Luanne Brooks, a UB missionary serving in Haiti with OMS International, sent this report on April 24.

“Sometimes I feel like one of the most blessed people in the world. God has given me the rare opportunity to share his love in places where many cannot go. Thank you for sending me. Thank you for being my support.

“I’m sure you are all wondering what Haiti is like now after the change in government. Let me share with you my first impressions upon arriving. First of all, we had to go to Port au Prince to clear immigration, because it is not up and running yet in Cap Haitian. As we flew closer to Cap Haitian, we could see that there had been some flooding. But what was not under water was green and beautiful. I had tried to prepare myself for what I might see when I arrived. But I was still saddened by the shape of our little airport. All of the buildings were either destroyed or severely damaged. We had to wait for our baggage in a large concrete building that was missing one entire wall. I was prepared for the worst as we drove through the city, but was pleasantly surprised that it was pretty much the same. Cap Haitian was stillwellit was still Cap Haitian. We had to take an alternate route home, because the severe rain and flooding had washed out part of the main road back to our compound.
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Dave and Jane Arends and family are currently in Colorado Springs for cross-cultural training at Mission Training International. They wrote on April 18,:

“It has been a fantastic course thus far and further deepening our call to serve in Belize, Central America. We recently participated in the mission’s conference of Salem United Brethren in Chambersburg, Pa., where we received a very warm welcome. Their zeal for missions and outpouring of support was a great encouragement and example to us.

“We are currently at 63% of our monthly support need and are continuing to search for the supporters that God has planned to join our team. We hope to be on the field by the end of this June. We wanted to express a huge thanks to the folks at Otterbein UB in Waynesboro, Pa. (our home church) for all their love and support. We couldn’t do this without them.”

On March 21, King Street Church (Chambersburg, Pa.) sponsored a Missions Night. Nancy Fritz of the Missions Commission writes, “This evening was a time to praise the Lord and thank those who were part of this outreach through prayer, financial support, or active involvement. Everyone experienced a wonderful time of sharing, rejoicing and recalling the wonderful things God is doing in Honduras and Belize through the efforts of short-term work teams.

“Approximately 60 men and women in the Mid-Atlantic conference area spent time in these countries in January and February. In less than two months, with a great crew of nationals, these workers began and completed a church at Mt. Hebron outside La Ceiba, Honduras. A number of team members were privileged to participate in a dedication service before returning to the States. A children’s home in Belize was constructed and is now ready for the roof, which is expected to be completed by another team in May.

“Plans are underway for the 2004 Global Missions Celebration to be held November 13-14 at King Street Church. Since God is igniting a great interest in short-term mission trips, one of the major parts of this conference will be devoted to sharing information regarding opportunities, requirements, training, and plans for maximizing the efforts and results of short-term mission trip.”

First UB in Lansing has agreed to allow the DeWitt congregation to share its building, starting May 2, 2004. Ron Watterly, pastor of DeWitt, writes, “Our building has had problems with the roof leaking and our landlord has been slow in making repairs to the point that now we are having mold problems. We will hold services at 8:30 a.m. and join them for Sunday school at 10:00. The Lansing congregation will conduct its worship at 11:00.”

Jerry Caley, from the Banner of Christ UB church (Byron Center, Mich.), sent this note on April 19:

“Our church is three months into its new Faith Promise for Missions campaign. The goal for giving and fundraising events is $17,500. Already the giving alone is nearing $6000.

“In addition, under the leadership of our new Pastor of Discipleship and Youth, Josh Good, we have 25 persons going to Costa Rica in July to build a new church with Youth With A Mission. Nineteen high school students and six adults will be part of this two-week trip–a first ever ‘out of the country’ for our youth ministry.”

Marshalee Brown, a member of Jamaica Conference, is a missionary in Ethiopia. She sent this report on April 24.

“It has been a huge adjustment here after living in Addis Ababa for a year. First it’s the language barrier(Tygrina), then its not knowing anyone except the people on the team. Then its not trusting anyone, especially after your house was broken into and valuable and personal things stolen. Yes, my house was broken into two weeks ago and I lost a considerable amount of money, computer, camera, and all other electronics I had. I am still dealing with the paranoia and emotions that come with not knowing who was in your personal space going through your personal things.

“On the bright side, even though it has been challenging, I feel the presence and peace of God beside and in me everyday. Even though over the past couple of weeks I have felt the great urge to just go home, I know that I am at the right place and that God is with me no matter what I go through.

“Work at the Youth Center is going great. There seem to be so much that needs to be done! Please continue to pray that I will make God my priority while here and that He will give me peace in the midst of the storm.”

Paul Coy, a former UB missionary in Macau, is getting married on May 29. His bride-to-be, Rita, is a fellow student at the seminary where Paul has been studying. She is a registered nurse, but pastored a church for two years before coming to the seminary, where she, like Paul, is studying for her Master of Divinity degree. The wedding will be held at Tabuyoc Church of the Nazarene, Pangasinan, Philippines.

Paul writes, “We are expecting around 1000 people, with most of Rita’s village attending our wedding. Rita and I will stay in the Philippines until we both graduate in April 2006. After this we are planning to be assigned as missionaries in Asia. We are praying about China, but are open to anywhere God calls us. Please pray for our future and for our adjustment to marriage life.”

Ryan Clark is the new pastor of Van Wert UB church (Van Wert, Ohio). He began in mid-April. Ryan and his wife, Becky, are coming from Gordon-Conwell Seminary in Massachusetts, where Ryan is completing his MDiv. They have two children and a third on the way.

Devonshire Memorial UB (Harrisburg, Pa.) held a Family Life Conference this week. It began on Easter Sunday morning, and continued with services each night through Wednesday (with a buffet dinner before the Wednesday evening service). It was led by Home Fire Ministries.