Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

Reports from our Sierra National Conference in West Africa indicate that up until August 9 there had been 203 deaths in the country due to an outbreak of cholera.

Cholera is an infection in the small intestine caused by a particular bacteria. It can lead to profuse, watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated by the feces of an infected person. The severity of the diarrhea and vomiting can lead to rapid dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, and death in some cases. Worldwide, it affects 3–5 million people and causes 100,000 – 130,000 deaths per year on average.

However, we are pleased to receive news that in the areas where water filter systems were introduced last summer by former missionaries Bryan and Gail Welch of Coolwater Projects, no symptoms or outbreaks have occurred.

There remain a number of water filter systems that were not installed last summer due to time restraints, but hopes are that the remaining filters can be installed by volunteers from within the conference in areas where they are most critically needed.

L-r: Amy Biegel, Dawn Ford, Bo Helmich, John Noble, Timothy Troyer.

Huntington University has welcome 20 new faculty and staff this year. Here’s a look at each of them, starting with the teaching faculty.

Amy Biegel, assistant professor of Social Work. Amy worked in her field for 13 years, mostly with children, adolescents ,and their families. She is a licensed clinical social worker with a bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and Social Work from Indiana Wesleyan University and a master’s in Social Work from Indiana University. She was recently accepted to begin doctoral studies at Indiana University.

Dawn Ford, associate professor of Digital Media Arts. Dawn is an independent producer/director of films, TV series, and new media. Career highlights include her early work as a broadcast recording engineer on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” in sound post-production at Lucasfilm on “Return of the Jedi,” “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” “The Right Stuff,” and “Star Trek III.” She holds a Master of Fine Arts in professional screenwriting from National University in La Jolla, Calif.; an M.A. in television, film and new media from San Diego State University; and a B.A. in radio, television, and film from the University of Maryland.

Bo Helmich, assistant professor of Worship Leadership. Bo holds degrees from Stanford, Oxford, and the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, and is currently his doctorate in Theology at Duke University. Prior to coming to Huntington, he served for a number of years as a local church pastor, teacher, and worship leader.

John Noble, assistant professor of Bible and Religion. A candidate for the PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University, John holds MDiv and MA degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and the BA from Taylor University.

Dr. Timothy Troyer, assistant professor of Chemistry. He earned a B.A. in Chemistry and Physics from Goshen College in 1996, an M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1999, and a PhD. in Chemistry from Vanderbilt University in 2008. He worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb pharmaceutical company for several years in new drug development.

L-r: Tyler Welker, Shelly Francka, Amber Prather, Kristi Welker, Shoshannah McKinney.

Tyler Welker, visiting instructor of Digital Media Arts. He was one of HU’s first graduates from the program in 2008, and then worked as the lead animator at Sound Ideas in Columbia City, Ind. He is working on his masters in 3D Animation at the Academy of Art University and owns his own freelance business called Infused Digital Media Inc.

Shelly Francka, director of the Adult Degree Programs. Shelly came to HU in September 2011. She holds a Master in Business Administration from Southwest Baptist University, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and an Associate in Science degree in Practical Nursing. She is currently working on her doctorate in Business Administration.

Amber Prather, Adult Degree Programs online course designer. Amber, who took this position in January 2012, is certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist and completed her Associate of Applied Science degree from Ivy Tech Community College.

Kristi Welker, online program admission counselor for the Adult Degree Programs. Before taking this position in February 2012, Kristi worked for the United Way of Huntington. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Youth Ministries from Huntington, and has started on a Masters in Higher Education from Geneva College.

Shoshannah McKinney, associate director of the Institute for TESOL Studies and as the international admissions counselor. Shoshannah is a 2003 graduate of Huntington with a bachelor’s degree in Math Education. Upon graduating, she moved to China to teach English at Liaocheng University. While there, she earned her Master of Arts degree in TESOL from Azusa Pacific University.

L-r: Pamela Anderson, Kahle Bryant, Kathryn Eckert, Nathan Hartman, Kyle Metzger.

Pamela Anderson, nursing lab coordinator. She has worked part-time in this position since October 2011, and has been a Registered Nurse since 1992.

Kahle Bryant, residence director of Livingston Hall. Kahle has worked at HU as a graduate student for the past two years, but took this new fulltime position this summer.

Kathryn Eckert, Learning Center secretary. Kathryn holds an associate’s degree in Elementary Education and previously worked as the program support assistant at the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).

Nathan Hartman, Digital Media Arts studio supervisor. Nathan came to HU in November 2011 as the Digital Media Arts recruiter, and also helped plan the Fandana Film Festival. He is a 2010 film studies and broadcasting graduate from Huntington.

