Lydias Mission


aka Lydia's Mission   |   Dublin, OH   |


Lydia’s Mission is a non-profit organization that empowers women living in generational poverty and serves children and the elderly in chronic food insecurity by addressing their physical needs, while embracing their hearts for Christ.

Ruling year info


Founder and Director

Claire Brown

Main address

6724 Perimeter Loop Rd Suite 139

Dublin, OH 43017 USA

Show more contact info



NTEE code info

Employment, Job Related N.E.C. (J99)

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

Christian (X20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019 and 2018.
Register now



Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

According to the 2016 World Poverty in Africa Report, poverty may be lower than current estimates suggest, but more people are poor today than in 1990. • The latest estimates from the World Bank show that the share of Africans who are poor fell from 57 percent in 1990 to 43 percent in 2012. Limiting estimates to comparable surveys suggest that poverty may have declined by even more. • Many more people are poor because of population growth: more than 330 million in 2012, up from about 280 million in 1990. • Poverty reduction has been slowest in fragile countries, and rural areas remain much poorer, although the urban-rural gap has narrowed. In rural areas like eManzana, poverty and food insecurity are substantial, chronic and generational, particularly in the black South African population. Lydia's Mission is focused on job training and job creation for unemployed, under-educated women and feeding programs for food insecure children to address both chronic conditions.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Lydia's Market

Lydia's Market provides employment for women living in chronic, generational unemployment. The program provides job and life skills training, transportation, meal on work days, and a living wage in a safe and secure work environment.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Women and girls

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Lydia's Mission and our Board have adopted and implemented a multi-dimensional strategy to help alleviate chronic poverty and food insecurity challenges in eManzana, South Africa by addressing:

1. Expanded Economic Opportunities For Women

Black, South African women in eManzana are in many cases left to provide for their families that, in many cases, are multi-generational due to a high HIV/Aids mortality rate coupled with chronic, long-term unemployment rates > 70%. Many of these women are under-educated, unskilled in work other than domestic tasks, and are illiterate.
Since 2017, Lydia's Mission has created full time employment in self-sustaining sewing, garden and egg production micro-businesses. We currently employ 17 women with a goal to more that double the number of jobs by 2021 by building a larger Sewing Center at the Ministry Center.

2. Expanded Availability of Food and Clean Drinking Water for Children

Lydia's Mission has identified 2 opportunities for expansion of critical clean drinking water and food insecurity programs:

- Provide clean drinking water at two of our current feeding sites that currently have no water source
- Expanding the Children's Feeding Program by 85% to address the highest need sites we have identified in the eManzana region

3. Expanded Ministry to Women and Children

Lydia's Mission conducts weekly Bible Studies and training for Women's groups in the local community. We are looking to expand these services to address a growing local need. We are also looking at a plan to offer Bible-based teaching to serve the children at our 8 existing feeding sites.

Lydia’s Mission began the year in 2020 with 28 women working full time in the ministry and feeding over 1600 children 5 days a week in the local community. Things were going well and growing until the COVID pandemic hit. Because of COVID, Claire and the Lydia’s Mission Board were forced to reevaluate every aspect of ministry.

The sewing ministry that employed 1/2 of the workforce was shut down because of the South African borders being closed, and no visiting mission teams were able to transport product back to the US for sale. The result of that shutdown was the loss of the primary source of income, outside of donations, that is the centerpiece of the Lydia’s Mission economic self-sustaining model. The feeding sites were closed because of the government mandated quarantine closing all schools and businesses. Unemployment sky-rocketed to over 80% with food insecurity and hunger exploded to crisis levels.

In Spring 2020, Lydia’s Mission made a significant ministry pivot to provide food relief and hope to address the food insecurity crisis in eManzana. Through the complete trust in God as our Provider, the generosity of so many faithful supporters, and the hard work of the 30 #StrongWomen on the Lydia’s Mission staff, we continue to work to scale our operations in South Africa.

1. Expanded Food Relief - Capital and labor needed

We continue to see wide-spread incidents of chronic food insecurity moving into starvation. The suffering we see on a daily basis is incredibly hard to witness, but is especially difficult when we see children, who are innocent in all of this hardship, struggling just to exist. While we have been able to reopen our Hope Centers in summer 2020, the need is constantly growing based on the demand in our community.

We know that a vital way to serve the women in our community is to share in the daily challenges of raising their children in a developing country. Our ministry to women begins with helping to feed their hungry children as we share the hope of the Gospel.

We recently completed building a new 1800 square foot distribution center that now allows us to buy food and supplies by the ton for the Hope Center feeding sites and the chickens. Addition funding will allow us to significantly larger quantities of staple foods, like beans, for our Hope Center feeding projects.

