Donna Hollopeter has been named Acting Director of Global Ministries. Gary Dilley, the director since 2001, is resigning to become senior pastor of College Park UB church in Huntington, Ind. Donna joined the Global Ministries staff in 1993 as Executive Secretary of the Women’s Missionary Fellowship. Her title more recently has been Associate Director of Global Ministries.

It was reported on December 12 that Jean Bell, a UB endorsed missionary in Brazil serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators, was hospitalized with a serious blood disorder.

Donna Hollopeter, Acting Director of Global Ministries, sent this note: “I just received an email from Dave Spencer with an update on Jean. Until last evening, Jean had continued to be in the hospital and on dialysis. She is extremely weak but the doctors believe the antibiotics are working and that the blood disease/infection is getting much better.

“One of the doctors returned to the hospital last evening and decided to go against the recommendations of the other doctors by telling Jean she could go home. All of her other doctors had said she needed to have three straight days of normal test results–she only had one. The doctor last evening was satisfied with that and signed her out of the hospital. She is still requiring dialysis and has to be taken every other day for that.

“Wes has asked for prayer that Jean will continue to gain strength and that this unexpected discharge from the hospital was not premature.”

Wes and Jean Bell are endorsed UB missionaries serving in Brazil with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Jean has a very serious blood disorder that has resulted in her kidneys shutting down and necessitating dialysis. It’s a very serious situation. Please pray for Jean’s health.

In early October, an urgent call to prayer was sent to the denominational email list for Cheryl Leighton, wife of Joe Leighton, pastor of Salem Chapel UB in Junction City, Ohio. On September 4 she went into the hospital, experiencing some problems, and cancer was discovered. Her condition was extremely critical. Reports were published here on October 9 and November 2.

On December 4, Joe Leighton sent the following report about Cheryl.

“After weeks and now months of setbacks and discouraging news, I am glad to be able to share some glad tidings. They were able to successfully tap Cheryl’s lung today and removed 1200 cc of fluid. This will dramatically improve her breathing and will help her gain the strength that she needs in order to take full advantage of her physical therapy. This was a last ditch effort because of the risk of her lung collapsing for a second time. She sailed right through it without incident, and she was resting easily when I left the hospital today. In addition, her level of nutrition is improving. They changed the formula and removed iron from her diet, and she is no longer getting sick, but is processing all of it through her digestive system; and they have raised the feeding input from 30 cc/hr to 55 cc/hr (the target is 70 cc/hr).

“It appears that dialysis is becoming permanent, but it is down to three days per week for 3.5 hours at a time. Her filtering system is still impaired. While less than ideal, it is certainly something to which she can adapt and have a good quality of life.

“Cheryl completed her fourth round of chemotherapy on November 30. Her final two sessions are scheduled for December 21 and January 11. On November 23 they did a specialized CT scan and our daughter called with the results about an hour ago. There is no evidence of the cancer in her chest and under her arms. It is gone! We praise and thank God for that! We won’t know about the pelvis or the bone marrow until after her January treatment, when they will perform another type of diagnostic exam. But for now the chemotherapy is having the desired effect. If the exam in January is clear, then Cheryl has the option of using her own marrow for a transplant, and remission should be achieved at that point. At best, Cheryl only had a 60% chance for remission, and her impaired health further reduced those odds. But it appears that she is on her way toward achieving that very thing and we are grateful for these reports and for what has been accomplished thus far! There are still the matters for the need for oxygen, the trache, and the dropfoot, but these are a lot easier to face with the momentum that is now being realized in these other areas.

“Thank you for the cards, prayers, and encouraging words–those things along with God’s grace have sustained us and enabled us to get to this point. It is good to see that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t an oncoming freight train after all.”