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.

Roger Reeck, a UB missionary with Wycliffe in Honduras, is in Dallas undergoing tests for some health problems which have plagued him for some time. “Things are looking a little more hopeful than we thought at first,” says Marilyn Reeck, “but he still needs to undergo a few more tests.”

A bronchoscopy was to be done on Wednesday. “Our prayer is that through that test, they will see exactly what is behind the mass.”

Luanne Brooks, UB missionary in Haiti with OMS International, sent this note on September 23:

“My heart is very heavy this morning. I have a very good friend here named Delores Pudwell. Delores and her husband, Brunell, have become like parents to me. She is in her early 70s. She and her husband have been independent missionaries to Haiti for many, many years.

“Over the past few months, Delores has been having stomach problems and losing a lot of weight. Last week the Pudwells flew to the US for tests to see why Delores has been so sick. Brunell called me this morning and told me they will not be back for a while. They are flying to North Dakota (their home) this week, where Delores will undergo surgery and further treatment. In the tests this week they found that Delores has a malignant lesion in her stomach. Please pray with me that our God, the great physician, will touch this sainted child of his.”

Missionary Roger Reeck is currently in the States undergoing tests for what may be cancer. He flew to Dallas to see specialists on September 20. Marilyn was scheduled to fly up later. Daughters Amanda and Teresa live in the Dallas area.

Marilyn writes, “About six weeks ago Roger came down with a virus that was going around. He couldn’t seem to shake it and was feeling not up to par. The middle of August he took a trip to Guatemala and had a hard time driving the 14 hours back home. He went to see a doctor who, after running preliminary tests, decided that he had a recurrence of the virus. He was still feeling poorly with strong headaches, weakness and low grade fevers, so he went to another doctor who recommended several tests.

One of the tests was a CAT scan, which they did a week ago. The results showed that he has a problem area in the lungs. Dr. McKinney (a thoracic surgeon and part of the mission hospital where our daughter Christy works) read the tests and concurred that it needs immediate attention. He suggested that Roger leave for the US immediately.

On Monday, September 15, Roger contacted a doctor at the Wycliffe clinic in Dallas. He set up an appointment with a pulmonary specialist for September 22 in Dallas. He will see the specialist, who will schedule him for another CAT scan and then for an endoscopy and biopsy. At the moment things do not look good, but we believe in the God of miracles and are very hopeful for a good outcome.

“We praise the Lord that this was discovered quickly and that necessary medical attention has been set up for Roger so quickly in Dallas.”

Jana sent these items from Macau on September 21.

  • “Last night one of our ELP students went forward during the invitation at an all-city evangelistic meeting. His name is Michael. He’s in his 30’s and works in the police department. A Christian friend of his from another church has been witnessing to him. Pray that he’ll take his commitment seriously and mature as a Christian.
  • “We started an English class for 1st through 3rd graders on Saturday afternoons. Nine children come each week. We do some English activities, have a Bible story and songs, and help them with their English homework. They’ve been very attentive during the Bible story time each week. Pray that they’ll develop a solid Biblical foundation through the time they spend with us.
  • “We’re accepting applications now for a new ELP secretary. Michael, our former secretary, will not be able to work for us at all anymore, although he hopes to stay involved in ministry on Taipa. Pray that God will bring the right person to work with us.
  • “Because ELP enrollment is so low, I don’t have as many classes as I anticipated. I’ve been in contact with a Christian Dean of Students at Pui Va High School, a school on Taipa that I taught at a few years ago. She’s in the process of looking at the possibility of setting up a study group for a few of their seniors here at our center. Pray for God’s leading in this opportunity. This is a Communist background school, but there are around six Christian teachers teaching there this year. God is working at that school!
  • “Pray for wisdom as we look at what changes we might need to make in the ELP or our entire approach to ministry on Taipa over the next several months. I’m feeling overwhelmed and somewhat discouraged by all of it right now. Pray that we’ll be sensitive to God’s leading during this time of re-evaluation. Continue to pray, too, that God will provide a pastor to serve with us at the Taipa Center. We feel this need more and more keenly as time goes on.”

June Brown, former missionary to Sierra Leone, will undergo quadruple bypass surgery on Wednesday, September 24. The need for heart surgery was discovered at the same time she was diagnosed with a malignant tumor. The malignancy will be dealt with after the heart surgery. June is from the King Street UB church in Chambersburg, Pa.