Meet the friends of University Presbyterian Church who serve around the world. We support individuals and families serving in over 33 countries. They are responding to a call to bring hope to their neighbors through sharing God's Word, bringing clean water, and providing care for people living with HIV/AIDS, developing local church leadership, and much more.
Featured below are the missionaries that UPC currently supports; dedicated individuals and families that are serving God both here in Seattle and all around the world.
Alan & Marsha Barr
As staff members with Bridges International (the international student ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ), Alan and Marsha work closely with Vivienne and Stew in UPC’s International Ministries to win, build, and send students and scholars from the far corners of the Earth for Christ and his kingdom. The top 1% of the world’s emerging leadership is in the US now, and they work to mobilize them as ambassadors for Christ to their homelands. http://www.bridgesinternational.com/
Dave works with Phill Butler on the VisionSynergy staff. Dave’s specialty is his focus on cyber strategies for world evangelism. http://visionsynergy.net/
Rich & Joanna Fullner
China Outreach Ministries, Seattle
Rich and Joanna work among visiting Chinese nationals and scholars in the Seattle area. They give witness to Jesus in the context of relationships that emerge out of their weekly English language and hospitality programs. The Fullner’s are also part of the faculty/leadership team for UPC’s Global Friends ministry on Friday evenings.
Turkey & Egypt
Kathy’s ministry involves mobilizing congregations to participate in the building of God’s kingdom among people groups that do not yet have an indigenous church of their own. Her international focus is the Muslim world with special emphasis in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, and the immigrant Muslim community in the United States. http://www.kathygiske.com/
A Toda Criatura, Bolivia
Rachel Ann is currently serving with the local church in Cochabamba, Bolivia where she leads interns in personal discipleship practices and in outreach programs to local poor and incarcerated populations. She also assists in the running of a bi-annual missions school. http://www.atodacriatura.org/
Bruce & Deb Robinson
Bruce and Deb work in community development, helping with water, irrigation canals, drainage and clean drinking water, spring capping, dams, and more. They are also helping with infrastructure—building churches, schools and latrines. Helping the people in Haiti in this way is their testimony for the gospel and opens the door to sharing Jesus. http://www.crossworld.org/
Renee & Justin Sundberg
Justin and Renee work with the Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua (CEPAD), facilitating missions teams from the United States who come to Nicaragua to work with and learn from impoverished communities.
Ali & Francoise Arhab
France & North Africa
Ali leads a TV ministry to reach Muslims with the gospel over satellite. He is also a church leader, bringing and discipling new people to the church in the French city of Roubaix. http://www.cna-sat.org/
The Begus are church planters among the Muslims in Kosovo. Their ministry started in the city of Gjilan in 2007 with a training program for Albanian missionaries. Part of that training was an evangelism work in Gjilan that resulted in a church planting team being formed to continue the work. They have established a youth and family ministry, including a kindergarten. They have also been involved in reaching out to two unreached cities in Kosovo through teaching English classes.
Zefjan & Edita Nikolla
Zefjan is the teaching pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church in Tirana. He is ordained as a Presbyterian minister by the Santa Barbara Presbytery. He is also the national director of BSKSH which is the IFES student movement in Albania (same as Intervarsity in the US). Both these roles require a great deal of teaching and preaching as well as a fair amount of traveling around the country. In the student ministry, he is primarily responsible for overseeing staff, volunteers, and student leaders. In the pastoral role with Emanuel Reformed Church, Zefjan is responsible for teaching and preaching ministry, as well as theological training.
Building ecumenical relationships, leadership development, friendship evangelism, education, and mentoring.
Naji is a psychologist who serves as a renowned educator in the Christian counseling community particularly as it relates to cross-cultural contexts. Naji travels three times per year to Lebanon and engages in pastoral ministry within the Christian community there that is under serious duress within that complex social, religious, and political milieu. https://independent.academia.edu/NajiAbiHashem
William and Larisa Hernandez
North Africa & the Middle East
William, Larisa and their family are incarnational witnesses pursuing relationships among Muslim peoples in major cities in North Africa and the Middle East. William also is a missions educator/trainer for churches/leaders who wish to develop incarnational witness strategies in the region.
