Nichie Parish signing the agreement. Pastor Randy Carpenter is on the left.

Nichie Parish signing the agreement. Pastor Randy Carpenter is on the left.

Sunfield United Brethren Church (Sunfield, Mich.) celebrated Palm Sunday with a signing ceremony with Global Ministries staff member Nichie Parish. The church has committed to praying for Nichie’s ministry in South Africa, and providing $10,000 per year toward her annual budget for the next three years. Nichie will serve in Johannesburg with an organization called Impact Africa.

Rev. Randy and Chrystal Carpenter (left) and other workers.

L-r: Rev. Randy and Chrystal Carpenter (left), Dwight Kuntz (right), and other workers.

The York Town UB church

The York Town UB church

Working on the York Town roof.

Working on the York Town roof.

After ten-and-a-half years, the roof at York Town UB church in Jamaica is getting replaced. In 2004, a hurricane took the roof off the education building, and it has been exposed to the weather ever since. The destruction went far beyond the roof, as the inside of the building also sustained a lot of damage. After some minor repairs to the structure, a good cleaning, a new paint job, and a lot of new fixtures, the inside will once again be usable.

The congregation at York Town has done a lot of hard work and fundraising to get back on their feet, but this has not been easy. In came help from the Sunfield United Brethren Church from Sunfield, Mich. Together, they saw the forms for the roof of the building go up last week. The new cement roof was poured Monday, March 9, once again shielding the building from the weather and thieves.

Help is still needed to restore the inside of the building, but it can now be done, and the building will slowly be put back into use.

The congregation praises God for his faithfulness and the help of the Sunfield church. A big thank you to Rev. Randy and Chrystal Carpenter , along with Jim Steward from the Sunfield Church; Martha Hanley from the Eden UB church (Mason, Mich.); Troy Howell from the Salem UB church in Jamaica; and Rev. Dwight Kuntz for investing their time and labor to see this project through this first stage.

Roger Reeck, UB endorsed missionary with Wycliffe Bible Translators, underwent ankle replacement surgery on February 17. On March 4, Roger sent this update.

“I praise the Lord for you and for your prayers on my behalf. On Monday, I had my cast and stitches removed and am now in a boot and allowed a small amount of weight bearing. Everything has healed well, and xrays show that the alignment of the ankle replacement is right on! There is quite a bit of pain.

“On Thursday, March 5, we will travel to Tucson, Ariz., where we will stay for a few weeks. The trip involves small planes and climbing steps, which might be a challenge.”

Roger Reeck underwent ankle replacement surgery on Tuesday, February 17, in Medford, Oregon. Marilyn writes, “Roger came thru the operation fine. The doctor is pleased especially because he was able to correctly align the ankle. Roger will be in the hospital for another 36 hours as they seek to control the pain level. Roger is in good spirits.” Roger added that the pain right now is “bearable.” Roger and Marilyn are career missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators, and come under the Global Ministries umbrella as UB endorsed missionaries.

Roger and Marilyn Reeck (right) are UB endorsed missionaries in Honduras. They serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Roger has had continuing ankle problems for several years. Here is an update received on February 13.

It is wonderful and comforting to have such a great group of caring, prayerful people that we can approach at this time.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12). This verse has become a reality in our lives over the last months.

Roger and I leave from Honduras for Medford, Oregon this Saturday, February 14. On Tuesday, February 17, Roger will undergo a total ankle replacement. The main requests are: good pain control, good healing (no infection), and protection from blood clots since Roger has a prior history.

The effectiveness of this operation will determine our contributions in the future. We rely on God’s promises.These are some of the things that are causing us to be hopeful and grateful:

  1. The Lord’s provision in all areas.
  2. A Christian doctor who commits everything to prayer and recognizes that he is an instrument of God.
  3. Housing in Medford: Dr. Owen, the orthopedic surgeon and his wife have graciously offered to host us in their home for the two weeks after the operation.
  4. A great place to stay during the recuperation period. After Medford, we will spend several weeks at the Wycliffe center in Tucson.

Rev. Billy Simbo, former bishop of Sierra Leone Conference, lives in the United States but makes frequent trips back to his homeland. He had planned to return in September, but since British Airways canceled so many flights because of the Ebola crisis, he had to delay. But now, after an eight-month absence, he’ll be back in Sierra Leone on January 17.

On Facebook, Billy wrote on January 14 that during his time in the States, “I got the opportunity to speak to Rotary Clubs in the area where I live about the Ebola outbreak and its impact on Sierra Leone and the neighboring countries. I thank God for the chance given to me to help in my own small ways to educate people and tell of the plight of our people back home. Tonight was my last speaking engagement, making the 33rd group I had spoken to with the aim of enlisting their help in our fight against Ebola. I have planted the seeds, and trust that much would come out of the efforts.”

He has a number of ministry engagements already lined up. He adds, “It would be good to be back home, away from all this cold, arctic blasts and polar vortex! I need some warm weather and cool ocean breezes. Freetown, I here I come!”

