Steve Fish (right) has joined the UB Global staff as an associate director, as of February 1, 2021. He has served in United Brethren ministry since 1989, and for the past five years has been Teaching Pastor and Director of Missions at Emmanuel Community Church in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Steve is at least a third-generation UB; he recalls hearing that his grandparents were strong supporters of UB missions. He grew up in Temperance, Mich., a few miles from the Ohio line, but the family drove into Ohio to attend the former Emmanuel UB church in the Toledo area.

Steve entered Huntington University in 1985, and as a sophomore chose Bible & Religion as his major. When he attended Challenge ’88, the UB denominational convention in Knoxville, Tenn., he sensed a definite calling to the ministry.

At Huntington, he met Kim Maxwell, daughter of Dr. Kent and Carol Maxwell, who had served several decades in United Brethren ministry. Steve and Kim were married in 1989. That year, Steve joined the staff of Morning Star UB church in Kokomo, Ind., where he worked under the leadership of senior pastor Greg Reed. Over the next 12 years he served in various roles, including singles minister, adult education, missions, and preaching.

In 2001, Steve and Kim relocated to Wilmore, Kent., where he entered Asbury Theological Seminary. He graduated in 2005 with a Master of Divinity degree, was ordained that year by Bishop Paul Hirschy, and in November became senior pastor of Oak Harbor UB church (now Shoreline) in Oak Harbor, Ohio.

In 2010, Steve decided to step away from the ministry for a while. He and Kim moved back to Indiana, where Steve worked in secular employment for four years. In 2012, Kim joined the staff of Emmanuel UB church as a counselor and as Director of Women’s Ministries, and served five years in that role. In 2015, Pastor Dennis Miller invited Steve to also join the staff.

Growing up in the United Brethren church, Steve heard presentations from UB missionaries who were home on furlough or preparing for overseas service. His first overseas trip was to Honduras, while serving at Morning Star. He has now visited Honduras five times. Other overseas missions experience includes visits to Jamaica, Nicaragua, Columbia, Poland, and a preaching tour with Bishop Denis Casco to UB churches in Mexico. Emmanuel Community Church has been active in UB missions, with members Jenaya Bonner serving in Macau and the Glunt family in Thailand.

For the past several years, Steve has been a member of the UB Global board, and has joined members of the UB Global staff in attending the big Missio-Nexus missions conference for three of the past four years.

In February 2020, Steve joined Frank Yang, now the UB Global executive director, in a visit to Thailand to spend time with the Glunt family and see the new Good Soil Community Center. They left just as the country went into lockdown.

Steve and Kim Fish have two children, Alyssa and Johonna. Kim works in private practice with Clarity Counseling LLC, based in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Lamar and Karen Crumbley as missionaries in Honduras.

Rev. Lamar Crumbley, 87, a former UB missionary in Honduras, passed away January 24, 2021, in Canton, Ga.

Visitation: 10:00 – 11:30 am on February 9, 2021.
Funeral: 11:30 am February 9, 2021
Location: Darby Funeral Home, 480 East Main Street, Canton, GA 30114

Lamar and Karen Crumbley became involved with the UB work in Honduras in 1974, leading a series of short-term teams from their Baptist church in Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Fifi and in the years following. Field Superintendent Archie Cameron finally invited them to join the work fulltime. They sold their business and, in 1978, settled in La Ceiba.

The Crumbleys served in Honduras over a 15-year period, and also served a short-term stint in Macau in 2003. Karen passed away April 2, 2019, at age 82.

Angela Vincenti

Angela Vincenti has been hired as administrative assistant in UB Global, the missions arm of the UB churches in the United States and Canada. She started on Monday, January 11.

Angela was born in Michigan, where her family became associated with the United Brethren church in Freeport, then pastored by Rev. Jerry Drummond. In 1984, when she was in second grade, the family moved to Huntington, Ind., so her parents could attend Huntington University. They soon settled into the College Park UB church. She grew up in Huntington and went on to attend Huntington University, graduating in 2000 with a degree in Cross Cultural Ministry.

At HU, Angela met her future husband, Mark. They were married in 1999. In June 2000 they moved to Chambersburg, Pa., where Mark became youth pastor at his home church, King Street UB. They served there for nearly 11 years. During that time, Angela was a children’s minister for about three years. Among other things, she started an after-school ministry which continues.

In 2011, the Vincentis returned to Huntington, where Mark joined the staff of College Park UB church. In October 2019, he left to join the staff of Emmanuel UB church in Fort Wayne.

