16 Jan Global Ministries Staff Summit – Jan 20-23
A Global Ministries Staff Summit will be held January 20-23, 2013, in northern Thailand. Nothing like this has been done before. About 30 persons from eight countries will participate, including fulltime, sojourn, and non-traditional staff. They will converge on the city of Chiang Rai, near the border with Myanmar, and spend four days together at the Phowaldol Resort on the outskirts of the city.
Global Ministries would appreciate your prayer support as all of these persons come together for this one-time event. All participants are expected to arrive in Thailand by Friday, January 18.
The keynote speaker will be Brian Magnus (right), bishop of the United Brethren Church in Canada and chairman of the International Executive Committee. His wife, Lynette, will travel with him.
Representing US Global Ministries will be Jeff Bleijerveld (director), and associate directors Donna Hollopeter and Frank Y. Also coming from the US will be Jessica Hollopeter (a Sojourn staffmember serving with One Mission Society in Indiana); Jeff and April Dice, non-traditional staff members serving part of each year in Nicaragua.; and Bryan and Emily Gerlach, who will soon spearhead a new urban-focused ministry in Thailand. Galen and Maritta Fiedler, non-traditional staff serving in Germany, will also come.
Also participating will be our various staff members in Macau, China, and India, plus Rev. H. M. Lee from Thailand and leaders from Hong Kong Conference.
Frank Y left Jan. 11 so he could meet ahead of time with some people in Hong Kong. Jeff Bleijerveld left Jan 14, and will also spend a few days beforehand in Hong Kong. Donna and Jessica Hollopeter, along with Brian and Lynette Magnus, leave on Thursday, Jan. 17.
“Thailand is a new ministry focus for us, and it’s very affordable,” explained Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries. “At least half of our staff are located in the region already, and we also wanted some of our Hong Kong leadership to participate, since we have partnerships with them in Macau and Thailand.”
The money comes from a sizable bequest received six years ago. Global Ministries initially envisioned sponsoring a “homecoming” for all Global Ministries staff. However, because of the poor economy, they postponed the idea indefinitely. This will be a one-time event, not something done regularly.
For some of these persons, it will be the first time they have met. They will spend the days vision-casting, encouraging each other, and sharing their stories. There will be workshops and recreational outings. The trip will include a visit on Sunday to our UB churches in the mountains of north Thailand; the group will participate in services there and have lunch with the community.