The Western District Welcomes You!

Thank you for visiting the Western District Foreign Mission's Department blog. Our intent is to provide you, the pastors, ministers, and saints of the Western District and the United Pentecostal Church International as well as our friends who would like to visit a place to be informed of events happening in our district and to share their thoughts concerning missions with us. We appreciate you taking the time to look over our site, to read the different posts, and last but not least to share your thoughts.


Missionaries traveling in our district:

May 2012

~Dwane Abernathy - Belize, Central America
~Robert McFarland - Israel/Palestine

June 2012

~Robert McFarland - Israel/Palestine, Middle East
~Jason Long - Nicaragua, Central America

July 2012

~Crystal Reece - Tonga, South Pacific
~John Hemus - United Kingdom, Europe

August 2012

~Crystal Reece - Tonga, South Pacific
~Cynthia White - Jordan, Middle East


Friday, April 29, 2011

~ Disaster Relief...A message from Alabama District Supt. J. Stanley Davidson

Note! I received the following in an e-mail and I am sure many of you did also. The severe storm system that devastated the southern states over the past few days has caused many deaths and numerous injuries. As you will read in the letter below some of our pastors and their saints have been affected.

Emphasis in this letter are mine; pictures, bold, underline and text color to highlight certain portions of this document.

The letter is as follows:


It is still impossible to tell how hard Alabama has been hit with tornadoes and storms.  We know the massive storm that plowed through Tuscaloosa and Northern Birmingham was devastating, but other areas of the state have been hit hard also.  Cullman is once again reeling from natural disasterThese are not the only places.  In fact, they are so numerous that we cannot mention them all here.

Reports from our pastors in these hard hit areas are not good.  There is still much death and devastation being found, and there are still many people missing in these areasTwo deaths and several injuries were sustained by United Pentecostal people across the state.  At this point, it appears that there is no significant damage to our church buildings, but several of our members have lost homes.  The tornado that hit near Redeemed Apostolic (Pastor Matt Edmonson) in Tuscaloosa skipped over the building and there appears to be no significant damage.  Of course, there is still much to be discovered.  Please keep praying for our people and for the people in Alabama in general.

Rev. David Hall had surgery last evening to fuse some broken vertebra in his back. He lost his wife in the storm, which, to quote one of our area pastors, was not survivable.  I have seen pictures of his home and it is indeed a miracle that anyone could survive.  We really need to keep praying for him and the family in Moulton who lost their 12 year old daughter.  We also have some people hospitalized from injuries.

Relief efforts are under way.  Two relief groups from out of state that are either UPCI or connected with us are bringing truck loads of supplies into the state.  Our Disaster Relief Coordinator is Rev. Michael Markham.  Office Max has agreed to work in conjunction with us and will be supplying some relief for the area.  We are hoping to reach into Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Cullman with these goods.  We will need some manpower to help in distribution.  You can reach Bro. Markham at (205) 938-0182.  He is working diligently to arrange delivery of these goods at this time.  A special thanks to Reach Out America from Dallas, TX, a UPCI based Relief Organization, for a quick response.  We will give credit to the other sources as the information comes in.

Meanwhile, if you are aware of any area disaster that may have missed our notice, please let me know.  The high volume of calls may require a return call from me, but I want to be aware of any way that we can help our brothers and sisters in time of need.  There are severe power outages from Birmingham north and shortages of gasoline in some areas.  These power outages are expected to last from 7 to 10 days in most areas.  Please let us know if we can help in any way.
The Work Week for the Campgrounds scheduled for next week is still plannedWe can use as many workers as possible, but we make the disaster relief a priority.  We will take care of all essential maintenance issues and tackle the other issues based on available manpower.
Thank you for your continued prayer and support.  Our Disaster Relief Fund in the District is available to help purchase items needed if necessary.  Keep praying and supporting, and God will bring blessing out of the rubble of ruins.

J. Stanley Davidson

Please PRAY for all the people in every state that have been devastated by these severe storms which according to some news sources are the most severe in four decades; especially PRAY for those families in our United Pentecostal Churches who have suffered loss during this crisis.

