Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

On July 1, Michelle Harris will join the Global Ministries staff as one of the three associate directors (alongside Frank Y and David Kline). She brings over 25 years of cross-cultural experience in mentoring, training, and teaching in a variety of settings. Michelle will work with our short-term missions program, oversee some of our staff serving abroad, be a great resource to those seeking to work with refugees and immigrants, and use her gifts in writing.

In 2012, Michelle and her family moved to Fort Wayne, Ind., after serving 1994-2012 with InterVarsity Link in Europe and Africa. During those years, they lived a year in Paris, 11 years in the African nation of Gabon, and the last seven years in Nice, France. Michelle has been a teacher in an international school, a student minister, and a team leader. Since relocating to Fort Wayne, she has coordinated low-cost translation services at the Reclamation Project, which works in 18 languages.

Michelle graduated from Ball State University in 1990 with a degree in Education, and this summer will complete a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Ashland University in Indiana. Her husband, Scott, is an InterVarsity campus minister working with international students in Fort Wayne. They have two children, Justin and Anna. Michelle serves with the women’s ministry at Emmanuel Community Church in Fort Wayne.

Michelle is passionate about the beauty of the international church and the ways we can learn from and serve one another. She loves to write and read. She is excited about this next chapter with Global Ministries.

Julie Hui with Luke and Audrey Fetters.

Julie Hui with Luke and Audrey Fetters.

The hooding ceremony.

The hooding ceremony.

Julie Hui participated in Commencement exercises at Huntington University on Saturday, May 14. She received the Master of Education in TESOL Education. Julie, from our UB churches in Hong Kong, will soon join our international missionary team in Thailand.

hongkongconf2016-1000

The seven United Brethren churches in Hong Kong held a joint service for their 37th annual mission conference on Sunday, May 15. Frank Y, associate director of Global Ministries, was able to attend. He is in Asia to visit UBs in Hong Kong, Macau, and China.

L-r: Tony, Julie Hui, David Kline, Frank Y, and Jeff Bleijerveld.

L-r: Tony, Julie Hui, David Kline, Frank Y, and Jeff Bleijerveld.

On May 12, members of the Global Ministries staff—Jeff Bleijerveld, David Kline, and Frank Y–had lunch with Julie Hui and her brother Tony. Julie completed her MA degree in TESOL in December 2015 and will participate in graduation ceremonies at Huntington University on Saturday, May 14. Julie is one of two people from Hong Kong joining our multinational team of UB workers in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Julie’s brother Tony had never traveled outside of Hong Kong or China. He commented that the town of Huntington reminded him of Main Street USA at Disneyland Hong Kong. He was also taken to the famous Nick’s Kitchen in downtown Huntington and introduced to pork tenderloin sandwiches, a local staple.

T&M2
Providing ministry training to village pastors in West Africa presents a variety of challenges. First, many village pastors are unable to leave their families and communities to attend a Bible institute in a large city for a long period of time. Neither do they have the funds to pay for tuition and books. And if they do leave their village and live in the city with their family for a period of years, they may not be willing to return to their small village.

Train and Multiply (T&M) provides on-the-job training for pastors and church members so they can share the Good News, make disciples, and multiply new churches. T&M is not just training for ministry; it is training in ministry. Train and Multiply uses simple, low-cost, and effective New Testament methods to train church leaders.

While T&M is relatively inexpensive to use, training the initial trainers requires that they participate in a training event in the United States. Global Ministries is working in partnership with our United Brethren in Sierra Leone and Liberia to bring a representative from each country to Greenwood, Ind., August 25-27, 2016.

In order to bring two participants from West Africa, we will need to raise $4500. This will pay for their tourist visas, airfare, lodging, and registration fees.

If you’d like to contribute to this project, direct your gift to: TRAIN & MULTIPLY. Send to:

Global Ministries
302 Lake Street
Huntington, Ind. 46750

Honduras Conference, with 115 churches, was instrumental in forming our national conference in Nicaragua and in the development of a mission district in El Salvador. However, they have never sent missionaries to another continent – until now.

