Sierra Leone Conference is preparing to send teams to investigate starting ministry in The Gambia. Over the years, a number of United Brethren from Sierra Leone have relocated to the Gambie for work, and they have requested help to start churches. Sierra Leone Conference is now acting on that.

The Gambia is a small nation of less than two million people on the coast of West Africa. It is the smallest country on the African continent, extending about 200 miles from the Atlantic coast. The Gambia River runs down the middle of the country, with about 10-15 miles of territory on each side of the river. Except for the coast, Gambia is totally surrounded by the country of Senegal.

One of the smaller ethnic groups is the Krio people, who are descended from the Creole people of Sierra Leone. The are concentrated in the capital city of Banjul, near the coast.

About 95% of the people are Muslims, mostly Sunni. Christians, predominantly Catholic, account for 4% of the people. The evangelical community is very small.

Mattru UB Hospital in Sierra Leone continues to serve the medical and spiritual needs in the Bonthe district of Sierra Leone. Over the last two years, electrical power has been installed through a solar grid, a water packaging plant has contributed to salaries, and Sierra Leonean and American medical staff have worked together to provide compassionate, quality care.

Short-term teams give a helpful boost to the long-term staff, but medical workers with cross-cultural experience who can commit to a year or longer are still needed to train and develop the work at the hospital. Contact us at info@ub.org for more information!

Participants in the dedication service prior to the start of construction. Rev. Kin Keung Yiu, superintendent of Hong Kong Conference, is near the middle in the blue shirt. Missionaries Brian and Rachel Glunt and Milton and Erika Pacheco are on his left.

November 1 was a big day for our missionaries in Thailand–the groundbreaking for the United Brethren Community Center in Chiang Rai. Rev. Kin Keung Yiu, superintendent of Hong Kong Conference, and Rev. Ajarn Adisorn, a pastor in Thailand, joined our missionary team in presiding over a service of dedication and prayer for the safety of the workers. And then, just like that, they got started.

The original building was purchased jointly by Hong Kong Conference and UB Global. The plan was to renovate it into a community center, but there were problematic issues. It was deemed better to just tear it down and build something new. So that is what’s happening.


We now have a United Brethren presence in France.

Numbers vary, but most agree that there are approximately 58,000 Haitians and French of Haitian descent living in France today. The vast majority of these reside in the Greater Paris area.

Pastor Oliam Richard, our current national leader in Haiti, immigrated to France with his family in 1983. He planted the L’Eglise de Dieu Primitive in Alfortville (20 km south of Paris). The church meets in a rented location that seats about 200 people. Nearly 50% of attendees are children or young adults.

For some time, there has been discussion regarding the possibility of receiving this congregation into the fellowship of the United Brethren in Christ. So on the occasion of the church’s 35th anniversary, Jeff Bleijerveld, UB Global Executive Director, joined by Pastor Richard, met with the leadership and congregation to officially welcome them into the United Brethren in Christ.

Over the weekend, the church baptized six young adults (4 men, 2 women), and multiple gatherings took place. During the official anniversary celebration, over 200 people crowded into the building, with another 100 listening from the street outside. Jeff had the opportunity to share with them our UB priorities, namely, Gospel, Unity and Mission.

He was pleased to be introduced to another independent Haitian church in a neighboring town which is also interested in becoming United Brethren. Both churches are looking for ways to engage immigrants, whether Haitian or not, as well as the French citizenry, which consists increasingly of Agnostics or Muslims. They believe there is opportunity to multiply disciples and churches in France.

At this time, France is a mission district of UB Global, with strong relational ties to their sister churches in Haiti.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of UB Global

Hundreds of people have been killed in Nicaragua since April 18 in what has become a popular uprising against the Central American country’s president, Daniel Ortega, and his government.

We invite all our churches to join us in prayer for Nicaragua this coming Sunday, October 14. You can use this Powerpoint slide (1920x1080px).

Below is an update we received at the UB Global office this morning (October 10) from our national leader, Bishop Armando Lopez.

“The situation is still very difficult, as there is no security for anyone, even foreigners. Everything has been deeply politicized, and there is a profound economic crisis at present. The cost of living has increased 70 percent, and fuel by 20 percent. Unemployment shot up to almost 300,000 unemployed. The crisis has driven away tourism, which was one of the major economic drivers. Restaurants and hotels have had to close their doors and lay off employees. Add to this tropical depression Michael that flooded farm fields and neighborhoods. Thousands of victims are in shelters, such as churches or houses, having lost almost everything.

