The Michindoh Conference held a Mini Missions Conference for Children on June 21. It was led by Troy Hendricks, missionary to Spain, and Pastor Steve Smith of Lakeview UB (Camden, Mich.). It was held at Lakeview.

Rhonda Dilley challenged the children to participate in missions. They made mission-oriented crafts, and learned to play a new game called Soccette, which was likened to needing to learn a new culture. They also assembled nearly 100 shoeboxes to be given out by the Lakeview youth as they conduct a VBS at Laurel Mission. They were served lunch and then were treated to a concert by the 7th Street five-member band that combines rock, folk, and country sounds. The band is from First UB church in Blissfield, Mich.

Doris MacDonald, a longtime UB missionary serving with Wycliffe, collaborated on a Christian CD by singer Sharon Dennis. Doris played keyboard, did background vocals, and helped with some songwriting. The CD can be purchased at www.sharondennis.com.

Jana, Global Ministries staff in Macau, sent these notes on August 15.

  • Last Saturday night, Jennifer Blandin and I went to a singing competition sponsored by the Macau University Christian Fellowship. Eighteen individuals and groups participated, most of them teenagers or young adults. It’s great to see the younger Christian community in Macau growing!
  • This week both churches are holding their Vacation Bible Schools. I visited both on Wednesday afternoon, and it’s great to see our church members growing in their ministry skills and working increasingly independently of missionary involvement.
  • Lamar and Karen Crumbley, former UB missionaries in Honduras, are arriving on August 29 as short-term volunteer missionaries. We’re in the process of moving our guest apartment due to the end of our rental contract at the old one. Pray for God’s timing as we get the new apartment set up for the Crumbleys’ arrival.
  • This week we’re sending follow-up materials to the children who accepted Christ at our Taipa Center this summer. Pray that they’ll use the devotional materials we send and keep in contact with us.

The 2003 VBS on Taipa. Jennifer Blandin is seated on the front left.

Our director of the Macau English Language Program sent these notes on August 2.

“We gave an invitation to accept Jesus into their hearts to our children on Taipa during our last week of English classes and again this week at VBS. Six children responded. Praise the Lord for the work He’s doing in their hearts! Pray for wisdom as we think about how to follow-up on these children, since we don’t have Sunday school or a children’s fellowship here on Taipa yet.

“Jennifer Blandin and I really enjoyed our time in Hong Kong last weekend. The unity among the broader missionary community in Macau is an incredible blessing in our lives.

Dressed for the Taipa VBS.

“Last night Living Word Church had a BBQ at the reservoir. Several of the church members had invited family members or friends to come with them. Praise the Lord for the burden the church members are starting to feel for sharing the gospel.

“This Sunday night [August 3] is our closing VBS program on Taipa. Pray that many of the children and their parents will attend. We’ll be sharing the gospel there, as we want the parents to know what we’ve been teaching their children. These parents don’t send their children to our program because they want them to have Christian training, but because they want their children to practice English with foreigners. Pray that they’ll see the value of the Christian training, too!”

Presenting the van keys to Francisco Raudales, superintendent of Honduras Conference.

A group from King Street UB in Chambersburg, Pa., delivered a new van to Honduras. Ray Ankerbrand reports:

“We arrived late on Tuesday, July 15, a little late since we were held up at the Mexican border. The paperwork was not complete for permanent use, but the van can be used while it is being completed. The bus remains at the Guatemalan border pending completion of the paperwork, but it is just across the border in Honduras. We had a very good trip. One tire blowout on the bus.”

Marshalee Brown reports that she has been granted a work permit, and is headed back to Ethiopia, where she is a missionary with SIM International. She originally went to Ethiopia in January, but had to leave for England a few weeks ago because the government delayed granting a new work permit.

Paul Coy, former missionary in Macau, sent this report from the Philippines, where he has been attending theological seminar. “After my first year of seminary, I went back to American April-June for my summer break. I did an internship at my home church in Huntington, Ind. It was wonderful being back home and serving at my home church. I came back to the Philippines on June 25.

“In July, I started my second year of seminary. The subjects I am taking this semester are: Christian Preaching, Biblical Hermeneutics, Luke-Acts, College Teaching, and Applied Linguistics (TESL). I am excited about this semester. It has been great getting to know the 20 new students studying this semester. We have a couple from India, and several new students from Korea. Jacob Park, a Nazarene pastor in Korea, is staying in my dorm. I have enjoyed the opportunity to get to know him better and help him adjut to life on campus.

“This year I am on the Student Body Organization as Spiritual Enrichment Committee Chairperson. This means I am responsible for the prayer meetings, helping with chapels, and other areas that focus on Spiritual Development. It is a big responsibility that I take with much humility, but I know God is going to do some great things.

“I plan to complete my studies by the end of October 2004. Please continue to pray for my future. I am open to wherever and whatever God wants me to go and do.”
July 15, 2003

Marshalee Brown, a UB from Jamaica, went to Ethiopia in January as a missionary with SIM International. Recently, the government didn’t renew her visa, so she had to leave the country. On June 25 she wrote:

“I have been in England for two and a half weeks…still wondering what I’m doing here. I have been able to visit with family and friends and God has been providing for and taking care of me in every way, but I have not been able to do what so many have suggested, that is, to relax and enjoy it all. I accept the fact that God allowed me to come to England right now, but….

“The latest from Ethiopia is that my work permit situation with the Ministry of Justice should be sorted out soon and I should be back in Ethiopia sometime next month.

“I am able to stay with family and friends while here. I am now visiting with the Indian family I stayed with in Bangalore (India) last year. They have now moved to Cambridge. The program I worked with in Bangalore with girls from slum areas is still going on and two of the girls got baptized.”

Marshalee Brown, a UB from Jamaica, arrived in Ethiopia early in the year to begin serving with SIM International. One June 4, she wrote, “I was told today that I need to leave the country by Saturday. I cannot get a work permit at the moment and we are not sure when I will be able to get one. It might be next week, next month or it might take a couple of months. I do not know and the SIM personnel here do not know as well. This has never happened before.

“There is a project agreement for the Youth Center in Mekelle and the number of people has been approved, which includes me as the English teacher. There have been a lot of changes in the government and in the requirements for work permits over the past few months. I leave for London early Friday morning. Please pray that I will not have to stay in England for very long, that the problems with issuing work permits will be worked out soon.”

Dan and Petie Wust head up Arise & Shine Ministries, which mostly ministers to rural pastors. Dan sent this update on June 4.

“Petie and the kids and I will fly home to the States on June 5. This will be our annual furlough or home assignment trip, where we travel and share in churches about the work of Arise & Shine. We don’t plan this trip each year so that we can have a two-month vacation, although we certainly enjoy seeing our families and friends. We make these trips because today’s missionaries have to spend a lot of energy and time to keep the their income coming in.

“I recently read in our home church denominational Global Ministries Newsletter that in this past year, missions organizations straight across the board have experienced a 15-50 percent decrease in gifts. We are not an exception to this trend. We have been operating on a shoestring budget since the first of the year. This spring the accumulated income of February and March didn’t even cover our expenses for one month.

“We are heading into the summer months with our checking account scrapping the bottom, which makes me feel a little bit uneasy. As you know we are under construction, but have had to once again stop the progress of the construction because the funds have been exhausted. This downturn in general missions giving may only be a reflection of the general insecurity of the population in the States during the time of war. It may be that this second part of the year will record a return to previous giving levels. However, it is more likely that this trend will continue.”