United Methodist missionaries need our support to heal a broken world

April 21, 2016
Ardell and Gordon Graner visit and greet the people of Fridley United Methodist Church, which supports their ministry.

United Methodists in Minnesota have traditionally given strong financial support for worldwide mission projects and personnel through the payment of apportionments (“a portion meant for others”). These funds have supported thousands of churches, schools, clinics, agricultural programs, historically black colleges, student scholarships, and more. But we don’t stop there.  We go the second mile, as commanded by Jesus, giving to dozens of special projects (called “Advance” projects).

In addition, we support more than a dozen missionaries who are serving from Africa to Vietnam and healing a broken world in the name of Jesus. Last year was a banner year, as our support for them reached nearly $90,000. Here’s a look at the missionaries we support and what they’re doing:

  • Mozart Adevu is Africa regional coordinator for the Sustainable Agriculture and Development Program for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
  • Alex Awad & Brenda Awad are faculty members of Bethlehem Bible College in Israel.
  • B. Barte & E. Barte coordinate micro-loans and vocational training in Laos.
  • Daniel Gabler & Rachel Gabler coordinate aviation ministries in Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Ardell Graner & Gordon Graner work in Christian education in the Dominican Republic.
  • Delbert Groves & Sandy Groves teach at the New Life Center in Kitwe, Zambia.
  • Miguel Mairena and Nan McCurdy work as mission advocates in the United Methodist Church’s Western Jurisdiction.
  • Quyoh-Hoa Nguyen trains lay leaders in Southeast Asia.
  • R. Stephen Newnum is pastor of the Methodist Church in the town of Terra Rica (meaning Rich Earth), Brazil.
  • Koni Purscell is a church and community worker in southwest Virginia.
  • Karen Vo To & Ut To are mission coordinators in Vietnam.
  • Paul Webster is director of Mujila Falls Agriculture Centre in Kanyama, Zambia.
  • Mary Zigbuo is a support development coach for other United Methodist missionaries. However, in late 2014, she was temporarily assigned to Liberia to assist with the United Methodist response to the Ebola crisis.
All of our missionaries rely on us to provide financial support for their ministries and salaries.  Without us they simply would not be able to do what they do. A covenant relationship can be established through the General Board of Global Ministries. Through such a relationship, a church agrees to provide financial support to the missionary; additionally, the missionary and sponsoring church agree to support one another in prayer and communicate regularly. Missionaries typically visit supporting churches once every few years. Contact me (via email or by calling 612-230-6129) for itineration schedules and guidelines for hosting. 

Information about all 600 of our United Methodist missionaries can be found here. If you don’t already support a missionary, pick one out and contact them. They would love to hear from you! And if you are interested in becoming one yourself, go here.

Rev. Lyndy Zabel is director of missional impact for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. 

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

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(612) 870-0058