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.

Brian and Rachel Glunt and children.

We have a new missionary! Madeline Rose Glunt was born August 28, 2018, in Thailand, where her parents and three older siblings are missionaries with UB Global. Six pounds, 7 oz. Proud father Brian writes, “Mom and Maddie are both beautiful and doing great!”


The Datema family (l-r): Callie, Julie, Jill, Culyer, Cathie, and Dave.

Dave and Cathie Datema are endorsed UB missionaries serving with Frontier Ventures in Pasadena, Calif. Dave’s role has changed a couple of time during the past two years. Here is an explanation from their most recent newsletter.

“Dave has been assigned to serve as Facilitator for a newly-appointed Missiology Task Force. This role will extend through April 2019, and Dave will be working with six other people within Frontier Ventures. The purpose of the group is to evaluate the missiological ‘voice’ of Frontier Ventures and make recommendations to leadership about moving it forward.

“‘Missiology’ is just a fancy word for the study of missions. Every mission organization prioritizes certain aspects of missions above others, and we are no different. The landscape of missions is constantly changing, and ideas come and go. This task force was created to analyze and evaluate how we think about missions and how that may need to change. It is also interested in ensuring that our voice as an organization, represented by our various programs and publications, is integrated and aligned. Our organization has been known for being a thought leader in missions, so this task force is an essential part of what we do.”

Other News from the Datema Family

  • Dave recently completed a sabbatical, and has begun a PhD program.
  • Callie, the oldest of the three daughters (19), is building a support team as she prepares for service with ACTS (Antioch Center for Training and Sending). She will spend eight months in Bible training in Colorado Springs, and then be deployed for two years to South Asia, where she will work in an area in the Himalayas that has 266 unreached people groups.
  • Jill (16) recently spent two weeks with a team of youth from her church in a nation in Southeast Asia. She joined local believers in visiting a hospital to pray for the sick, and played with children whose mothers are involved in the sex industry.

Roger and Marilyn Reeck (right), UB endorsed missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators, spent much of June in Guinea Bissau, a West African country. Roger consults with groups working on Bible translations. They explain:

“Roger worked with the two groups that he was scheduled to consult for (the Sonike and Felupe) and was even able to spend five days with a third one (Kriol) checking the book of Ruth. The Sonike/Sarakule people group are Muslim. One of the problems the team ran into during the two weeks of checking is that it coincided with the Muslim festival Ramadan. The three Sonike translators had to fast every day during that period. The work continued on even when at times they felt weak and had a hard time concentrating.”

Marilyn spent time with a team working with a people that that is almost completely Muslim.

Marilyn returned to Honduras in time for the yearly Garifuna conference to which people come from all over Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and from various of the Garifuna churches in the US. This year they dedicated a whole afternoon to celebrating the Garifuna Bible (the Reecks were instrumental in its translation). A Garifuna women’s group sang a song about the Bible and lifted it up high.