Milton and Erika Pacheco (right) are being sent to Chiang Rai, Thailand. There, they will join a multinational team of United Brethren missionaries from Hong Kong and the United States. Over the past year and a half, the Pachecos have been studying English while completing missions studies online. Most recently, they have been raising support among the Honduran churches, finishing up Milton’s work with Habitat for Humanity, and selling their home.

Global Ministries hopes to bring the Pachecos to the United States by early July to begin three to four months of raising additional support to complement what they have raised in their homeland.

During their time in the United States, Global Ministries staff will travel with the Pachecos to meet those interested in becoming supporters. A number of churches and individuals have already indicated their interest in supporting this couple. If you or your church would like to know more about supporting them or arrange for a visit, contact us at info@ubglobal.org.

Donna and Jason Hollopeter traveling for Global Ministries in Southeast Asia.

Donna and Jason Hollopeter traveling for Global Ministries in Southeast Asia.

Donna with the Global Ministries staff giving a Chinese New Year's greeting for the Macau staff.

Donna with the Global Ministries staff giving a Chinese New Year’s greeting for the Macau staff.

Donna Hollopeter having fun with children in Sierra Leone.

Donna Hollopeter having fun with children in Sierra Leone.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

Donna Hollopeter has faithfully and tirelessly served the United Brethren Church since 1993. During that time she has led the Women’s Missionary Fellowship, coordinated and participated on many short-term mission trips, spoken in numerous UB churches across North America, traveled to all of our mission fields (usually multiple times), and participated in a variety of projects and campaigns. She has served well and has been very much valued and appreciated.

As Donna retires from Global Ministries, we encourage you to join us in thanking Donna for her 22 years of service to the United Brethren church, and more specifically, to the work of UB missions. Donna was hired as associate director of Global Ministries in 1993, and sometime during those years—perhaps several times—she probably spoke in your church. She has been known as an enthusiastic speaker. At the national office, we have appreciated her as a creative, quick-witted person who was fun to be around.

For many of those 22 years, Donna was also a pastor’s wife. Her husband, Jason, was pastor of the UB church in Corunna, Ind., before retiring in 2010. He accompanied her on many short-term trips. They have three daughters scattered between Colorado, Michigan, and Indianapolis, Ind.

We invite your prayers for Donna during this transition in her own life, and for Global Ministries as we look for a new associate director to meet our changing needs.

Jason, Donna, and Jessica Hollopeter on one of the Poland short-term trips.

Jason, Donna, and Jessica Hollopeter on one of the Poland short-term trips.

Donna in northern Thailand with Akha women.

Donna in northern Thailand with Akha women.

Steve Dennie, Communications Director

I remember when Donna Hollopeter joined the Global Ministries staff in 1993. I immediately liked her–her vibrant personality, creativity, work ethic, and sense of humor. None of this ever let up. If Donna slowed down any, I sure didn’t see it. Her creativity and enthusiasm held strong for 22+ years.

Initially, Donna’s work focused around the Women’s Missionary Fellowship, as she interacted with WMF regional and local church groups. She helped lead them through major (and difficult) changes. In addition, her role as associate director brought her all kinds of other responsibilities and assignments over the years. Donna traveled overseas dozens of times, and organized mission trips for numerous church and college groups. She helped plan our national conference meetings and usually presented a workshop. She oversaw printing projects, dealt with government agencies to secure visas, helped train mission team leaders…and so much more.

A former school principal, Donna came to the office with a Masters degree. However, she kept learning. Early on, she learned Spanish so she could be more effective while traveling in Central America. More recently, she earned her TESOL certification from Huntington University.

For a number of years, Donna presented a very special devotional which became somewhat of a Christmas tradition in the national office. She created a peaceful, low-light atmosphere, and brought in various kinds of rolls, breads, and teas. Then, while eating, we would listen to a recording of Tom Hegg’s poem, “A Cup of Christmas Tea.” I always looked forward to it. She presented it again this past December.

Donna served under three Global Ministries directors–Kyle McQuillen, Gary Dilley, and Jeff Bleijerveld. She worked with five different bishops.

She was fun to work with. During break times, as we chatted about miscellaneous nonsense, she would make a comment that would get us all laughing (or, more likely, groaning). I’ll miss that. When she was called upon to make some kind of silly in-house presentation, you could count on it being fun and creative. She was a delightful one-of-a-kind.

