L-r: Julie Hui, Brian and Rachel Glunt, and Milton and Erika Pacheco.

L-r: Julie Hui, Brian and Rachel Glunt, and Milton and Erika Pacheco.

Frank Y, Associate Director of Global Ministries (right)

The Global Ministries church planting initiative in Thailand is the largest United Brethren missions venture since Macau in 1987. It is a multinational effort, with people coming from four different countries. A family of five recently arrived in Thailand, and five other missionaries will soon join them. Here is an update on what is happening now, and what lies ahead. Several missionaries are still raising support, so at the end you’ll find opportunities to come alongside them.

Our Team Members
Brian and Rachel Glunt, along with their three children, arrived in Thailand on August 9. They are from Emmanuel UB church in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Glunts are getting settled in, taking care of such things as locating a home, finding a vehicle for a family of five, getting their kids into school, opening a bank account, etc. For now, they are living in a condo hotel, kind of like an extended stay hotel.

Julie Hui and Lai Au Yeung (right), from Hong Kong Conference, will join the Glunts in October. They are being fully supported by Hong Kong Conference.

Erika and Milton Pacheco, from Honduras, will likely join the team in early 2017. They continue to raise their support. Since it will be difficult for Honduras Conference to fully support them, the Pachecos will come to the United States this fall to develop partnerships with United Brethren here.

That brings us to the latest addition to the team, Paula. Since she comes from a sensitive country, we can’t publish her picture or give details about her via any internet media. However, we are very excited by what she brings to the team.

Our Newest Team Member
Paula attended a top-tier university in her country, and became a Christian when a friend took her to a house church. Since then, she has been fervent in sharing her faith. During one 40-day stretch, she set a goal of sharing the Gospel with one new person each day. She also shared with every member of the company where she worked.

We became aware of her in a roundabout away. She was helping another mission organization by serving as translator for short-term mission trips (her English is excellent). I was told about her by a member of one of those teams. When she came to the States earlier this year to visit friends, I met with her.

Though she held a good, secure job in a major city, Paula was brokenhearted for the unreached peoples around the world. From our first conversation, she mentioned going to unreached people groups and working among the nations. This impressed me, because I haven’t met many people from her country who talk about unreached people groups.

Over the course of several months, we got better acquainted. Finally, this summer, the Global Ministries team had the chance to formally interview Paula and accepted her to join the Thailand team.

We hope she can join the team in Thailand during the first quarter of 2017. It all depends on how quickly she can raise support. Coming from a small house church and a nonChristian family background, she has a limited base of support. We are bringing her to the United States in November 2016 so she can spend a couple months developing partnerships with United Brethren individuals and churches.

Getting Started
During this first year, the entire team will focus on learning the Thai language and culture. Down the road, Thai will be the common language for the team.

We took about ten research trips into the area to see how the UB work could fit into what God was already doing. We developed relationships with local pastors and missionaries, who are willing to help the Glunts and the rest of our team get oriented. A key contact is a missionary from Singapore—yet another country we can add to our international mix.

In 2015, we purchased a building in Chiang Rai which will become our ministry center. We hope to thoroughly renovate the building during the next year; Hong Kong and Global Ministries (the US and Canada) will split the cost.

Among other things, we will teach English and Mandarin Chinese. Learning Chinese is very popular in Thailand. Many Chinese tourists come to Thailand, and China is increasing its trade with Southeast Asia. A highway between China and Bangkok cuts through Chiang Rai, and there is talk of a high-speed train from China to Thailand. If you know English and/or Chinese, you have excellent job prospects. This is especially true in Northern Thailand. In Chiang Rai, all major street signs have Chinese, English, and Thai on them.

The Glunts signed up for a program to learn the Thai language and culture. Julie Hui and Lai Au Yeung will attend at the same time. The Pachecos and Paula will start the program in 2017.

The two older Glunt children are attending an international Christian school. The youngest child will attend a local kindergarten that is taught partly in Thai and partly in English.

FYI: Bryan and Emily Gerlach, whom we sent to Thailand in September 2013 as the first members of the Thailand team, completed their first term and chose to work with a local church through another ministry in a different Thai city. They are now listed as United Brethren endorsed missionaries.

From Everywhere to Everywhere
The global church today is literally Christians from everywhere going everywhere. I love that our Thailand team encapsulates what God is doing in our world.

This summer, I attended a Lausanne Conference in Indonesia. I met an ethnic Korean who grew up in China and holds a Chinese passport, and now works in Turkey and reaches out to Muslims. There are many such stories. Brazil is sending out massive numbers of missionaries. So is Africa. A majority of today’s missionaries are being sent out from non-Western countries.

