Endorsed missionaries Roger and Marilyn Reeck celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on June 3, 2011. Except Roger was in Columbia and Marilyn was in Dallas, Tex. But they did communicate through the internet. They’ll have a belated celebration in July in Honduras, with three of their four daughters present.

At the same time, the Reecks completed 40 years of missionary service with Wycliffe Bible Translators. They write, “The Lord has certainly been wonderful to us during these years–through all of the ups and downs. We have been involved in such a wide variety of activiteis that it has never been boring. It has been an honor and privilage to serve Him in this way.”

In May, their third daughter, Amanda, traveled to Honduras on a medical trip and was able to spend a few days with her parents. She graduated from Baylor School of Medicine on May 29, and is beginning a three-year internship in internal medicine in Dallas.

Right now, Roger is in Bogota, Columbia. He writes, “I am helping a small group of jungle Indians translate Psalms into their language while still keeping a poetic style. It is so fulfilling to share this knowledge with the Waimaha Indians as they choose just the right words to make the Psalms sound poetic and beautiful.”

David Rawley (right), senior pastor of Otterbein UB church in Greencastle, Pa., gave the baccalaureate address for Greencastle-Antrim High School. His message was based on the life of Joseph in the Old Testament. He told them that to achieve their dreams, they may need to lose their most precious childhood possession–which, in Joseph’s case, was his colorful coat. “Part of the journey was, he had to lose the robe. It seemed like a tragedy. But that’s life.”

The RecordHerald.com printed quite a bit from his message. Dave has pastored Otterbein since 1985.

As of Tuesday, June 7, we had 625 people registered for the US National Conference, July 6-9, 2011.

Here is a further breakdown:

  • 159 ministers
  • 163 lay delegates
  • 227 other lay persons
  • 78 children
  • 99 signed up for the UB Historical Society Banquet
  • 28 signed up for the Golf Scramble (if you haven’t signed up, do so here)
  • 24 youth signed up for Cedar Point Trip

Note: the registration cost goes up June 10. So register now.

Dr. Paul R. Fetters, Emeritus Dean of the Huntington University Graduate School of Christian Ministries

As the early Christians of Jerusalem were attending the feast of Pentecost 1,978 years ago, the Holy Spirit came in the power of the wind with purifying flame, and the people heard the Gospel in their own languages. The Christian Church, conceived in the mind of God and promised in the person of Christ, was born of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.

As German immigrants were attending a “great meeting” in Isaac Long’s barn, Lancaster, Pa., on Whitsuntide (Pentecost Sunday) nearly 250 years ago, circa 1767, the Holy Spirit breathed upon the heart of a preacher, Martin Boehm. His sermon moved the hearts of the congregation, among whom was Rev. William Otterbein. Embracing Boehm, he exclaimed, “Wir sund bruder”–We are brethren! From this small beginning, the Church of the United Brethren in Christ took root to become the first denomination born in America.

This Sunday, June 12, is Pentecost Sunday, a major date in the Christian church calendar. As Christian believers, United Brethren people have double reason to celebrate Pentecost Sunday.

Marion and Candy Hall have joined the Global Ministries endorsed staff. They have been traveling together to Toalmus, Hungary, for a number of years to work with Word of Life Bible Institute. Marion tells us they love working with the students and then joining them as they go out into the community to share the gospel.

Recently, Marion was asked to spend at least a year at World of Life Bible Institute as the Dean of Men. He will work in a number of areas related to dormitory life and spiritual development. They are raising support and require $2730 per month.

The Halls are from the Harrison UB church in Harrison, Mich. They were married in 1967 and have two grown children.

If you would like to support them, you can send your checks to:

Word of Life Fellowship, Inc.
PO Box 600
Schroon Lake, NY 12870

For more information call: 518-494-6329.

David Spencer, a UB endorsed missionary serving in Brazil with Wycliffe Bible Translators, sent this note about a fascinating resource you might want to check out:

Many people still may view missions as a man with a pith helmet and machete chopping his way through the jungle. However, today it is likely his machete has been replaced by a laptop and a satellite phone.

We would like you to know about some technology that Wycliffe is using to help provide access to the translated Scriptures. By logging onto scriptureearth.org you will find about 250 Bibles and New Testaments. Right now they are mostly from the Americas. Scripture is being added daily.

The goal is to post all minority language translations from around the globe! You will want to take a look! Find a language that you have never heard of from Brazil or another country and read a few lines. By having the translated Scriptures available online, individuals will be able to download their New Testament to their cell phone, computer, or to the Bible Society, who will print it out and send it to them for a very nominal fee.

Praise the Lord for the technology He is providing for disseminating His Word!

The annual United Brethren History course, usually held only in Huntington, Ind., is coming to western Ohio. The two-day course will be held August 5-6 at the Park Layne UB church in New Carlisle, Ohio. That’s a Friday and Saturday.

