Report to the 2017 US National Conference
Report to the 2017 US National Conference
Director of UB Global
The outline of the following report focuses on our four mission principles, which are also used to guide our 20/20 Vision efforts.
In order to expand our efforts in strengthening the mission efforts of local churches while expanding our impact abroad, we’ve grown our administrative UB Global team from three to five over the last six years.
In 2011, Frank Yang joined the team. Frank was born in China and immigrated to the US with his family when he was seven years old. He and his wife served for four years in China before joining UB Global. Frank brings strong mentoring, coaching, and analytical skills to the team.
In 2014, Jana Gass joined as our administrative assistant, bringing with her insight she gained serving with her husband in Papua New Guinea for seven years.
In 2015, David Kline joined the team after he and his family returned from ten years of ministry in Macau. David brings creative, strategic thinking with outstanding mentoring and networking skills.
With the retirement of Donna Hollopeter following 22 years of faithful, diligent service, Michelle Harris joined in 2016. Michelle brings more than 25 years of cross-cultural experience in mentoring, training, and teaching in France and Gabon. She is also a professional writer.
While we increased the size of our team, donations to our General Fund have decreased. In order to more accurately identify the people and ministries that are supported with these funds, we changed the name of our General Fund to “UB Global Team.” Churches should note that while the partnership fees they contribute to the denominational office support the UB Global director’s salary, all other administrative staff salaries and their ministry expenses are supported solely through the gifts given in support of the UB Global Team (General Fund).
Members of the UB Global Team continue to disciple and mentor those considering missionary service. Over the past two years, our team has been involved in eight mentoring relationships with individuals and families. Four of these are now serving overseas.
Consultation with Pastors and Mission Teams
The primary objective of UB Global is to assist local churches and their members in their mission efforts. With an expanded team, we have been able to spend more time with pastors and church missions teams listening to their ideas and concerns, and helping them maximize the impact of their efforts. We continue to urge the development of local church missions leadership teams that consist of men, women and youth, and would love to meet with them.
UB Global seeks to come alongside local churches to help them identify their Missional DNA—strengths, resources, passions, context, and previous experience in missions. During the past two years, we worked with the following churches in developing their mission strategies: Eagle Quest (Columbia City, Ind.), Countryside UB (Breckenridge, Mich.), Salem Chapel (Junction City, Ohio), Monroe UB (Monroe, Ind.), and First UB (New Castle, Pa.).
UB Global initiated a series of prayer emphases involving individuals, clusters, and large gatherings. We’re seeking to raise up at least 1,000 new prayer partners and establish 20 prayer clusters. Two clusters have already begun meeting regularly.
We currently have 286 subscribers to our monthly Prayer Guide, and 41 who receive our bi-monthly Prayer Calendar. We’re also working with the denomination to create a link to UB Neighborhood and Nations prayer requests via the PrayerMate© app, available on iOS and Android devices.
We developed opportunities for local churches to be engaged in relationally-driven short-term mission trips which emphasize mutual design and collaboration with their partners.
Future short-term trips will include Thailand and closed countries.
IGNITE is a one-day missions conference that informs, inspires, and helps participants integrate missional principles into their outreach efforts in their neighborhoods and nations. The day includes worship, updates, and a variety of workshops covering topics relevant to ministry in the attendee’s current context.
So far, we have conducted two such events:
The next events will take place in Indiana (October 28, 2017) and in Ontario (April 14, 2018). Look for more gatherings near you in the coming years.
We developed tools to focus prayer, educate in missions, and promote UB Global efforts.
We recruited, provided orientation, trained, and then sent new missionaries:
To the Mattru UBC Hospital in Sierra Leone:
To other locations
UB Global continues to partner with our national conferences and mission districts, with organizations that share our vision and values, and with foundations and institutions that help us advance our mission.
Members of the UB Global Team collaborated in creating a local church ministry network in Northeast Indiana, and developed a local church TESOL training that is available for UB churches interested in serving immigrants, refugees, and migrant peoples.
We are providing limited funding to our national church partners in Central America to participate in the training events needed so that leaders can implement a local church-based leadership training program known as BILD in the national conference or mission district. Over an 18-month period, 26 participated and completed the training, which is now being implemented locally.
As of April 2017, our team of seven missionaries from Hong Kong, China, Honduras, and the United States were assembled in Chiang Rai, Thailand, to launch our new church planting effort among majority Buddhist Thai peoples. It was nearly 20 years ago that our first church planting efforts began among the mountain Akha peoples living along the border of Myanmar, and where today we have two churches with some 400 believers. While many organizations, like us, have found success among the minority animistic peoples of the mountains, UB Global and our UB partners in Hong Kong set our sights on the Thai Buddhist people among whom only one-half of one percent know Christ as Lord and Savior.
A property was purchased in a growing middle class neighborhood, and the building was demolished in order to make way for a three-story multi-use community center. The team will build relationships and establish trust in the community by teaching and tutoring Chinese, English, Spanish and music, and offering other general interest activities. Our goal is to make disciples and plant indigenous churches.
We participated in the efforts of the Sierra Leone Conference to reach the Vai people of southwestern Sierra Leone. UB Global provided funding for transportation and some construction costs so that they could plant a new church and open one school among the 250,000 Sunni Muslims that reside in this region. Numerous United Brethren members also moved into the region to form the critical mass and conduct the evangelistic efforts needed to begin this new ministry.
It is my honor to serve the Church of the United Brethren in Christ as the Executive Director of UB Global. I’m grateful for the support and participation of our churches and for the privilege of working with such excellent team members here in Huntington and around the world.