Our Team

Susan Acen- Director on the Ground, Founder, and Ugandan Board Member

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Susan Acen was born in Kampala, Uganda.  As a child, Susan traveled the USA, Canada, England and several other countries, with the African Children’s Choir.  When asked what she wanted to do when she grew up, Susan always said, “to help people”.

Susan earned two sponsorships to go to University, one through athletics.  She succeeded in transferring one scholarship to her brother, and then completed her degree in Social Work.

Susan worked at a babies’ home for several years, both as a supervisor and social worker.  She has a huge heart for the orphaned children of Uganda.

Amy Patterson – Founder, and President of U.S. Board of Directors

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Amy grew up in the small town of New Hartford, CT.  She has been interested in missions since she was young and felt God was calling her to help orphans and needy children.

Amy’s love for Uganda started when she volunteered at a orphanage for two months in the summer of 2011. Her dream to serve orphaned and needy children full time began coming true with the founding of Yesu Asobola Ministries during her second trip to Uganda in the beginning of 2013.

Amy has her Associates degree in General studies with a focus on Deaf Studies, and is pursuing her Bachelors degree in English. Amy has lots of experience with children of all ages from working over 14 years as a mother’s helper, babysitter, and nanny, as well as from her work during her trips to Uganda, and teaching Sunday school. She has worked with many different children and families. Amy is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), and loves other cultures and people.

Kate Spranzman: Vice President of the U.S. Board of Directors

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Kate Spranzman has a great passion to care for foster children, orphans, and underprivileged children around the world, especially in Uganda. Kate first met both Amy and Susan in 2013 on a trip to Uganda where they all were working at an orphanage together. Since then, she has been eager to continue serving the people of Uganda and is so grateful to be involved in the ministry of YAM. Kate currently lives in San Diego, CA and serves as Vice President of the U.S. Board of Directors.

Hannah Elliott- U.S. Treasurer/Bookkeeper 

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Hannah lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana with her husband, Brad. She has been friends with Amy for many years, and the two of them went on their first mission trip together in 2011 where she fell in love with the people of Uganda. She supported Amy through the beginning of Y.A.M. and went to volunteer for a month at the end of 2013 to see what it was all about. After that trip, she joined the team as Secretary in the States.
Hannah works as the Cafeteria Transportation for a local high school while she pursues her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. She is thankful to serve Y.A.M. with an amazing team!

Jaclyn Grasso – Fundraising Coordinator 

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Born and raised in Northwestern, CT, Jaclyn Grasso and her husband, Michael, enjoy ministering to the young adults in their local community. She’s passionate about working with children of all ages, especially those the world deems unlovable.

Jaclyn is thankful for being introduced to YAM by her life-long friend Kate Spranzman, and is excited to join the team as Fundraising Coordinator. She and her husband look forward to leading their young adult group on a missions trip to Uganda in early 2017.

Natalie Combs – Sponsorship Program Coordinator 

She is a student at Sonoma State University in Northern California where she is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. She works at a daycare/preschool center and loves to do volunteer work. She is extremely passionate about children with disabilities and hopes to work as a preschool or grade school special education teacher.

We are also assisted by our amazing board members both in the states and in Uganda. Our board members work together to help make the best decisions possible for Yesu Asobola Ministries. 

We appreciate all our team members past and present and would like to extend a big thanks to them!