Here are several items from Hong Kong Conference:

  • Arek and Donna Delik, UB missionaries serving in Poland, are currently in Hong Kong for a month. They arrived January 21, and will return to Poland on February 16. Donna is originally from Hong Kong. While there, they will share their mission work in several Hong Kong UB churches.
  • Ms M.F. Ngai, a member of St. Luke’s UB church in Hong Kong, has been accepted by the conference missions committee as a missionary to Macau. Pray that God will help her raise the required expenses and financial support.
  • Bridget Ho, an endorsed UB missionary from Hong Kong Conference, began serving in Sri Lanka last year. She has now transferred to Nepal, and is still working with Operation Mobilization. Please pray for her adaptation as she is moving from a hot country to a cold one.

Kent and Carol Maxwell are currently in their second year at the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology in Jamaica. Kent was previously pastor of New Hope UB church in Huntington, Ind. On December 21, Kent wrote the following:

“We are again faced with making another decision in regard to continuing at the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology for a third year. When we went to CGST in the summer of 2002, it was for only one year when a national was to return to the Graduate School after completing her doctoral studies in California. However, that did not happen. She expects to complete the degree in the summer of 2004; however, she desires to remain in California to complete the internship required to be licensed in the State of California as a psychologist and to get certification from the American Psychological Association.

“Hence, the Graduate School has asked us to return in the fall for another year and longer if we would be available. After next year, it would be to direct the Master of Divinity program. Please be in prayer for us as we struggle with this decision. There certainly is a strong pull to remain and complete the task I began and possibly to help strengthen the M .Div. program later. There is an equally strong pull to return to our home in Huntington where we would be nearer to our children, visit family and friends, and opt for a slower lifestyle. Carol much prefers to remain in the States. We are really serious in requesting your prayers for us in this very great decision.”

Lamar and Karen Crumbley, who had been helping with the Macau English Language Program since September, returned to the States on December 27. Russ and Nellie Birdsall arrived on January 10, and will serve as volunteers in Macau through May. This is their 6th time to Macau.

The ELP hired a new secretary, Tommas, who started working on January 2. His first two months will be on a trial basis.

Paul Coy, former UB missionary in Macau, has finished his third semester at Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary (APNTS) in the Philippines, putting him halfway through his Masters of Divinity degree. He hopes to graduate in April 2005. Paul writes of a great opportunity which recently came his way.

“Halfway through the semester, I had an amazing surprise. It shocked me when Dr. Brent Cobb, Regional Director of the Asia-Pacific Region for the Church of the Nazarene, called me to ask me if I would accept a part-time job working 20 hours a week. This would not have been a surprise if it meant working with teens in one church, but he asked me to accept the position Youth Coordinator for the Asia-Pacific Region. This means I am responsible for facilitating the youth work in 29 countries in the Asia-Pacific Region. Cool part-time job with huge responsibilities, huh?

“The Nazarene church calls its ministry to youth NYI (Nazarene Youth International). I am one of seven regional NYI coordinators in the world for the Church of the Nazarene. I very humbly accepted the position in September, as I felt God’s calling to serve in this position. I now enjoy working at Asia-Pacific Regional office on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.”

Jennifer Blandin, a fulltime UB missionary in Macau, sent the following on November 23.

This year marked the 50th year of car racing in Macau. Where do they race cars in such a small place like Macau? That would be on the streets of Macau! While it brings a lot of visitors from around the world to watch the Formula One motorcycles and Formula Three racing cars, it creates havoc for the locals! Macau’s traffic jams get more jammed in November, but I guess that is part of the tradition!

Jana, her sister Cindy, and I took the opportunity to go to one of the time trials. It was exciting to see the cars speed by and we took lots of digital pictures. But after one hour, my ears said it was time to go! I think I ‘heard’ that experience for the rest of the day!

7-Year Stretch! In baseball, the seventh inning stretch is when you stand up and stretch because you’ve been sitting in those hard seats for so long that you no longer feel your toes. It’s a tradition, but also a warm welcome because you’ve been a faithful fan to sit for that long and cheer on your team.

After a person has lived in Macau for seven years, a foreigner goes from being a “temporary” resident to a “permanent” resident. Somehow the time has snuck up on me–I just received my permanent residency card. Amazing how the time flies! I remember when I first agreed to come to Macau, I thought it would be for just three years. Guess God knew better to bait me and then hook me into seeing that His timeframe for me in Macau was longer than three years. Once again God’s plan are far greater than ours, and for that I’m grateful!

