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Every year, children in Vacation Bible School support a mission project of some kind. For 2017, Global Ministries has selected Project Compassion, which ministers to children in India who live with HIV/AIDS.

Global Ministries is providing five short videos along with suggested foods, activities, and ideas for follow-up at home which can be used for VBS or summer Sunday school.

Through these short daily videos and activities, your kids will learn and experience a taste of what daily life is like for these UB children on the other side of the world—whether by learning how to say say hello, or trying out lentils and rice.

Our prayer is that our kids will deepen in their understanding of God’s global family as they have the opportunity to learn, pray, and give.

If you are interested in receiving these materials, let us know at by sending an email toinfo@ubglobal.org or by calling toll-free (888) 622-3019.

Rev. John Jusu and the Africa Study Bible.

Rev. John Jusu and the Africa Study Bible.

The publication of the Africa Study Bible was completed recently and has been made available for distribution. Dr. John Jusu, an ordained minister with the Sierra Leone United Brethren in Christ, served as the editor for the project. Dr. Jusu currently serves as the Dean of the School of Education and Social Sciences at Africa International University in Nairobi, Kenya, having served previously at the Evangelical School of Theology in Sierra Leone. This new Study Bible seeks to communicate biblical truth in a way that reflects and relates to African culture and daily life.

AWANA at the Lumley church in Sierra Leone.

AWANA at the Lumley church in Sierra Leone.

Rev. Sorie Kamanda, lead pastor of the Lumley United Brethren church in Sierra Leone, shared some photos and videos of their recent Awana Vacation Bible School. The Lumley Church is located just outside of Freetown. The Awana program is used by 47,000 churches around the world, involving 3.7 million children and youth, 470,000 volunteers, and 260 field staff.

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Progress is being made at Mattru Hospital in Sierra Leone. Global Ministries staff member Matt Asher (right) is working with others to prepare the site for the 100kVA solar array and water purification/packaging project. Solar panels, batteries, packaging equipment, and supplies are on their way and will be installed in the coming months. The project will eventually provide electricity to the hospital and sell excess electricity to a limited number of consumers in the community.

The SOLA WATA business on the hospital campus will sell packaged drinking water in the surrounding towns and villages. These installations, and the resultant income, will greatly enhance the hospital’s ability to be substantially more self-sustaining while advancing its medical work and ministry to the surrounding 200,000 residents of Bonthe District.

Rev. Gonzalo Alas (right) is the new superintendent of Honduras Conference. He was elected on January 21 during the conference’s annual meeting.

We now have over 115 United Brethren churches in Honduras, mostly in the northern part of the country around San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba (the nation’s second, and third-largest cities). La Ceiba has been the conference headquarters throughout its history.

In 2007, Honduras sent Rev. Alas to start a church planting movement in El Salvador. He had previously started churches in the Copán region of Honduras, where previously there were no UB churches. When he left El Copán to go to El Salvador, 13 established churches and five church plants were functioning.

He takes the place of Juanita Chavez (right), who had served two terms as superintendent, beginning in 2009. Under her leadership, Honduras Conference was instrumental in establishing a church-based leadership training program called ETBIL (Educación Teológica Basada en la Iglesia Local). It has become a model for all of our Central American churches. The conference also approved Milton and Erika Pacheco as their missionaries to Thailand.

You can pray for:

  • Rev. Alas, his wife, Gladys, and family as they transition back to Honduras.
  • The five church plants and their leaders in El Salvador, whom Rev. Alas faithfully mentored and trained.
  • Rev. Juanita Chavez and her husband, Carlos, who have been faithful and committed servants of the Lord over the past eight years.

On Monday, January 2, a team left for Sierra Leone. It’s mostly a medical team which will work at Mattru Hospital. They will return January 14.

The travelers include two persons from Global Ministries, director Jeff Bleijerveld and associate director Michelle Harris (right). We are beginning a major and very exciting initiative at Mattru Hospital. Part of Michelle’s responsibilities include overseeing the missionary personnel we will be assigning to the hospital beginning early this year. This is Michelle’s first visit to Sierra Leone, though she lived ten years in the African nation of Gabon.

They are joined by a team of medical volunteers led by Dr. Ron Baker, who served at Mattru 1974-1990. The other team members include:

  • Dr. Dan and Elaine (RN) Metzger, who served at Mattru during the 1980s.
  • Dr. Ian and Laura Jackson and Esther (their 10 month old baby).
  • Dr. Kim Stillman, a third-year ER resident, and her husband Matt Millich (MBA).
  • Brooke Snyder, a nursing student.

Jeff and Michelle will help the medical team in whatever way they can. They will also meet with our national leaders to discuss several exciting projects, including the installation at Mattru Hospital of a solar electricity system and a water filtration system.

