Following is an email John Pessima (right), bishop of Sierra Leone Conference, sent to Global Ministries director Jeff Bleijerveld on Monday, December 8. Jeff had already authorized sending $1000. He told Bishop Pessima, “Please don’t hesitate to make us aware of needs during this time of crisis. Our people have been very responsive and we would like to help.”

I am very grateful to the Lord for what he has been doing through you and your team for Sierra Leone since the Ebola crisis began. To be very honest with you, sometimes I become very shy and find it difficult to continuously make appeals for Sierra Leone. But I am also compelled because things are becoming more difficult by the day. We are suffering as a nation from isolation, quarantine, stigma, threats, hunger, etc., all because of this dreadful disease. Some of our members have lost their jobs because their institutions have closed down.

We have been doing our best to make sure that the hospital and staff at Mattru are secured. Justin Marva and I were there on Tuesday [Dec. 2] to investigate a case at the hospital when we had the first Ebola case. The patient traveled from Gbangbatoke to Moriba Town in Rutile, to Mokabba, and to Luawa Jong. From Luawa she was admitted at the hospital before she passed away on Tuesday. After her result proved positive on Thursday [Dec. 4], part of the hospital and some staff members were quarantined–some at the hospital and others at their homes. The total number of staff quarantined is 14. Five are at the hospital quarters and the rest are at their homes quarantined with their families.

This has worried us so much because there is not much food and other supplies from the government for quarantined homes. Individuals and organizations out here fight it out very hard to get food and other items to their families and staff. This is what we want to do for the staff and the villages involved. Apart from the hospital staff, two of our pastors and their families are quarantined also because they had connection and contact with the deceased. They are Rev. J. S. Savalie and Rev. W. O. Solomon.

I appreciate your immediate response to this call…. What you have sent is just for an emergency responce to Mattru hospital. We are also thinking of helping the churches in Kenema and Moyamba which are still quarantined and isolated. I have also been making appeals for our brethren in Liberia, because since they appealed to us for help, we have not reached them with anything.

We appreciate all what God is doing through you and our donors in North America and Canada.

If you would like to help with the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, contributions can be sent to:

Global Ministries
302 Lake Street
Huntington, IN 46750

Our Mattru Hospital in Sierra Leone has had its first Ebola death. Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries, learned of the situation through an email with Bishop John Pessima and a phone conversation with Dr. Richard Toupin.

The patient came from a village two miles away. It’s not known how that person contracted Ebola, and that is a matter of high concern. The village is now under quarantine.

Also under quarantine are 13 staff at Mattru Hospital. They include one doctor and nine nurses; the rest are administrative or support staff. One of those nurses is the wife of Rev. Bondo, who pastors the Fleming Memorial United Brethren church next to the hospital.

The Bonthe District, where the hospital is located, has been kept largely free from Ebola.

Bishop Pessima will be notifying Jeff Bleijerveld of the hospital’s needs, which will include relief supplies for the persons being quarantined. Jeff says that, thanks to generous donations already made, Global Ministries will be able to respond immediately. Today, December 8, we are sending $1000 to help with the situation.

Members of the Huntington University baseball team are getting ready to spend part of January in Nicaragua, where they will conduct baseball clinics and play against local teams. This will be the third such trip; the others occurred in 2012 and 2014.

Two UB ministers will take part once again: Josh Kesler, pastor of The Well (Huntington, Ind.), and Jeff Dice, associate pastor of Brown Corners UB church (Clare, Mich.).

Do you have any used baseball equipment they could take with them? They’ll use it in the clinics with Nicaraguan kids. If so, contact Jeff Dice by email.

Global Ministries recently launched its own Facebook page. We post late-breaking news and other information there. Already, over 300 people “Like” our page. Go here.

Are you receiving the Global Ministries Prayer Guide? This monthly email provides regular updates on how to pray for our world, international partners, Global Ministries staff, and short-term volunteers. Currently, about 175 people receive it. Subscribe here.

Every year, Global Ministries sponsors trips to our international conferences. Here are the ones currently scheduled for 2015.

January 3-10. Construction trip to Malvern Camp in Jamaica. Cost: $750 per person plus airfare. Team leader: Dwight Kuntz.

February 7–14. Construction trip to Jamaica to work on the new dining hall at Regent College of the Caribbean. Cost: $750 plus airfare. Team leader: Dwight Kuntz.

March 7–14. Ministry trip to Guatemala to work with Global Ministries partnering agency CH Global. Cost: $750 plus airfare.

April 11-25. Construction trip to Sierra Leone to work on Harmonie House at Mattru Hospital. Cost: $2500 per person. (Contingent on the Ebola crisis.)

April. The big annual Women’s Institute in Bo, Sierra Leone. Leader: Donna Hollopeter. Cost: $2500. (Contingent on the Ebola crisis.)

June 19–27. Medical mission trip to Honduras. Team leaders: Robert and Fonda Cassidy. Cost: $750 per person plus airfare.

