Chris and Nichie Stonall

Congratulations to Nichie Parish on her recent marriage to Chris Stonall. Nichie is from the McCallum UB church in Delton, Mich. She joined the UB Global staff in 2014, and has been serving with Impact Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa. Chris is a native of Johannesburg, and is self-employed there.

Here’s a note from Nichie’s latest prayer letter: “In December, Chris and I will travel to America to celebrate Christmas and our marriage with our family and friends there. While there, I’ll be applying for a new visa that will allow me to stay here in South Africa and continue my work with Impact Africa, and catching up with supporters and churches!”

Brian and Rachel Glunt and children.

We have a new missionary! Madeline Rose Glunt was born August 28, 2018, in Thailand, where her parents and three older siblings are missionaries with UB Global. Six pounds, 7 oz. Proud father Brian writes, “Mom and Maddie are both beautiful and doing great!”

This year’s Thank Offering bulletin insert

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of UB Global

We are preparing for this year’s Thanksgiving Missions Offering, which we are hoping will provide the $50,000 needed to complete the Community Center we are constructing in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Already, our multi-national team has been working to develop friendships in the community by gathering children, youth, and adults into their homes to participant in painting, practice music, and take classes in English and Mandarin. Their ultimate goal is to build rapport and trust so that they can share the gospel and invite them to become followers of Christ.

There is no set procedure for gathering an offering. A missions speaker could be invited, a harvest dinner held, or a program presented. We will be sending bulletin inserts free of charge that can be used to announce the offering the week prior to Thanksgiving. A short video will highlight the project.

We are mailing you an order form for optional Thank Offering envelopes should you wish to include them in your bulletin along with the insert. Please complete the order form and return it to us no later than September 12 for our Canadian churches, and October 16 for those in the United States. You may also email us at jana@ub.org or call toll free at 888-622-3019.

Let us know if there is anything we can do to make this Thanksgiving a meaningful time of celebrating what God is doing to grow His kingdom.


The Datema family (l-r): Callie, Julie, Jill, Culyer, Cathie, and Dave.

Dave and Cathie Datema are endorsed UB missionaries serving with Frontier Ventures in Pasadena, Calif. Dave’s role has changed a couple of time during the past two years. Here is an explanation from their most recent newsletter.

“Dave has been assigned to serve as Facilitator for a newly-appointed Missiology Task Force. This role will extend through April 2019, and Dave will be working with six other people within Frontier Ventures. The purpose of the group is to evaluate the missiological ‘voice’ of Frontier Ventures and make recommendations to leadership about moving it forward.

“‘Missiology’ is just a fancy word for the study of missions. Every mission organization prioritizes certain aspects of missions above others, and we are no different. The landscape of missions is constantly changing, and ideas come and go. This task force was created to analyze and evaluate how we think about missions and how that may need to change. It is also interested in ensuring that our voice as an organization, represented by our various programs and publications, is integrated and aligned. Our organization has been known for being a thought leader in missions, so this task force is an essential part of what we do.”

Other News from the Datema Family

  • Dave recently completed a sabbatical, and has begun a PhD program.
  • Callie, the oldest of the three daughters (19), is building a support team as she prepares for service with ACTS (Antioch Center for Training and Sending). She will spend eight months in Bible training in Colorado Springs, and then be deployed for two years to South Asia, where she will work in an area in the Himalayas that has 266 unreached people groups.
  • Jill (16) recently spent two weeks with a team of youth from her church in a nation in Southeast Asia. She joined local believers in visiting a hospital to pray for the sick, and played with children whose mothers are involved in the sex industry.

For several years, Honduras Conference has been struggling with serious financial issues focused around the Bethel Institute in La Ceiba, a school begun during the 1970s. The school faces a $1.4 million debt.

Last weekend, the conference board voted to proceed with selling the school. On Monday, Superintendent Gonzalo Alas (right) traveled to San Pedro Sula to meet with potential buyers. The buyers will meet with the conference board on August 31.

In addition, the bank had threatened to start foreclosure proceedings last Saturday. However, just in time, the conference secured funds to cover part of the interest on the loan, and the bank backed off from starting foreclosure. However, funds will be needed for upcoming payments. They need about $13,000 to bring payments up to date.

Completing the sale of the Bethel school will take a few months, but the sale will only cover an estimated 70% of the total debt, which includes unpaid salaries, delinquent pension payments, and loans.

Please keep Honduras Conference in your prayers as they wrestle with these daunting issues. Pray especially for our national leader, Rev. Gonzalo Alas, who is seeking to guide the conference out of this situation while continuing to encourage pastors and churches in their local ministries. These financial issues distract from his passion of church planting, and also affects the conference’s ability to support their missionaries, Milton and Erika Pacheco, who are serving in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Hannah Barrett (right) is a new member of the UB Global staff. In less than two weeks, she leaves for Thailand, where she will teach students from many nationalities (including Thai) in an international school in Chiang Rai. Hannah graduated in May 2018 from Huntington University, with a degree in Elementary Education with a TESOL certification.

Chiang Rai International Christian School (CRICS) keeps its tuition very affordable so that locals and missionary children can attend. All teachers raise their support to be there. Hannah has already been to CRICS twice—once on a January Term trip and another for student teaching.

Hannah will serve in Thailand for one year as part of UB Global’s Jump Start program. Jump Start is designed to provide a streamlined process for recent graduates to serve on a United Brethren field for a shorter period (1-2 years) and discern God’s longer-term calling.

We already have an international team of ten persons serving in Chiang Rai. If you are interested in learning more about Hannah’s ministry, getting on her update list, or supporting her, contact us at info@ub.org.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of UB Global

Continue to pray for Nicaragua and our 32 United Brethren churches as the demonstrations and government assaults continue with increasing violence and deaths. In recent days, the Daniel Ortega government has sent police and armed paramilitaries into various communities to conduct “clean ups” of barricades and to quell protestors and demonstrations.

The violence, which began in mid-April just days after Jeff Bleijerveld and Jeff Dice left the country, has now left 370 dead, the vast majority of whom are young protestors. Banks generally remain closed, as do schools, businesses, markets and grocery stores, where shelves and coolers remain empty.

This past Sunday, July 15, Rev. Armando Lopez (right), our national leader in Nicaragua, negotiated the release of more than 40 young people in his town of Niquinohomo, a task generally left to Catholic priests. Evangelicals are finding it difficult to remain neutral and are often criticized for their passivity.

Just this week, we found a way to send the more than $3000 that churches and donors provided to replace the roof of a UB church destroyed by homemade mortars, and to provide packets of basic foods for the most vulnerable.

On Monday, July 2, Dwight Kuntz, UB missionary in Jamaica, was rushed back to Indiana and taken to the Intensive Care Unit of Parkview North Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind. He was diagnosed with pneumonia, dehydration, renal failure, and a toxic virus called Humanmetanumovirus.

He is now doing much better. Dwight’s wife, Patti, reported the following on Sunday, July 8: “It seemed like overnight, everything changed – seemed like it anyway. I was in awe of how quickly Dwight has gone from being at death’s door on Monday night, critical state, to breathing air on his own, moving, talking, eating, and now watching American Pickers on TV.”

A year-and-a-half ago, Dwight was recovering from cancer and renal failure. Patti said, “Because this is the second time his kidneys have failed, he may need to be on dialysis for a few months.”

Please keep Dwight and Patti in your prayers as Dwight continues healing.

Marilyn and Roger Reeck (third and fourth from left) with their four daughters and their families, at the wedding of Amanda and Amila.

Amanda and Amila.

Amanda Reeck was married on May 20 to Amila Jayacody. The wedding was held in Comfort, Texas. Amanda is one of four daughters of Wycliffe missionaries Roger and Marilyn Reeck, who are endorsed missionaries with UB Global living in Honduras. Amila is from Sri Lanka.

Roger and Marilyn recently traveled to Colombia to participate in a workshop for 43 Venezuelan translators from six different Indian groups. Marilyn wrote, “Being with this dedicated group of people was truly a wonderful experience. It is sad to hear of their experiences back home in Venezuela–the lack of food and finances. The group of consultants each took gifts for them–clothing, toiletries, etc. Many said that they had not been able to purchase new clothes in several years. There were so many sad stories. The situation is very serious.”

Roger worked with two different translation groups, and Marilyn held Trauma Healing sessions and assisted in other ways.

Said Marilyn, “Praise God that it came at a time in their lives when the Venezuelans really have many hurts. Over one million people have left Venezuela and migrated to other countries in South America. Besides all the daily difficulties, families are now separated and hurting.”

On June 4, Roger and Marilyn traveled to Guinea Bissau in West Africa. They will be there unti July 7. Roger will check the Sonike and Flupe translations. The Sonike people are a Muslim group.

 

With so much in the national news these days, there has been little said about the violence that continues to plague Nicaragua. At present, the country remains paralyzed following the recent failure of talks negotiated by the Catholic Church between the government of Daniel Ortega and protesters. To date, 83 people have been killed in violent clashes, the vast majority of whom are youth and university students.

In the city of Masaya, where the United Brethren in Christ are headquartered, protests, looting and violence continue day and night. Masaya has symbolic significance to Nicaraguans, as it was here, 40 years ago, that the Sandinista National Liberation Front, launched a fearless and violent uprising against dictator Anastasio Somoza and troops loyal to him, which later plunged the country into a near civil war.

We received an email from the United Brethren national leader, Rev. Armando Lopez (right), who lives in Masaya. He said mortar fire has destroyed the roof of the Aposento Alto UB church and parsonage. Stores have been looted, barricades block traffic, government buildings have been burnt to the ground, and what food is available is extremely expensive. Throughout the country businesses, schools, and factories are on lock down.

Rev. Lopez is asking for our financial assistance so that they can provide food packets for the most needy in their communities and materials to repair the damage at the Aposento Alto Church. He believes they can repair the church and parsonage for about $500. We’re hoping to raise another $1500 to help them provide 100 families with packets of food.

You can send your gift marked “NICARAGUA RELIEF” to:

UB Global
302 Lake Street
Huntington IN 46750