Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of UB Global
We are preparing for this year’s Thanksgiving Missions Offering, which we are hoping will provide the $50,000 needed to complete the Community Center we are constructing in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
Already, our multi-national team has been working to develop friendships in the community by gathering children, youth, and adults into their homes to participant in painting, practice music, and take classes in English and Mandarin. Their ultimate goal is to build rapport and trust so that they can share the gospel and invite them to become followers of Christ.
There is no set procedure for gathering an offering. A missions speaker could be invited, a harvest dinner held, or a program presented. We will be sending bulletin inserts free of charge that can be used to announce the offering the week prior to Thanksgiving. A short video will highlight the project.
We are mailing you an order form for optional Thank Offering envelopes should you wish to include them in your bulletin along with the insert. Please complete the order form and return it to us no later than September 12 for our Canadian churches, and October 16 for those in the United States. You may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free at 888-622-3019.
Let us know if there is anything we can do to make this Thanksgiving a meaningful time of celebrating what God is doing to grow His kingdom.
The Datema family (l-r): Callie, Julie, Jill, Culyer, Cathie, and Dave.
Dave and Cathie Datema are endorsed UB missionaries serving with Frontier Ventures in Pasadena, Calif. Dave’s role has changed a couple of time during the past two years. Here is an explanation from their most recent newsletter.
“Dave has been assigned to serve as Facilitator for a newly-appointed Missiology Task Force. This role will extend through April 2019, and Dave will be working with six other people within Frontier Ventures. The purpose of the group is to evaluate the missiological ‘voice’ of Frontier Ventures and make recommendations to leadership about moving it forward.
“‘Missiology’ is just a fancy word for the study of missions. Every mission organization prioritizes certain aspects of missions above others, and we are no different. The landscape of missions is constantly changing, and ideas come and go. This task force was created to analyze and evaluate how we think about missions and how that may need to change. It is also interested in ensuring that our voice as an organization, represented by our various programs and publications, is integrated and aligned. Our organization has been known for being a thought leader in missions, so this task force is an essential part of what we do.”
Other News from the Datema Family
Roger and Marilyn Reeck (right), UB endorsed missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators, spent much of June in Guinea Bissau, a West African country. Roger consults with groups working on Bible translations. They explain:
“Roger worked with the two groups that he was scheduled to consult for (the Sonike and Felupe) and was even able to spend five days with a third one (Kriol) checking the book of Ruth. The Sonike/Sarakule people group are Muslim. One of the problems the team ran into during the two weeks of checking is that it coincided with the Muslim festival Ramadan. The three Sonike translators had to fast every day during that period. The work continued on even when at times they felt weak and had a hard time concentrating.”
Marilyn spent time with a team working with a people that that is almost completely Muslim.
Marilyn returned to Honduras in time for the yearly Garifuna conference to which people come from all over Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and from various of the Garifuna churches in the US. This year they dedicated a whole afternoon to celebrating the Garifuna Bible (the Reecks were instrumental in its translation). A Garifuna women’s group sang a song about the Bible and lifted it up high.
For several years, Honduras Conference has been struggling with serious financial issues focused around the Bethel Institute in La Ceiba, a school begun during the 1970s. The school faces a $1.4 million debt.
Last weekend, the conference board voted to proceed with selling the school. On Monday, Superintendent Gonzalo Alas (right) traveled to San Pedro Sula to meet with potential buyers. The buyers will meet with the conference board on August 31.
In addition, the bank had threatened to start foreclosure proceedings last Saturday. However, just in time, the conference secured funds to cover part of the interest on the loan, and the bank backed off from starting foreclosure. However, funds will be needed for upcoming payments. They need about $13,000 to bring payments up to date.
Completing the sale of the Bethel school will take a few months, but the sale will only cover an estimated 70% of the total debt, which includes unpaid salaries, delinquent pension payments, and loans.
Please keep Honduras Conference in your prayers as they wrestle with these daunting issues. Pray especially for our national leader, Rev. Gonzalo Alas, who is seeking to guide the conference out of this situation while continuing to encourage pastors and churches in their local ministries. These financial issues distract from his passion of church planting, and also affects the conference’s ability to support their missionaries, Milton and Erika Pacheco, who are serving in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
Carol Fiedler, 79, former UB missionary in Sierra Leone, passed away August 17, 2018. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Phil Fiedler, and their four children: Glenn, Greg, Galen, and Tanya.
The Fiedlers served at Mattru in Sierra Leone 1974-1980, and returned in the early 1990s to serve at Sierra Leone Bible College. In May 1994, with the rebel war escalating, the UB Board of Missions decided to completely nationalize all work in Sierra Leone and withdraw all remaining missionaries by the end of 1994. Phil and Carol Fiedler, along with nurse Sarah Banter, left together in December 1994. It would be another 14 years before any UB missionaries were sent to Sierra Leone.
The Fiedlers have been living in Olive Branch, Miss.
Visitation will be at 4 pm on Saturday, August 25, followed by a memorial service at 4:30. Location: Longview Heights Baptist Church, 4501 Goodman Road, Olive Branch, MS 38654.
Donations and memorials in honor of Carol Jean Fiedler for the church’s pre-kindergarten program may be sent to Longview Heights Baptist Church, 4501 Goodman Road, Olive Branch, MS 38654. Flowers in her honor can be sent to Longview Heights Baptist Church 4501 Goodman Road, Olive Branch, MS 38654.
Rev. Michael Lee Stine, 38, passed away August 11, 2018, at his home. He was from Shippensburg, Pa., and was married to Merissa in 2009 at the nearby Orrstown United Brethren church. Stine ws diagnosed with colon cancer at age 33, and it returned two years later as stage 4 cancer.
Stine was ordained in 2008, and served at four United Brethren churches: Mt. Carmel (Fulks Run, Va.), Mainsville (Shippensburg), Orrstown, and Mongul (Shippensburg). More recently, he served at a Brethren in Christ church in Wiliamsport, Md. He also worked on websites for 20 years, published several books, and taught online Bible courses at Grand Canyon University.
He is survived by his wife of nine years, Merissa, and son Luke.
Viewing time: 5-8 pm Tuesday, August 14.
Viewing location: Fogelsanger-Bricker Funeral Home, 112 West King St., Shippensburg, Pa.
Funeral time: 11 am Wednesday, August 15, 2018.
Funeral location: Orrstown UB church, Orrstown, Pa.
Hannah Barrett (right) is a new member of the UB Global staff. In less than two weeks, she leaves for Thailand, where she will teach students from many nationalities (including Thai) in an international school in Chiang Rai. Hannah graduated in May 2018 from Huntington University, with a degree in Elementary Education with a TESOL certification.
Chiang Rai International Christian School (CRICS) keeps its tuition very affordable so that locals and missionary children can attend. All teachers raise their support to be there. Hannah has already been to CRICS twice—once on a January Term trip and another for student teaching.
Hannah will serve in Thailand for one year as part of UB Global’s Jump Start program. Jump Start is designed to provide a streamlined process for recent graduates to serve on a United Brethren field for a shorter period (1-2 years) and discern God’s longer-term calling.
We already have an international team of ten persons serving in Chiang Rai. If you are interested in learning more about Hannah’s ministry, getting on her update list, or supporting her, contact us at email@example.com.