For most of those years, Donna doubled as a pastor’s wife. In 1995, Jason became pastor of the UB church in Corunna, Ind. For the next 15 years, she commuted 45 minutes (one way) to the office in Huntington. After Jason retired in 2010, they bought a house in Huntington and drastically reduced their gasoline expenses.

Underlying everything was a servant’s heart. Donna labored with a tireless commitment to the work of UB missions, putting in long hours and doing whatever was asked of her. She leaves behind a strong legacy of faithful service to Christ and to the Church–a legacy which I admire, and which we can all appreciate.

Comments from Others in the National Office.

Jeff Bleijerveld, director of Global Ministries: “When Donna traveled overseas, she was always prepared to share a greeting, an update, even a song. She had a soft spot for children and was able to engage them, even across cultural and linguistic barriers. After completing her TESOL certification with Huntington University, she was able to further engage students of all ages in English language learning activities in China, Spain, Thailand, and Poland.”

Frank Y, associate director: “Donna has a sincere servant’s heart. She is always quick to notice when someone is in need or distress. When that happens, she tenderly ministers to them, whether they are overseas missionaries or locals. Here in the office, she brought humor and levity. She astounded us with her quick wit and would leave us laughing in stitches with her lightning-fast puns. When Donna was out of the office and someone shared a pun, you would hear, ‘Thank you, Donna.’”

David Kline, associate director and former UB missionary in Macau: “When Donna visited the field, you always knew she cared about you. She sought to understand our situation. Her probing questions were always designed to care about you.”

Jana Gass, Global Ministries administrative assistant: “Donna was more than just a co-worker, she was a great friend to everyone in the office. For me personally, I could always count on her to have the information that was needed when there was a question that I couldn’t answer, or to introduce me to someone in the denomination that I had not met before. Even beyond work-related things, however, she was just a true friend who would always lend a listening ear and give carefully thought out advice when needed. I am so thankful and grateful that I was able to spend the past few years working alongside Donna, and will miss her presence here in the office greatly.”

Jane Seely, national office resource manager: “I really appreciate Donna’s humor and wit. Donna loves life and appreciates all the Lord has done in her life. She was also a great encourager. She is missed.”

Cathy Reich, administrative assistant to the bishop: “I love the special connection I have with Donna. She has been an inspiration to me in so many ways. I will miss all she brought to the office. From the devotions she shared, to her passion for missions, to her fun and light spirit in and around the office, I am a richer person for having worked alongside Donna for these many years.”

With Rhonda Dilley in Sierra Leone.

With Rhonda Dilley in Sierra Leone.

Our future ministry center in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Our future ministry center in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Global Ministries is launching a major mission effort in Chiang Rai, the northern-most provincial capital in the once infamous “Golden Triangle.” We will focus on reaching Thai Buddhists. A team of United Brethren missionaries from three countries—the United States, Honduras, and Hong Kong—will begin arriving in 2016.

This year’s annual Easter Offering will help prepare the way. We hope to raise $50,000 to renovate our ministry center in Chiang Rai.

Global Ministries and Hong Kong Conference, together, bought a two-story building in a fast-growing part of Chiang Rai. This will be our base of operations for a number of ministries. The building sits on the corner of a busy street in what would be a middle-class neighborhood. To get anywhere, people in that neighborhood pass our building.

The building was previously owned by a doctor and her family. She works at a nearby hospital, and is very excited about the types of ministry we hope to bring to the neighborhood.

It is a solid building, structurally sound, with a very good roof. However, it has sat empty for a couple years and needs a lot of work. We want to expand the upstairs and turn it into classrooms for teaching English and other subjects. The downstairs will include a large space for group activities. Other major renovations are needed.

  • Nearly all windows must be replaced.
  • The interior walls are very thin. The exterior walls have no treatment on the inside.
  • The decrepit bathroom needs rebuilt.
  • The stairway needs repaired.
  • A new air conditioning system will be installed (this is very important in that part of the world).
  • A new kitchen area is needed.

Nearby are the city’s three major shopping outlets. A few minutes away is the Big C, which is like a full-size Meijer or WalMart. Across from the Big C is a very modern mall, similar to what you would find in North America. Further up the highway is another major store, like a Costco. This is a developing part of the city. In addition, the area is home to many out-of-town temporary workers employed at the malls.

