Elisha Reimer, or Eli, as his friends call him, is the son of TEF Executive Director, Justin Reimer, and the Director of Inspiration for Trek for TEF. Eli is currently a freshman at Bend High School in Bend, Oregon. Ever since his birth, his life has impacted many. Eli has Down Syndrome. From his infectious smile to his joy-giving hugs, he makes friends for life; he never forgets a name or a face. He collects Bibles, enjoys sports, and particularly loves football. Above all, Eli loves Jesus, and he will happily give you a narrative of the stories of the Bible. He is most looking forward to seeing and hiking Mt. Everest with his Dad, and has begun to train by running on a treadmill. The trip will take place right before Eli celebrates his seventeenth birthday.
NATE DAVIS was recommended to this trek by his friends at Waypoint Adventure in Newton, MA and is so happy to be part! Nate lives in Charlotte, NC with his parents and 2 Boxers, Buckley and Lottie, works at Chick-Fil-A (making the best lemonade ever) and volunteers at Star Dog (dog training/day care/boarding) and Project2Heal (Labradors raised as service dogs for veterans and people with disabilities). Nate had a cerebral hemmorage at birth but has never let his disability define him or hold him back. He has three sisters, brothers-in-law, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends who are cheering him on in this climb and every endeavor. He is training with Tony Monaco, as TEAM CHARLOTTE and holds 1 Corinthians 15:10 as his life verse: “By the grace of God I am what I am and his grace that was given to me is not in vain.”
Tony is the Director of Operations for the North American office of Himalayan Glacier Trekking (HGT) He grew up in Glenwood Springs, Colorado and discovered his passion for the mountains at a young age. He has always been very involved in charities – having completed over 10 marathons and triathlons to raise money for organizations such as The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training and The American Liver Foundation’s Run for Research programs.
HGT was proud to work with and host the Trek 4 TEF team as they prepared for and accomplished their physical, spiritual and charitable goals during their expedition to Everest Base Camp in Nepal last March. Tony was so inspired by Eli and the entire Everest team that he wanted to do more than just work behind the scenes. Tony is proud and excited to be a part of Trek 4 TEF Mt Kilimanjaro as the team prepares for their journey to the highest point on the Africa’s highest peak this July.
Tyler is a young man who is very active in school, sports and scouts. He is very caring and compassionate. He serves others around him by completing over 30 hours of community service each year. He heard about Trek4TEF while training with “Team Charlotte” (Nate Davis and Tony Monaco). He asked to be able to do more and worked hard to become a member of the team.
Justin Reimer is the Executive Director of TEF. The intersection of two of his greatest passions, making known the needs of the disabled, as well as spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what makes this trip so inspiring for Justin. By participating, he hopes to see more people understand and engage in meeting the needs of the disabled. Being in the outdoors reminds Justin of God’s artistry and beauty. “It reveals just how small I am, yet how significant I am in light of the work of Jesus in my life, creating more worth in me than in all the universe.” Justin wouldn’t think of going on this trip without his Bible, and the thing he will miss most is holding his amazing wife and his other four kids.
Noelle Reimer is Eli’s oldest, little sister whom he lovingly adores. She is nearly 15 years old. Noelle loves studying foreign languages and photography. She has traveled the world a fair bit at her young age and has served on multiple TEF Reach projects in Ukraine and Slovenia. Noelle is compassionate towards the needs of people impacted by disability. Noelle has an adventurous spirit and is excited to travel to Africa and tackle the challenges that Mt. Kilimanjaro has to offer.
Rebecca Freres, is a recent graduate of The Master’s College. She is passionate about serving those impacted by disabilities and has served in Ukraine and Slovenia working with disabled children and adults. She has the distinction of being TEF’s first official Intern. Rebecca musically and athletically gifted. She possesses a great sense of humor that will be most helpful as our Team heads up into the higher elevations.
Benjamin Edwards, is madly in love with his wife Lauren and together they are the proud parents of three boys. Benjamin has supported TEF through his renowned photographic skills over the years, covering both local and international projects for TEF. He is also a close friend of Eli. Benjamin is a deeply compassionate man who loves Jesus and seeks to love and administer grace and mercy to those in deepest need. Benjamin will be piloting our aerial camera platform on this adventure.
Lauren is the wife of Benjamin Edwards, (quite possibly the best husband ever), and Mama to three adventure and battle seeking Edwards boys. Loving her men is her greatest mission. When shes not elbow deep in diapers, legos, and multiplication she dreams of what she may someday do outside the shelter of home. Mount Kilimanjaro brings the outside in and transforms someday into now. The climb enthralls her. Having been successfully medicated for a seizure disorder since the age of thirteen she often ponders the cast her life would’ve had had she been born elsewhere, and her seizures pummeled her unchecked. She deeply desires to impact the lives of those disadvantaged who through simple place of birth cannot thrive amidst disability. Standing alongside the Elisha Foundation and its vision of opportunity, is a God sent chance to cease the dreaming, and to do.
Gary Edwards, works as the director of financial age for The Master’s College. He is an exceptional cook and fine food connoisseur. Gary has a ton of energy and throws himself fully in to whatever interests him, including a deep love and compassion for children with disabilities. He is excited to sprint up the mountain.
Brandon Simonds is a veteran game and application designer who freelances from his home base in Bend, Oregon. When he’s not busy crafting meaningful user experiences, he’s likely to be out in the backcountry climbing glaciated peaks or carving powder on his split-board. Brandon also helps run Cascades Mountaineers, a local non-profit outdoor organization. He is eternally grateful for his family, who tirelessly support his passion for volunteering, missions, and wanderlust.
Jonathan Schaumloeffel is finishing up his freshman year at BIOLA University. Jon and Eli have been best buddies for over 6 years. Jon is fit and active. When he is back in Bend chances are that you will find him and Eli at Red Robin enjoying burgers and fries together with Eli the very picture of joy. Jon is excited to trek with Eli on the amazing adventure!
Jason Wood works and lives in Prineville, Oregon and has a love for the outdoors and sharing it with his family. He has a loving wife and three kids that are supporting him every step of the way. It all started with his friend, Benjamin Edwards’ asking “Have you ever thought about climbing a mountain.” With lots of thought and prayers, here I am! Jason wants to not only climb a mountain for the Elisha Foundation, but bring awareness to the disease Myotonic Dystrophy that plagues his brother, aunt, four cousins, and took the life of his mother and a cousin at any early age. Jason is looking forward to the trek with Eli and the team on this new and epic journey that GOD has in store for him.
Bruce Meissner hails from Cape Town, South Africa. He has a huge love of the outdoors and enjoys surfing, downhill mountain biking, and hiking. He has an amazing wife Rebecca who is his rock and they shoot weddings together. He is passionate about seeing people come to know Christ, traveling, and building things, like furniture and surfboards. Bruce will be photographing the Kilimanjaro trek and is most looking forward to the actual challenge of photographing while having no breath due to the altitude!