Alan DeCristoforo sent this update on his health condition. He is serving as Spiritual Care Pastor at First UB in New Castle, Pa. “Since I know a lot of people have been praying for me, I should let them know that I stood up and preached for 30 minutes during the Sunrise Service. After the service, I was assisted to the main floor where I stood up, with help, and walked out of the sanctuary. I had on my braces, and two gentlemen helped me stand up.”

Valerie Reynolds, associate pastor of Mt. Hope UB in Carson City, Mich., writes, “In our effort to make an impact in our small community, we have changed our focus to trying to become friends to our neighbors. One of the things that we are doing is having a ‘Project Night’ the first and third Mondays of each month. One night, for instance, we did scrapbooking and quilting. So far around 30% of the participants have been unchurched women. We are intentionally looking for ways to become friends with our neighbors and looking for ways to invite them to a non-church activity where we can get to know them more personally. The excitement is spreading within our church as we are being challenged to live the lifestyle of Jesus.”

Lee Rhodes, pastor of Countryside UB (Breckenridge, Mich.), sent this report.

“Our youth group, TLC (Teens Loving Christ), held an activity day at Central Michigan University’s Student Activity Center. We rented two buses from the school to transport 74 middle school and high school students. There were 28 adults that chaperoned. Events included wallyball, swimming, bowling, basketball, pool, volleyball, eating donated food and purchased pizzas, and two sets of devotions for each group. During the day, there were five conversions and eight recommitments to Christ.

“This is an annual event. This is the first year both age groups went on the same day. The Student Activity Center was quite empty until we arrived. The youth were pumped. TLC youth come from various churches in the area. For this event we had 13 youth come from a different school district as well. Kurt Peters, 19, has been leading TLC for several years. He is now on staff part time. John Cole is assisting him by leading the middle school age group in devotions and some activities on a regular basis. The two halves of the group meet at the same time on Sunday evenings, sharing worship time but split for most of the other activities.”

Titus Boggs, director of the Laurel Mission (Big Laurel, Kent.), reports that the mission’s clothing store has almost no summer clothing. The residents who shop at the clothing store are beginning to request such items. Any help would be appreciated. Titus can be contacted at: titus@ub.org.

Ernie Burk, a retired minister in Michigan Conference, passed away in April. He was 85. A memorial service was held April 19 at the Mt. Hope UB church in Carson City, Mich. Rev. Burk attended Huntington College and was ordained in 1949. He and his wife, Dorothy, served various churches in Michigan: Harrison, Brown Corners, Ashley, Alma, Jackson St. (now Countryside), Harrison, Caledonia, Eden, and Ithaca. They retired to a home on the Carson City Campground in 1982. Their oldest son, Roger, is the pastor at Mt. Hope. Three of their five children are still living.

Park Layne UB (Dayton, Ohio) held a five-day revival which resulted in three conversions and some rededications. An average of 30-40 people attended each night. Associate Pastor George Rhodifer was the speaker.

The Easter Services on Sunday was well, attended. There were 25 for the Sunrise Service and about 35 for the Breakfast that followed. Pastor Roland Albert brought the Worship Morning message. His theme was “He is Risen, He is Alive, What About You?” This rebuilding church set a new attendance mark of 51.

Luanne Brooks, missionary to Haiti, writes about Easter activities she was part of.

“n Good Friday we visited the pool of St. Jacque. This is a voodoo holy place. My heart broke as I watched a couple of men and women worshiping Satan. I cried as I watched a woman dip a cup into that filthy slimy pool and drink from it as an act of worship.

“On Saturday we went to a village and passed out Bibles and radios that are fixed-tuned to the Christian radio station. I spoke to a young man who thought he was too young to be converted to Christianity. He believed he still had time to have fun. I read to him from John 3:16 in Creole. I asked him if he were to die today, would he not want to spend eternity with God. He said he didn’t believe there was life after this one. There are hundreds of thousands just like this young man. People who have been tricked by the witch doctors into believing that they should live only for today, that there is no tomorrow.

“Many of the local missionaries gathered on Sunday morning for a beautiful sunrise service on the lawn of the radio station. Afterwards we fellowshiped together with a carry-in breakfast.”

Two weeks prior to Easter, Living Water UB (Clarksburg, W. Va.) began the process of knocking on every door in the city–all 7000 of them. Pastor Chris Mullett writes, “We began with the 415 homes closest to the church. Twenty-four adults and ten youth members participated in the visitation. We bought a packet of flower seeds for each of the homes to be visited and attached an invitation to our Easter service.

“Our Easter service was our largest attendance in our 28-month existence. We had 140, many of them visiting for the first time. Our next neighborhood outreach, in May, will target getting people to church for Memorial Day. This summer we will target a neighborhood with an invitation for children to attend a Bible school in a local park.”

  • On Good Friday, Living Water Church held a foot-washing service. Living Word Church had a simple potluck at one church member’s home, followed by a time of worship and reflection. On Saturday, Living Word Church took over 20 children on a field trip to Coloane, one of Macau’s islands.
  • On Easter Sunday, both churches held evangelistic meetings. In the afternoon Living Water Church had a picnic, hiking, and paddleboat rides at a reservoir.
  • We had a good Easter Celebration on Taipa on Sunday evening. It wasn’t as big of a crowd as we’ve had for some other events, but most of these are the families of women who are attending English Bible Studies. Pray that a core group of believers will develop on Taipa!
  • On March 30, the Macau United Brethren in Christ Association celebrated its 15th anniversary. Representatives from Living Water Church, Living Word Church, the ELP, and Hong Kong Conference participated in a worship celebration service. Hong Kong Superintendent Peter Lee gave us a quick history lesson on the denomination and Hong Kong Pastor Mark Choi shared the message for the afternoon. We are thankful for God’s faithfulness over the past 15 years!
  • We need wisdom as we plan for events this summer–English classes for adults, teens, and children, and VBS. Many things are up in the air due to the continuing SARS concerns.
  • The government still has not accepted our financial reports for our first year-and-a-half of ELP classes on Taipa. They are asking more and more questions concerning how the income from our classes is used to support our church work. Pray that they will approve the reports without us having to make any major changes in how our finances are set up and that we’ll be granted non-profit status. This continues to be a stressful and time-consuming process, especially for Jennifer Blandin.