Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries
Following are some items from Jeff’s report to the October 2015 meeting of the Executive Leadership Team.
- All Central American conference leaders and delegates are participating in quarterly training events in order to implement the BILD (discipleship and leadership development) model among their churches. BILD is already being used widely throughout our Honduran UB churches.
- In Sierra Leone, there are very few remaining cases of Ebola. During this time the hospital has done relatively well. Church planting and the construction of a school building continue in the mission region of Pujehun, and conference leaders have remained in contact with our UB churches in Liberia.
- On November 10-23, 2015, Jeff Bleijerveld will travel with Rev. Brian Magnus, Rev. Joseph Abu, and Rev. Derek Thrush to be introduced to our newest UB churches in Liberia. From there we will travel to Sierra Leone, during which time we will participate in a ministerial retreat with pastors.
- The Christian Health Association of Sierra Leone (CHASL) recently facilitated the donation of a new Land Cruiser ambulance for the Mattru UBIC Hospital. Currently, CHASL is providing assistance in writing a grant proposal to USAID to pay for the purchase, and also to complete installation of a solar electric system that would power the hospital. The surplus electricity could then be sold to the surrounding community. The profits from these sales would be used to assist in paying hospital salaries.
- Jamaica will host General Conference February 27–March 4, 2016. Each National Conference has been urged over the past months to raise funds to send their national leader and at least one delegate.
- Six United Brethren students from Haiti graduated from the Gamaliel Bible Institute. All six received sponsorship assistance from our church in Fowlerville, Mich., and from the U.S. National Office.
- We continue to dialogue with Macau churches and staff regarding a ministry redesign. It would focus more on a disciple multiplication model.
- During October, Global Ministries associate director Frank Y teamed with Mike Cook of Huntington University to conduct a staff retreat in Macau. It included Global Ministries and Huntington University staff from China.
- Jen Blandin recently completed a six-month Home Ministry Assignment and returned to Macau on September 2, 2015. She will be working to implement a new disciple-making strategy.
- We are completing the process required to purchase property in Chiang Rai. During our last trip in May, we were introduced to a number of Thai church planters eager for the participation of missionaries in their church planting endeavors.
- We also continued dialogue with the Chiang Rai International Christian School (CRICS) regarding a variety of joint-venture ministries in the region. We are actively promoting opportunities for educators to teach at CRICS.
- Brian and Rachel Glunt are on full support and are completing a 12-month internship before leaving for Chiang Rai, Thailand.
- Ignite, a one-day mission information and inspiration event, is scheduled to take place at Rhodes Grove Camp in Chambersburg, Pa., on May 7, 2016. Considerable interest in attending is being expressed.
- International Needs works among Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Turkey. This work was promoted during our churches’ summer children’s ministry programs. The children raised some $4800 for the project, and another $2900 came from churches. On top of that, $2200 from the Arnold Bible Fund and an individual donor provided for Action Bibles (graphic novel New Testaments) to be distributed among children in the refugee camps.
- We recently increased to 10% the amount we charge to project donations (previously 7%) and missionary support (6%). This is providing some help to our general budget and is making up for the decline in giving to our general fund.
- Seth and Rebecca Mallay are members of Hillsdale UB (Hillsdale, Mich.). They have been endorsed to serve as missionaries with World Medical Mission (Samaritan’s Purse) in Togo, West Africa.