Billy Simbo, bishop of Sierra Leone Conference, sent this update on his wife, Mamei, who has been hospitalized in Abington, Pa., for the past nine weeks.

I am happy to report to you that yesterday, Friday, November 5, Mamei was discharged from Abington Hospital to Brookside Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Roslyn, Pa. She has made enough progress with her medical care that the hospital deemed that what she now needed was support and rehabilitation, and she can get that outside of the hospital.

So after 9 weeks and four days, we left Abington Memorial Hospital at around 7:30 pm to transition to Brookside. This is a very nice long term-care facility that Mamei came to last year after her second knee surgery. Many of the staff remember her, and they have been to her room to renew acquaintances. We are happy to leave the hospital behind after such a long period of admission.

Mamei will have kidney dialysis three times a week for the foreseeable future. Her kidneys are not producing any waste, so dialysis must take place to get rid of toxins in her blood. Brookside has arranged for outpatient treatment. This means ambulance rides to the dialysis center 3 times weekly.

We are grateful to all of you who have been praying with us from the very beginning of this whole episode in our lives. We thank all of you who have supported us in various ways, letters, phone calls, email, and personal visits either at home or at the hospital It has been a blessing to have all of you as our base of support.

Please pray for the following specific items.

  1. That Mamei’s two significant bedsores will heal as quickly as possible without spreading.
  2. That Mamei would be given the strength and courage she needs to cooperate with the rehabilitation regimen, as she faces long period of rehabilitation for her knees and the lack of mobility in her left arm and leg. She has a very low pain threshold, but this is a time when she needs to be able to withstand pain related to doing the exercises required.
  3. Pray for the continued dialysis. It is a 2-3 hour process that usually leaves Mamei wiped out and tired. We are trusting that her kidneys will pick up after a while, but no one is giving any guarantees. The multiple myeloma does affect kidney functions.
  4. After family consultation and consultations with the Global Ministries Office and the Conference personnel in Sierra Leone. I have booked my return flight to Freetown for Monday, November 22, and will arrive on November 23. This will give me about two weeks before the start of our Bi-Annual Conference in Bo. I will be coming back in January after the installation service for the new bishop. Pray for added strength and grace to do the things I have to do back in Sierra Leone to end my term of service, especially with the 3 months absence from the field.
  5. Pray for the rest of the family who will have to step in and be by Mamei during the time of her stay here at Brookside.
  6. Pray for strength to pack up our personal effects. Mamei and I had planned to work on this between the time she would have normally come to Sierra Leone in November and when we would have returned to the US sometime in the Spring of 2011. Now all of those plans have changed and I have to wrap things up on my own.

Thank you for your willingness to take on our prayer support.

Global Ministries strongly recommends the Perspectives class, which is taught in various locations throughout the country.

Catch the vision for God’s glory, his heart for the nations and the advance of his kingdom to the edges of the frontiers. This course will broaden your understanding of how you are connected to the global church in bringing the glory of God to every tribe, tongue, and nation.

Three classes will be held in northern Indiana beginning the second week of January:

Berne: First Mennonite Church
Sundays, 6:00 – 9:15pm, beginning January 9, 2011
Contact: Luke Johnson 260.849.2932

Bluffton: Life Community Church
Mondays, 6:00 – 9:15pm, beginning January 10, 2011
Contact: Chad Flechter 260.307.6043

Columbia City: First Church of God
Tuesdays, 6:00 – 9:15pm, beginning January 11, 2011
Contact: Heather Ward 260.229.0106

There are 15 lessons divided into 4 sections with classes that meet once a week. Different instructors will offer a wealth of experience from week to week and various levels of study are offered from an interest level to certificate or college credit.

The UBGlobal website tells more about the classes, with some videos you can watch to learn more. In addition, brochures are available from the Global Ministries office.

Mark Wilson (right), senior pastor of Fowlerville UB (Fowlerville, Mich.).

Our Annual Trunk N Treat event grew out of a few passionate parents who wanted to offer a safe alternative to the annual Halloween activities in our community.

After 6 years of being faithful to share Christ in a creative way of loving people, God brought record numbers to our event on Sunday night, October 31. What a blessing it was to serve over 1100 people from our community.

After many positive comments and great conversations with many from our community, I also found out that we had over 100 volunteers and fed over 900 people.

We are looking forward to seeing how Christ will continue to use these simple contacts with our community.

Marilyn Reeck sent the following message on Wednesday, November 3. She and her husband, Roger, are missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators and part of the Global Ministries endorsed staff.

We were in Guinea Bissau in September. We returned to Dallas in October to attend workshops at the Wycliffe center there. It had been decided that Roger should return to Africa to finish the consultant checking that he had started (the book of Luke in Caravela) and to mentor a new translation consultant.

Our daughter Amanda, who is a 4th year medical student, was there in Guinea Bissau finishing a rotation at a mission hospital.

Roger arrived early on Saturday, and a few hours later experienced flashing lights in one eye and since then has been having “floater” episodes and some pain. Amanda consulted with others and did research and determined that the most likely prognosis is a “posterior vitreous detachment” which could lead to a complete retinal detachment. After seeking advice from our bosses and others, we decided that Roger should leave on the next flight out. He will be flying to Portugal and will arrive very early tomorrow morning. Amanda is accompanying him.

We contacted a missionary in Lisbon who will pick them up at the airport and help them find a doctor.