Information about these projects, and about several medical and other personnel who will soon join our team at Mattru, will be coming soon.

UB endorsed missionary Dave Datema (right) transitioned out of his role as one of three General Directors for Frontier Ventures, effective January 1. He will remain with Frontier Ventures in Pasadena, Calif., and with the US Center for World Mission, but will change roles. Here is his explanation.

“There are several reasons why I think it is time for me to step down from the Office of the General Director. The first reason is that I never planned on being GD for a long time. Back in 2009 when Dr. Ralph Winter asked me about taking the role, I saw that his health was rapidly declining and that the organization needed somebody to take the reins. I did so thinking that my role would be transitional, not knowing how long that transition might be. Now, seven and a half years later, it seems that I have been in this role much longer than any transition might necessitate. It was never my intention to be a lifelong General Director.

“The second reason is that I have increasingly recognized that my life-giving interests were more in the area of missiology than organizational development. I didn’t know in 2009 that so much of this role would cater to the latter not the former. Over the years, I have had many experiences, good and bad, that tested my mettle as an organizational leader. I’ve come to realize that my best contribution to Frontier Ventures is not the same as what some long for in an organizational leader.

“The third reason is that spending so much time on the organizational side has depleted my energy reserves. My zeal for it has slowly eroded. Years of living in a world of planning, org chart shuffling, dealing with personnel issues, real estate management and endless policies and procedures have taken their toll on my general well-being. As a wise man once said, ‘Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.’

“I now look forward to my new assignment and future. First, I hope to get our campus collaboration onto firm footing for a new season of ministry together. Second, I am looking forward to diving into a full-time ThM Program at Fuller in June, possibly leading to PhD work. Ironically, pursuing doctoral-level work was one of the main reasons we came here 17 years ago. Yet the road we travel rarely goes in a straight line. I’m trusting that God has been in the twists and turns and that being on this road again is part of his plan for me. Someone once said, ‘There is no knowing. But walking makes the road.’ It is in that spirit that I move forward, still part of this community, but in a different role. I covet your prayers.”

Milton and Erika Pacheco with Rosanna Dunn.

Milton and Erika Pacheco with Rosanna Dunn.

At Rosanna's organ.

At Rosanna’s organ.

Milton and Rosanna jamming.

Milton and Rosanna jamming.

Milton and Erika Pacheco, a Honduran couple, are in the States this fall raising support as they prepare to become United Brethren missionaries in Thailand. A few days ago they had the opportunity to visit Rosanna Dunn, the maternal grandmother of Brian Glunt, one of their Thailand team members. Rosanna, 93, is supporting the Pachecos financially and through prayer.

Rosanna, who lives north of Indianapolis, started learning to play the electric organ in her 80s. she and Milton, a talented musician, were able to have a little jam session.

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The Pachecos at Mt. Hope UB church in Carson City, Mich.

The Pachecos at Mt. Hope UB church in Carson City, Mich.

Milton and Erika with Nancy N'Gele, a former UB missionary in Sierra Leone.

Milton and Erika with Nancy N’Gele, a former UB missionary in Sierra Leone.

Milton and Erika Pacheco, a couple from Honduras, plan to join our team in Thailand in early 2017. They are currently in the States speaking in United Brethren churches and raising support.

On September 18, they visited Mt. Hope UB church in Carson City, Mich. There, they met Nancy N’Gele, who served 11 years as a missionary in Sierra Leone.

Here is the Pachecos’ schedule through the end of November, in case you have opportunity to go hear them. In some churches, they will also do music–a very talented couple.

September 18: Mt. Hope UB church (Carson City, Mich.).
September 25: Franklin UB (New Albany, Ohio).
October 2: Otterbein UB (Greencastle, Pa.).
October 9: Heart o’ the Lakes (Brooklyn, Mich.).
October 16: New Horizons (Rockford, Ohio).
October 23: Mt. Zion UB (Decatur, Ind.).
October 30: Clearview Hispanic (Goshen, Ind.).
November 6: Fountain UB (Keyser W. Va.).
November 13: Salem UB (Chambersburg, Pa.).
November 20: Eden UB (Mason, Mich.).

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Each summer, Global Ministries provides a mission project for local churches to promote during their summer children’s ministries. Materials are prepared in advance so the children learn about the ministry they are supporting. The project usually relates to something of interest to kids. In the past they have contributed to the needs of Syrian and Iraqi children living in refugee camps in Southern Turkey and have supported our Mexican United Brethren children’s outreach ministry. This year the focus was on children’s ministry in Guatemala.

Once again, we are amazed at the enthusiasm and sacrifice of our children who raised $7895 to purchase teaching materials and improve the spaces where children gather for Sunday school and outreach activities in Guatemala. On behalf of our Guatemalan United Brethren, we thank all our children for their prayers and support of this ministry.