Greenfield, Ohio. Good Shepherd Church is seeking a senior pastor. The current pastor, Mike Anderson, came in June 2010, taking on the role while continuing fulltime at his local ministry with New Directions. He is resigning from the church so he can transition back to that ministry exclusively. He will perform interim pastoral duties while the church begins the process of searching for a pastor.

Grandville, Mich. Also in transition is Homefront Church. Tim Flickinger had been appointed interim pastor, but is returning to the Lansing Restart project on a fulltime basis. The church is preparing their profile to begin the pastor search process.

Steve Platt, a Huntington University basketball star (Class of ’74) and former coach, has been named the special ambassador for the university president. He will assist the Advancement Office as well as President G. Blair Dowden in fundraising efforts with a special emphasis on the $21 million “Together” The Campaign for Huntington University” capital campaign.

The campaign includes:

  • $9.5 million to expand the Merillat Physical Education and Recreation Complex.
  • $1.5 million for the digital and visual arts programs.
  • $3 million for the University Fund.
  • $2 million to increase the university’s current endowment.
  • $5 million for deferred giving commitments.

“I have a real passion for Huntington University,” Platt said. “I’ve spent a lot of years being involved with HU, and I look forward to helping in any way I can.”

As a basketball player, Platt was a four-time All-District Player of the Year and an NAIA All-American, and led the entire nation in scoring. He remains Indiana’s all-time collegiate leader in scoring with 3700 points. As the men’s basketball coach, he led the Foresters to 329 wins and a national championship run during the 2005-06 season.

In January and February, 3 work teams will travel to Jamaica to work on completing the dorm at Malvern Camp. We need more people, especially for the second and third weeks.

Week 1: January 28 – February 4. Eight persons are currently signed up.
Week 2: February 4-11. Just four persons have signed up.
Week 3: February 11-18. Only three persons have signed up.

The cost of the trip is $500 plus airfare, but if someone commits to a second or third week it would be $500 for the initial week and then $150 per week after.

Needed by Global Ministries before you sign up are the following:

  • a valid passport.
  • completed application form.
  • info needed for booking flights (name as it appears on passport, passport number, date of birth, date of issue and expiration of passport).

If you are interested in going to Jamaica one of these weeks, please contact Donna Hollopeter in Global Ministries.

Through our child sponsorship program with CH Global in Haiti, we are able to offer Saturday Children’s Programming for both our sponsored children and those living in the community. Approximately 6500 meals were provided to children through these programs in 2011 at an average cost of 55 cents per meal. In fact the program has been so successful that our Delmas 33 United Brethren church in Port Au Prince increased the frequency from once to four times per month. This has resulted in the children benefiting from consistent programming and the provision of nutritious meals.

In addition to the nutritional program, positive interaction is demonstrated through games, and spiritual development is addressed through Bible stories and scripture memorization. Children are influenced consistently, and are finding faith in Christ along with their families.

Plans for 2012 include implementing a Saturday program at the Croix des Bouquet UB church. The church/school is completed and serves well for stability, thus increasing the success of this program.

Arek and Donna Delik (right) are UB endorsed missionaries in Poland serving with Operation Mobilization in church planting and other ministries. The Deliks are excited about Mission-Net 2011, a large missions conference for European young people being held in Germany December 28 – January 2.

Operation Mobilization, one of several hundred mission organizations and Christian networks supporting this conference, hopes to send 50 Poles for conference. Donna Delik reported in early December that 25 Poles had already registered for the conference, and they hope to send a full busload of 50 Poles.

Mission-Net is held every two years “in Europe, for Europe, and by Europe.” The 2011 conference is the second Mission-Net.

Sara Powell dancing as Alice with the East Pointe Ballet Company.

Here’s an inspiring story involving Sara Powell, an 8th grader from Fountain UB church in Keyser, W. Va. The information comes from an article in the online NewsTribune.

In March 2011, Sara, who has cystic fibrosis, had a successful double-lung transplant. Before that surgery, she made two wishes:

  • To visit DisneyWorld on her 13th birthday.
  • To dance the role of Alice in “Alice in Wonderland” with East Pointe Ballet Company in Keyser. That story has always been her favorite.

On June 5, a cystic fibrosis nurse from Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital, where the surgery was performed, helped provide a benefit concert for Sara. There, she was surprised with a trip to Florida. She and her family spent a week in Orlando beginning September 30, visiting Universal Studios, Epcot, and DisneyWorld, where she met Disney’s own Alice.

Then, on November 8, her second wish came true when she danced as Alice for her hometown’s East Pointe Ballet Company.

