Kevin Gift is the new associate pastor of Mt. Olivet UB in Mt. Solon, Va.
Albert Beckley (right) was elected as the new General Superintendent of Sierra Leone National Conference. He replaces Rev. Joe Bob Amara, who served in that position through much of the 1990s. Rev. Beckley has been serving as Administrative Assistant for many years. He was elected during the national conference meeting in February. Six North Americans attended the February conference: Gary and Rhonda Dilley, Jason and Donna Hollopeter, and former Sierra Leone missionaries June Brown and Ruth Benner.
Melissa Hull has been one of our missionaries in Macau with the English Language Program. On Saturday, March 21, she was married to David Kline. The wedding was held at Banner of Christ UB in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Klines plan to go to Macau in the spring of 2004 to serve together as missionaries there.
Marshall Wood is supply pastor at both the Underwood Church (Oakland, Md.) and Mill Chapel (Reedsville, W. Va.).
The Canadian national conference is taking a major role in supporting the work in Haiti. A work team went there last fall. They have a website which tells a lot about Haiti and about that work team. You might find it quite interesting. It’s here.
Jana Hoobler sent these updates:
A baby girl was born to Pastor Tim and Tara Hallman of Anchor Community UB (Fort Wayne, Ind.). Emma Reigh arrived Thursday, March 13, at 5:38 a.m. (7lbs. 3 ozs., and 19.5 inches). Tim reports that Emma has “lots of thick black hair (just like her daddy) and a beautiful face, just like her mommy!”
Central Conference Superintendent Tom Brodbeck provides this update on the new Hispanic church plant in Columbus.
“The church has 56 different people who are active in the ministry, averaging around 40. Pastor Volfi Valenzuela reports that 13 people have been saved and five others have rededicated their lives. The need continues for Hispanic Bibles and other Spanish literature. The church will be participating in a Columbus, Ohio, Latin festival June 20-21. Over 300,000 people attend this event each year. The church continues to worship on Sunday afternoons at the Columbus First UB church facility.”
Troy and Julie Hendricks and family are planning to arrive in Spain at the beginning of August, where they will serve with SEND International. They are UB endorsed missionaries from Lake View UB in Camden, Mich. Troy is finishing the year as a high school teacher in Angola, Ind.
The Global Ministries Leadership Team has endorsed three new missionaries–one family and two singles.
Jim and Michelle Kegerreis are from the Otterbein UB church in Greecastle, Pa. In 1998, they began working with a ministry that built family-style homes for children at risk in Honduras. Jim oversaw the construction of nine buildings and the overall infrastructure, while Michelle helped with bookkeeping.
In November 2002, they joined Providence World Ministries as self-supported missionaries. Jim will lead teams of volunteers to build facilities near Tegucigalpa, Honduras. PWM aims to reveal God’s love to orphaned and abandoned children, widows, and the poor through direct and practical help. For this, they are creating a new kind of orphanage, in which 100 children will receive basic necessities, education, and medical attention. They will be nurtured by Christian, native house parents in family groups of eight children. The presence of elderly widows means the children will receive the love and nurture of grandmothers as well. A medical clinic and school will also minister to the community.
Mark Stephan is from College Park UB in Huntington, Ind. He serves in the Middle East with Mission to Unreached Peoples, an organization based in Seattle. MUP has over 100 missionaries in 16 countries. They focus on evangelism and church planting in places which are often closed to traditional missionary work. In Mark’s case, it involves ministry to Muslims.
Bridget Ho, a Hong Kong native, committed her life to Christ in 1989 at St. Luke’s UB church. In 1993, she volunteered to help plant St. Mark’s UB church, and has been very active there ever since, doing some of everything–secretary, deaconess, worship leader, piano accompanist, Sunday school teacher, and more.
Bridget holds a degree in Translation from Hong Kong Baptist University, and has worked as a translator. She also earned two Certificates of Church Ministry from Ecclesia Bible College, and has acquired significant training in evangelism through several programs.
In 1994, sensing God calling her into mission work, Bridget traveled to Thailand to visit the UB work there. She asked herself, “Could I spend a year or a few years in the mission field like Pastor Lee in Thailand?” She visited Thailand again the next year, and also in 1998. In 1999, Bridget began working for Operation Mobilization as Assistant Personnel Officer, and continued in that role until August 2002. She then decided to join OM’s Asia Challenge Team. She is now serving in Sri Lanka on a two-year assignment.