Luanne Brooks, UB missionary serving with OMS in Haiti, sent this report, which is both heart-rending and heart-warming.

“Today I met a young girl named Ketteline. Ketteline is 16 years old and she is dying. Maybe within the next few days. She weighs 65 pounds and is the thinnest person I have ever seen. She had difficulty walking into the clinic, and her breathing is labored. We ran a very simple test that confirmed our worst fears: she is dying of AIDS.

“When Ketteline was just a small child, a horrible monster (my words, not hers) violated her. She is one of the countless s who are suffering the consequences of this hopeless disease. Her mother was devastated by the news. Ketteline sat quietly, numb I am sure. Not a tear from her eyes, though mine were running over so much I could hardly see. I told her Jesus loved her and is looking forward to taking her home with him. I walked with Ketteline and her mother to the chaplain as they expressed the wish to ask Jesus into their hearts. This is what it is all about, folks. The angels are rejoicing. They will soon welcome this earth angel into heaven.

“Please pray that God will send comfort to Ketteline. I pray that she will pass along peacefully into her Savior’s arms. She will never suffer again at the hands of a monster. Please pray for her mother as she has to be able to let her child go. This will not be easy for her. I have noticed the great sacrificial love these Hatian women have for their children. I know that she would take her place if she could. But very soon Ketteline will be in a safe place.”

A CT-Scan has shown that Rev. Martin Magnus, a long-time pastor in Ontario, has a brain tumor. His son, Brian Magnus, President of the UB Church in Canada, sent this report.

“He has a glioblastoma which appears to have been there a while. The report also speaks of vasogenic edema, metastatic lesions and suggestions of necrosis. I think that means it’s a tumor that has some dead tissue within it, swelling of the brain and blood vessels surrounding it, and perhaps a connection to another tumor elsewhere (primary tumor vs. secondary tumor).

“Currently it’s about 5 cm X 3 cm (1″ X 2”) and is on the surface of the cerebrum. Dad goes in to the London University Hospital next Wednesday (April 23) for a biopsy. They’ll decide on their plan of attack after that.

“He had the CT-Scan because he’d had a few ‘absent spells’ where he’d just go into a daze for a minute or so. Not good, especially when you’re driving! His only symptoms to this point were these black-outs over the last eight or ten months, which he thought were ended with a change in his glaucoma medication.

“Dad is a United Brethren minister, pastoring in Canada and Michigan from 1956 to 1990. He and my Mom, Lois, live a very busy retirement life in Kitchener, Ontario where they are active in the Stanley Park Church and also in the United Brethren Church in Canada (Dad just preached for me here in Guelph a few weeks ago). They have five kids, 12 grandchildren and thousands of friends.

“Dad and Mom and all of us would covet your prayers at this time.”

Jana Hoobler sends these notes from Macau:

  • On Wednesday evening, a young man who’s been having Bible Study with our secretary, Michael, prayed to accept Christ as his Savior. I think he’s still unclear on some things, but it was a good first step for him. Pray that that Holy Spirit will continue to work in his heart as Michael does follow-up Bible studies with him.
  • We started an English class at a local primary school this week for 5th grade students. It meets after school. Pray that we’ll be a good testimony to these students.
  • Pray for special Easter services next weekend at Living Water, Living Word, and on Taipa. Pray that people will respond to the gospel message.

Rev. Ernest Burk passed away on April 12. He was a retired pastor from Michigan Conference, and father of Dr. Roger Burk, pastor of Mt. Hope UB in Carson City, Mich.

James Mack, former part-time Youth Pastor at Ebenezer UB Church in Greencastle, Pa., resigned that position as of March 1.

Chris Moore was hired, as of January 2, as part-time Technology Coordinator at Emmanuel Community UB (Fort Wayne, Ind.). He had previously served as pastor of Good Shepherd UB in Huntington, Ind.

Julie Sattison was hired, as of January 13, as part-time Director of Preschool Ministries at Emmanuel Community UB (Fort Wayne, Ind.).

At the 15th anniversary. Sitting in front, l-r, are Jennifer Blandin (fulltime missionary), Byrdena Shuneman (short-term volunteer), Connie Sung (pastor of Living Word church), and Jana Hoobler (Macau Mission Director). Missionary Linda Neely is standing in back, third from the left.

At the 15th anniversary.

It has been 15 years since the work in Macau began. Jana Hoobler, director of the Macau English Language Program, writes about a special service to commemorate this landmark. “The 15th Anniversary Celebration went very well. Around 80 people attended. It was a good time of reflection on how God has worked and all the special memories our church members have gathered over the years.”

Jana also commented on the SARS epidemic, which has been centered in nearby Hong Kong. “So far there aren’t any official cases of SARS in Macau. Thank you to all of you who have expressed your concern for us. We’re all doing well. While many cases of the atypical pneumonia have occurred in Hong Kong, they don’t represent a very large percentage of the population. We’re being careful to wash our hands a lot!”

Missionaries Jana Hoobler (left) and Jen Blandin help volunteer missionary Byrdena Shuneman celebrate her 79th birthday.

On Saturday, April 5, 35 children attended an Easter Egg Hunt at Prince Street UB (Shippensburg, Pa.). The children hunted for 600 hidden eggs. The children also viewed a puppet show entitled The Soldier and the Centurion. The Legend of the Easter Egg was read to them, followed by crafts and food.

Dan Wust, director of Arise & Shine Ministries in Honduras and an endorsed UB missionary, has been working on his Masters degree from the Huntington College Graduate School of Christian Ministries. He completed his work on March 28 and plans to graduate in May. He writes, “This training will greatly help me in my teaching role with the ministry.”

Two Honduran coworkers are also pursuing further training. “Both Tomas and Gerardo have enrolled at the Tegucigalpa Theological Seminary in their Pastoral Ministries program. They have been attending classes since March three nights a week and are working towards a two-year degree that is a preparatory program for those who do not have a high school degree and want to go on to study for their Bachelors degree. Both have expressed satisfaction in being able to study, but at the same time fear and trepidation because they, like most Honduran men, do not have a solid education background and are finding that the classes are hard and require a different kind of effort than what they expected.”

The Wust family will be in the States from June 6 through the end of July, and are available for speaking engagements.