Kentucky has a connection with several missionaries all over the world. Listed below are just a few. To find out more about them and how you can help them in doing God's work follow their links. Download the Criteria for Submission of Mission Ministries for consideration to be included on the Pathways to Missions web page.
After ten years of medical missionary service in Maua Methodist Hospital in Kenya and fourteen years at Red Bird Clinic in Beverly, Kentucky, these two United Methodist family physicians have felt God’s call to serve as cross-cultural witnesses for Jesus Christ in the new country of South Sudan. They opened a Mission Society field in South Sudan in 2012, where they partner with the East Africa Conference of the United Methodist Church. They teach a Community Health Evangelism program in South Sudan, which has one of the poorest health care situations in the world. Their vision is to help train Sudanese community health workers to educate villagers in basic health practices. Lynn and Sharon expect these village health workers to pass on life-saving skills for many years to come. In relationship built through Community Health Evangelism, the Foglemans seek to make disciples of Jesus who will, in turn, become disciple-makers. Lynn and Sharon have three grown children. For more information about the Foglemans go to The Mission Society or follow their journey through their blog.
Mike and Sherri Morrissey, ordained elders in the Kentucky Annual Conference, serve as Directors of the Thailand Methodist Mission. They were the first UM Elders appointed to serve in Thailand.
Thailand Methodist Mission has four branches of ministry.
75% of the counties in Thailand do not have a Christian church, being unreached throughout history.Less than 1% of the population of Thailand is Christian, and we believe everyone needs Jesus!In this program we work with Thai Christian leaders and pastors to plant self-supporting, self-leading churches in these unreached counties.
Please visit the Thailand Methodist Mission website at thailandmethodist.org for more information.
Shelby Gillespie with the Thailand Methodist Mission as Director of the Blessing Home Isan Center. Blessing Home Isan is located in a region where many young teens are sent by their parents to make money for their family by serving as sex workers in the brothels in the large cities like Pattaya. Shelby administers the scholarship and education programs of Blessing Home Isan and provides spiritual support to the families of the children so they are able to remain in school and be safe from traffickers.
Please visit the Thailand Methodist Mission website at thailandmethodist.org for more information.
The Rev. James A. Williams is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, serving as a pastor and lay leadership specialist with the Belize/Honduras District of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and Americas. He is based in Belize City, Belize in Central America, and was commissioned in June 2013.
The Belize/Honduras District has a current shortage of pastors and lay leaders and requires assistance in recruitment and training. The district has seven circuits with 18 primary schools, two high schools, and one junior college. It has a great need for the training of laypersons for church leadership positions. It receives many mission volunteer teams and training is also needed for the local coordination of the volunteer efforts.
James (Jamie) helps with pastoral responsibilities, devotional exercise in the schools, and lay leadership development. His wife, Lisa Williams, is also a missionary who works closely with the volunteer teams. The couple served for almost two years as Individual Volunteers in Mission in Belize, beginning in July 2011.
Jamie is a native of Kentucky and an ordained elder in the Kentucky Annual Conference. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from the University of Kentucky in 1985 and a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky, in 1991, and was ordained two years later. He served as chaplain of a United Methodist home for several years and was pastor of the Wilmore United Methodist Church from 2001 to 2011.
Jamie’s road to mission service had some rough patches. A deep shadow was cast on the idea of church work when an older sister, a Baptist missionary, died from a disease contracted while serving in Asia. He was 11 years old at the time. Lisa and her family encouraged him to consider ministry, and one night while on an emergency call with his veterinarian wife, he admitted to a sense of calling. It took another 20 years to become a missionary.
He says: “My desire has always been to extend the love of Christ to others in the churches I have served and now in the congregations I am serving in Belize. I no longer fear as I feared years ago.”
Lisa Williams is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving as volunteer coordinator for the Belize/Honduras District of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and Americas. She is based in Belize City, Belize in Central America, and was commissioned in June 2013.
The Belize/Honduras District has seven circuits with 18 primary schools, two high schools, and one junior college. It receives many mission volunteer teams, especially from the United States, and has an acute need for someone with voluntary experience to work with local leaders in coordinating these efforts. Lisa and her husband, the Rev. James Williams, also a missionary, have been Individual Volunteers in Mission in Belize since 2011.
Lisa is a veterinarian and has run her own practice, taught university courses, and facilitated many voluntary mission teams. She is a member of the Southern Hills United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky in the Kentucky Annual Conference, and was on the staff of the Southland Veterinary Hospital for 15 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in animal sciences from the University of Kentucky and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.
Born into a United Methodist parsonage, her father was both a pastor and a hospital chaplain, her mother a teacher. She and Jamie met during their freshman year in college. Lisa says she felt called as a child to be a missionary, but also at an early age developed a love of animals. She began to volunteer at a veterinary clinic at age 12. Gradually she would realize that being a missionary and a veterinarian could go together. But realizing that dream would take tours through motherhood and a series of health problems.