Sara stays very active–taking dancing lessons through East Pointe Ballet, participating in Fountain UB’s bell choir and youth choir, and teaching in the children’s church program.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

Arek and Donna Delik (right) are UB endorsed missionaries in Poland, doing church planting and other ministries with Operation Mobilization. The Deliks received $10,000 from our Easter/Self Denial Offering toward the completion of the Youth Drug/Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre in Kutno. Donna wrote:

Thank you very much for the UB donation for the building project again. We are so overwhelmed by the great support we receive from the churches in the States and Canada. It’s not just about finance, but the many other ways like sending us team and individual churches sending us cards, etc. Please thank everyone on our behalf!

The following information, written by Donna, came from their December 2011 newsletter.

These days, besides teaching English, I have been working with my computer most of the time, doing a lot of financial work for the church, building project, OM, and Mission-Net 2011. I am not sure if it is too much computer work or because of the shorter days and longer hours of darkness, but I feel very sleepy all the time. I have decided to do something a little bit different for a few days: I joined Arek to do some handy work in the building, painting 100 planks for our new gates. It shouldn’t be hard, I suppose, yet it took us almost 2 hours to prepare the place for the work in the very first day.

Even though this winter is mild compared to last year, the temperature drops to sub-zero in the mornings, which isn’t very suitable to paint the planks, not to mention that it is a bit too cold to work outdoors. However, the cold didn’t diminish our determination, and we “created” a little warm workshop inside the building to get the work done. Even though it was hard work and my feet stayed cold all the time, it was a nice break from the routine, and frankly, we quite enjoyed doing something different together. After that, we rewarded ourselves with a nice meal.

Arno Neggenschwartzer, one of the suspects, interacts with one of the three Healthy Ministry Resources tables.

Jeff Bleijerveld picked Latina, the ship's activities director, as the culprit, and she didn't appreciate it.

The Healthy Ministry Resources staff (the national office) held its annual Christmas “party” at the Courtyard Marriott in Fort Wayne, joining about 100 other people in a mystery theater program called “A Christmas Cruise.”

The program was based on the game Clue. Everyone watched a performance, which started with the death of Captain Lenny Ledbeter of the SS Whatamess cruise ship. The performance gave clues to who committed the murder, and ended with four suspects. The audience then wrote down who they thought the villain was, and why.

Oh, the program began with a wonderful buffet. Can’t forget that.

It was a very fun evening, with lots of laughter. The program was put on by Bower North Productions. Larry Bower is part of the morning team at local Christian radio station WBCL.

Here are some photos from the evening.

Donna Delik (right), UB Endorsed Missionary Poland

In October a team of 8 persons from the UB churches of Hong Kong Conference traveled to Poland to work with Arek and Donna Delik, UB endorsed missionaries serving with Operation Mobilization. Donna is originally from Hong Kong. Donna wrote the following about the visit.

Chinese calligraphy, erhu music, Kung-Fu tea and Taoism: what brought them all together? These were some of the elements of our colorful Chinese week “Made in China” in October. Our dear brothers and sisters from Hong Kong travelled thousands of miles to Poland to share the gospel through Chinese culture with people they had never met.

The small team of 8 people demonstrated the kind of servanthood Jesus Christ taught us. We were very encouraged by their self-denial and serving attitude. Everyone was willing to step up to help the others without being asked. They didn’t speak a single Polish word, but their sincerity and warm-hearted personality broke the language barrier.

We met with teenagers in schools, who were enchanted by the vivid talk on the structure and development of Chinese language. Writing Chinese calligraphy proved to be challenging yet fascinating. We also held various meetings for the public in the community center. Pastor Carol Chan’s talk comparing “Truth” in Taoism and Christianity, presented the gospel very clearly to the audience. We believe that the seed was sown and pray that God will make it grow.

We enjoyed working with them, sharing meals at home together and drinking coffee in the local café. Fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ is a wonderful thing. We were truly blessed and encouraged by the team.

Bishop Denis and Reina Casco

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

Global Ministries continues to disperse funds raised as part of our Easter/Self Denial Offerings. Among our recipients have been the United Brethren churches of Mexico Conference. Bishop Denis Casco sends the following message:

“The news of the $10,000 allocated for Mexico is a great blessing as we are involved in various church planting projects. The following is a list of projects that will be helped with these funds.

  • Completion of construction at the Adonai Church in the State of Michoacan.
  • The new construction in Queretaro in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.
  • Training pastors and leaders (two per year).
  • Various Vacation Bible Schools, which have been a tremendous source of growth among our churches.

“God has provided in miraculous ways in Mexico, as there is little money from the churches to support special projects like these. But there are always very good friends like you who support us. I am extremely grateful for this, and hope God continues to bless the work in Mexico.”