In the United States, we are currently watching Hurricane Florence pound the Carolinas. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, United Brethren in Hong Kong and Macau are preparing for Super Typhoon Mangkhut, the largest storm recorded anywhere in the world during 2018.

Mangkhut had wind speeds of up to 200 mph before slamming into the northern Philippines Saturday morning as a Category 5 storm. The wind speed is now around 165 mph (losing the “super” status).

Mangkhut is expected to hit Hong Kong, where we have about ten churches, and nearby Macau on Sunday afternoon. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled, and numerous other emergency preparations are being made. One report says Typhoon Mangkhut could be the strongest storm to hit Hong Kong in 60 years. In 2017, ten people died in Macau from Typhoon Hato, the strongest storm to hit the city in 50 years.

David Kline, associate director of UB Global and a former missionary in Macau, writes:

“As we watch the US deal with a big storm, our brothers in sisters in Hong Kong and Macau have an even bigger storm heading their way. Please pray not only for their safety, but also for opportunity that God can make himself known in the region.”

He said he had talked Friday morning with Jenaya Bonner, one of our missionaries in Macau. “She has stocked up on water and resources (the last storm knocked out power and water for 4 days). She has also been praying for opportunities to serve the people of Macau through this storm. Let us join her in praying!”

During your Sunday morning service, perhaps your church could remember in prayer the people of Hong Kong, Macau, and Guangdong Province, and particularly the United Brethren members and missionaries in those places.

The next UB History Course has been scheduled:

Date: September 24-25, 2018
Location: UB National Office, 302 Lake Street, Huntington, IN 46750.

The United Brethren History Course is a requirement for ministerial licensing in the United Brethren denomination. However, people who just want to learn more about United Brethren history are welcome to take the course. The course is held periodically in regional settings.

For United Brethren ministers, the course qualifies for 12 credit hours.

The cost is:

  • $200, if you are seeking a ministerial license. There is a $50 discount if you pay fully in advance of the class, making your cost just $150.
  • $100 for everyone else.

The instructor is Rev. Bob Bruce, Pastor of Caring Ministries at Emmanuel Community Church in Fort Wayne, Ind. He has been teaching the course since 2012.

Go here for more information and to register.

Nancy Ngele, a former United Brethren missionary in Sierra Leone, is offering her home, at a very reasonable price, to someone who has served as a United Brethren pastor or missionary for at least eight years and is ready for retirement. The home is located on the Carson City Christian Camping Center in Central Michigan.

This house has two bedrooms upstairs and a ground level room that can be used for a master bedroom or a family room with a Franklin stove and gas furnace. One bathroom has a vintage tub, and another that is handicap accessible, has a step-in shower. Appliances include electric washer and dishwasher, gas water heater, dryer and a new gas wall furnace in the kitchen. Large storage drawers and enclosed shelving are built in, along with handy kitchen cupboards. An attached garage has room for one car and lots of storage or space for a workshop. A free-standing shed at the back of the house and garage is available for additional storage. Green, steel roofs cover the house, garage, and shed. The house might also be considered for a summer cottage or hunting lodge.

For further information, call Nancy at 989-235-4448.

Here are details for the viewing and funeral for Rev. David Bell, who passed away Saturday, September 8, 2018.

Viewing: Tuesday, September 11, 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm.
Funeral: 11 am Wednesday, September 12. Viewing one hour beforehand.
Location of viewing and funeral: First UB church, 1900 Eastbrook Road, New Castle, PA 16101.

Rev. David Bell, a United Brethren minister since 1984, passed away at 8:15 Saturday night, September 8, 2018. He was 69 years old. Dave had recently been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and it progressed rapidly. A few days ago, he was placed in hospice.

Viewing: Tuesday, September 11, 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm.
Funeral: 11 am Wednesday, September 12. Viewing one hour beforehand.
Location of viewing and funeral: First UB church, 1900 Eastbrook Road, New Castle, PA 16101.

Dave grew up on a farm in Franklin, Pa. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Marines. Before leaving for Vietnam, he eloped with the love of his life, Kathryn Ann Henderson, and married her on June 28, 1968. They were married for 50 years and raised a son and three daughters.

Dave went on to receive Bachelor and Master of Divinity degrees from Asbury College and Seminary. He pastored at Fuoss Mills Christian Missionary Alliance and Faith Country Chapel in New Castle. In 1984 he joined the United Brethren church, and spent the next six years planting a church in Erie, Pa. Since 1990, he has been pastor of First UB church in New Castle, Pa.

Bishop Todd Fetters wrote, “Understandably, this news is devastating for Ann and the Bell family, as well as for the First UB congregation who have lost their longtime pastor. So, we pray.”

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the ALS Association, PO Box 37022, Boone, IA 50037-0022 or by visiting alsa.org.

Nancy Hull N’Gele, a UB missionary in Sierra Leone 1957-1970, is moving from Michigan to Huntington, Ind. She has been a longtime resident of Carson City, Mich., living in a home on the Carson City Campground.

Mt. Hope UB church in Carson City will host a reception for Nancy 2-5 pm on Sunday, September 23, 2018. Anyone is invited to attend to recognize the life and service of this former missionary.

Dawn and Jay Spangler

The York Daily Record published an article about the Strinestown UB church, which on November 4 will celebrate its 125th anniversary.

The article gives the church’s interesting history, including how the current building was built during World War II on the foundation of an old cigar factory, and used wood recycled from that factory. Up to that point, the church had been called Mt. Pleasant Union Chapel. Upon dedication of the church on April 23, 1944, it became Strinestown United Brethren church.

The article recounts the many other changes made to the church over the years.

Strinestown is one of the few United Brethren churches in the United States with a female senior pastor. Dawn Spangler, ordained in 2002 as a minister in the Nazarene Church, has been the pastor at Strinestown since May 2012. She and her husband, Jay, were married 57 years before his death in 2016.

Chris and Nichie Stonall

Congratulations to Nichie Parish on her recent marriage to Chris Stonall. Nichie is from the McCallum UB church in Delton, Mich. She joined the UB Global staff in 2014, and has been serving with Impact Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa. Chris is a native of Johannesburg, and is self-employed there.

Here’s a note from Nichie’s latest prayer letter: “In December, Chris and I will travel to America to celebrate Christmas and our marriage with our family and friends there. While there, I’ll be applying for a new visa that will allow me to stay here in South Africa and continue my work with Impact Africa, and catching up with supporters and churches!”