower the needy in their indigenous settings. We stand with them by offering them financial and material support, since we are all engaged in the same ministry and “it is a question of a fair balance between [our] present abundance and their need, so that … ‘The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little.’” (2 Corinthians 8:13-15)
We provide out of “our present abundance” to empower the established work of our local partners, so that they may minister more effectively and with less practical difficulty.
Margo Rees is a mother of three, wife of over 20 years, and preacher who has taught Bible and ministered the gospel in the United States and West Africa for many years. She holds a Master of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary and a Ph.D. in Semitics from the University of Cambridge. She has spent the past several years advocating for women, girls, and children who are survivors of hardship, abuse, and human trafficking; and she has worked with multiple organizations to develop programs promoting awareness and prevention of child sexual abuse.
Margo has had a heart for Africa since her first trip there as a teenager, and she visited Liberia for the first time in 2016 when Steve Blayer invited her to come minister. After developing a close relationship with many people there, Margo felt God calling her to participate more significantly in the work He was doing there. During a visit in 2019, a partnership was formed between her and local Pastors Owen and Viola Dunbar to bring “Lydia House” to fruition. Out of their shared vision for empowering a nation through its women and girls, Lydia House International was born.
OWEN & VIOLA
Pastor Numehn Owen Dunbar and his wife, Viola, have partnered with us to build Lydia House in Liberia. They have been married for 28 years and they had 4 children (3 adults now, and one deceased). Owen is the Proprietor of the Smart Academy School in Monrovia, the Founder and General Overseer (Pastor) of the Christ–Life Militant Church, and the Executive Director of the Liberia Youth Development for Integration and Access (LYDIA – Liberia). He is presently trusting the Lord to construct the Lydia House that will host vulnerable young women and develop their skills and Christian values into meaningful citizens.
Owen has worked with numerous major governmental and non-governmental organizations, including the International Rescue Committee, Education Development Center, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), European Union, Action Aid, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection, and the Peace Corps in Liberia. Following his recent eight-year tenure as Institutional Capacity Development Specialist and Senior Education Technical Advisor on two distinct USAID projects, Owen took his current position as Assistant Training Manager with the Peace Corps in Liberia. He has led training in gender mainstreaming and advocacy, youth development and support, and managing victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Liberian Women in Cross Border Trade and in supporting the Liberian National Children Parliament.