Although we are one church in rural Ohio, we are able to share in the ministry of God all around the world. We love our missionaries and support them as best as we can. We love to hear about the great things they are doing. Links are provided below to the missionary's website, blog, or Facebook so you can see what is going on in each of their ministries.
UMC General Board of Global Ministries
Brian Vinson serves as the coordinator of church planting in the Lusaka District of Zambia, a part of the South Congo/Zambia Episcopal Area. The church in Zambia is growing rapidly, with the resulting need for new churches and for vital lay and pastoral leadership. Brian takes part in leadership development and coordination of volunteer church construction teams. He also seeks to raise awareness across the church of the UM potential in Zambia and to raise funds to expand its ministries. He works closely with his wife, Tara, also a missionary in the hosting and deployment of mission volunteers. Brian and Tara have four children: Jonathan, Andrew, Lily, and Matthew.
One Challenge International Ministries
Colorado Springs, CO
Steve and Bonnie Aldrich have been serving with OC International since 1973. They are involved in training young leaders and missionaries, particularly by conducting Lifeworkx events throughout the world. Lifeworkx is a self-discovery based experience focusing on how well people know themselves and how well they work with others. Steve and Bonnie have two adult daughters, Amy and Kristin.
Mission Igniter/Foundry Multiplication Network
Lincoln Park, MI
When Josh returned to his home state of Michigan in 2017, he thought he would be planting a new church after helping Journey of Hope Community Church through a transition. However, he has now taken a lead role at the church and has shifted from the idea of planting one church to starting a network of church plants. He and Paul Jones, the chief fundraiser for the network, have established a planting strategy to start micro-churches throughout the region known as Downriver.
Village Community Church
Matt Burden is currently the Director of Worship and Global Ministries at The Village Community Church in German Village. He is also working with Cuba Connection Ministries as a contact/organizer/in-country team leader. Matt’s parents are Tim and Beth, and his siblings are Rachel, David, and Jonathan.
Global Resource Team
Cameron and Anne Gongwer lived in Ghana for fourteen years, where Cam served as a physician at Methodist Faith Healing Hospital and Anne served on the staff of the Reading Town Library. In 2012, the Gongwers joined the Global Resource Team. Cam leads Crosspoint Global Health, an outreach in developing countries that works alongside national churches and medical services for transforming communities into healthier places to live. He and Anne keep in touch with the staff at the hospital and library in Ghana to offer support. Cam and Anne have one adult daughter, Caylor.
Stuart and Jessica Hall minister to the many international students at Michigan State University. The goal of Bridges is to serve, promote social connections, and engage in spiritual conversations with international students so that they become leaders internationally. The Halls have three children, Alaine (Lainey), Benjamin, and Micah.
Stand for Truth
Based in central Ohio
Joel Penton and Ryan Holliday began their ministry with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In 2012, they transitioned out of FCA so that they could broaden their ministry to include more than athletes and coaches. They began a new ministry called Stand for Truth. For a while, they traveled together with Joel speaking and Ryan performing concerts. However, due to the rapid growth of the ministry, it became necessary to form several travel teams and add staff. Although Ryan has now left his full-time position with Stand for Truth to accept a position in his local church, Joel continues his efforts to further expand this ministry. Joel and Bethany have five children: Joel III, Judah, Luther, Vera, and Levi.
Mission Aviation Fellowship
Chad and Andi Irwin have served with MAF since 1999. During their 15 years of living and working in Shell, Ecuador, Chad served as the chief pilot, and Andi worked at the Nate Saint Memorial School where their children attended. During the latter part of their ministry in Ecuador, Chad was instrumental in helping the Ecuador program transition to a nationally run entity. Of course, this meant that eventually Chad and Andi would leave Ecuador to allow the staff there to reach their full potential in leading the ministry. In July 2016, the family relocated in Nampa, Idaho, the site of MAF headquarters, where Chad is involved in recruiting and training new pilots to serve with MAF worldwide. Chad and Andi have two children, Josiah and Olivia.
One Mission Society
Lori has been with One Mission Society since 1999. After serving with her family in the Philippines for nine months and in the Republic of Ireland for two years, she began working at OMS World Headquarters. She served in the Communications Department for 14 years, first in One Mission Kids and then for 10 years as editor. Currently, she serves as a trainer with HOPE61, the human trafficking prevention ministry of One Mission Society. Inspired by Isaiah 61, HOPE61 seeks to prevent human trafficking by providing training to help local churches identify and minister to those vulnerable to becoming involved in the problem. Lori and her husband, Cris, who works for Ely Lilly, have two adult children, Andrea and Ben.
One Mission Society
Scott and Kathy Murphy have served in Spain since 1982. Scott is the international regional director for Europe and Central Asia. They both assist with a church planting effort northwest of Madrid where Kathy is involved in evangelism, leading Bible studies, discipleship, and music ministry.
Cru/Athletes in Action
Amy Bromberg ministers to athletes and coaches from the seven universities in the 937 area code: Wright State U., Wittenberg U., Central State U., Wilberforce U., Wilmington College, Sinclair Community College, and the U. of Dayton. Her mission is to build spiritual movements in every athletic department that will impact the campus, community, and world for Christ. Amy’s husband, Jason, is a teacher in the Springboro Community School District.
Wycliffe Bible Translators
Brian Schwartz went to the Philippines as a missionary in 2008. There he met Beth, and they were married in 2010. Brian and Beth partner in Bible translation serving in support roles: Brian as facilities manager for Faith Academy Mindanao (primarily for children of missionaries) and Beth as finance liaison for the Project Funding Management Team. Brian and Beth have a daughter, Rebecca, and an adult son, Jacob.
Jeff and Shauna Spence began their ministry in Mongolia in 2006, working with a local non-governmental organization doing small-scale development. They were involved in construction, greenhouse projects, developing small businesses, training local church leaders, and working with Operation Christmas Child. They moved to Taiwan in 2017, and Jeff has a new ministry position as the Regional Strategy Coordinator for North Asia. Jeff and Shauna have four children: Kaylee, Ava, Jeffrey, and Alyssa.
West Ohio Conference UMC/Nuru Ya Mapendo
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa
Jane Wise is an Individual Volunteer missionary from The West Ohio Conference serving in the Democratic Republic of Congo. After traveling to Zimbabwe with VIM (Volunteer in Mission) teams in 2006, 2007, and 2009, Jane's husband of 34 years passed away suddenly, and she felt God's call to full-time mission work in Africa. Since 2013, she has served as the Assistant to the District Superintendent of the Kasenga District, as well as working as the director of Nuru Ya Mapendo ("Love's Light"). Nuru Ya Mapendo provides a community resource center, repair and construction of rural churches, crop and animal production training, and malaria prevention and education.