Marta chairs the Department of Leadership Studies at the Nairobi International School of Theology/International Leadership University (NIST/ILU-Kenya). Marta trains Christian leaders for service in churches, parachurch organizations, business, and government, integrating leadership with discipleship and mentoring. https://www.theantiochpartners.org/bennett
Kenya & Tanzania
Douglas works in communities in developing viable artisan business opportunities and educational programs in Kenya and Tanzania. http://adeaafrica.org/Intro_Page.html
Betsy & Eugene Meyer
Betsy Meyer is the co-founder and Executive Director of Thembalethu Care Organization (www.ourhope.org.za), a South African non-profit organization caring and providing hope to a rural Zulu community hit hard by HIV/AIDS and poverty. Their programs focus on home-hospice care for the sick, assistance to orphaned and vulnerable children, and community mobilization. http://www.thembalethu.org/
Tim & Muriel Teusink
Based in France with SIM and teaching in Africa and Asia
Tim teaches medical ethics to medical students and residents primarily around the African Continent, as well as HIV/AIDS Prevention & Care, Sexuality, Marriage and Personhood in the context of Trinitarian Theology in theological institutions. He is involved with the Lausanne Orthodox Initiative. Muriel teaches library science in theological institutions and K-12 schools. Their teaching occasionally takes them to Asia and they teach in both French and English.
Francis & Anne Omondi
Francis and Anne are UPC-supported ministers living and serving in their home country of Kenya alongside the local church, tribal elders, and NGOs in communities affected by the current drought. Located near the Somali border, they’ve seen a huge influx of refugees as the drought has worsened over the past few months. In one week, the Omondis’ team distributed food to 1,700 families. They’re strategically placed both geographically and relationally to respond to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the people around them, and are working with community elders and responsible NGOs to distribute food as efficiently as possible.
Francis is the first graduate of the Maasai village school that UPC missionaries Denny and Jeanne Grindal founded in Olosho-Oibor, Kenya. Francis has pursued undergraduate and graduate degrees since then and is serving currently as the Executive Director of the Simba Maasai Outreach Organization (SIMOO), a Christian Community Development Organization among the Maasai in the Rift Valley of Kenya. http://www.simookenya.org/
A pastor, Gideon works to develop a community of grassroots leaders in the informal settlements around Nairobi and to empower youth through job placements and leadership training.http://www.ctmkenya.net/
Brad & Wendy Chamberlain
Brad is a translator/linguist, coordinator for a regional translation project, and linguistics professor. Wendy is an ethno-arts specialist and teacher. https://www.wycliffe.org/
Iven & Kashmira Hauptman
Iven and Kashmira Hauptman help to lead Rak Teh, a ministry team from YWAM Thailand loving God and discipling neighbors in urban Bangkok. Living as neighbors, team members from Rak Teh are reaching out to men and women involved in freelance prostitution on their streets, the homeless, deaf, and others. God has been gracious to see a small church-plant started in this otherwise unchurched area of old Bangkok, and they are excited to see how he will lead their growing family of six to participate in seeing the Kingdom of God come in Bangkok, even as it is in heaven. http://ivenandkashmira.com/
Prem & Rita James
Prem joined Partners International in 2004 and serves as the area director for South Asia, helping 26 indigenous PI partner ministries. Rita started a school called “Asha Kiran” (meaning a Ray of Hope) (ashakiran.net) in 1993. Today the school has more than 100 children and 25 staff. Over the years many hundreds of children have been blessed by the school. http://www.partnersintl.org/
Michael & San Vang Chongluai
Michael is the President of the Evangelical Bible Seminary which trains pastors and evangelists for ministry throughout Burma.
Global Task Forces
Integral to our Global Ministries are our lay lead Task Forces. These are groups from UPC who have formed to provide long term support to ministry partner organizations that are strategically sharing hope through culture-specific ministry. More coming soon!