This course has already been held in four regional settings this year–Chambersburg, Pa.; Wayne, Ohio; Flint, Mich.; and the Bronx, NY. This course is a requirement for becoming a licensed United Brethren minister. However, people who just want to learn more about United Brethren history are free to take the course.

Basic Information

  • The cost is $200 for persons who need licensing, $100 for everybody else.
  • You will need to read the UB history book “Trials and Triumphs” beforehand. It is available through the Healthy Ministry Resources bookstore for $14.95 (plus shipping). Order a copy by calling toll-free: 888.622.3019
  • Register using the online form at: ub.org/events/ubhistory

August 5-6, 2011 (Friday and Saturday)

Location: Park Layne UB church (New Carlisle, Ohio)
Time: 9 am Friday — 4 pm Saturday
Teacher: Rev. Robert Bruce (right), associate pastor of Emmanuel Community Church (Fort Wayne, Ind.)

For more information, including nearby hotels, and to register, go to the UB website.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

While visiting in Dearborn, Mich., recently, I was told about a Muslim woman who, although she professes no faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, still has the habit of removing the Gideon Bible from the nightstand of hotel rooms and placing it in the highest location she can find in the room.

Why would she do something so strange? Well, according to her Muslim culture, religious books are sacred and ought to be treated with respect. In her view, the Bible deserves that sort of respect, too, even though it is not her religious book.

This sheds some light on the violent reaction of the Muslim world to Pastor Terry Jones’ “Burn a Koran Day.” But more importantly, it provides insight into what has become known as the Jesus Movement.

Around the world, there are those who are embracing Jesus, without necessarily embracing Christian culture. In fact, they would still consider themselves cultural Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, or Muslims after they have received Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

The idea of Bible-believing followers of Jesus identifying themselves as anything other than Christian has been a hot topic for some time. I personally have serious reservations about certain aspects of “insider” movements, where converts remain within their former faith community and continue worshiping in their mosque or Buddhist temple. However, the issue of culture is a little bit different.

We talk about our Christian culture as North Americans and have our own impressions as to what we mean by “Christian.” However, Christian culture conjures up a variety of mental images in other countries.

A friend was living in Jordan and joined a group of Muslim men to drink tea. As they chatted, the host asked if he would like to watch a Christian movie with them. My friend had no idea what to think. Could it be that he had a copy of the “Jesus” video.

Moments later, the host emerged with a pornographic film. Unfortunately, “Christian” means anything we value here in the West or that emerges from our society. After all, we are a Christian country, right? So, is the Easter Bunny “Christian”? What about Halloween?

The truth is that some aspects of our own culture are not particularly honoring to Jesus, while certain aspects of other cultures may actually be more God-honoring…like the Muslim woman giving the Bible a more prominent place.

For many people serving on the front lines of cross-cultural ministry, it’s been both a fascinating and challenging journey. Separating out religious belief from culture can be tedious, but finding a way through the maze has allowed for many to be followers of Christ without experiencing outright rejection from their community.

Remaining as part of their cultural group means that movements of people coming to Christ can be made possible–accepting Jesus, without necessarily embracing Western culture.

If you’re interested in reading more about Jesus Movements, try this article on the MissionFrontiers.org site.

The Michigan Women’s Missionary Fellowship is planning a Family Friendly Missions day. This is to replace the WMF Spring Regional and WMF Fall Rally days.

Date: Saturday, June 25, 2011.
Time: 9-4 pm.
Location: Carson City Campground (Carson City, Mich.).

Everyone is invited–men, women, and children. Come learn the latest updates from UB missions.

A lunch is being planned, and John Johnson is doing his famous grilled quarter-chicken for a $2 donation. You’ll need to reserve your chicken with Sally Hock-Harrison by email or phone (517-410-6176) by June 15. Salads, desserts, and drinks will also be available.

There will be music by the McCallum praise team and specials by Ray and Bill Bryde “The Brydes of Christ.”

Jeff Bleijerveld and Donna Hollopeter, from Global Ministries, will share about the work of UB missions, along with our missionary from India.

We are planning to have a great day of fun and music and sharing time on the campgrounds. Let Sally know you’re coming, and bring a full car or van.

The following pastoral appointments have been made:

Abilene, Kansas. Don Goodwin has been named senior pastor of the UB church in Abilene effective June 1, 2011. He is from Wichita, Kansas. Bishop Whipple met with the stationing team from Abilene to perform the interview and will assist in processing a local church license.

Traverse City, Mich. Effective immediately, Caleb Palmer, a minister living in the Traverse City area, is the new pastor of Northland Community Church. He is in the licensing process with the United Brethren church.

Cascade, Md. Effective immediately, Terry Marshall has been named supply pastor of Pen Mar UB church in Cascade, Md. He is from the Church of God (Findlay, Ohio).