On March 26, we posted an item about Ethan Cox, grandson of UB minister Devon Strine. Ethan was undergoing surgery at the Cleveland Clinic to remove a lesion on his brain.

On May 9, Ethan will undergo a three-hour surgery on a pre-cancerous site. The surgery will be performed, again, at the Cleveland Clinic.

Participants in the Ekballo Fast.

Participants in the Ekballo Fast.

Dave and Cathie Datema serve with the US Center for World Mission in Pasadena, Calif. Dave is general director of Frontier Mission Fellowship, an umbrella organization for the US Center and other organizations.

Dave participated in a 40-day “Ekballo Fast,” March 1 – April 9, to launch the Antioch House of Prayer. “Ekballo” is the Greek word meaning “thrust out” that Jesus used when instructing his disciples to pray that the Lord of the harvest would “ekballo” laborers into the harvest field.

Dave Datema preaching on the final day of the fast.

Dave Datema preaching on the final day of the fast.

Dave writes, “The fast was used to launch the house of prayer that will increasingly attract, nurture, and train young people to pray for unreached peoples and even go as missionaries. This is a collaborative effort and so far has been a big success. I loved the intense worship and prayer times and lost 20 pounds to boot! The Antioch House of Prayer is led by Lou Engle and another couple that facilitate things. They also have 5 dynamic young couples who will be the senior leaders and mentors to the many young people that will come for internships in the weeks and months ahead. We believe that many changes took place among unreached peoples as a result of our prayers during the fast, and we are trusting that God will use this house of prayer to continue to break strongholds for Kingdom advance. Coincidentally, April 9 is my birthday!”

Dave Datema preaching on the 40th day of the Ekballo Fast.

Financial support has become a concern for Dave and Cathie Datema, as it is with many other missionaries. They write: “We are in a financial pinch these days. When we arrived in Pasadena in 1999, we had only two children. Thirteen years later and without the usual furloughs that missionaries use to increase support, the added expense of a larger family with children involved in various activities, as well as increased rent and health insurance costs, has made its presence felt. If you are not presently on our support team as a donor and God has blessed you, we are in real need of additional funds (see info below). Dave is now giving serious attention to raising up new donors for our ministry here. Please pray for these efforts. Meanwhile, for those of you who are part of our team, THANK YOU for your generosity!

The Datema family.

The Datema family.

Some general updates about the family:

  • Cuyler continues to have occasional seizures, which we are able to stop with medication. He has monthly grand mal seizures. We continue to trust God to fulfill his purposes for Cuyler, for His glory.
  • Callie is training to compete in Irish Dance on a team of 8 girls in the North American Championship in early July in Anaheim, Calif. Her team began special conditioning at a CATZ athletic training facility on Monday nights, to continue for 10 weeks.
  • Jill was awarded the “gratefulness” character award at school this month. She is practicing to be on the girls flag football team.
  • Cathie joined 24 ladies on a retreat in Big Bear, Calif., with other women from our organization. Our speaker helped us to consider spending more time practicing the discipline of silence while listening to God.

vbs-2013-posterThe Global Ministries Vacation Bible School Project for 2013 focuses on two areas of ministry in Jamaica.

Brumalia High School. This school is located on the campus of Regent College of the Caribbean in Mandeville. Most of the student have had problems in their lives—difficult home situations, trouble with the law–and other schools asked them to leave. For some, Brumalia is their last resort.

At Brumalia, they are taught basic subjects and also learn a trade, such as plumbing, welding, or agriculture. To become certified in their trade, they must take a written examination. Most of the student lacks good reading skills, so they struggle with the exam. Most read at perhaps the equivalent of a second or third grade level. They pass the hands-on part of the exam, but not the written.

We want to help with their reading skills. Funds raised through the VBS project will enable Brumalia to buy and teach a reading program to the students.

Children’s Literature. We will partner with Jamaica Conference to provide VBS and Sunday school materials for children. Most of the churches can’t afford to buy materials. So they either do without, or they use the same materials they’ve been using for up to 20 years. Sometimes the materials are so old that they can’t even be photocopied without falling apart.

We want to provide materials to help in the Christian education of children in our Jamaican churches.

Here’s what your VBS can do.

1. Encourage your children to give to both of these projects.

2. Donate any new or gently used VBS and Sunday school materials your church may have. Send them to the Global Ministries office in Huntington, Ind. We will then ship them to Jamaica. (Materials can be given at any time throughout the year.)

