23 Jul On This Day in UB History: July 23 (Macau Missionaries)
In 1992, two American missionary families served in Macau: the Luke and Audrey Fetters family, and the Jeff and Joan Sherlock family. For several years, the Macau missionaries had been asking the Board of Missions for more teachers, but always got the same response: great idea, but no money.
The Sherlocks were planning to leave the field at the end of 1992. Jeff, a finance and business guy, raised the idea of replacing his family of five with several singles. Three single missionaries would cost just a little bit more than it cost to send the Sherlock family. Bishop Jerry Datema presented the idea to the March 1992 meeting of the Board of Missions. They not only approved the idea at that meeting, but appointed two single women.
On July 23, 1992, Rhonda Fleming (now Mudge) and an unnamed Huntington College classmate, both of whom had graduated in May 1992, arrived in Macau. Jeff Dice, a 1992 HC grad, joined them in February 1993 and served through 1995.
In Macau, various opportunities had been available, but they lacked the staff to pursue them. Not anymore. They launched an English Language Program at a second church planting site, which became the Living Word church. They expanded their role at the large Pui Ching Middle School. And they began teaching conversational English every week at high schools in Zhuhai, right across the border from Macau. Luke had done some teaching in Zhuhai, and saw it as an opportunity to reestablish the United Brethren witness in China which ended in 1952.