06 May Jeff Bleijerveld Concludes 12 Years as UB Global Director
Jeff Bleijerveld has submitted his resignation as executive director of UB Global, effective May 31, 2020. He has served in that role for 12 years. He submitted his resignation to the UB Global board on April 28, and on April 30 informed our missionaries and international partners of his decision. He remarked that, though coming from outside of United Brethren circles, “From the very start, I was made to feel a part of the United Brethren in Christ.” However, he and his wife, Charlene, have recently sensed God moving them in a new direction.
UB Global is the joint missions agency of the UB churches in the United States and Canada. Mark Wallace, chairperson of the UB Global board, wrote, “Jeff has served UB Global well for the past 12 years, and we wish to honor and celebrate the work that has been accomplished.”
On March 3, 2008, Jeff was appointed director of what was then called Global Ministries. At that point, he had been an ordained minister in the Missionary Church for 23 years, had pastored two churches in Ontario, had served eight years as a missionary in Spain, and since 2001 had been assistant director of World Partners USA, the Missionary Church’s international arm.
Under Jeff’s leadership, UB Global continued to expand its worldwide ministry. They walked alongside Sierra Leone Conference during the Ebola epidemic, and then launched a major initiative to put Mattru Hospital on solid footing. UB Global worked with Hong Kong Conference to assemble an international team to begin work in Thailand among largely unreached ethnic Thai Buddhists.
We added two mission districts–in Liberia (2011), and France (2018)—and the Haiti and Liberia mission districts are in the process of becoming national conferences. We launched partnerships in Turkey and Lebanon. And many new missionaries have joined the UB Global family, including persons now serving in South Africa, Ecuador, Jamaica, Togo, Kenya, Russia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Spain, Honduras, and elsewhere.
Jeff came to UB Global with a strong philosophical foundation regarding mission work. This came through in various policies and practices–regarding missionary recruitment and support, fundraising, our relationships with international UB countries, UB Global board operations, and other areas.
He has had help. Jeff grew a talented, experienced team at the United Brethren National Office: associate director Frank Y (2011), administrative assistant Jana Gass (2013), associate director David Kline (2014), and associate director Michelle Harris (2016).
Bishop Todd Fetters wrote, “Naturally, we are saddened by Jeff’s decision. He has always been a valiant champion for global missions. And to us at the UB National Office, he has been far more than a colleague–he is our friend and true brother in Christ.”
Please pray for Jeff and Charlene as they undergo this transition in their lives, and for Jeff as he considers new opportunities. And pray for the UB Global board, as they seek God’s will during this transition.