Kyle Metzger, coordinator of student activities/multicultural activities. Kyle graduated from Bluffton University in 2008 with a degree in Social Work.

L-r: Mark Schenkel, Rachel Whitehurst, Rachel Wust, Katie Martin, Andrew Freehauf.

Mark Schenkel, director of community relations and a major gifts officer. Mark is a lifelong resident of Huntington and carries a wealth of experience in management and sales and marketing. He is a graduate of Ball State University and Taylor University.

Rachel Whitehurst, PRIME coordinator. In her position, Rachel helps find internships for ministry students. Previously, she served as a Communications and Media Consultant for Wycliffe. She and her husband, Colin, documented the ongoing work of various Wycliffe language projects scattered around the Asia Pacific.

Rachel Wust, director of human resources. Rachel has worked in human resources for the past 20 years in the automotive and food manufacturing industries. She is a graduate of Ball State University, and holds an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Katie Martin, admissions counselor. Katie is a 2012 HU graduate with a degree in Elementary and Middle Grades Education.

Andrew Freehauf, admissions counselor. Andrew earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Indiana-Purdue/Fort Wayne.

Darwin Dunten speaking to jail inmates.

Darwin Dunten (right), senior pastor, First UB church (Findlay, Ohio)

If you had to be searched before you go to church and then stripped searched after you attend services, would you still go?

Because of security concerns, when prisoners leave their cell at the Findlay/Hancock County, Ohio jail, they must be searched. When they return to their cells, they are stripped searched. This was implemented about 4 months ago after drugs were being smuggled into the jail.

That would be the death nail to many ministries.

Not for the jail ministry. There has been a slight decline in the attendance from 50 inmates a night to 35-40 inmates. But the ministry remains strong.

Jim Woodward and pastor Darwin Dunten of First UB in Findlay, along with pastor Ted Fairchild of The Rock UB church in Findlay, spend a lot of time encouraging the inmates when they do come. We thank them for being willing to go through the gauntlet to attend. We share that this is really a testimony to their faith. And we also tell them, “Your actions put our own church members to shame.”

Think about it. What would happen to our churches if each church member had to be stripped searched to attend services?

Yes, we recognize that there are still prisoners that are willing to go through the searches just to get out of the cell. However, it is making an impact on the jailers. A corrections officer recently told Pastor Dunten, “For them to go to your services after what we have to put them through, you must be doing something right.”

Matthew 25:36–“I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Here are some updates on Dan Paternoster (right), from his wife Nancy. Dan, a member of the Executive Leadership Team, is a veterinarian from Fowlerville UB church (Fowlerville, Mich.). As we reported earlier, he was struck by a car while riding his bike to work on August 28. If you are interested in daily updates, you can sign up at We will post occasional updates here.

Thursday (Sept 6). Dan wiggled his toes and did a “thumbs up” (right-handed only) for the night nurse. He opened his eyes very briefly when I (Nancy) said his name this morning, but he didn’t look my way. Dan’s brain pressure is getting better, but it’s not where the neurosurgeon would like it to be. If the pressure remains closer to normal the drain in his head will be removed. He is still not awake most of the time and they don’t plan to wake him up/take him off his pain meds until next week giving the fractures more time to heal. The last fracture they found was on the side of his face where the jaw attaches. However, his previously dislocated jaw is now back in place. Thanks for your love and prayers…keep them coming!

Friday (Sept 7). Hard to believe that this is our 11th day at the hospital. The drain in Dan’s brain has been raised a bit so it’s not draining as much fluid now as it was before. This is causing the brain pressure to be elevated – but the pressure isn’t as high as it was last week! We praise God for this improvement! He’s still on the ventilator, but is taking some breaths on his own. The cuts on Dan’s forehead and nose have fully healed. His bones are all still in alignment and are beginning to heal. Now we wait some more until the doctors find it safe to reduce Dan’s pain medication so that he can wake up.

Saturday (Sept 8). The drain in Dan’s skull was raised a little more today. It won’t be removed until the pressure remains low enough for a period of time. Dan is becoming more active during his short waking times and is pulling on tubes. When he pulls on tubes they give him more pain meds and then he sleeps for awhile. On Tuesday morning Dan is scheduled to have two procedures done that were set for last week then cancelled. He’s making progress, but it is slow.

Lining up for ice cream, scooped out by Pastor Randy Carpenter (click to enlarge).

Water balloons!

Pastor Randy Carpenter (right) taking time out from serving pizza to have lunch with the kids.

Leigh Pearson (right), administrative assistant, Sunfield UB church (Sunfield, Mich.)

Sunfield United Brethren Church sponsored a community-wide free Summer Sack Lunch program for all children available Monday-Friday throughout the summer. Lunch was taken down daily to the local park, and any extra sack lunches were sent home with the children on Fridays to ensure they had meals on the weekends as well.