Our Thailand team is a reflection of the global church today—the first time that all of God’s people, from everywhere, can work together. Missionaries from the United States, Hong Kong, Honduras, and another country working together to reach ethnic Thais in Thailand.

Partnership Opportunities
The Pachecos will be in the United States September 15 to November 23, living in the UB mission house in Huntington and visiting UB churches. They are already booked up on weekends, but are available for any weekday events or groups at your church. Milton and Erika have a unique Latin American perspective about what God is doing in Honduras. They are also very musical; in fact, they’ll be leading worship during some of their Sunday visits.

Paula will be in the States from November to January, and is also available to meet with local churches. She can tell you exciting things about what God is doing in her country.

The Pachecos and Paula need additional financial and prayer supporters, and are available to meet with local churches. If you are interested in hosting any of them, please contact the Global Ministries office. You can contact Jana Gass, our administrative assistant, at jana@ub.org. Or call toll-free: 888-622-3019.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

Imagine what it would be like if you shared your doctor with 400,000 other people. That’s the situation in Sierra Leone today where just 17 medical doctors serve a population of more than 7 million. Prior to the outbreak of Ebola the ratio was 250,000:1, but many doctors died fighting this deadly infection.

The United Brethren in Christ established a hospital in the town of Mattru Jong nearly seventy years ago. Originally missionary doctors and nurses staffed the hospital and it was slowly being handed over to local administrators and physicians when civil war broke out in 1991. When it reopened 11 years later, it was but a pale reflection of the regional health center it had once been and has struggled since that time to gain momentum.

At the request of the Sierra Leone National Conference, Global Ministries is seeking to recruit a team of missionaries to serve for six to eight years training and mentoring hospital staff. We’re recruiting general practitioners, surgeons, pediatricians, OB specialists along with individuals with administration and engineering experience.

If you, or someone you know, might be interested, contact us by email or by using this online form.

Global Ministries is excited to announce two new family units approved for missionary service! We can’t post their full names here, because they serve in countries which are closed to missionary work. However, you can contact the Global Ministries office about them.

  • Harrison, from a United Brethren church in Indiana, will depart in August to teach in the Middle East.
  • Another couple has been serving in a closed Asian country, and will return to their field in early 2017.

In addition, a young woman on staff with Global Ministries who has been teaching in a closed country for several years will be in the States during July and August of 2016. She is available to share with groups and churches about what God is doing on the other side of the world.

Finally, get Milton and Erika Pacheco on your schedule while you can. They are fellow UBs from Honduras Conference who will be a part of the international United Brethren team in Thailand. They’ll be in the United States during the late summer and fall of 2016.

If you are interested in having any of these persons share their vision with your mission team or congregation, or if you’d like more information, contact Global Ministries at info@ub.org.

Julie Hui with Luke and Audrey Fetters.

Julie Hui with Luke and Audrey Fetters.

The hooding ceremony.

The hooding ceremony.

Julie Hui participated in Commencement exercises at Huntington University on Saturday, May 14. She received the Master of Education in TESOL Education. Julie, from our UB churches in Hong Kong, will soon join our international missionary team in Thailand.

hongkongconf2016-1000

The seven United Brethren churches in Hong Kong held a joint service for their 37th annual mission conference on Sunday, May 15. Frank Y, associate director of Global Ministries, was able to attend. He is in Asia to visit UBs in Hong Kong, Macau, and China.

L-r: Tony, Julie Hui, David Kline, Frank Y, and Jeff Bleijerveld.

L-r: Tony, Julie Hui, David Kline, Frank Y, and Jeff Bleijerveld.

On May 12, members of the Global Ministries staff—Jeff Bleijerveld, David Kline, and Frank Y–had lunch with Julie Hui and her brother Tony. Julie completed her MA degree in TESOL in December 2015 and will participate in graduation ceremonies at Huntington University on Saturday, May 14. Julie is one of two people from Hong Kong joining our multinational team of UB workers in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Julie’s brother Tony had never traveled outside of Hong Kong or China. He commented that the town of Huntington reminded him of Main Street USA at Disneyland Hong Kong. He was also taken to the famous Nick’s Kitchen in downtown Huntington and introduced to pork tenderloin sandwiches, a local staple.

T&M2
Providing ministry training to village pastors in West Africa presents a variety of challenges. First, many village pastors are unable to leave their families and communities to attend a Bible institute in a large city for a long period of time. Neither do they have the funds to pay for tuition and books. And if they do leave their village and live in the city with their family for a period of years, they may not be willing to return to their small village.

