On September 17, Rev. Winston Smith, Superintendent of Jamaica Conference, wrote, “I visited most of the worse hit areas (Clarendon, Manchester and St. Andrew) and here is an update of the damages done to our people and churches:

  • Pastors Donald Dacres and Trevor Williams have lost their roofs.
  • Approximately six members from New Green, Battersea, Halse Hall and Mount Prospect churches either lost their roofs or had their roofs partially damaged.
  • A member of the Mount Pleasant church lost his house because of land-slide.
  • New Green and New Bowens churches had their roofs partially damaged.
  • The New Gardens church lost its roof.

Scenes from Jamaica Bible College. The bottom picture shows Frances Gordon, wife of JBC President Owen Gordon.

Owen Gordon, a UB minister and president of Jamaica Bible College, sent this information on September 28:

“Our first week of classes went well without electricity and water. Thankfully, we got back electricity and water over the weekend. These, along with telephone. occasionally go off, but we are grateful. We are slowly rising again! Three friends are here from Canada to help us with general clean up. We hope to try to start putting back the library roof sometime next week.

“Special request: Prayer for our students who are exhibiting signs of the effect of post hurricane trauma. One young lady broke down in tears yesterday as her dream of coming to school has been shattered when the hurricane took away everything. Continue to keep us close in prayer and thanks for the many expressions of help.”

“This is my first attempt to send some information since Ivan’s passage. First, thank God for His protection! Thank you all for your loving concern and your earnest and effectual prayers. We are battered, bruised, but thankfully alive!

Bishop Emeritus Wilber and Mossie Sites are also at Jamaica Bible College, serving as volunteers this fall. Bishop Sites wrote the following on September 27:

“Things are slowly returning to normal. We now have all our utilities back, but every day we lose electricity from a few minutes to four to six hours. We had a three-man team come from Southridge Community Church last Tuesday and they have been using power saws to clean up trees, etc. Before they arrived some of the workmen worked several days doing the dame thing. Another team from the same church is to come on Saturday, if we have gotten the roofing materials. The supplier promised to have it to us on Friday. Other teams have volunteered to come later in October and will probably work on the interior of the damaged buildings.”

“Our first week of classes went well without electricity and water. Thankfully, we got back electricity and water over the weekend. These, along with telephone, occasionally go off, but we are grateful. We are slowly rising again! Three friends are here from Canada to help us with general clean up. We hope to try to start putting back the library roof sometime next week.

“Special request: Prayer for our students who are exhibiting signs of the effect of post hurricane trauma. One young lady broke down in tears yesterday as her dream of coming to school has been shattered when the hurricane took away everything. Continue to keep us close in prayer and thanks for the many expressions of help.”

A team of six men from King Street Church (Chambersburg, Pa.) and one man from Criders UB Church (Greencastle, Pa.)  traveled to the Faith UB Church at Port Orange, Florida, to help with the demolition of the multi-purpose building that was damaged by Hurricane Frances. The team spent 5 days (September 17-22) demolishing the building, disposing of debris, and salvaging materials that could be reused, sold, or given away.

The congregation is planning to rebuild a structure on the same site and will be looking for some volunteer help after the first of the year to assist in rebuilding. The team was housed at the Holly Hill UB Church about 10 mile away, and families of the congregation supplied meals for the team. Pastor Chuck McKeown of Holly Hill church and pastor Baker at Port Orange were grateful for the demolition team.

Mike Burtnett, youth pastor at Hillsdale UB, writes, “In July I led a team of 15 youth and 5 adults to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. This is a Lakota Sioux reservation, and is characterized by extreme poverty and poor living conditions. We served through the Youthworks organization, and along with two other churches led a children’s program known as Kids’ Club, and also painted houses and a church. The young children that we met were very needy, and my teens were able to show them the love of Christ in very tangible ways. My group really grew together as a team and more importantly grew closer to the Lord.”

Mary Miller from Open Arms Community Church (Lakewood, Calif.) writes, “With our growing Anglo/Hispanic congregation, we held our first baptism service on Saturday, September 25. We baptized two adults in a beautiful outdoor setting in the Angeles National Forest, followed by a picnic. It was in God’s timing, as the Forest was closed the next morning due to severe fire hazard.”

Korean pastors from several states and from Canada helped celebrate the launch of a new Korean church in Findlay.

Veterans from the Korean War were treated to an authentic Korean meal.

The Forever Love Korean Church, which meets in the First UB church of Findlay, Ohio, held its installation service on Monday, September 27. Korean pastors from California, New Jersey, New York, Indiana, Ontario, and Toronto came to celebrate the new church. Services included a dedication of the new church and installation of new members. The church also invited the Korean War Veterans from Findlay to join in a time of fellowship and an authentic Korean meal. Thirty war veterans from the First UB and the surrounding community came and enjoyed the meal. The Forever Love Korean Church plans to honor veterans again during Veterans Day in November.

The Forever Love Korean Church is now in discussion with the denomination on becoming a “preaching point,” which is one step toward becoming a new UB church.

Jana sent the following information from Macau on September 22.

  • Last week 25 children came to Kids’ Klub. We’re excited that this many children are attending. A few had learned their memory verses. Praise the Lord for this opportunity to reach children for Christ.
  • More women came back to English Bible Study last Friday. I’m thankful for their friendships and their desire to learn more about the Bible. Pray that new students will feel welcome and accepted as we work to bring them into the group.
  • Pray for a Chinese Christian friend of mine who is facing a lot of negative pressure from her family. Pray for wisdom as I reach out to her.
  • Continue to pray that David and Melissa Kline will be granted work permits so that they can teach in the ELP and at Pui Va Middle School.

Former UB missionary Karen Crumbley underwent surgery on Thursday, September 16. The operation went well, though they ended up removing two-thirds of her lung, instead of the one-third they had anticipated. Fortunately, no cancer cells were found. Karen is now doing well. She was moved from Intensive Care to a private room on Sunday night, September 19. If all goes well, she should be able to return home sometime this week.

The Hillsdale UB church in Hillsdale, Mich., is celebrating its 100th anniversary. On September 12, they set a new attendance record: 735. The day included the ordination of Worship Pastor Scott Hardaway, the baptism of 15 people, and the reception of 28 new members. The church is averaging two conversions per week this year.

Pat Jones, pastor of King Street UB church in Chambersburg, Pa., left on September 14 for a trip to Africa through World Relief. He’ll be visiting several countries. The trip is led by Clive Calver, who has headed World Relief for the past seven years (and is stepping down at the end of September).