For five years now, Angela has volunteered with International House in Fort Wayne. She mostly works with Muslim women, building relationships and helping them learn conversational English. It’s a way to put her Cross Cultural Ministry degree to work. And now, she’ll use her degree with UB Global.

Angela and Mark have four children, from kindergarten through 11th grade. With all of them now in school, it seemed like a good time for her to return to the workplace. The UB National Office is delighted to welcome Angela to the team.

Frank Yang has been named Executive Director of UB Global, effective January 1, 2021. The UB Global board unanimously approved him for this position. He has been serving as Acting Director since June 1, 2020.

Frank and his family are members of Emmanuel Community UB church in Fort Wayne, Ind. He joined the UB Global staff in September 2011 as an associate director. His primary responsibilities have included supervising overseas staff, bringing new staff on board, and engaging local churches. He has also led UB short-term teams to Asia.

Frank was born in China, and came to the United States at a young age with his parents, growing up on the east coast. His undergraduate degree was in engineering from Cornell University, and he later earned a Master’s in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College. He worked in financial services in Fort Wayne, Hartford, and Philadelphia.

Frank and Virginia, who was already attending Emmanuel Community Church, met in Fort Wayne and were married in 2004. They served together for four years as missionaries in Asia. Soon after they returned in 2011, Frank was invited to join the UB Global staff.

Frank and Ginny have two young children. Virginia is an adjunct professor at Huntington University, teaching in the TESOL program.

Jana Gass has concluded nearly eight years as administrative assistant of UB Global. She will be greatly missed.

Jana joined the UB Global staff in January 2013. She planned dozens of international trips for UB Global staff and other travelers, sent countless letters and emails to keep people informed about UB missions, helped plan and coordinate aspects of the national conference meetings, and was the welcoming face and voice for guests in the UB Global building.

Jana also played an important role with the UB child sponsorship programs in India. The UB Global staffperson there, Miriam, writes:

“Jana’s efficiency, care, concern, and personal interest will be missed by me especially. She has been such a blessing in the ministry of child sponsorship. I know it was a lot of hard work for her, but she was so very patient in dealing with the last-minute changes and contacting the sponsors. I will always be grateful to her for the very important part she played in this ministry. I regret, she never had the opportunity to see first-hand the impact made by her work so many miles away. Children, touched by this sponsorship project and the differences made in their future, plus the love and concern of the sponsors was an amazing blessing. I will also miss her very welcoming smile in the office. My prayers will be with Jana as she shares her talents where the Lord will place her.”

Being a former missionary, Jana could relate to missionaries at every stage of their service. She and her husband, Herb, sensed God calling them to missions after completing the Perspectives course. In 2005, they and their two children, Alicia and Caleb, went to Papua New Guinea to serve as support workers with New Tribes Missions. While there, Jana worked in various administrative and hospitality positions.

They returned in June 2011, and the family became part of College Park UB church in Huntington. Two years later, the administrative assistant position opened up. She applied and was soon welcomed to the UB Global staff.

Jana accepted a new position with a local bank, and concluded her service with UB Global as of December 1. UB Global is grateful for Jana’s valuable work over these years and her underlying heart for world missions.

Roger and Marilyn Reeck, UB endorsed missionaries serving in Honduras with Wycliffe Bible Translators, have spent much of the year in San Antonio, Texas. Their daughter Amanda is a medical doctor in that city.

On Thanksgiving, the entire Reeck clan–the four daughters, their husbands, and the grandchildren–were all together in San Antonio. Marilyn wrote, “This is the first Thanksgiving together in a long, long time.”

However, Covid made its presence known. A number of them tested positive.

On Thanksgiving Day, Marilyn wrote, “Today, 17 days after Roger first displayed symptoms of Covid, he is doing well now in recovery mode! We are so, so thankful. God is so wonderful! Roger moved back home from Amanda’s house (which had been called the Covid house) yesterday and is so thankful to be home. Christy, her husband, and Amanda are still in the recovery stage but doing well.”

But early in the morning of December 5, Amanda’s husband, Amila, passed away. Marilyn made this announcement on Saturday:

“Our sweet son-in-law Amila Jayakody succumbed to Covid and was transported to glory today at 1 am. After being on oxygen for 2 weeks, he was transferred to a military hospital and further procedures were administered. During the week things worsened each day and the Lord silently took him home.

“Our 17-year-old grandson was at the hospital the moment Amila left this earth. He prayed: “Thank you Jesus for leaving Amila’s celebration in heaven to come to earth and suffer with us here.”

“Our daughter, Amanda, had finally found the love of her life at 35 years old and had two-and-a-half years with her Amila.

“Amila was passionate about Jesus, loved people, had a servant’s heart, and had truly become a son to us. He had strong plans for his future service in mission work.

