UB missionary Erika Pacheco painting with a Thai youngster.

Thai children proudly display their painted creations.

Our team of missionaries in Chiang Rai continue building relationships with neighbors in an effort to gain their trust and establish rapport. One of many ways they have been doing this is by having children in to paint pictures. Looking at these photos makes us wonder which of these children might be the first to become a follower of Jesus, or perhaps even a leader of the church in Thailand.

Does your church have an activity or special skill they could pass on to the team? Perhaps you could even travel to Thailand to share your talents. Contact UB Global us if you have some ideas.

L-r: Greg Fiedler (former missionary to Sierra Leone), Elaine Metzger RN, Dr. Dan Benson (third-year family medicine resident), Dr. Jereme Long (ER physician who is excellent at teaching ultrasound), Dr. Kevin Dougherty (fourth-year ER resident), Dr. Mike Schuhknecht (surgeon), Dr. Ron Baker, Dr. Doug Tacket (family medicine residency director).

Dr. Ron Baker is leading a team of medical volunteers to the Mattru Hospital in Sierra Leone for two weeks. Be in prayer for them as they minister health and well-being, but also care for the spiritual needs of their patients. This is the first medical team traveling to Mattru that will have the benefit of 24 hour-per-day electricity.

Seth and Becca Mallay and children.

Seth and Becca Mallay are UB Global endorsed missionaries serving in Togo with World Medical Mission, the medical arm of Samaritan’s Purse. Seth is a family physician.

They received news this week that their oldest daughter, Arwen, has stage four neuroblastoma which has metastasized to her bones.They have been told to expect about two years of rigorous treatment.

Clearly, this changes their plans regarding medical missions, but they are not deterred from their mission. They reject discouragement, but accept that their timeline is being altered out of necessity.

Seth felt the call to become a fulltime medical missionary as a child, and remained committed to this call throughout medical school and residency. Becca was raised on the mission field in Brazil, and from a young age felt called to fulltime mission work in Africa.

The Mallays are members of Hillsdale UB church in Hillsdale, Mich. If you are interested in helping them financially, a good friend has set up a GoFundMe account for them.

Rev. Armando Lopez was elected as the new superintendent of Nicaragua Conference. He replaces Rev. Juan Pavón, who has served in that role for over 12 years.

Born in 1949 in the city of Granada. His parents pastored a small church. Armando can’t recall when he made the decision to follow Jesus, but he distinctly remembers preaching the Gospel as a child in bus stations and marketplaces. When Armando graduated from high school at age 17, he was determined to become a minister. In fact, all of his siblings are serving as pastors today.

In 2004, Armando was introduced to the United Brethren and has served as pastor of the Camino de Fe church in Niquinohomo, where he has also served as the area cluster leader. Armando is passionate about evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. It is his desire to lead our 30 Nicaraguan churches in multiplying themselves.

L-r: Heleen and John Yoder, Cathy and Richard Toupin (front), Matthew Asher, Pamela McKee, and Michelle Harris.

Michelle Harris, associate director of UB Global

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

In September, I traveled to Sierra Leone to visit our Mattru Hospital team. For five days in Mattru, we focused on the work at the hospital. It’s a busy place—for the medical staff as well as our engineering team. The November Worldview newsletter gave a glimpse into the routines of our staff in the article “Three Times a Day.”

Getting the group together at Mattru is a challenge. Someone is always either on call or needed on campus, so though the team meets weekly, a retreat needed to take place elsewhere. So, we traveled up to Freetown where we stayed at a simple, but beautiful place.

There were seven of us. I was joined by Dr. Jon and Heleen Yoder (doctor and nurse), Dr. Richard and Cathy Toupin, nurse Pamela McKee, and Matthew Asher, an engineer working on the solar and water project at Mattru Hospital.

The lodgings were simple—beds with mosquito nets, and fans that used solar power to make it mostly through the night. Showers were mostly a trickle of cool water. Our meeting place was an open area above the restaurant where we arranged our wooden chairs with cushions in a U shape so we all had a view of the water as we talked and sang and prayed.

Our foundation in scripture was Psalm 23 and John 6:35, focusing on Jesus as our very good shepherd, who provides bountifully for us. We grounded our discussion of the challenges of culture shock in wise words from Ajith Fernando, Youth for Christ Director from Sri Lanka. His book, The Call to Joy and Pain, reminded us that suffering in ministry often flows from our commitment to people, and that Paul’s words to the churches are filled with both joy and pain. We worked through the realities of culture shock and tasks for people in their first term of service.

