Jim Knoll is the new Visitation Pastor at Hillsdale UB, Hillsdale, Mich. This is a part-time position.

Darrin Duncan, former pastor of Living Word UB in Columbus, Ohio, has been overseas serving as a fulltime chaplain in the military. He has returned to the States.

Jennifer Blandin writes from Macau:

“With Chinese New Year falling at the end of January, that allowed us a chance to offer some different types of English classes. Right before Chinese New Year I taught an English and Craft class. To be honest, not much English was used, but the ladies came up with some nice-looking crafts. It was fun to see how creative each person could be!

“The beginning of February had Nellie Birdsall teaching a Kitchen English class. This was only a four-lesson class, which I got to sit in on and help. Students learned how to make some American food and the rest of us got to taste test what they made! Not too bad of deal, I must admit! The ladies enjoyed the cooking class so much, that they are currently setting up other times to learn how to make pizza (and other foods) and to teach us teachers how to make some Chinese food.

The Chinese New Year is one of my favorite Chinese holidays. It’s one holiday where families have time together and everyone is excited for the coming new year. This is the year of the Monkey. Due to the economy doing a bit better than the previous few years, more shops and restaurants closed for an extended holiday break, which was also nice to see people relaxing.

“Two things that always go with Chinese New Year are fireworks and firecrackers, especially when the clock strike midnight and the new year has officially arrived. Every year I think my heart must skip a few beats because of the loud bangs coming at various intervals and from every direction. While Macau has never experienced snow, for a few weeks over the Chinese New Year holiday, Macau is blanketed in red paper from the firecrackers that people have set off from their apartment balconies.

“The ELP’s regular term of English classes began on February 17. A huge praise is that attendance has increase some over the last term. Another praise is that more people seem open to discussing and learning about God.

“One woman who has been attending Sunday evening English Bible study has begun attending worship services at Living Water Church. She continues to want to learn more about God and the Bible, which is exciting to see! Pray that she will continue to seek God and accept Him!

“January saw the return (for the 6th time) of Russ and Nellie Birdsall! It has been fun having them back as volunteers. They’ll be here till May.”

Brian Magnus, Bishop of the UB Church in Canada, recently had the chance to accompany other Canadian church leaders on a trip to Israel. This went far beyond a regular tour. For instance, they had a meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.