Victories. For the past few months a teenage guy, Ziv (don’t know where he got that English name), has been attending Living Word Church with his friends Edwin and Michael. At the beginning of this month there was an evangelistic meeting that Ziv and Edwin attended. During that meeting, Ziv accepted Christ into his life! We’ve got a new brother in Christ!

Today at Living Water Church was a baptismal service. Ken and Gloria, Maggie, and Fong Fong (a woman) took the public profession of faith. During the service, they each shared their testimony and how God had been working in their lives. Some of their non-Christian friends and family were in attendance and heard what they were saying. What a witness! Each shared about ways that life’s difficulties haven√¢t disappeared, but that now they know that they are not alone! God is right their with them. It was an amazing service!

This Christmas we will hold a Christmas party at the Taipa English Center. We are making final plans and hope it will be a special time with the people we know from our English classes and Bible studies.

Please continue to lift both Jana and I up in your prayers. We are still seeking God√¢s direction as to what direction to take the work here in Macau. There have been additional pressures that have come up as well. I have appreciated the words of encouragement that have been received. They have been a true blessing.

In early January 2004, Russ and Nellie Birdsall will be making their sixth short-term trip to Macau. They will work in the English Language Program, teach Bible studies, do leadership development with the pastors of Macau and Hong Kong, and build relationships with the people of Macau and Taipa.

A video has been prepared featuring Russ and Nellie as they share about their love for Macau and how they want to be used by God during the retirement years. If you are interested in using this video in your church, contact the Global Ministry office at 1-888-622-3019 and we will provide one.

Also if you would like to help the Birdsalls financially in their ministry, you can make out a check to Global Ministries and on the memo line note that this gift is for the Birdsalls ministry in Macau. You can also give online via credit card through Paypal. Those gifts are tax deductible.

June Brown, former missionary to Sierra Leone, underwent quadruple bypass surgery in late September in Harrisburg, Pa. That surgery went very well and she experienced a relatively short recovery period. In early November, June had a lumpectomy to remove a cancerous tumor. The doctor feels that the cancer was self-contained, and while June will be undergoing radiation treatments, the doctors are quite positive about her overall medical condition. If you would like to send cards of greetings and encouragement to her, the address is:

June Brown
2716 Rocky Spring Road
Chambersburg, PA 17201

Our missionary couple in India wanted United Brethren people to be aware of an incident which occurred November 19 in Shadnagar, in the same state where they serve.

“A team of 20 American Christians (8 women) came from Florida to this town to do some Christian work through a small school for elementary school children and to help the women by giving them sewing machines so that could earn their livelihood through tailoring. For this purpose a building was rented.

“The local Christians and their American friends were inaugurating the work in the back yard of their office, with a good number attending. While they were praying, the Hindu fundamentalist party (BJP) group came and shouted that they were converting people to Christianity. The Indian Christians who were hosting these were beaten up. The crowd ran away and the Americans went into the van they came in. Soon police came and the BJP group quickly disappeared.

“The people said that the Americans and Indian Christian groups were trying to help them by donating sewing machines and doing a child literacy program. People also said the visitors only prayed but never asked them to become Christians.

“This incident was shown in our local and state news channels. We cannot believe what happened. The Christians did not officially complain to the police. The police say that they will not act unless they receive a complaint. We think the Christians decided to remain silent as probably they Americans came on tourist visas, which legally complicates the picture.”

Our director of the Macau ELP work sent these notes about the summer in Macau.

During the summer at the Taipa Center, we held six weeks of English classes for children and teens. We helped them with their English conversation skills and also shared Bible Stories with them. Then we had VBS for a week, with the theme “Surfin’ God’s Word.” We were happy to build our relationships with more of the families we’re working with on Taipa.

Linda Neely returned to the States in August after a year of service as a volunteer missionary in Macau. Lamar and Karen Crumbley arrived at the end of August to serve with us until Christmas.

Living Water Church held a water-gun fight and BBQ at the beach in July. It was a great time of fellowship with the church members and some of their friends. We even BBQ’d some eggplant! The after-dinner activities were cut short, though, when a typhoon started blowing in. Everyone made a dash for their cars as the rain and wind started.

Living Word Church held a calmer BBQ in August. Several teenagers who have been attending worship services came to the event. Everyone ate and talked and BBQ’d a variety of meats for several hours.

June Brown, who served some 30 years in Sierra Leone as a missionary, underwent a four-hour quadruple bypass surgery on Wednesday, September 24. It went very well.

June will be in the hospital probably until September 30 or October 1. Here’s the hospital address:

Harrisburg Hospital
111 South Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101

A malignant tumor has also been found; it will be dealt with after the heart surgery.