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.

Phil and Carol Fiedler and children during their missionary days in the 1970s.

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.

Michael and Merissa Stine, and son Luke.

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 info@ub.org.

Left: Pastor Rod Bittick outside the Pixley UB church. Right: the sanctuary.

On Monday, July 30, Bishop Todd Fetters visited the Pixley United Brethren church in Pixley, Calif. This church, founded in 1883, is now the only United Brethren church in California.

Rod and Melody Bittick have served the Pixley congregation since 1985, and are among the longest-tenured UB pastoral couples at the same church. Both came out of the former Hillsdale UB church in Sacramento, when former bishop Ron Ramsey was the pastor.

Rod graduated from Huntington University in 1976, and from its Graduate School of Christian Ministries in 1977.

Of note: George Weaver, who was bishop 1969-1977, grew up in the Pixley area and became a Christian at the Pixley UB church in 1943.

Bob and Irma Kentie

Bob Kentie, pastor of the Garrison Road UB church in Fort Erie, Ontario, passed away suddenly on Monday night, July 30. Brian Magnus, bishop of the United Brethren Church in Canada, sent this report:

Bob had gone into the Welland Hospital the end of last week and had some abdominal surgery. He was recovering over the weekend and had hoped to go home tomorrow [Tuesday], but instead he slumped over in his hospital bed and couldn’t be resuscitated. I believe he was just 60 years old.

Lynette and I last saw Bob at the visitation for my father on Thursday, June 21. Bob and Irma had driven up to Kitchener, and they were so happy that Irma was slowly improving and was doing better than she had in several years. Bob had been devoting many hours to her care.

Bob Kentie spent many years as a businessman and eventually felt called to the ministry. He served as a youth pastor and senior pastor in Brethren in Christ churches before joining the Garrison Road staff 12 years ago. He started out as youth pastor, and in 2007 became senior pastor. He and Irma have three adult children.

Dwight and Patti Kuntz

Dwight Kuntz, 72, passed away on the evening of Friday, July 27, 2018. He had been hospitalized since July 2, when health problems forced him to return from Jamaica.

Dwight was a United Brethren minister, ordained in 1982, and was a member of Living Grace Community Church (formerly Union Chapel UB church) in Fort Wayne, Ind. Since 2012, he and his wife of 47 years, Patti, had been spending part of the year in Jamaica as UB Global missionaries, serving as liaisons with work teams from North America.

Dwight served in the US Army 1967-1971.

Visitation: 2-4 pm and 6-9 pm Wednesday, August 1, 2018.
Visitation location: D.O. McComb & Sons Pine Valley Park Funeral Home, 1320 East Dupont Road, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Funeral: 10 am Thursday, August 2, 2018. Visitation one hour beforehand.
Funeral location: Emmanuel Community Church, 12222 US Highway 24 West, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Memorials may be made to Patricia Kuntz.

Cards can be sent to:

Patti Kuntz
602 North Camden Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46825

Dwight and Patti Kuntz

Dwight Kuntz passed away late Friday night, July 27, 2018. He was an ordained United Brethren minister, and since 2012, he and his wife, Patti, had been spending part of the year in Jamaica as UB Global missionaries working with short-term teams. That is what he was doing on July 2, when he became very ill and had to be rushed back to Indiana for treatment.

Patti posted the following on Facebook around 11pm on Friday:

“He is with Jesus. We were with him all day, praying, singing, crying, loving. Dwight Kuntz was a good man, he loved Jesus with all his heart, a wonderful husband, loving me unconditionally, an awesome father and Papa, who will be remembered forever.

“I will miss you, Love of my Life. Because of Christ Jesus, we will see you and David again in Glory!”

Pastor Keith Elliott (front, right) and the group from Criders UB church.

Keith Elliott, senior pastor, Criders UB Church (Chambersburg, Pa.)

A group from Crider’s Church recently returned from a short mission trip to Laurel Mission in the mountains outside Harlan, Kent. We have been going to Laurel Mission every other year since 2014. This trip was extra special because we partnered with our sister church, Mt. Olivet UB (Chambersburg).

While at Laurel Mission, we spent two days on a variety of work projects. One group installed a new bathtub in a person’s home. Other groups finished building two porches started by others who had recently been to the mission. We painted a porch for a widow in the community. Some in our group helped sort clothing for the mission’s clothing center. Others painted, pressure washed, and helped in any way they could. While at the worksites, we spent time talking with and praying for the people who lived there.

On Sunday, July 15, we worshiped at Little Laurel Bible Church, took a challenging hike to a local waterfall, and drove to the top of one of the mountains to take in the mountaintops as the sun began to set.

Nathan Boggs, the Director of Laurel Mission, his wife Lindsey, their children, and his mom Debbie work tirelessly to minister to the people of the area. It was truly a blessing to be a part of the work God is doing through Laurel Mission.