For photos, more information concerning these two projects, and ideas for introducing the projects to your children, please go to the Global Ministries website. You’ll also be able to download a PDF version of the poster on the right.

Elmer Etling Jr. lost his fight with cancer on Monday, April 22, 2013. He was the father of George Etling, who in May 2012 became senior pastor of Fifth Street UB church in Staunton, Va.

Pastor Etling’s mailing address is:

George Etling
2105 Hewitt Dr
Swoope, VA 24479

Roger Reeck, a Global Ministries endorsed staff in Honduras, underwent surgery on Wednesday morning, April 24, on his left ankle. Roger and his wife, Marilyn, serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Twelve years ago Roger fractured his left ankle, and pins and other hardware were inserted. But of late, he has suffered a lot of pain. Xrays now show that two pins on the inner side of the ankle were out of place and almost protruding through the skin.

Last week Roger visited the American surgeon at a mission hospital where his daughter Chrysti works, with the plan that the two pins be removed. But after the doctor consulted with others, he decided that all of the metal–the plate, screws and the pins–should be removed.

This surgery happened Wednesday morning, April 24. Marilyn reported: “The operation went well, lasting around three hours. All the metal was successfully removed from the ankle area. One of the screws was difficult to find because it was embedded in a bone. These screws were putting pressure on a tendon sheath and a nerve. The doctors are hopeful that this will relieve a lot of the pain. Since the operation happened at a mission hospital, there were no costs involved and an extra bonus was that our daughter Chrysti assisted.”

Roger will stay with Chrysti for a while before moving back back to his home in La Ceiba.

Roger had planned to travel to Columbia on Wednesday to spend a few days checking a Bible translation for a group there, and then meet up with Marilyn in Venezuela, where she was leading a Multiplication One Story workshop. Roger’s travel plans were of course cancelled. Marilyn postponed her trip for a few days, but will soon head to Venezuela for the workshop. While she is gone, Chrysti will be able to periodically check on Roger in La Ceiba.

Gary Dilley, pastor of College Park UB church (Huntington, Ind.), sent this note on Thursday afternoon, April 18: “Rev. Howard Cherry has been in the hospital for four weeks. Complications continue to keep him from moving on to rehab. Your continued prayers for the family are appreciated.”

At 4 p.m. April 26, Huntington University will host a news conference to announce its 13th president. The announcement will take place in the Longaker Recital Hall, which is located on the lower level of the Merillat Centre for the Arts.

The announcement will follow a Board of Trustees election which will occur earlier that day. The board will also vote on the future of a new campus in Peoria, Ariz., and the occupational therapy initiatives.

In October, after 22 years as president, Dr. G. Blair Dowden (right) announced his plan to retire. His last day as president is May 31, 2013.

Under Dowden’s leadership, the Christian liberal-arts campus has doubled its enrollment, tripled its endowment, and constructed or remodeled eight buildings. Huntington attracted a well-credentialed faculty and a more ethnically diverse student body. Academic programs were significantly expanded for undergraduate, adult, and graduate students. Some of the university’s largest and fastest-growing degree programs were launched during Dowden’s presidency, including nursing and digital media arts. The institution transitioned from “college” to “university” in 2005.


Online registration has closed for the annual UB Youth Workers Summit, which begins April 29 in Daytona, Fla. The housing is full, with 26 people registered (one more than last year).

Harmonie House at Mattru Hospital

Harmonie House at Mattru Hospital

The large central room.

The large central room.

The kitchen in disrepair.

The kitchen in disrepair.

Global Ministries is looking for individuals to become part of a construction team to do building restoration on Harmonie House on the Mattru Hospital compound. In the past, Harmonie House was a dormitory for nurses. It will be used to house medical teams and personnel working at Mattru Hospital.

The trip will take place in January 10-24, 2014. We would like to send a team of at least 6 individuals who have a knowledge of general construction. Requirements for this trip include the following:

  • A current passport that will not expire within six months of the January departure date.
  • A yellow fever immunization (these can be obtained from the county health department).
  • Immunizations are also suggested for the following: cholera, tetanus, hepatitis A & B battery, plus a script for doxycycline, the anti-malarial med that works in Sierra Leone.

Global Ministries will work with each applicant in acquiring a special entry visa into Sierra Leone.

For more information and an application form, please contact Donna Hollopeter at 888-622-3019 ext. 306, or by sending an email to donna@ub.org