Frank Y, June Brown, and Jeff Bleijerveld

Frank Y, June Brown, and Jeff Bleijerveld

Jeff Bleijerveld and Frank Y of Global Ministries visited with June Brown on September 16 in Chambersburg, Pa. June was a long-term missionary in rural Sierra Leone, serving for well over 30 years. June taught math to local students, spoke in surrounding churches, mentored many young leaders, and impacted the people and churches of Sierra Leone in many other ways.

June met with Jeff and Frank in a ranch-style home that once belonged to her parents. Although she no longer has a car and it is not easy for her to get around, many families in the local community and church come alongside her–helping her with mowing, buying groceries, getting to and from church, and other life needs. June still faithfully prays for missions, the church, and the people God has given her to steward.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

In March 2015, United Brethren leaders from six Hispanic conferences–Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica–gathered in Nicaragua. There, they heard about a new approach to making and multiplying disciples and leaders. Since that time, they have continued to gather regularly, for five days at a time, to continue their training.

BILD is a discipleship and leadership development resource based on the model Paul presented to his disciple Timothy when he wrote, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”

For the past three years, Honduras Conference has used BILD with great success. This local church-based training makes possible the exponential multiplication of disciples and leaders at very little cost and without the need for elaborate infrastructure.

The third of six trainings to mentor our Hispanic leaders into the program takes place September 21-25 in Masaya, Nicaragua. Each country has been raising funds to send their delegation to the quarterly training, but we’d like to provide you the opportunity to contribute a gift to get them over the hump, so to speak. Any gift you provide toward this project will be used to supplement their fundraising efforts.

Send to:

Global Ministries
302 Lake Street
Huntington, IN 46750

August 30 was a big day for Mill Chapel UB church (Reedsville, W. Va.). Pastor Marshall Woods reports that they baptized 31 people and dedicated 15 children. The attendance that day was approximately 300.

The 2015-2016 school year is a record year for international student enrollment at Huntington University. There are a total of 47 international students representing 24 different countries. Of those, 23 students are new this year.

International students are considered to be any student coming from outside the United States. They may be students with international citizenship or students who are U.S. citizens living abroad.

International students help “broaden the worldview of our entire campus community,” says Daniel Solms (right), vice president for enrollment management & marketing. “Engaging with students from Europe, Asia, South America, etc. allows our students, as well as faculty and staff, to better understand the world we live in, helping us to become better at relating to others and assisting with world concerns.”

Shoshannah McKinney (right), as the international admissions counselor for the past three years, carries specific responsibility for international recruitment. Previously, international admissions was absorbed by other admissions counselors; no one person was focused on recruiting and supporting those students. “My sole region or territory is focused on international students, so I can give those prospective students a lot more focus and attention and walk them through the process, which is much different than that of a domestic student.”

During the past three years, she has seen a steady enrollment rise from 37 to the current 47 international students. She works part-time in that role, while also serving as associate director of the Institute for TESOL Studies.

Huntington University has gained international students through athletic recruitment, word-of-mouth from alumni, and the HU website. HU has also had a focused recruitment effort in China for the past three years, capitalizing on HU’s existing partnerships with schools and individuals in China, and on McKinney’s own experience living in China.

There were no Chinese student at HU during the 2011-2012 academic year, and hadn’t been any for several years. But over the past three years, HU has had:

  • 8 fulltime Chinese students.
  • 22 Chinese university students.
  • 12 Chinese high school students visit HU for one month during January Term.

To better serve these students, HU expanded the international orientation program. They started an international mentor program and are exploring ways for students to practice English.

This year’s new Intensive English Program will enable HU to accept students who need additional tutoring and support with the English language before they begin their classes.

Having this international population, says McKinney, “brings the world to HU in a sense and allows our domestic students, faculty and staff a cross-cultural experience right here. This better prepares them to go into the world to be all things to all people and to be loving and compassionate representatives of Christ.”

Phil and Sandy Whipple with the drawing by Barbara Bosworth.

Phil and Sandy Whipple with the drawing by Barbara Bosworth.