Across from our ministry center is a simple but clean extended stay hotel. Several UBs from Hong Kong stayed there, and intentionally walked to our building at 11pm just to see what it was like. They felt very safe. Many small vendors were still selling their food and other goods. Motorcycles and cars zipped by.

We have a large vision for this building. We will offer language learning in both English and Mandarin Chinese—the two most sought-after languages in Thailand. We will offer activities to engage the surrounding community. We will build caring relationships that open doors to love people and share the Gospel. Others will use the building to reach into the community—visiting teams, local Thai Christians, and partner organizations in the region.

Over time, we are praying for a discipleship multiplication movement to begin among the Thai Buddhists, resulting in new churches being planted.

We United Brethren have just over 20 years of experience in northern Thailand. Three United Brethren churches have been planted among the Akha hill tribes, along the border with Burma, under the leadership of Hong Kong Conference. Chiang Rai is the closest large city. It gives us the opportunity to possibly help people from the mountain churches who come to the city for jobs and education. But it provides an even greater opportunity to spread the Gospel to Thai Buddhists—the least-reached people group in Thailand.

You can donate online to the 2016 Easter Offering. Your financial support would be greatly appreciated.

(Thanks to Google Street View, you can drive down the street right past our building. The building is on the right, just after you begin seeing a silver pickup truck ahead of you on the road.)

The Canadian team standing by the same tree outside the Chevalier church--the same tree where the first Canadian team, in 2002, also had a photo taken. Joan Sider, a regular visitor to Haiti, is on the far right.

The Canadian team standing by the same tree outside the Chevalier church–the same tree where the first Canadian team, in 2002, also had a photo taken. Joan Sider, a regular visitor to Haiti, is on the far right.

It was quite a celebration as the congregation of the Archaie church marched to their new church building on January 31.

It was quite a celebration as the congregation of the Archaie church marched to their new church building on January 31.

Persons from the Archaie congregation made the move into their new building on January 31.

Persons from the Archaie congregation made the move into their new building on January 31.

A team from the UB churches in Canada has been in Haiti since the end of January. They have been involved in a variety of ministries, including quilting classes, eye clinics, construction, and children’s ministry. The Canadian churches have sent teams to Haiti every year since 2002.

On January 31, they were in Archaie for the opening service of their new church. The people and guest choir members marched from the old church to the new church, accompanied by a marching band. It was very celebratory. King Street UB church in Chambersburg, Pa., was instrumental in seeing this accomplished.

They distributed dozens of eyeglasses in several locations after doing vision tests, which typically took 20-25 minutes. Joan Sider wrote, “There was one particular man who was thrilled at being able to see so clearly. His face just lit up.”

They went into a school to teach girls who were having their menstrual cycle, and gave out 54 “Day for Girls” kits. Joan wrote, “The girls seemed very interested and appreciative of this gift. It was fun watching them learn how to use each piece of the kit.” Ladies from the UB church in Kitchener, Ontario, made these kits.

At Cayes, they joined a bucket brigade to pass stone for the floor of the new sanctuary.

On February 3, Joan Sider was in a motorcycle mishap while riding with a pastor to the Archambault church, which otherwise required a 15-20 minute walk over rough terrain. She tumbled off the bike, the pastor landed on her leg, and the motorcycle landed atop him. Joan was shaken up and sore, but not badly hurt. A doctor and nurse were handy, so she was well cared for.

February 8 found them in Grande Saline for a full, productive day. They produced four quilts; in a drawing, two men and two women “won” quilts. The Children’s Ministry attracted about 50 children, who were very attentive despite many distractions. About 43 kits were given out in the Day for Girls presentation. The eye clinic gave out 35 pairs of glasses. They gave out ten baby bonnets knitted by a lady from the New Dundee church in Ontario.

They also held the first medical clinic of the trip, working with Haitian doctor Robinson Germain (right), who has ministered alongside them on previous trips. They saw 44 patients, mostly with high blood pressure and women’s issues. There were some issues with malaria, but improved water purification has greatly improved the situation.

The team will return to Canada on Thursday, February 11.