We averaged 25 children per day and served a total of 1,320 meals. Wednesday, September 5, was the last day of the program and we had a Pizza Party Celebration, as well as ice cream and water balloons. The program was a blessing to many families in need in our community and they are looking forward to next year’s Summer Sack Lunch Program.

A lot more photos can be found on Sunfield’s Facebook page.

Clowns at the Shepherd of the Valley community festival

Clowns at the Shepherd of the Valley community festival (click to enlarge).



Jason Sheets (right), associate pastor, Shepherd of the Valley UB Church (Logan, Ohio)

On August 18, our church hosted the Third Street Community Festival. It is a back to school event we have each year. The city of Logan allows us to block off a part of Third Street. We had various carnival type games that kids could win tickets at and use to redeem for a toy of their choosing. We also live music, free food, a bounce house, and clowns that gave away candy and shared the good news of Christ.

As part of the Festival, we gave away over 200 backpacks, filled with free school supplies, to children in our community. Not only did kids in our community receive much-needed school supplies; they also had the opportunity to hear the gospel and learn about Christ.

A 7.6 magnitute earthquake off the coast of Costa Rica set off a tsunami watch for much of the Caribbean. We have a couple churches in San Jose, the capital.

Global Ministries director Jeff Bleijerveld, associate director Donna Hollopeter, and Kyle Bushre, a staff pastor from King Street church (Chambersburg, Pa.) are currently in Costa Rica. They report that they are fine and unaffected by the earthquake.

The earthquake occurred three hours before they arrived. Jeff said there was not much damage in San Jose.

The earthquake occurred about 95 miles west of San Jose, and ran more than 28 miles deep. Parts of the country were rattled, but there were no reports of injuries.

Dan Paternoster, who was struck by a car while riding his bike a week ago, has shown some signs of progress, but not much. Here are reports from the past two days:

  • Sept. 4. Dan’s brain swelling has started to decrease. It is a very slow process but encouraging to finally start to see readings closer to what the doctors would like. Early this morning Dan popped his eyes open wide for a few seconds when the nurse called his name. Dan hasn’t repeated this but is still heavily medicated. When reviewing the last cat scan, more fractures to Dan’s skull were discovered. This isn’t really a surprise since the remains of his helmet that the Sherriff’s Department returned to us didn’t look like a helmet at all. We are still under the “No Visitors” policy due to his condition.
  • Sept 3. The CAT scan this morning showed no changes from the last two scans. His blood pressure has been better as has his heart rate. Dan yawned on his own today. There were some good readings of the pressure in his brain, but there were some high readings, too. Continue to pray for the pressure in his brain to return to normal. Also, pray for his daughter Sarah as she went back to college, that she can focus on her studies.
  • Sept 2. Dan’s heart rate has been higher and healthier today than the past few days. The pressure and swelling in his brain are still the main concern. It had been projected that Dan would get pneumonia in his lungs, but it was confirmed today that Dan does not have it! He coughed today for the first time without the nurses causing it.

The Paternoster family set up a page with on which they post regular updates. You will need to set up an account, but will then receive emails, with a link, whenever updates are posted about Dan’s condition.

The Lake View team that ministered at Laurel Mission. (click to enlarge)

Working on a wheelchair ramp at Laurel Mission.

The Lake View team at the falls in Kentucky.

Ben Gladhill (right), associate pastor of Christian Education, Lake View Church (Camden, Mich.)

A group of 24 teens and adults from Lake View Church’s ONE80 Student Ministries set off for a mission trip to Laurel Mission in Big Laurel, Kent., August 5-9. The teens raised over $10,000 for the trip through support letters, bake sales, concession sales, a spaghetti dinner, and even a Duck Race. Over two-thirds of our support came directly from Lake View Church.

The teens and adults completed a number of projects under the supervision of Nathan Boggs, director of Laurel Mission. Projects included building a 60-foot wheelchair ramp, finishing a bathroom remodel, repairing another wheelchair ramp, painting at Living Waters Christian School, refurbishing a bathroom, roofing, working at the thrift store, and various projects at the mission itself.

Our teens were challenged to let their light shine from the moment we boarded the vans at Lake View until we returned, that in all they did they would be a lighthouse shining for Christ. Each day’s devotions with the teens gave them a challenge to keep their glass clean so the light could shine brightly to those we served. And we saw that light shine as they worked and got to know those we served!

We were also able to present Nathan with the funds raised by our VBS kids for the ice machine and a donation to their building fund. We were blessed to work for a couple days with a few members of Prince Street UB church in Shippensburg, Pa.

On August 19, our teens shared with the congregation about our trip. We were very encouraged as one member challenged others to continue to encourage our young people as they have set an example of service.