Belize. Thirteen students from Huntington University are spending January Term in Belize, working with the orphanage operated by Here’s Hope Ministries. Bob Eberly, a UB member from the Otterbein UB church (Greencastle, Pa.), is the founder and head of Here’s Hope. Bob’s son-in-law, Chris Moore, a UB endorsed missionary, is in Belize with the team from HU.

Nicaragua. On January 7, thirteen students from Huntington University, mostly members of the baseball team, left for Nicaragua. They will spend about ten days competing against Nicaraguan baseball teams and conducting clinics for Nicaraguan young people. This is the third such trip. Josh Kesler, senior pastor of The Well (Huntington, Ind.), and Jeff Dice, associate pastor of Brown Corners UB church (Clare, Mich.), are participating on the trip, as they did in 2012 and 2014.

Spain. A team of 17 students from Huntington University is headed to Spain to spend a couple weeks working with missionaries Ron and Brenda Anderson as part of their January Term. Donna Hollopeter, associate director of Global Ministries, is leading the trip. David Kline, associate director of Global Ministries, and Norris Friesen from HU drove them in two vans to O’Hare Airport in Chicago.

They were supposed to leave on Wednesday, January 7, from Chicago. However, there have been two problems. First, two of the students are Jamaicans, and visa problems are preventing them from making the trip. After reaching the airport, they were unable to board. David Kline, who was part-way back to Huntington, returned to O’Hare and took them back to Huntington. Then the rest of the group sat on the plane for a couple hours before the flight was cancelled because of mechanical problems.  It’s looking like they won’t be able to depart until Friday, Jan. 9.

Central America. Jeff Bleijerveld, director of Global Ministries, left January 7 to spend two weeks in Central America. He’s starting out in Nicaragua, attending the annual meeting of Nicaragua national conference Jan. 7-12. Next, he’ll travel north to attend the annual meeting of Honduras National Conference Jan. 12-19. He’ll conclude Jan. 19-22 with a visit to Belize, where he’ll meet up with the team from Huntington University.

France. Another team from Huntington University is spending January Term in Paris, France. This is not a Global Ministries-related trip, but is worth noting, particularly in light of Tuesday’s terrorist attack in Paris.

Justin Marva, conference administrator for Sierra Leone Conference (Jan. 3, 2015)

The Ebola outbreak has dropped drastically in Bo, Mattru, Kenema, Kailahun, Moyamba, and Pujehun in the southeast part of the country. Most of these districts are now reporting zero cases for the past week. But for Freetown and the North, the cases are still high.

At the moment, all business activities close down on every Saturday at 12 pm. Sunday is observed as a quiet day except for the usual church services, but no business activity is allowed for the rest of the day. This rule is working well at the moment, and it has discouraged people from gathering in public places on Saturday and Sundays.

Sierra Leoneans are very hopeful at the moment that the Ebola outbreak will soon be a thing of the past. The president has declared a seven-day period of prayer and fasting for God to help in this sad situation in our country.

Please continue to pray for us.

Following is an email John Pessima (right), bishop of Sierra Leone Conference, sent to Global Ministries director Jeff Bleijerveld on Monday, December 8. Jeff had already authorized sending $1000. He told Bishop Pessima, “Please don’t hesitate to make us aware of needs during this time of crisis. Our people have been very responsive and we would like to help.”

I am very grateful to the Lord for what he has been doing through you and your team for Sierra Leone since the Ebola crisis began. To be very honest with you, sometimes I become very shy and find it difficult to continuously make appeals for Sierra Leone. But I am also compelled because things are becoming more difficult by the day. We are suffering as a nation from isolation, quarantine, stigma, threats, hunger, etc., all because of this dreadful disease. Some of our members have lost their jobs because their institutions have closed down.

We have been doing our best to make sure that the hospital and staff at Mattru are secured. Justin Marva and I were there on Tuesday [Dec. 2] to investigate a case at the hospital when we had the first Ebola case. The patient traveled from Gbangbatoke to Moriba Town in Rutile, to Mokabba, and to Luawa Jong. From Luawa she was admitted at the hospital before she passed away on Tuesday. After her result proved positive on Thursday [Dec. 4], part of the hospital and some staff members were quarantined–some at the hospital and others at their homes. The total number of staff quarantined is 14. Five are at the hospital quarters and the rest are at their homes quarantined with their families.

This has worried us so much because there is not much food and other supplies from the government for quarantined homes. Individuals and organizations out here fight it out very hard to get food and other items to their families and staff. This is what we want to do for the staff and the villages involved. Apart from the hospital staff, two of our pastors and their families are quarantined also because they had connection and contact with the deceased. They are Rev. J. S. Savalie and Rev. W. O. Solomon.

I appreciate your immediate response to this call…. What you have sent is just for an emergency responce to Mattru hospital. We are also thinking of helping the churches in Kenema and Moyamba which are still quarantined and isolated. I have also been making appeals for our brethren in Liberia, because since they appealed to us for help, we have not reached them with anything.

We appreciate all what God is doing through you and our donors in North America and Canada.

If you would like to help with the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, contributions can be sent to:

Global Ministries
302 Lake Street
Huntington, IN 46750