Staff and spouses.

Staff and spouses.

Staff and spouses praying Numbers 6:24-26 over Phil and Sandy Whipple.

Staff and spouses praying Numbers 6:24-26 over Phil and Sandy Whipple.

On Thursday evening, September 3, the staff of the National Office held a farewell get-together for Bishop Phil and Sandy Whipple. Bishop Whipple led the US National Conference, including overseeing the National Office, for six years, 2009-2015.

Staff and spouses met the Whipples at the home of Jeff and Charlene Bleijerveld in Fort Wayne, Ind. All of the current staff, and all but one spouse, attended.

The evening began with a catered meal of brisket, pulled pork, and beans. Melissa Hull provided cheesecake and cupcakes for dessert, while her husband, David, mixed homemade ice cream.

After the meal, everyone gathered in the family room as some gifts were presented to the Whipples. A primary gift was a copy of a pencil drawing which will be placed in the National Office. On the walls of the main hallway are pencil drawings of every bishop going back to Martin Boehm and William Otterbein, the first two United Brethren bishops when the church officially organized in 1800. There were 23 bishops prior to the division of the church in 1889, and 31 bishops since then, making Bishop Whipple the 54th bishop to serve our denomination.

The drawing was done by Barbara Bosworth, whose husband, Darrel, is pastor of Kilpatrick UB church in Woodland, Mich. Barbara is a very talented artist who specializes in pencil drawings. She has her own studio in Lake Odessa, Mich. The portrait features the new United Brethren logo with the “All for Christ” tagline, which was adopted under Bishop Whipple’s watch.

The drawing also includes very appropriate words from Acts 20:2, “He traveled throughout the region, speaking many words of encouragement to the people.” Bishop Whipple made a point of visiting every UB church during his first two years, and was constantly traveling on behalf of the Church. Much of his work was done personally with pastors and spouses, and with congregations.

After the presentation of gifts, everyone gathered around Phil and Sandy, laid hands on them, and together prayed Numbers 6:24-26 (NLT) as a benediction for them:

May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace. Amen.

Later in the evening, Bishop Whipple was given opportunity to make some remarks of appreciation to the staff and spouses. Gary Gates, director of Ministerial Licensing, then led in prayer for Phil and Sandy and whatever their future holds, after which the staff broke into a spontaneous verse of “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

It was an evening filled with much fun and laughter. But it was also an emotional time, as the staff bid a very fond farewell to this couple who gave so much of themselves to the Church during the past six years. Nearly 40 photos can be viewed on the UB Facebook page.

john-townsendAbout 400 people attended the first Symposium for the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling on August 29. It was a great way to kick off this major new program at Huntington University. Participants received top-tier leadership and counseling training by Dr. Townsend (right) and several of his colleagues and fellow authors.

A second Symposium will be held later this month:

Date: Friday, September 18.
Time: 8:30 am – 5 pm.
Location: Merillat Centre for the Arts, Huntington University.
Cost: Free.

On Friday, September 18, Huntington University will host the second Symposium for the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling. Dr. Townsend will be joined by these Institute Fellows, either in person or by video:

  • Ray Hilbert, CEO and co-founder of Truth at Work, an association which helps Christian business leaders build strong organizations.
  • Richard Halderman, CEO of Teays River Investments, a food and agribusiness company with over 1,200 employees.
  • Daniel Amen, M.D., psychiatrist, brain disorder specialist, best-selling author, founder of the Amen Clinics.
  • John Baker, co-founder of Celebrate Recovery with Rick Warren, on pastoral staff at Saddleback Church, popular author.
  • Jim Daly, President and CEO of Focus on the Family, and popular author, including the book Finding Home.

Although this training event is free, but you will need to register.

Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) are available through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) for two presentations (one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon). The cost is $25 per hour ($50 for 2 hours total). Check the schedule for more specific information about CEUs. You must preregister and pay for CEUs prior to the event.

There is limited seating for a luncheon with Dr. Townsend, the Institute Fellows and Faculty. It will include a Q&A period.