Train and Multiply (T&M) provides on-the-job training for pastors and church members so they can share the Good News, make disciples, and multiply new churches. T&M is not just training for ministry; it is training in ministry. Train and Multiply uses simple, low-cost, and effective New Testament methods to train church leaders.

While T&M is relatively inexpensive to use, training the initial trainers requires that they participate in a training event in the United States. Global Ministries is working in partnership with our United Brethren in Sierra Leone and Liberia to bring a representative from each country to Greenwood, Ind., August 25-27, 2016.

In order to bring two participants from West Africa, we will need to raise $4500. This will pay for their tourist visas, airfare, lodging, and registration fees.

If you’d like to contribute to this project, direct your gift to: TRAIN & MULTIPLY. Send to:

Global Ministries
302 Lake Street
Huntington, Ind. 46750

Honduras Conference, with 115 churches, was instrumental in forming our national conference in Nicaragua and in the development of a mission district in El Salvador. However, they have never sent missionaries to another continent – until now.

Milton and Erika Pacheco (right) are being sent to Chiang Rai, Thailand. There, they will join a multinational team of United Brethren missionaries from Hong Kong and the United States. Over the past year and a half, the Pachecos have been studying English while completing missions studies online. Most recently, they have been raising support among the Honduran churches, finishing up Milton’s work with Habitat for Humanity, and selling their home.

Global Ministries hopes to bring the Pachecos to the United States by early July to begin three to four months of raising additional support to complement what they have raised in their homeland.

During their time in the United States, Global Ministries staff will travel with the Pachecos to meet those interested in becoming supporters. A number of churches and individuals have already indicated their interest in supporting this couple. If you or your church would like to know more about supporting them or arrange for a visit, contact us at info@ubglobal.org.

Jason, Donna, and Jessica Hollopeter on one of the Poland short-term trips.

Jason, Donna, and Jessica Hollopeter on one of the Poland short-term trips.

Donna in northern Thailand with Akha women.

Donna in northern Thailand with Akha women.

Steve Dennie, Communications Director

I remember when Donna Hollopeter joined the Global Ministries staff in 1993. I immediately liked her–her vibrant personality, creativity, work ethic, and sense of humor. None of this ever let up. If Donna slowed down any, I sure didn’t see it. Her creativity and enthusiasm held strong for 22+ years.

Initially, Donna’s work focused around the Women’s Missionary Fellowship, as she interacted with WMF regional and local church groups. She helped lead them through major (and difficult) changes. In addition, her role as associate director brought her all kinds of other responsibilities and assignments over the years. Donna traveled overseas dozens of times, and organized mission trips for numerous church and college groups. She helped plan our national conference meetings and usually presented a workshop. She oversaw printing projects, dealt with government agencies to secure visas, helped train mission team leaders…and so much more.

A former school principal, Donna came to the office with a Masters degree. However, she kept learning. Early on, she learned Spanish so she could be more effective while traveling in Central America. More recently, she earned her TESOL certification from Huntington University.

For a number of years, Donna presented a very special devotional which became somewhat of a Christmas tradition in the national office. She created a peaceful, low-light atmosphere, and brought in various kinds of rolls, breads, and teas. Then, while eating, we would listen to a recording of Tom Hegg’s poem, “A Cup of Christmas Tea.” I always looked forward to it. She presented it again this past December.

Donna served under three Global Ministries directors–Kyle McQuillen, Gary Dilley, and Jeff Bleijerveld. She worked with five different bishops.

She was fun to work with. During break times, as we chatted about miscellaneous nonsense, she would make a comment that would get us all laughing (or, more likely, groaning). I’ll miss that. When she was called upon to make some kind of silly in-house presentation, you could count on it being fun and creative. She was a delightful one-of-a-kind.

For most of those years, Donna doubled as a pastor’s wife. In 1995, Jason became pastor of the UB church in Corunna, Ind. For the next 15 years, she commuted 45 minutes (one way) to the office in Huntington. After Jason retired in 2010, they bought a house in Huntington and drastically reduced their gasoline expenses.

Underlying everything was a servant’s heart. Donna labored with a tireless commitment to the work of UB missions, putting in long hours and doing whatever was asked of her. She leaves behind a strong legacy of faithful service to Christ and to the Church–a legacy which I admire, and which we can all appreciate.

Comments from Others in the National Office.

Jeff Bleijerveld, director of Global Ministries: “When Donna traveled overseas, she was always prepared to share a greeting, an update, even a song. She had a soft spot for children and was able to engage them, even across cultural and linguistic barriers. After completing her TESOL certification with Huntington University, she was able to further engage students of all ages in English language learning activities in China, Spain, Thailand, and Poland.”