June 26—July 8. English camp for teens in Poland. Cost: $750 per person plus airfare. The team will work with missionaries Donna and Arek Delik, church planters in Kutno.

July 25—August 1. Construction team to work at the new conference center in Masaya, Nicaragua. Cost: $750 plus airfare.

October 10-24. Construction trip to Sierra Leone to continue remodeling Harmonie House in Mattru. Cost: $2500 per person. (Contingent on the Ebola crisis.)

October 10-17. Construction trip to Jamaica to work on the new dining hall at Regent College of the Caribbean. Cost: $750 plus airfare. Team leader: Dwight Kuntz.

November 11-21. Ministry/vision trip to Macau. Cost: $2500 per person. More information will be presented at the UB National Conference in Michigan in July 2015.

Bishop John Pessima (right) of Sierra Leone Conference reports that the Ebola crisis has crippled the economy and basic food prices have soared. Offerings have been taken locally, and rice has been purchased and distributed among UB churches. But their resources are limited.

Bishop Pessima has traveled regularly among churches to encourage and pray for pastors and members. He is particularly concerned about our nine churches in Liberia whom they have not been able to visit or help.

United Brethren churches and individuals have already generously provided thousands of dollars to help with the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone. However, the crisis is far from over, and may indeed become much worse.

Any continuing gifts you provide for Ebola relief will be passed on without any administrative fees being taken out. You can send donations to:

Global Ministries
302 Lake Street
Huntington, IN 46750

A pallet of food being loaded onto a truck at Cochranton Community Church, for shipment to Sierra Leone.

A pallet of food being loaded onto a truck at Cochranton Community Church, for shipment to Sierra Leone.

Containers at a shipyard.

Containers at a shipyard.

United Brethren pastors Joe Abu (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Michael Mudge (Cumberland, Md.) worked with a cluster of UB churches in Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania to fill a 20-foot container with medical supplies and equipment. The churches secured donations, purchased items, and raised all but $2000 of the $8000 needed to send the shipment. The additional $2000 was provided from generous gifts sent to Global Ministries.

Another container with food items donated by UBs is now on its way to Sierra Leone through the organization Brother’s Brother, and we funded a second container filled with medical supplies for sierra Leone.

Global Ministries learned that the Brother’s Brother was sending a 40-foot container of medical and relief supplies to Sierra Leone (in 2010, Brother’s Brother provided 76 hospital beds to Mattru Hospital). They had room for one pallet of food items and offered it to us, but we had to get the pallet to Pittsburgh within two weeks.

Pastor Steve Clulow and his folks at Cochranton UB church (Cochranton, Pa.) offered to receive all donated food and prepare the pallet. With the help of Dave Staples, a church member who owns a shipping supplies company, they delivered the pallet in time.

A Baptist group paid the $11,000 needed to send that container; other containers were funded by other denominations. We agreed to underwrite the next container, and once again UB donors stepped forward. When Brother’s Brother told us they had the next container packed with nearly $400,000 of medical supplies, we were able to send a check for $11,000 that same day and commit to covering the clearing fees once the container arrived in Freetown.

John Pessima, bishop of Sierra Leone Conference, was contacted by Dr. Ladipoh, a Sierra Leonean who studied medicine in Germany. Dr. Ladipoh is board chairman of the UB church in Berlin, which includes many immigrants from Sierra Leone.

Dr. Ladipah is also vice chairman of Bintumani, an organization in Germany that has provided countless supplies to Mattru Hospital over the years.

He and members of the Berlin United Brethren church sent 14 cartons of Ebola equipment and supplies for the hospital. Everything arrived in early November.

Do you know someone who enjoys working with a small church body, teaching informal classes to build relationships, and has a heart for evangelism and discipleship?

Jen Blandin, part of the Global Ministries staff in Macau, will be on a scheduled home ministry assignment from March–August 2015. We are praying for the right person to substitute for her during all or most of that period. This person will work with the Living Stone UB church in Macau and with another missionary to impact this city of over 500,000 people.

Despite over 200 years of Protestant missions, Macau is still only 1.6% evangelical. Pray with us that the right person will be found for this temporary position, and ask that God will turn the Gambling Capital of the World to Himself!


Earlier this week, a very impressive young couple visited the UB National Office in Huntington, Ind. They are preparing for missionary service in an “undisclosed” (as we say) country on the other side of the world, where they will train church leaders to be more effective in their work. The husband is the son of a former United Brethren pastor. As a staff, we laid hands on them and prayed for them.

We can’t tell you who they are. For security reasons, they don’t want their names or photos appearing anywhere on the internet–websites, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Such is the case with a growing number of missionaries who serve in “restricted access” countries. (Churches–be careful what you post about missionaries you support.)

Global Ministries supports a number of such missionaries, and some are doing fascinating work for the Lord. But, frustratingly, we can’t tell you about them. However, you can still pray for these unnamed persons who minister in potentially hostile situations. God knows who they are.