“As a result of these pressures, the crisis is hitting everyone, not simply the poorest, who already live with very little. In addition, there are serious threats from the United States of sanctions against Nicaragua to force the government to negotiate with its citizens. These sanctions would be the withdrawal of international loans that would hit Nicaragua very hard. Pray concerning the lack of food to feed the hungry, and the treatment of the sick. We are concerned for those in Niquinohomo who have been particularly hard hit with health concerns.

“Political persecution remains strong, resulting in thousands of young people migrating to Costa Rica. More than 500 people are being held as political prisoners, accused of terrorism, and tortured by the police and paramilitary forces. Even though the new stories no longer appear in your newspapers or news broadcasts, the protests in the street continue, although not so many people, due to the risk of arrest, torture, and death.

“We as a church remain neutral, praying and counseling our brothers and helping the needy with what we can. We ask that you not give up praying. Nicaragua is not another Cuba, or another Venezuela, and we appreciate all the spiritual help that God provides as a result of your prayers. We will remain in touch. May God bless and keep you.”


Julie Hui (left) and Lai Au Yeung.

Julie Hui and Lai Au Yeung, from United Brethren churches in Hong Kong, have been part of our international team in Thailand since October 2016. Both have now completed their two-year commitments and have returned to Hong Kong.

Julie and Lai were a crucial part of beginning the friendships and ministries around the UB community center in Chiang Rai, and modeling Christ’s love to those around them.

Lai returned to Hong Kong in early June to continue her teaching role in a kindergarden. Julie, who graduated from Huntington University in May 2016, left Thailand in September. However, she will remain involved by overseeing the Thailand ministry for Hong Kong Conference.

Members of the UB Global team are heading across the Atlantic this week.

On Wednesday, Executive Director Jeff Bleijerveld will fly to Paris, France. A congregation of Haitian immigrants on the outskirts of the city is interested in becoming United Brethren. The connection comes through Rev. Oliam Richard, superintendent of our churches in Haiti, who planted this church 20 years ago.

On Thursday, associate director Michelle Harris leaves for a week in Sierra Leone. She’ll meet with our three missionaries at Mattru Hospital—Dr. Jon and Heleen Yoder, and Pamela McKee. Our missionaries work under high pressure all of the time, so spending a few days away from the hospital and talking about the future will be a welcome and valuable time. She will also meet with Abdul, the new business manager who oversees the solar and water projects based at Mattru Hospital.

Missionary Roger Reeck is undergoing a bone fusion operation on his right foot today (October 1). Marilyn says an orthopedic surgeon from Oregon is flying to Honduras with a team to spend a week doing surgeries. She says, “Besides for straightening the foot, potentially it could lead to less pain.”

Roger and Marilyn Reeck (right) are endorsed UB missionaries serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators. They are based in La Ceiba, Honduras, but consult with Wycliffe projects in Africa and Latin America.

Roger returned to Honduras from Brazil on Thursday night, where he worked with the Yaminawa translation team. One of the four persons was from Bolivia and the other three from Brazil. They checked half of Luke, Mark, and Acts during the three week session.

Marilyn returned from Colombia on Friday night. She had travelled to the Colombia/Venezuela border where a training session was held for Venezuelan pastors and their wives and other church workers. There were two groups of 36 people and seven trainers.

Marilyn writes, “There are so many stories of the suffering of the Venezuelan people. Great groups of people are trying to migrate to other South American countries, and a great number of them do not have money to travel by bus. They walk for several weeks. But, in order to get to the adjoining country and beyond, they have to walk over a high mountain pass. They do not have adequate clothing to keep them warm and many have died. They walk for several weeks. Pray that God’s people find ways to set up assistance along the way.”

UPDATE ON TUESDAY FROM MARILYN: “The operation lasted 4 hours but everything turned out great.”

Chris and Nichie Stonall

Congratulations to Nichie Parish on her recent marriage to Chris Stonall. Nichie is from the McCallum UB church in Delton, Mich. She joined the UB Global staff in 2014, and has been serving with Impact Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa. Chris is a native of Johannesburg, and is self-employed there.

Here’s a note from Nichie’s latest prayer letter: “In December, Chris and I will travel to America to celebrate Christmas and our marriage with our family and friends there. While there, I’ll be applying for a new visa that will allow me to stay here in South Africa and continue my work with Impact Africa, and catching up with supporters and churches!”