We appreciate your prayers.  We praise the Lord that the condition has not progressed rapidly.

UPDATE (11:25 am Thursday, Nov. 4):

They arrived safely and a few hours later made it to a hospital and were quickly seen by a doctor who speaks English!

The doctor declared that Roger does suffer a posterior vitreous detachment (tear), but so far the retina is not detached. There is a possibility that this could lead to a detachment, so she advises that for the next few weeks he remain close to adequate medical care.

She gave him permission to travel, so he will return to the US and is trying to change his ticket.

The Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team approved these persons for ordination:

  • Warwick Fuller, Devonshire Church, Harrisburg, Pa. A date of December 12, 2010, has been set for his ordination at Devonshire, with Senior Pastor Todd Fetters and Bishop Phil Whipple. Warwick was recently selected as associate pastor of Crestview UB church in Lafayette, Ind.
  • Tim Scroggs, Eagle Quest, Columbia City, Ind. On January 30, 2011, an ordination service will be held at Eagle Quest, where Rick Pride is the senior pastor. Bishop Whipple will conduct the service.
  • Thurm Payton, Lighthouse Community, Williamson, Mich. His previous ordination was recognized by Bishop Whipple in the October 24 worship service at Lighthouse Community, where he serves as senior pastor.
  • Mary Flamer, Park Layne, Dayton, Ohio. An ordination service, with the laying on of hands, will be held at the Park Layne Church in March 2011, with Pastor Roland Albert and Bishop Whipple, to recognize Mary’s prior ordination.

Other licensing updates:

  • Gary Reiber was ordained in a service on September 19, 2010, at Union Chapel Church, Fort Wayne, Ind. Bishop Whipple officiated and the following elders participated in the service: Wayne Goldsmith, Jim Reiber, and witness Tony Roberts. Gary Reiber is senior pastor of Union Chapel.
  • Dan Van Arsdalen was appointed senior pastor at Alvordton UB, Alvordton, Ohio, effective November 1, 2010. He will receive his local license from Bishop Whipple in a service on November 21.

The Well's co-ed softball team.

Submitted by Cathy Reich, Assistant to Bishop Whipple and attender at The Well

At The Well, we waited until the final Sunday in October to make a presentation to Pastor Josh Kesler (right). According to the presenting elder, Larry Lawrence, it was to make sure he was doing a good job all month! Of course that brought a few laughs. Pastor Josh said, “And they gave it to me anyways!”

There was no announcement made as to what was in the card, but I heard Josh say, “I was pleasantly surprised and looking forward to taking my family for a little get-away sometime soon.”

Later in the day, the church’s co-ed softball team from the city league ended in third place in an injury-free tournament game. Not a bad ending to the month.

Bill Fisher

Rev. Bill Fisher, dean of Christian Faith and Life at Huntington University, is stepping down in June 2011 after 18 years in that position.

His work has included revising the chapel programming, raising up campus ministries student leaders, developing “Faith-in-Action” teams to support local churches, establishing an ongoing chapel worship team, organizing off-campus retreats, and teaching. He has also led or co-led numerous spring break and January Term trips across the United States and around the world, including Brazil, China, Northern Ireland, Ukraine, Kenya, and Uganda.

“It would be impossible to list all the ways that he has impacted the lives of our students – from the classes he has taught, to the personal and pre-marital counseling he has provided, to the example he has set through his involvement with area churches,” said HU President G. Blair Dowden. “In so many ways, Bill has modeled a life dedicated to Christ. And he has done an incredible job representing Huntington University locally, nationally, and internationally.”

Fisher says he will continue his work with the Murdock Charitable Trust and continue pastoring First Baptist Church in Warren, Ind., while he discovers God’s next plan for his life.

A national search is currently under way to find his successor. The search committee is led by Ron Coffey, vice president for student development.

You can read more about Bill Fisher‘s contributions to Huntington University, as well as to other Christian colleges.

Findlay First UB (Findlay, Ohio) served 400-500 individuals during the annual harvest party on Halloween night in Findlay. Donuts were handed out to the parents, a puppet show was being shown, tracts were handed out, and coffee and hot chocolate were served. Church members brought their cars and opened their trunks for “Trick or Trunk.”

Community members were heard saying, “This is really nice of you all to do this.” We had even been asked by community members if the church was going to host it again this year, because the sign was not put out–because it was stolen last year.

This tradition started when Pastor Darwin Dunten noticed that community members were using the parking lot to park their cars during Halloween. So the church started providing coffee and donuts for them. It has grown every year since.

Halloween is the biggest event in Findlay, Ohio. The annual parade attracts tens of thousands of visitors.

Rachel E. Sanders (right), 93, wife of retired UB minister Willard Sanders, passed away Sunday, October 31, in Berne, Ind. She was a member of Hudson United Brethren Church (Hudson, Ind.). She and Willard were married in 1939.

She is survived by her husband Willard, two daughters, two sons, 20 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and 6 great-great-grandchildren.

Visitation: 4-7 pm Monday, Nov. 1, at Swiss Village in Berne, Ind.; and 4-7 pm Tuesday, Nov. 2, at Johnson Funeral Home in Hudson, Ind.
Funeral: 10 am Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010. Pastor Craig Burkholder of Hudson UB and Pastor Jason Hollopeter of nearby Corunna UB (Corunna, Ind.) will officiate.
Funeral Location: Hudson UB church, 516 N. Main Street, Hudson, Ind.