And we rested. Some of us slept in, using the 9:00 am starting time as the beginning of breakfast—omelets or crepes. Others took boats across the bay to have early morning walks on the beach. We worked our way through the menu, comparing dishes like fish and chips, Thai curry, and bruschetta—it was all good. We took advantage of free coffee, served in small white teacups with cream and sugar. Some of us napped in the afternoon, some walked on the beach and swam in the ocean. We took turns on the hammocks and listened to bird calls. We played games and laughed after dinner. We talked and sang and prayed.

Our Shepherd restored our souls.

Betty Ruedger Guenzler

Betty Ruedger Guenzler, 83, passed away November 19, 2017, in Mount Carroll, Ill. Betty served three terms as a United Brethren missionary nurse at Mattru Hospital in Sierra Leone, 1963-1971.

The funeral service will be held at 11 am on Tuesday, November 28, at the Mount Carroll Church of God, with visitation one hour beforehand.

Betty became a Christian at a young age, and graduated from high school in Mount Carroll, Ill. She entered nursing school in Lansing, Mich., and during her final year sensed God calling her to become a missionary nurse. After graduating, she enrolled at Huntington College to study the Bible. While at HC, she applied for service with the UB mission board.

Mission director George Fleming said her duties during her three terms at Mattru included surgery supervisor, ambulance driver when needed, teaching in the nursing school, bookkeeping, and head nurse. During part of that time, Betty served alongside Juanita Smith, who was also from Mount Carroll (Juanita’s father, Cecil, pastored the Mount Carroll UB church). Juanita served 12 years at Mattru, 1953-1965.

Charles Guenzler and Juanita Smith were married in 1965. After Juanita became ill, Betty Ruedger was among a group of missionary nurses who came to Mt. Carroll to help Charles care for his wife. After Juanita’s death in 1981, Charles and Betty stayed in contact.

Charles and Betty were married on June 8, 1985. They enjoyed 32 years of married. Charles, at age 93, passed away on October 28, 2017. Betty died 22 days later. (Read her obituary notice.)

Lizzy Kolar and Matt Asher (right) with the water packing equipment now installed at Mattru Hospital.

Matthew Asher has been serving at Mattru Hospital since February 2017. He left his engineering job to become the lead engineer for the solar and water projects at Mattru Hospital. The Sola Wata Water Packaging Center was launched in July, becoming the area’s first center for treating, packaging, and distributing water.

In September, Matt was joined by Lizzy Kolar, a fellow graduate of West Virginia University’s Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. Kolar, a mechanical engineer, is taking a three-month sabbatical from her job with General Electric to work on the business side of the water project–marketing strategies, data management, employee training, work procedures, etc. She will also help Matt install the solar-energy system at Mattru.

Here is a good article about Matt and Lizzy, published by their alma mater.

Bishop John Pessima at the CCSL Camp.

L-r: Revs. Sorie Kamanda, Josephine Bankola, John Pessima, and Joseph Farma.

Bishop John Pessima at the CCSL Camp.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of UB Global

On August 14, catastrophic floods and mudslides hit Freetown, Sierra Leone. We’re grateful for all who responded to our call for assistance. UB Global received $18,692.75 from churches and individuals.

Initially, the government put the death toll at 450. Reverend Bishop Emeritus Arnold Temple, who leads a Methodist church near Regent, said the country is now mourning well over 1,000 victims, some of whom may never be found.

Bishop John Pessima sent these photos from the site where the Church Council of Sierra Leone, a network of Christian churches and relief partners, set up temporary camp from which supplies are being distributed.

Rev. Mrs. Josephine Bankola, Rev. Joseph Farma, and Rev. Sorie Kamanda have been representing the United Brethren at the camp. Rev. Kamanda is there every day while the other two pastors are there three days a week to provide psycho-social care and counseling to the many survivors.

Continue to pray for their efforts and the resettlement of hundreds of families.

The Mattru water project

UB Global has been working in partnership with the Sierra Leone National Conference to install a solar and water filtration/packaging projects at the Mattru Hospital that will be completed by March 2018. Both projects have technical operations and income generating components that will require specialized training to manage and operate in the future.

UB Global is looking for a person with business operations background to oversee and train local workers to manage these two business ventures. This person will work closely with the the existing business manager and personnel in establishing procedures and protocols and ensuring that they will function satisfactorily after his/her departure. The assignment will last for 6-12 months and could start as early as spring of 2018.

UB Global will work to develop a budget and assist the appropriate candidate to raise support for this position. Matching funds may be available.

Required Qualifications

  • Committed Christian
  • Business operations background

Advantageous Qualifications

  • Technical/Mechanical background
  • Prior cross-cultural experience in a majority world country

If interested, or if you want more information, contact UB Global at info@ub.org.