Meet the Sisterhood Contributors

About | A Personal Relationship

If the Sisterhood were a cruise ship, we’d be your skippers. We’re here to help, to encourage, and to get to know you. Please contact us anytime. We’d love to hear from you.

Lisa Van Wyk

Lisa is our founder and visionary. In the summer of 2010, she founded the Sisterhood with a heartfelt desire in mind: to see women reach their maximum potential by living for God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). She is passionate about encouraging women to use their God-given talents for the kingdom.

Lisa is herself a kaleidoscope of talents. She is a teacher, dancer, scientist, singer, athlete, loving wife and mom. A former biology teacher and coach, she holds a master’s degree in microbiology and is currently pursuing a PhD in theology. Lisa is fearless about exploring the topic of God’s sovereignty over sin, science, and suffering.

And yet a quiet, studious type she is not. Spunky, fun-loving, genuine and spontaneous, Lisa is a people magnet in any crowd. She loves to laugh, especially at herself. Lisa is a loyal wife to Tim, her husband of 13 years, and an affectionate mom to Peter (12) and Nicole (10). Together the Van Wyk family humors Lisa’s compulsion to explore new ideas and to organize everything, from bathroom cabinets to bookshelves.

Lisa has led “Women on the Grow” Bible studies at her local church, where she also served on the worship arts vocal team, and is currently filling a supportive role for women in the community. Her prayer for every woman who enters the Sisterhood is Ephesians 1:16-19, her life verse: “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead.”

Down time indulgence: I love reading, reading, reading when I get a chance. So many books, so little time.

Favorite ice cream: The cookie jar, a Dairy Queen Blizzard combo of Oreos and chocolate chip cookie dough.

What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever done for God? I walked up to a complete stranger in Starbucks and gave him a handwritten note that said ‘God loves you.’

Amy Samarzia

Amy is a truth seeker. She is beautifully passionate about finding truth, testing it, meditating on it, living by it and sharing it with others. With faith comes responsibility, Amy says, because she believes God is calling her to lead by example, modeling a life of humility, honesty, and trust. She views her relationship with the Lord as “up and down but always growing.”

Amy’s heart for shepherding others is demonstrated first and foremost in her home, where she honors God as a full-time homemaker. She and her husband Justin have been married 12 years and are busy raising three children, Jevan (11), Saige (8) and Aniah (4). Amy’s greatest answered prayer is that the Lord healed her marriage after she and Justin experienced a period of trials. She can relate to women struggling in this area and has learned to be vulnerable, which she says is “not a bad thing but a good thing.”

Amy recharges her batteries every morning in aerobics class at the YMCA and enjoys championing her kids’ interests in dance and martial arts. She is also on the vocal team at Appleton Alliance Church, where she inspires the congregation through pouring her heart and voice out to the Lord on Sunday mornings.

Describe your perfect day. How would you spend it? Sitting on a beach by a crystal clear lake with all of my family and friends.

What food combination do you crave regularly? French fries and ice cream

Which Bible character do you identify with most? Paul because he was timid; I’m really timid, but passionate about sharing the truth.

Donna Schmitz

Counselor by day, super mom and wife by night, Donna Schmitz has learned the real art of living to the fullest through every season of life.  Donna is passionate about life and nature.  She believes every day is a gift from God, and takes pleasure in the simplest of things to the most extreme.  Every conversation with God and each interaction with nature brings her tremendous blessings and excitement.

Next to nature, Donna’s other passion is people.  She loves trying to figure out why people do what they do.  Donna has had over seven years of counseling experience, but it was a combination of her work and the keen sense God has given her that has made her so successful.  Donna’s compelling gift is helping people see beyond their troubles and discover the beauty and truth underneath their burdens.  Donna finds it a privilege and her purpose to be an instrument of healing and encouragement for others.

 “My journey is filled with peace and satisfaction knowing that each day I’m living out my purpose.  I get to see and experience others break free from their captivity when they discover the truth in a situation. It is amazing!”

Keeping the right priorities in life is important to Donna, which means family first.  And if those ever get out of alignment, her family quickly reminds her.  She’s been married to her best friend James for 13 years, and will admit their marriage is not perfect, but loves to tell the story about God’s perfect plan that brought them together.  James and Donna are the proud parents of five lovely children: Max (17), Samantha (18), Alex (20), Nicole (24) and Nathan (26) who is married to his beautiful wife Billie Jo and expecting their first grandchild in November.  James and Donna are looking forward to taking on the names Papa and Nana.

What activities are you involved in personally?  We are currently developing a marriage mentoring program in our church and are excited about the healing it will bring for many couples.

Describe your perfect day.  My perfect day would be spent with my family in a large beach house overlooking the sea from one of the many large balconies.  Our day would be filled with hiking, biking, kayaking, deep conversations, the best dining, and loads of laughter.  After dinner, we would stop at a local ice cream parlor, and top it off with a long walk on the beach under the star filled evening sky.  Anything close to nature is both exhilarating and peaceful for me.

Heather Holterman

 

Heather lives in Columbus, OH where she recently moved to share her life with her boyfriend Steve and his two beautiful daughters Shai and Cayley.  She has a servant’s heart and desires to share God’s love with those around her.

Her passion is to reach others through sharing the struggles of her past and showing how God’s presence in her life has completely transformed and redeemed her.  She hopes to continually be a light in the lives of those around her and bask in the glory of God.

 

Nickie Jupp

Nickie is a wife, mother, friend, business owner/mentor, speaker and encourager. Her passion is to build confidence in others, helping them to live life on purpose for a purpose. A hairstylist by trade, Nickie is enthusiastic about showing women how beauty can allow us to shine when we undergo a true makeover of the body and spirit.

Nickie and her husband Scott have been married for 17 years. They have a daughter, Taylor (15), and a son, Tanner (10). To balance family and career, Nickie believes in working smarter, not harder. She keeps her eyes and ears open to see God’s blessings in everyday living, grateful above all for the amazing gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. “It is not by what we do but what he did for us,” she says. “He is my King!”

Because of the joy and purpose she has found in Christ, Nickie has a heart for showing women how they, too, can claim the promises that Christ has given us through the cross. To live an abundant life with God is within every woman’s reach.

Favorite books: “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow; “Embracing Your Freedom” by Susie Larson

Least favorite household chore: Dishwasher. I don’t care for organized work, so I am always trying to fit more dishes in than I should.

If you were a cosmetic in your makeup bag, which one would you be? Mascara – the finishing touch!

 

She Speaks Graduate