Filled to Overflowing

We’ve been in Syzran three days now, and I’m beginning to think these Russian women mean me harm. I’m the “good eater” of the group; Russian cuisine doesn’t bother me (even at the orphanage), and the women of the Syzran UMC have risen to the occasion. Again and again they fill my plate with all manner of food.  I do my best, but it just won’t stop. I keep thinking dinner is over, only to have someone appear from the kitchen with another heaping platter. “Russian tradition!” they shout, and pile it high again…


Disciples on the Same Journey

I still remember the first time I met Pastor Irina.  She was part of the Russia Delegation visiting the West Ohio Annual Conference to promote partnerships between the churches of West Ohio and the Volga District in Russia.  Although we met over six years ago, I clearly recall our first conversation.  It went something like this:  “Hello, my name is Irina.  I graduated from seminary in 2004.”  I responded, “Me too!”  I shared, “I was married shortly after graduation.”  Irina responded, “Me too!”  Irina said, “I am serving my first church.”  I exclaimed, “Me too!”  As I looked into my smilin


Max's Story

Hello, my name is Maxim Kvyatkovskiy, I am 21 years old and I'd like to share my story with you.

I’m from Russia; my mother is a Muslim and my father is a non-practicing Christian. We are a very strong and happy family; my younger sister and I were taught to be honest, responsible and respectful. We’ve grown up surrounded by the love of my mother and strictness of my father, and we grew up in a family where the questions of religion or worship had never been raised.


Tola's Story

My name is Tola Seng. I’m from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I just turned 24 years old in October. I was born in a refugee camp on the Thai border to a single mother who, by God’s grace, was able to raise my sisters and me on her own. I grew up watching my mother struggle to earn money to support us, and I always wished I could grow up faster so that I could find a job and help her. My mother became a Christian when we were in the refugee camp, and when peace finally returned to our home country with the first free elections in 1993, she went to work as a cook at Phnom Penh Bible School.


Missionary Kids go to Camp

By Mariellyn Dunlap Grace

For many children in the United States, church camp is a rite of passage, a summer-time tradition. Not so for missionary kids like Nicole and Michelle Gitobu, who live in Cambodia in Southeast Asia. This summer, however, while their mother, Missionary Esther Gitobu, itinerated to various churches in West Ohio, Nicole (age 14) and Michelle (age 11) were gifted with the opportunity of attending Camp Otterbein in the Hocking Hills of Ohio.


Meet Your Missionaries: B. & E. Barte

By Mariellyn Dunlap Grace

E. Barte never expected to marry a missionary, let alone become one. Growing up in the Philippines, E. was, in his own words, a very ‘active’ young adult. “When the pastor came to lead Bible study at my house, I would escape from the house to play basketball with my friends,” E. recalls. But after meeting his future wife, then a student deaconess, his life would quickly change.


Grove City UMC Builds Church in Vietnam

“I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail—than attempt to do nothing and succeed.” -Anonymous

“If you can believe it, YOU CAN ACHIEVE IT” -W. Clement Stone

“If you can dream it, YOU CAN DO IT!” -Robert Schuller

“If you’ve got the faith, GOD’S GOT THE POWER!” -Corrie Ten Boom

“If you have faith…NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!” -Jesus Christ

"Dennis, do you have your passport? You are going with me to Vietnam in February!" -Joseph Bishman (Sept/09)