Jennifer Blandin writes from Macau about events during the Christmas season.

  • December 21 featured a Christmas party for the children’s fellowship at Living Word church. They played games, shared about the Christmas story, and ate some snacks.
  • On December 22, Living Word had an outreach service. Two UB ladies from Hong Kong came to help Pastor Connie Sung with planning and leading. After the service, everyone stayed for a catered buffet at the church.
  • On Christmas Eve, a few kids, the missionaries, and Connie Sung met at the church. One person carried a cassette recorder that blared out Cantonese Christmas carols, while a couple other people carried two boxes that contained wrapped gifts, and the rest of them passed out the gifts to anyone they encountered on the sidewalk. “The reactions we received were priceless,” Jennifer says. Afterwards, Connie treated everyone at Pizza Hut. Then they headed to St. Paul’s ruins to listen to community Christmas caroling.
  • On December 30, the Living Word church family gathered at a buffet restaurant for a relaxing meal together.
  • Jennifer, along with fellow missionaries Melissa Hull and Linda Neely, took a short retreat to Hong Kong.

  • Paul Coy, a former missionary, visited Macau over the Christmas holidays. He has been in seminary in the Philippines.
  • Melissa Hull, missionary in Macau, is planning to get married in March. On January 25 her fiance, David, will arrive in Macau to help her pack up and head to the States. Melissa and David will leave Macau on February 4. The January 28 Chinese New Year party at the Taipa Center with the morning class students will double as a good-bye party for Melissa. They will then begin preparing to return to Macau to serve together.
  • Linda Neely, a volunteer missionary in Macau, will be visited by her parents on January 29. They will stay in Macau for about two weeks.
  • Former Macau missionary Linda (Burns) Chipman and her husband will also be coming to Macau for a short visit.

Ten people from the Idaville, Franklintown, and Salem UB churches in Pennsylvania will go to Honduras February 2-14. They will work on the Mt. Hebron housing project outside of La Ceiba.

On Sunday, January 12, Living Water UB (Clarksburg, W. Va.) celebrated its second anniversary. The guest of honor was Bishop Paul Hirschy, who delivered the morning message. More than 90 people attended the service. A luncheon was provided in the school auditorium where the church worships.

During the morning service, two elementary students were presented with “Ten Verse” certificates as progress markers in their Sunday school’s “100 Verse Challenge.” Living Water averaged 84 in worship attendance in its second year of ministry.

Central Conference is promoting January 26 as a Day of Prayer for Church Planting. Says Superintendent Tom Brodbeck, “We’re seeking the movement of the Lord on the hearts of our healthiest churches to catch a vision for reproducing ministry. We pray that God will launch several churches through this format in the next several years.”

Darren Duncan announced his resignation as pastor of Living Word UB in Columbus, Ohio. The effective date is yet to be determined. Darren will be going active duty in the Air Force as a military chaplain. He has been a chaplain in the reserves.

Here are various significant items of news from the HC Graduate School of Christian Ministries. Bishop Emeritus Ray Seilhamer heads up the Graduate School, with the title of Associate Dean.

  • In the fall of 2003, the Graduate School will launch a Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries. President G. Blair Dowden approved the idea on January 7. The program won’t need a fulltime faculty member, since it will use current HC faculty and adjunct professors. The Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries is designed to prepare Christian counselors for the local church and parachurch organizations. The 42-hour program will demand the same ministry and biblical core classes required in the other three master’s programs. For state licensing, students will need to take classes at another accredited institution.
  • The Graduate School’s winter enrollment is up 16 percent over the fall semester. Four of the five winter-semester classes must be held outside of the Graduate School suite (located in the UB Headquarters Building) because of the large enrollments.
  • Dr. Ray Seilhamer will travel to Mandeville, Jamaica March 3-7. He will teach “Principles of Leadership” to all seniors at Jamaica Bible College. In April, Dr. Steve and Twyla Lee will teach “Marriage and Family” at Jamaica Bible College. Steve is a Psychology professor at HC, and Twyla is a Social Work professor at Taylor University.
  • Dr. Seilhamer wants to take 100 books on leadership for the library at Jamaica bible College. If you have books you are willing to donate which are in good shape, and have been published since 1990, you can drop them off at the Graduate School office. Or, contact Dr. Seilhamer at
  • Thirty-two students are enrolled in “Perspectives,” a course on world missions which the US Center for World Mission sponsors at various locations throughout the country. The class at Huntington College started January 7, and will meet for 15 weeks on Tuesday nights from 6:30-9:30.
  • The Graduate School finished its first year of offering a Certificate in Christian Ministry. Enrollment passed their expectation, with 111 students enrolled in 2-3 non-credit condensed education classes during 2002. Twenty-five students attended classes in El Paso, Texas; 55 students enrolled in Mexico; and 31 students enrolled in two classes in Boston. Three more classes will be held in El Paso in May 2003.
  • In the fall, the Graduate School held two classes in Indianapolis. Two more classes are planned for the spring semester: “The Sociology of Adolescence” and “Counseling Families in Trouble.”

Dave and Becky Spencer had planned to be back in Brazil in January, returning to field service after many years of stateside administrative roles with Wycliffe Bible Translators. However, they felt God clearly telling them to remain in Orlando a while longer–maybe a year, maybe longer. Fortunately, they hadn’t yet sold their house in Orlando or bought plane tickets. And there are vital roles for them to fill at the Wycliffe USA headquarters.

From Arek and Donna Delik, endorsed missionaries serving in Poland with Operation Mobilization, report, “This year we had more new faces in our English school, especially a lot of young ones. Donna started an English club for children the year before, and expanded it in 2002 for 20 more children. We are praying earnestly for workers to join us, for there is so much we would like to do through this unique ministry.

“Our Shoe Box Present Distribution went very well this Christmas. Around 200 children and parents turned up for the event. Arek shared shortly about the greatest present God had given to us, while Bible school students helped us run a program. It is our third year doing this distribution, and it’s the first time we organized it in our church meeting place. We are praying fore more opportunities to share with the children and their families in the future. Also, this year our tiny fellowship prepared some shoebox presents for Ukrainian children.”

Ruth Ann Price is the first Missionary in Residence at Huntington College, her alma mater. This is a two-year assignment. She writes:

“A major goal is to raise the profile of interest and response in the student body toward work overseas, particularly in cross-cultural ministry. I’m excited to think it might be possible to interest and even place some students in cross-cultural ministry particularly in Bible translation somewhere in the world. I will teach some courses, which will be a new experience for me in the college environment.”

Ruth Ann will also continue working with Wycliffe, assigned to the Asia Area as a management consultant and trainer.

“I’m to be at Huntington College for the January through May semester, and in Asia from June through December. I will spend my time in Asia traveling, probably not located in one country for very long, providing as much on-site assistance as I can. The Asia Area office is located in Manila, the Philippines. The assignment and my work performance will be reviewed at the end of each six-month period by both HC and Wycliffe. If all are still happy with the arrangement, renewal will be automatic.”

Ruth Ann will not receive a salary from HC, but will continue as a Wycliffe missionary and will rely on the contributions of her supporters. However, HC will provide free housing.

“This will be a place for me to call ‘home,’ which will be especial crucial since the other six months of the year I will be without such.”