“Praise God our whole family is here together in San Antonio and that Amanda’s three sisters were able to be with her at the hospital for the last 2 days. There will be a small family funeral in a few days.”

Please keep the Reeck family in your prayers.

Michelle Harris, associate director of UB Global, leads in prayer for the travelers at the airport in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Ruth Rivera (right) with Dr. Richard and Cathy Toupin.

Ruth packing for the six-week trip to Sierra Leone.

Ruth at work at Mattru Hospital.

On October 29, Ruth Esther Rivera Mejia, a dentist from Honduras, and Dr. Richard Toupin and Cathy Toupin left for Sierra Leone. They will serve at Mattru Hospital for six weeks. We are looking forward to what God will do in and through this team.

They worshiped at the UB church in Bo on Sunday morning, November 1, and arrived in Mattru late that afternoon.

Now these servants–surgeon, nurse, and dentist–are at work bringing healing to people through Mattru Hospital.

The Saopin bridge on the east side of La Ceiba.

Hurricane Eta slammed into Honduras on Tuesday, affecting the northern coast where dozens of United Brethren churches are located. Roger and Marilyn Reeck are Wycliffe missionaries in Honduras, and their daughter Christi and her husband, Rigo, are UB endorsed missionaries with Commission to Every Nation. They live in La Ceiba, located on the north coast, but all are currently in San Antonio, Texas, where the Reecks have been since the pandemic began. Marilyn sent this note:

Our daughter, Christy, and her family arrived in San Antonio from Honduras last night. From their house to the International airport, they travel four hours. Predicting the flooding that would take place due to Hurricane Eta, they left home a day early. They drove through several towns along the route that were already flooded from the heavy rains. Praise God they made it to the airport, and the plane did fly.

But, the reports we have received today are of major flooding, landslides, damage, and destruction. The hurricane has now diminished to a tropical storm. La Ceiba, where we have lived for many years, runs east-west with the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other. A section of the bridge we must cross over to get into town on the east side has collapsed. The two bridges leading out of town on the west side are damaged also and deemed unsafe.

There is major flooding, and bridges are out on the whole northern coast of Honduras and part of Nicaragua. This all brings back memories of Hurricane Mitch that happened 22 years ago on the same date.

Please pray that the necessary relief, food, etc. will arrive for the people who have suffered so much already from the strict lockdowns due to the pandemic.

Our plans are to return to Honduras in another three weeks.

Easter Offering Update

We are so thankful for many churches and individuals that, in spite of not having in-person church, gave generously towards the generator fund for the Easter offering. The generator will contribute to the longevity of the hospital solar grid and increase income from community sales that go to pay hospital salaries. Thank you!

Posted by UB Global on Monday, August 24, 2020

The Easter Offering raised $17,100, which will go toward buying and installing a generator at Mattru Hospital in Sierra Leone. Here is more from David Kline, associate director of UB Global. This will greatly increase the efficiency and lifespan of the solar power grid.

Since installing this grid, the level of care has changed at the hospital. They now have the ability to depend on oxygen machines that sustain life. Care is much easier when lights are on while preforming medical procedures. And in the sweltering African heat, air conditioning in the operating room provides a cleaner, more controlled environment for both the patient and surgeon.

Above is a thank-you message from David Kline, associate director of UB Global.

June Brown (left) and Eleanore Datema at a US National Conference meeting.

Eleanore Datema
Former UB missionary June Brown passed away on June 4, 2020.

I didn’t meet June Brown until 1957, the year Jerry and I began our work in Sierra Leone. She lived in Mattru and we lived in Bumpe, and in those days missionaries didn’t travel much. Later, she moved to Bumpe to teach in Bumpe High School, where I got to know her better.

When I think of June, I’m reminded of Paul’s letter to the church at Thessalonica, where he said in verse 1:3, “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Faith. She had faith in God, which resulted in obedience to his call to serve in Sierra Leone. She had faith he would empower her to do that work and that he would be with her in every situation.

Love. Her labor was prompted by love—for Jesus, for her fellow missionaries, and for her African students and friends. It was a love that mentored, taught, and gave of her time and gifts to fill needs. It was a love that caused her to patiently pull stingers out of the students’ heads when the bee honey melted and made them mad.

Hope. Her endurance and faithfulness was inspired by hope in the Lord. Hope that her students would find Jesus as Savior. Hope that they would follow their dreams and reach their goals—and pass their exams! Hope that her life and words would show Christ’s love, care, and joy to others.

1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us that these three great virtues remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love…and June Brown certainly loved the Sierra Leoneans!