Nancy Jewell
Founder / Executive Director

Nancy Jewell is the executive director and founder of Freedom Inn His Grace Ministry.  Nancy is a registered nurse for over 35 years at MercyOne North Iowa along with supporting day to day operations of the ministry.  

Nancy initially graduated in 1981 with an Associate Degree in Nursing from North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC), completed a Bachelors Degree in Nursing from the University of Iowa in 2010, and in 2016 completed a Masters in Non – Profit Management and Leadership from Walden University. The primary focus of the masters program was to provide Nancy with the education and platform to build the ministry program of which was accomplished. Prior to being lead to pursue a masters degree Nancy had been envisioning and exploring for several years how to be able to help women in the community to recover from addiction and the associated problems & despair that accompany the disease and lifestyle.  Nancy is personally involved in recovery and her life dramatically changed when she became a Christian in 2009. It was through this transformation by God and His grace where it became clear that a Christian Ministry program for women was to be developed.

Throughout Nancy's life journey there have been several close relationships that have made a dramatic impact in her life and ultimately because of Christ, it was placed on her heart to serve women who are struggling with the disease of addiction / alcoholism.  Nancy’s relentless pursuit and leadership with a small group of determined women who have been together practically from the birth of the ministry have become a strong team. They continue to seek out and grow additional faithful volunteers who are committed to building and developing Freedom Inn His Grace Ministry and sharing in the struggle and the joy in loving the women that are served.  

Irene Burkart
Biblical Mentor

Irene and her husband Ed are missionaries with International Messengers ( IM) in Clear Lake, Iowa.  Irene has been involved with Freedom Inn His Grace Ministry from the beginning and per Irene “I am the one who is blessed, as I minister to these women who reside at the ministry house”. Ed and Irene pray for the ministry together daily and they know the Lord will do His work.  Irene serves in a volunteer role as biblical mentor to the women who reside at the ministry house and sharing about Jesus is her favorite time of the day when working with the women. This is Irene’s first time at being involved with this type of ministry and she feels it has been such a blessing to her. The love for these women at the house is amazing and we know the enemy doesn't like any of us to have victory so praying for each room in the house and the house mom's is a special time.  Jesus loves them more than any of us and as they become to know Jesus as their savior and love Jesus and live for Him, their lives change.  Irene is a key leader in planning outreach activities and recently planned a prayer tea that was a special event for her to pray about and plan for. It was exciting and powerful to see what the Lord does when we pray together.

Deborah Sharp
Board Member & Biblical Member

Deborah has been on the board of Freedom Inn His Grace Ministry since its inception. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Master’s Degree in Business Administration. She worked in the banking industry, NEBS business forms, and W. L. Gore & Associates in Arizona. After years of short-term trips and service as International Messenger (IM) Regional Representatives, Deborah and her husband Steve joined the IM team as Directors of the training center in Montana. In 2014, they moved to Mason City to serve in the IM home office.  

Deborah has personal experience with addiction and has a heart for woman struggling to stay sober. Freedom Inn His Grace Ministry has offered her the opportunity to serve as a board member as well as one of the volunteer roles of  biblical mentor, which provides support & coaching to the women who reside at the ministry house. As a strong Christian, Deborah provides coaching to women being served in Christian growth and life skills as they seek to be free of alcoholism and drugs.


Rose Bergdale
Board Member & Biblical Mentor

Rose Bergdale is on the board of directors and is a biblical mentor with Freedom Inn His Grace Ministry.  Rose's husband John Rheingans is a retired truckdriver who is very supportive of Rose's involvement and service with the women who reside at Freedom Inn His Grace Ministry house. Rose is a private business owner and sole proprietor of Federal Upholstery in Mason City, Iowa.  Upon hearing Nancy's vision for this ministry Rose wanted to be part of it and has been from the very beginning.  Rose is committed her life to Christ in 1984 and has raised 3 sons.  Rose has gone through and continues to bear struggles with her son's and their battle with addiction & alcoholism, so this spiritual battle that is the mission of Freedom Inn His Grace Ministry is close to her heart. 

Carmen Rydstrom
Board Member

I have a Bachelors of Administration degree in Accounting.   I worked as a staff Accountant for a large multi – physician clinic in Mason City,  for 23 years, and recently took a similar position with a non profit organization that supports disabled people with community support services, housing, and  integration into the community.

I am a mother of one amazing son, who is now an adult married to a wonderful woman, and grandmother to one very busy 2-year old grandson.

I love music and have tried to use the gift that God gave me to serve His church by leading worship for more years than I care to admit.  I have also always had a passion for the “underdog”, or so I referred to them. Those less fortunate, who have lost their way, particularly young women.

I grew up knowing “about” God, but as an adult, I finally wanted to know God and all he has done.  I became involved in my local church using my musical gifts to lead worship. I have always had a soft spot for young women who have lost their way somehow, so also led a small group of 15-year old girls.  I thought quite highly of myself for staying so grounded and well behaved all these years.

I met Nancy at a time in my life that I was stretching my comfort zone.  Trying to expand my service from more than “in front of” to “among”. I served at a mission church that consisted mostly of people struggling with addictions.  Any kind, from drugs and alcohol, to eating disorders, sex, and co-dependency. I really thought I had something to offer these people. Nancy shared her dream of a ministry to help women get back on their feet after incarceration or rehab.  The idea caught my interest.

I felt so blessed that none of these horrible things had ever affected me or my family.  

A couple of years later, Nancy approached me again.  Freedom Inn His Grace was becoming a reality, and she was looking for help to get it off the ground.  I agreed and led a bible study. Then, the most devastating and humbling thing happened. My dear, sweet 31-year old niece became an alcoholic, and her life spiraled to the bottom in a matter of a year.  She became pregnant, had a beautiful baby girl. We tried to get her help, and she was in and out of treatment for the first nine months of the baby’s life. Eventually, the addition took her life, leaving behind a loving, yet bitter family, and a baby that needed raising.

I am no longer on the outside looking in.  I am one of them. I may not have had the life of an addict, but I have had the experience of what addictions can do to families.  I know that there isn’t sufficient help for those struggling. I also know that addictions can not be overcome on your own. It’s only by faith in God and HIS divine help that any human being is able to fight against the enemies hold on them.

That is why I continue to believe in Freedom Inn and its mission.  It is still hard for me to understand all of the things that go on with addictions, but I do understand that people need God.  People need a place to find God in their struggle. Freedom Inn offers women that place.

Ken Quintus
Pastoral Care / Board Member

Coming soon....