- We have added 1000 new hens to the Egg program and expect 2022 egg product >425,000 eggs for sale in the local area that has added to full time employment
- We have added an additional 20,000 square feet of garden space to grow more produce that has added to full time employment.

2. Construct 5 new Lydia’s Mission Hope Center Structures - Capital and labor needed

Purpose: To have a covered area to prepare and serve food, safe place for kids and women to gather with secure storage for food and materials needed for our Hope Center programming.

These structure will serve the local children we feed daily at no charge, their families and extend the reach of the partner church. We know from experience that when we minister to kids we are ministering to their Moms as well. When we serve a meal, pray and share the hope of Gospel with the children, they go home with full bellies AND hearts.

We are also actively reviewing other clean water and feeding site needs in the local community. Lydia's Mission has identified need/opportunities to feed an estimated 3000 local children with our current 1 balanced meal, 5 day-a-week model

3. Expanded Ministry to Women and Children - Labor needed

We have identified a list of locations and opportunities to share and teach the hope of the Gospel in the local eManzana community. Our aim is not to create a church, rather we are focused on ministering to women and children in an effort to bring hope to what is a very difficult daily reality living in poverty.

We are actively recruiting for full time missionaries who can help to significantly expand this aspect of Lydia's Mission.

Lydia's Mission Board has adopted a 2021 Ministry plan, operating and capital budget to continue to deliver an excellent level of service for all current programs and a fiscally conservative approach to sustainable expansion. We believe that measured, thoughtful growth to develop economic self-sustaining employment programs is the model for long term success in South Africa.

Our team and ministry model have been influenced by the concepts in books like Toxic Charity (Robert Lupton), When Helping Hurts (Corbett & Fikkert), and Billion Bootstraps (Thurman and Smith). We have seen a number of government and faith-based programs that, at their roots, are simple hand-outs to people in poverty. Lydia's Mission subscribes to a "Hand Up" model that has proven to work. We are now at an inflection point to grow the organization reach. That reach will be based on the vision and steady leadership of our founder, Claire Brown, the guidance of our experienced Board and a solid operational governance model; all mixed with a firm trust and faith in God.

Lydia's Mission is actively working to develop new one-time and monthly financial supporters to provide the funds needed to sustain operations. We are also actively looking to solicit grants and foundation donations to fund 2021/2022 expansions for items such as:

- Additional discipleship and feeding programs for children at our Lydia's Mission Hope Centers. We are feeding over 1600 children, 5 days a week and have the local demand to expand to well over 3000 children given the continued food insecurity crisis in eManzana
- Expansion of our current 42,000 square feet of gardens which produce 3500 pounds of fresh produce each month for our Hope Center feeding program
- Expansion of our egg production project by adding an additional 1000 - 1500 new hens. We are currently collecting ~ 1100 eggs per day and have a waiting list for egg sales in the community, as eggs are an inexpensive source of protein.
- Expansion of the current irrigation system to continue to expand the produce growing operation
- Addition of a farm-raised fish program in our dam to grow another protein source for the Hope Center feeding programs

Lydia's Mission is also actively recruiting for full time missionaries and interns to join the current staff. We acknowledge the need for additional staff to run programs like the Bible teaching at the 9 feeding sites.

1. Number of women added for full time employment: 4 added in 2020/2021 for a total of 31 full time female employees
2. Number of meals provide or pounds of food for feeding sites in 2020: 61,969.44 pounds of food and provided over 365,000 meals at 9 regional feeding sites.
3. Number of pounds of produce grown and provided to feed the women and for the feeding sites: 34,286 lbs in our expanded gardens, now at 42,000 square feet
4. Tons of food provided in the form of 1 month emergency food parcels: 46.3 tons
5. Number of women who used to work in the local garbage dump who now work at the Lydia's Mission Ministry Center:10
6. Expanded the Egg program by adding 1200 new hens. Number of Chicken micro-business eggs laid in 2020 - > 401,508 eggs
7. Number of volunteer hours from visiting mission teams in 2020 - >118 hours before the pandemic lockdown
8. Repaired and extended the irrigation system on the Ministry Center farm as we expand the family projects to grow more food, feed more children, and employ more women
9. With donor support, built a 46x60 meter dam to provide irrigation for our expanded garden/farming project


Lydias Mission

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.


Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Lydias Mission

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr Terry Brown


Term: 2018 -

Board co-chair

Pastor Mitch Hildebrant

Hillsview Evangelical Free Church

Term: 2018 -

Jane Lowmass


Minah Shongwe

Lydia's Mission

Charlotte Hildebrant


Randy and Karen Brennen


Busisiwe Mkhombo


Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/4/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation