L-r: Julie Hui, Brian and Rachel Glunt, and Milton and Erika Pacheco.

L-r: Julie Hui, Brian and Rachel Glunt, and Milton and Erika Pacheco.

Frank Y, Associate Director of Global Ministries (right)

The Global Ministries church planting initiative in Thailand is the largest United Brethren missions venture since Macau in 1987. It is a multinational effort, with people coming from four different countries. A family of five recently arrived in Thailand, and five other missionaries will soon join them. Here is an update on what is happening now, and what lies ahead. Several missionaries are still raising support, so at the end you’ll find opportunities to come alongside them.

Our Team Members
Brian and Rachel Glunt, along with their three children, arrived in Thailand on August 9. They are from Emmanuel UB church in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Glunts are getting settled in, taking care of such things as locating a home, finding a vehicle for a family of five, getting their kids into school, opening a bank account, etc. For now, they are living in a condo hotel, kind of like an extended stay hotel.

Julie Hui and Lai Au Yeung (right), from Hong Kong Conference, will join the Glunts in October. They are being fully supported by Hong Kong Conference.

Erika and Milton Pacheco, from Honduras, will likely join the team in early 2017. They continue to raise their support. Since it will be difficult for Honduras Conference to fully support them, the Pachecos will come to the United States this fall to develop partnerships with United Brethren here.

That brings us to the latest addition to the team, Paula. Since she comes from a sensitive country, we can’t publish her picture or give details about her via any internet media. However, we are very excited by what she brings to the team.

Our Newest Team Member
Paula attended a top-tier university in her country, and became a Christian when a friend took her to a house church. Since then, she has been fervent in sharing her faith. During one 40-day stretch, she set a goal of sharing the Gospel with one new person each day. She also shared with every member of the company where she worked.

We became aware of her in a roundabout away. She was helping another mission organization by serving as translator for short-term mission trips (her English is excellent). I was told about her by a member of one of those teams. When she came to the States earlier this year to visit friends, I met with her.

Though she held a good, secure job in a major city, Paula was brokenhearted for the unreached peoples around the world. From our first conversation, she mentioned going to unreached people groups and working among the nations. This impressed me, because I haven’t met many people from her country who talk about unreached people groups.

Over the course of several months, we got better acquainted. Finally, this summer, the Global Ministries team had the chance to formally interview Paula and accepted her to join the Thailand team.

We hope she can join the team in Thailand during the first quarter of 2017. It all depends on how quickly she can raise support. Coming from a small house church and a nonChristian family background, she has a limited base of support. We are bringing her to the United States in November 2016 so she can spend a couple months developing partnerships with United Brethren individuals and churches.

Getting Started
During this first year, the entire team will focus on learning the Thai language and culture. Down the road, Thai will be the common language for the team.

We took about ten research trips into the area to see how the UB work could fit into what God was already doing. We developed relationships with local pastors and missionaries, who are willing to help the Glunts and the rest of our team get oriented. A key contact is a missionary from Singapore—yet another country we can add to our international mix.

In 2015, we purchased a building in Chiang Rai which will become our ministry center. We hope to thoroughly renovate the building during the next year; Hong Kong and Global Ministries (the US and Canada) will split the cost.

Among other things, we will teach English and Mandarin Chinese. Learning Chinese is very popular in Thailand. Many Chinese tourists come to Thailand, and China is increasing its trade with Southeast Asia. A highway between China and Bangkok cuts through Chiang Rai, and there is talk of a high-speed train from China to Thailand. If you know English and/or Chinese, you have excellent job prospects. This is especially true in Northern Thailand. In Chiang Rai, all major street signs have Chinese, English, and Thai on them.

The Glunts signed up for a program to learn the Thai language and culture. Julie Hui and Lai Au Yeung will attend at the same time. The Pachecos and Paula will start the program in 2017.

The two older Glunt children are attending an international Christian school. The youngest child will attend a local kindergarten that is taught partly in Thai and partly in English.

FYI: Bryan and Emily Gerlach, whom we sent to Thailand in September 2013 as the first members of the Thailand team, completed their first term and chose to work with a local church through another ministry in a different Thai city. They are now listed as United Brethren endorsed missionaries.

From Everywhere to Everywhere
The global church today is literally Christians from everywhere going everywhere. I love that our Thailand team encapsulates what God is doing in our world.

This summer, I attended a Lausanne Conference in Indonesia. I met an ethnic Korean who grew up in China and holds a Chinese passport, and now works in Turkey and reaches out to Muslims. There are many such stories. Brazil is sending out massive numbers of missionaries. So is Africa. A majority of today’s missionaries are being sent out from non-Western countries.

Our Thailand team is a reflection of the global church today—the first time that all of God’s people, from everywhere, can work together. Missionaries from the United States, Hong Kong, Honduras, and another country working together to reach ethnic Thais in Thailand.

Partnership Opportunities
The Pachecos will be in the United States September 15 to November 23, living in the UB mission house in Huntington and visiting UB churches. They are already booked up on weekends, but are available for any weekday events or groups at your church. Milton and Erika have a unique Latin American perspective about what God is doing in Honduras. They are also very musical; in fact, they’ll be leading worship during some of their Sunday visits.

Paula will be in the States from November to January, and is also available to meet with local churches. She can tell you exciting things about what God is doing in her country.

The Pachecos and Paula need additional financial and prayer supporters, and are available to meet with local churches. If you are interested in hosting any of them, please contact the Global Ministries office. You can contact Jana Gass, our administrative assistant, at jana@ub.org. Or call toll-free: 888-622-3019.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

Imagine what it would be like if you shared your doctor with 400,000 other people. That’s the situation in Sierra Leone today where just 17 medical doctors serve a population of more than 7 million. Prior to the outbreak of Ebola the ratio was 250,000:1, but many doctors died fighting this deadly infection.

The United Brethren in Christ established a hospital in the town of Mattru Jong nearly seventy years ago. Originally missionary doctors and nurses staffed the hospital and it was slowly being handed over to local administrators and physicians when civil war broke out in 1991. When it reopened 11 years later, it was but a pale reflection of the regional health center it had once been and has struggled since that time to gain momentum.

At the request of the Sierra Leone National Conference, Global Ministries is seeking to recruit a team of missionaries to serve for six to eight years training and mentoring hospital staff. We’re recruiting general practitioners, surgeons, pediatricians, OB specialists along with individuals with administration and engineering experience.

If you, or someone you know, might be interested, contact us by email or by using this online form.

Global Ministries is excited to announce two new family units approved for missionary service! We can’t post their full names here, because they serve in countries which are closed to missionary work. However, you can contact the Global Ministries office about them.

  • Harrison, from a United Brethren church in Indiana, will depart in August to teach in the Middle East.
  • Another couple has been serving in a closed Asian country, and will return to their field in early 2017.

In addition, a young woman on staff with Global Ministries who has been teaching in a closed country for several years will be in the States during July and August of 2016. She is available to share with groups and churches about what God is doing on the other side of the world.

Finally, get Milton and Erika Pacheco on your schedule while you can. They are fellow UBs from Honduras Conference who will be a part of the international United Brethren team in Thailand. They’ll be in the United States during the late summer and fall of 2016.

If you are interested in having any of these persons share their vision with your mission team or congregation, or if you’d like more information, contact Global Ministries at info@ub.org.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

On July 1, Michelle Harris will join the Global Ministries staff as one of the three associate directors (alongside Frank Y and David Kline). She brings over 25 years of cross-cultural experience in mentoring, training, and teaching in a variety of settings. Michelle will work with our short-term missions program, oversee some of our staff serving abroad, be a great resource to those seeking to work with refugees and immigrants, and use her gifts in writing.

In 2012, Michelle and her family moved to Fort Wayne, Ind., after serving 1994-2012 with InterVarsity Link in Europe and Africa. During those years, they lived a year in Paris, 11 years in the African nation of Gabon, and the last seven years in Nice, France. Michelle has been a teacher in an international school, a student minister, and a team leader. Since relocating to Fort Wayne, she has coordinated low-cost translation services at the Reclamation Project, which works in 18 languages.

Michelle graduated from Ball State University in 1990 with a degree in Education, and this summer will complete a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Ashland University in Indiana. Her husband, Scott, is an InterVarsity campus minister working with international students in Fort Wayne. They have two children, Justin and Anna. Michelle serves with the women’s ministry at Emmanuel Community Church in Fort Wayne.

Michelle is passionate about the beauty of the international church and the ways we can learn from and serve one another. She loves to write and read. She is excited about this next chapter with Global Ministries.

Julie Hui with Luke and Audrey Fetters.

Julie Hui with Luke and Audrey Fetters.

The hooding ceremony.

The hooding ceremony.

Julie Hui participated in Commencement exercises at Huntington University on Saturday, May 14. She received the Master of Education in TESOL Education. Julie, from our UB churches in Hong Kong, will soon join our international missionary team in Thailand.

hongkongconf2016-1000

The seven United Brethren churches in Hong Kong held a joint service for their 37th annual mission conference on Sunday, May 15. Frank Y, associate director of Global Ministries, was able to attend. He is in Asia to visit UBs in Hong Kong, Macau, and China.

L-r: Tony, Julie Hui, David Kline, Frank Y, and Jeff Bleijerveld.

L-r: Tony, Julie Hui, David Kline, Frank Y, and Jeff Bleijerveld.

On May 12, members of the Global Ministries staff—Jeff Bleijerveld, David Kline, and Frank Y–had lunch with Julie Hui and her brother Tony. Julie completed her MA degree in TESOL in December 2015 and will participate in graduation ceremonies at Huntington University on Saturday, May 14. Julie is one of two people from Hong Kong joining our multinational team of UB workers in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Julie’s brother Tony had never traveled outside of Hong Kong or China. He commented that the town of Huntington reminded him of Main Street USA at Disneyland Hong Kong. He was also taken to the famous Nick’s Kitchen in downtown Huntington and introduced to pork tenderloin sandwiches, a local staple.

T&M2
Providing ministry training to village pastors in West Africa presents a variety of challenges. First, many village pastors are unable to leave their families and communities to attend a Bible institute in a large city for a long period of time. Neither do they have the funds to pay for tuition and books. And if they do leave their village and live in the city with their family for a period of years, they may not be willing to return to their small village.

Train and Multiply (T&M) provides on-the-job training for pastors and church members so they can share the Good News, make disciples, and multiply new churches. T&M is not just training for ministry; it is training in ministry. Train and Multiply uses simple, low-cost, and effective New Testament methods to train church leaders.

While T&M is relatively inexpensive to use, training the initial trainers requires that they participate in a training event in the United States. Global Ministries is working in partnership with our United Brethren in Sierra Leone and Liberia to bring a representative from each country to Greenwood, Ind., August 25-27, 2016.

In order to bring two participants from West Africa, we will need to raise $4500. This will pay for their tourist visas, airfare, lodging, and registration fees.

If you’d like to contribute to this project, direct your gift to: TRAIN & MULTIPLY. Send to:

Global Ministries
302 Lake Street
Huntington, Ind. 46750

Honduras Conference, with 115 churches, was instrumental in forming our national conference in Nicaragua and in the development of a mission district in El Salvador. However, they have never sent missionaries to another continent – until now.

Milton and Erika Pacheco (right) are being sent to Chiang Rai, Thailand. There, they will join a multinational team of United Brethren missionaries from Hong Kong and the United States. Over the past year and a half, the Pachecos have been studying English while completing missions studies online. Most recently, they have been raising support among the Honduran churches, finishing up Milton’s work with Habitat for Humanity, and selling their home.

Global Ministries hopes to bring the Pachecos to the United States by early July to begin three to four months of raising additional support to complement what they have raised in their homeland.

During their time in the United States, Global Ministries staff will travel with the Pachecos to meet those interested in becoming supporters. A number of churches and individuals have already indicated their interest in supporting this couple. If you or your church would like to know more about supporting them or arrange for a visit, contact us at info@ubglobal.org.

Donna and Jason Hollopeter traveling for Global Ministries in Southeast Asia.

Donna and Jason Hollopeter traveling for Global Ministries in Southeast Asia.

Donna with the Global Ministries staff giving a Chinese New Year's greeting for the Macau staff.

Donna with the Global Ministries staff giving a Chinese New Year’s greeting for the Macau staff.

Donna Hollopeter having fun with children in Sierra Leone.

Donna Hollopeter having fun with children in Sierra Leone.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

Donna Hollopeter has faithfully and tirelessly served the United Brethren Church since 1993. During that time she has led the Women’s Missionary Fellowship, coordinated and participated on many short-term mission trips, spoken in numerous UB churches across North America, traveled to all of our mission fields (usually multiple times), and participated in a variety of projects and campaigns. She has served well and has been very much valued and appreciated.

As Donna retires from Global Ministries, we encourage you to join us in thanking Donna for her 22 years of service to the United Brethren church, and more specifically, to the work of UB missions. Donna was hired as associate director of Global Ministries in 1993, and sometime during those years—perhaps several times—she probably spoke in your church. She has been known as an enthusiastic speaker. At the national office, we have appreciated her as a creative, quick-witted person who was fun to be around.

For many of those 22 years, Donna was also a pastor’s wife. Her husband, Jason, was pastor of the UB church in Corunna, Ind., before retiring in 2010. He accompanied her on many short-term trips. They have three daughters scattered between Colorado, Michigan, and Indianapolis, Ind.

We invite your prayers for Donna during this transition in her own life, and for Global Ministries as we look for a new associate director to meet our changing needs.