Frank Y, associate director: “Donna has a sincere servant’s heart. She is always quick to notice when someone is in need or distress. When that happens, she tenderly ministers to them, whether they are overseas missionaries or locals. Here in the office, she brought humor and levity. She astounded us with her quick wit and would leave us laughing in stitches with her lightning-fast puns. When Donna was out of the office and someone shared a pun, you would hear, ‘Thank you, Donna.’”

David Kline, associate director and former UB missionary in Macau: “When Donna visited the field, you always knew she cared about you. She sought to understand our situation. Her probing questions were always designed to care about you.”

Jana Gass, Global Ministries administrative assistant: “Donna was more than just a co-worker, she was a great friend to everyone in the office. For me personally, I could always count on her to have the information that was needed when there was a question that I couldn’t answer, or to introduce me to someone in the denomination that I had not met before. Even beyond work-related things, however, she was just a true friend who would always lend a listening ear and give carefully thought out advice when needed. I am so thankful and grateful that I was able to spend the past few years working alongside Donna, and will miss her presence here in the office greatly.”

Jane Seely, national office resource manager: “I really appreciate Donna’s humor and wit. Donna loves life and appreciates all the Lord has done in her life. She was also a great encourager. She is missed.”

Cathy Reich, administrative assistant to the bishop: “I love the special connection I have with Donna. She has been an inspiration to me in so many ways. I will miss all she brought to the office. From the devotions she shared, to her passion for missions, to her fun and light spirit in and around the office, I am a richer person for having worked alongside Donna for these many years.”

With Rhonda Dilley in Sierra Leone.

With Rhonda Dilley in Sierra Leone.

Our future ministry center in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Our future ministry center in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Global Ministries is launching a major mission effort in Chiang Rai, the northern-most provincial capital in the once infamous “Golden Triangle.” We will focus on reaching Thai Buddhists. A team of United Brethren missionaries from three countries—the United States, Honduras, and Hong Kong—will begin arriving in 2016.

This year’s annual Easter Offering will help prepare the way. We hope to raise $50,000 to renovate our ministry center in Chiang Rai.

Global Ministries and Hong Kong Conference, together, bought a two-story building in a fast-growing part of Chiang Rai. This will be our base of operations for a number of ministries. The building sits on the corner of a busy street in what would be a middle-class neighborhood. To get anywhere, people in that neighborhood pass our building.

The building was previously owned by a doctor and her family. She works at a nearby hospital, and is very excited about the types of ministry we hope to bring to the neighborhood.

It is a solid building, structurally sound, with a very good roof. However, it has sat empty for a couple years and needs a lot of work. We want to expand the upstairs and turn it into classrooms for teaching English and other subjects. The downstairs will include a large space for group activities. Other major renovations are needed.

  • Nearly all windows must be replaced.
  • The interior walls are very thin. The exterior walls have no treatment on the inside.
  • The decrepit bathroom needs rebuilt.
  • The stairway needs repaired.
  • A new air conditioning system will be installed (this is very important in that part of the world).
  • A new kitchen area is needed.

Nearby are the city’s three major shopping outlets. A few minutes away is the Big C, which is like a full-size Meijer or WalMart. Across from the Big C is a very modern mall, similar to what you would find in North America. Further up the highway is another major store, like a Costco. This is a developing part of the city. In addition, the area is home to many out-of-town temporary workers employed at the malls.

Across from our ministry center is a simple but clean extended stay hotel. Several UBs from Hong Kong stayed there, and intentionally walked to our building at 11pm just to see what it was like. They felt very safe. Many small vendors were still selling their food and other goods. Motorcycles and cars zipped by.

We have a large vision for this building. We will offer language learning in both English and Mandarin Chinese—the two most sought-after languages in Thailand. We will offer activities to engage the surrounding community. We will build caring relationships that open doors to love people and share the Gospel. Others will use the building to reach into the community—visiting teams, local Thai Christians, and partner organizations in the region.

Over time, we are praying for a discipleship multiplication movement to begin among the Thai Buddhists, resulting in new churches being planted.

We United Brethren have just over 20 years of experience in northern Thailand. Three United Brethren churches have been planted among the Akha hill tribes, along the border with Burma, under the leadership of Hong Kong Conference. Chiang Rai is the closest large city. It gives us the opportunity to possibly help people from the mountain churches who come to the city for jobs and education. But it provides an even greater opportunity to spread the Gospel to Thai Buddhists—the least-reached people group in Thailand.

You can donate online to the 2016 Easter Offering. Your financial support would be greatly appreciated.

(Thanks to Google Street View, you can drive down the street right past our building. The building is on the right, just after you begin seeing a silver pickup truck ahead of you on the road.)