“When our youngest child went off to college, we moved to Belize to serve as Individual Volunteers through the General Board of Global Ministries,” she recalls. “After two years of this we were offered a position in the Belize/Honduras District of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and Americas, and we love our work in Belize.”
Jamie and Lisa have three adult children, Brandon, Rachel, and Rebecca.
For more information about Jamie Williams go to GBGM Jamie Williams profile page, for more information about Lisa Williams go to GBGM Lisa Williams profile page or follow their journey through their blog.
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In 2009, Gulu Methodist Partnership Inc (GMPI) began its work among the United Methodist Churches (UMCs) of Gulu, Northern Uganda following a devastating twenty year civil war between Joseph Kony's LRA rebels and the Uganda army. The LRA plundered villages, killed villagers and forced children into prostitution, slavery or to be soldiers. The government herded villagers into government Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps. Many died of disease and malnutrition leaving thousands of orphans. In 2007 peace came and people returned to their villages. The UMC established in the IDP camps moved back to the villages to form five churches in Gulu.
The Gulu Methodist Partnership Inc (GMPI) is a 501c3 non-profit mission governed by 14 Board of Directors which include a physician, a judge, pastors and educators. GMPI partners with the Gulu district superintendent, pastors and churches to make disciples for Jesus and to minister to their respective communities. This is done with the approval of the East African Conference and under the guidance of the Gulu District church leadership. The Gulu District Superintendent and leaders have provided GMPI exceptional fund accountability with receipts, progress reports and pictures.
Since 2009, GMPI has sponsored Volunteers In Mission (VIM) Teams to do construction, seminars, village evangelistic services, and children's ministries. The GMPI has raised the funds and the VIM Teams have worked beside Gulu laborers to build the Gulu District Conference Center (GDCC). This summer the 2014 VIM Team in addition to its other ministries, will lay the foundation for the Hospitality Lodge next to the GDCC.
GMPI provides monthly support for the six pastors and the District Superintendent. GMPI has purchased properties for several churches, provided funds for micro-financing small business loans, bicycles for pastors and a motorcycle for District use. GMPI supplied the money for a bored hole well at Opit UMC for the village, a sewing machine for the Koch Orom UMC, and funds for a Youth Soccer program at Koch Goma. GMPI has purchased hundreds of mosquito nets for pastors to distribute to their people and communities. This year GMPI begins its Orphan Education Scholarships.
The GMPI Executive Director (ED), John Shroll, is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University and Asbury Theological Seminary. He is an Elder in the Kentucky Annual Conference serving 11 years as a Navy Chaplain, 26 years as a pastor and now after retiring, two years volunteering as the ED of GMPI.
For more information, visit Gulu Methodist Partnership Inc.
India sits squarely within the 10/40 window, an area of the world where the majority of unreached peoples live. Out of the country’s 1.2 billion people, roughly 95% do not know Christ. In fact, as a nation it has the largest number of unreached people in the world, unreached meaning that they have no active body of believers operating in their community, and few if any present to share with them the Good News of Jesus Christ. It is my passion and one of the callings on my life to work in an area of the world where unreached peoples exist. This is why God led me to India, to serve those Christian nationals who are in the minority, and to share the good news of Jesus Christ with neighbors, friends, and others who do not know Him.
Returning to serve with a Christian counseling agency in a major city in India, I am committed to a five year term of service. My background includes working as a licensed counselor for 8 years, as well previous experience overseas and advanced degrees in both theology and counseling. I will be training pastors, lay persons and parachurch workers in Christian Counseling, providing counseling to nationals at the home office, and supervision to counselors desiring to grow in their skills.
Discipleship opportunities available through teaching Christian counseling take on added significance in a country where few people are believers in Christ. Conversations around topics like the Trinity, suffering and healing, and forgiveness and reconciliation are incorporated into greater understandings of counseling theory and technique. Furthermore, training counselors to operate from a faith based perspective means providing the skills and knowledge needed to serve others in the name of Christ, many of whom are struggling with issues ranging from suicide to marital conflict and depression to the overarching effects of globalization and a changing society.
Living and serving in this city of several million people also means being open to those “divine appointments”, opportunities God arranges where conversations with those who don’t know Christ can lead to seeds being planted and lives being changed forever.
Because of the secure nature of my work in India, my name and other details have been left off the above information for my safety and the safety of those I minister to. If you are interested in learning more, or possibly arranging a time for me to come visit your church, please contact The Mission Society at 800-478-8963 and ask for missionary #0320. They will pass along your information to me and I will be in touch as soon as possible. I welcome the opportunity to share more with you, and hope you can support me with your gifts and your prayers.