An Ever-Expanding Team Following Christ’s Lead

David Cassner

GMA President

David has a heart and passion to reach the neediest people with the gospel. He wants to reach and serve those who have been overlooked by the world. God calls us all equal. “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” I Sam. 16:7.

As President of Gospel Mission Africa, he has served the Sudanese community for nearly a decade. He has been to East Africa several times, including S. Sudan, Ethiopia, and Uganda, and has fallen in love with the people. He has seen the orphans, the refugee camps, the desperate, and the lost. Over half have AIDS, and malaria is common. Sickness, lack of medical supplies, food, water, sanitation, and education are just some of the needs. But mostly, they need the love of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness He provides.

David has held several pastoral positions, including starting Gentle Shepherd Bible Church, serving as a Youth Pastor and counseling as Chaplain at a Youth Detention Center, all in Nebraska. He holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling from Liberty University.

David and his wife, Mary Jo, have four children, Rachel, (son-in-law John) Veronica, Austin, and Leah Mae, and one grandchild, James John.

Mary Jo Cassner

GMA Administrator

Fondly referred to “as the machine of the mission”, Mary Jo is the behind-the-scenes GMA orchestrator. She has worked diligently, offering her communication skills and expertise serving the mission and people of Africa. She works tirelessly to help those God has called her to serve. “To whom much is given, much is required,” (Luke 12:48) is a driving force.

As a business owner, Mary Jo strives to make her career count for philanthropic purposes. She owned and directed a learning center, taught school for 15 years in Christian schools, and ministered and served on the board with Child Evangelism Fellowship. With a Bachelor’s in Biblical Studies, a Bachelor’s in Secondary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, she knows the value of education.

Philip Kakungulu

GMA Ministry Coordinator

Rising from crushing poverty and families devastated by the scourge of HIV AIDS, Philip is passionate and incessant in reaching lost people in Africa, starting with local communities and reaching beyond borders. He and his wife Lana are privileged to serve fulltime with GMA as Africa Ministry Leaders coordinating Pastoral Leadership Training, Child Evangelism, Women’s Ministries and Economic Sustainability Ministries with which they have also ministered to the people of Ethiopia, South Sudan and beyond. Phillip has been trained with Moody Bible Institute.  He and his wife Lana are now established in GMA’s Africa home base in Jinja, Uganda.

Lana Nguna Zeresi

GMA Women and Children's Ministries Coordinator

Growing up as an orphan child and having to move from one family to another, Lana experienced the pain of being abused, ignored and a lack of care. After the death of her father, Lana watched her mother suffer slowly and die from HIVAIDs. Consequently, her brothers and sisters were divided up among various distant families. Knowing Christ has stirred Lana’s heart for the children of Africa, to speak life to the next generation the Children in Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Africa at large.

GMA’s programs are reaching and equipping hundreds of church leaders and thousands of vulnerable women and children with the life-changing message of eternal hope in Christ. Lana is a graduate of Child Evangelism Leadership Training Institute and has been trained through Moody Bible Institute.

Philip and Lana’s Leadership

Africa greatly needs authentic leaders; men and women equipped with sound biblical training and leadership essentials to encourage and father the next generation in knowledge and power of God through Christ Jesus. Philip and Lana are fully committed to training leaders, reaching the lost, planting new churches and putting God’s hope tangibly in reach for vulnerable children and women in Africa. Philip and Lana are married and have two sons; Joshua Harris and David James.

Gary Biskup

GMA Financial Secretary

Gary has a deep love and commitment to the work of Jesus Christ. Saved out of years of addiction, he was transformed into new life in Christ. With decades of experience in the business, health, and financial fields, he desires to use his gifts and skills to further the kingdom of Jesus Christ. With three grown children and several grandchildren, he strives to put his family needs first; second only to God. Gary radiates humility, kindness, and generosity in his personality and his ministry.

John 14:21 “He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is who loves me; and he who loves me shall be loved by my father, and I will love Him and disclose myself to him.”

Joshua Hughes

GMA Building and Construction Supervisor

Joshua is a construction manager with unique skills of building, designing, writing, and ministry. With the world as his arena, Josh travels Africa following the Holy Spirit’s guidance to direct him to use his skills where needed the most. He has been blessed to serve in over a dozen nations, including one year in Albania where he was a Forman and engineer for two church building projects.

Joshua has traveled to Africa over a dozen times going where he is needed most. Joshua holds a Master’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and a certificate in Construction Management from the University of Washington. When he is not on the mission field or promoting missions, Joshua serves in his local church in Seattle, WA.

Robert Sanford


Since graduating law school, Robert has spent his career fighting against domestic and sexual violence in the court room and state and federal legislative bodies. Robert has provided direct representation to victims in civil cases and currently assists immigrant victims of crime. He regularly trains law enforcement, prosecutors, mediators, victim advocates and others working with victims. He has spent several years partnering with other organizations and governmental agencies pressing to end human trafficking in Nebraska.

Robert holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Sciences with an emphasis in horticulture. His goal is to use his background and artistic photography talents to help organizations like Gospel Mission Africa communicate visually with those supporting their work.

Jino Longa

GMA South Sudan Ministry Director

Jino has a passion for evangelism and desire to empower others to serve God. As a pastor, he often does open-air evangelism on the streets. His community has been war-torn and poverty stricken. Most have fled to other countries to refugee camps. Those who remain face unrest, fear, and conflict. Jino has experienced much pain and trauma personally and amongst his family and friends. Jino counsels, evangelizes, and helps others through his church. With a background of over 35 years of teaching, he has Journalism, Christian Ed., and Counseling diplomas.

Advisory Board

Mike Jacoby

Scott Jacoby

Don Ludden

Sue Jacoby

Valerie Largen

Rachel Tomasek

Jane Asieyo

Dorothy Martin

Doug Meyer