**If there is any pastor or individual who would like to help please call Bro. Michael Markham at the number listed above and he will advise you on the best way to accomplish your desire.

Thank you for whatever you can do as it will be much appreciated.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

~Featured Missionary and Country of the Week - Steve Willoughby/Singapore


Steve Willoughby
Region(s): Pacific
Field(s): Singapore

Bio: Steve Willoughby received his missionary appointment to Malaysia and Singapore in October 1986. He wrote: “God promised that if we would go to World Conference in Manila, Philippines, we would receive direction for our life. It was on our return from Canton to Hong Kong that we were recruited by the regional director of Asia to be AIM furlough replacements for Allan Shalm in Karachi, Pakistan. "Thus began our missions journey. Pakistan, Thailand, and Malaysia seemed to be an around-about way to get into the perfect will of God, but that is what we believe happened when we moved to Singapore.” After receiving their missionary appointment and completing deputation, the Willoughbys lived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, until God miraculously provided resident visas so they could live in Singapore. The growing Singapore church reflects the Willoughbys’ joy, sincerity, and evangelistic zeal.


Republic of Singapore
Area Coordinator: R. Steven Willoughby
Population: 4,500,000
Area: 239 sq. mi.
Capital: Singapore City
Languages: Chinese, Malay, Tamil, English (all official)
Religions: Buddhist, 29%; Christian, 19%; Islam, 16%; Taoist, 13%

The Republic of Singapore encompasses one main island and some 63 smaller islands off the tip of the Malayan Peninsula. It is the smallest country in Southeast Asia. Singapore is one of the world’s largest ports and has become an international banking center. Since gaining independence, Singapore has seen its standard of living rise dramatically. Foreign investment and government-led, island-wide industrialization have created a modern economy based on electronics and manufacturing. In terms of gross domestic product per capita, Singapore is the eighteenth wealthiest country in the world. Dale and Josephine Starks were the first United Pentecostal Church missionaries to Singapore. They arrived in November 1981. The Singapore church has 1,120 constituents, seven licensed ministers, and two churches and preaching points. Steve Willoughby stated, “Tiny Singapore is in the crossroads of nations. Lying about halfway between India and Japan, it is a hub of commerce, transportation, and prosperity. It has, in only three decades, gone from third world to first. Jesus impressed us that what was done in the natural is a mirror of what He has destined for the spiritual. He put in our heart to believe that Tabernacle of Joy is the ‘Antioch of the East,’ a Book-of-Acts teaching, training, sending, and receiving station for the nations of the 10/40 window. The ‘Deep Calleth Deep’ conference plunged Southeast Asia into the depths of revival. Singapore’s Tabernacle of Joy through their ‘Barnabas Project’ gathered more than 60 apostolic leaders from 17 nations along with hundreds of saints into five power-packed days of revival. It was awesome!”

Singapore was founded as a British trading colony in 1819. It joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 but separated two years later and became independent. Singapore subsequently became one of the world's most prosperous countries with strong international trading links (its port is one of the world's busiest in terms of tonnage handled) and with per capita GDP equal to that of the leading nations of Western Europe.

Please continue to PRAY for Bro. Willoughby's healing, health, and strength.

Monday, April 25, 2011

~Suriname News Flash 3: Spring 2011 - Rhoads Family Newsletter

The Rhoads Family
Missionaries to Suriname

United Pentecostal Church International
Foreign Missions Division
8855 Dunn Road
Hazelwood, MO 63042

Spring 2011
Prison Baptismal Service
A few years ago we baptized our first contact from the central prison of Suriname. Since that time sixteen more inmates have been baptized in the same facility.

Last year the original contact, along with another one of those baptized, was transferred to a different facility. They began witnessing to prisoners in their new location, and informed us that two men were ready for baptism. Later the number grew to four or five and we wrote a letter to the authorities requesting permission to hold a baptismal service.

Permission for the service was granted for February 25, and as the day grew closer the number of baptismal candidates grew to six. We arrived at the prison, set up the portable baptismal tank, and found nine people ready to be baptized.

As we taught about baptism, one of the inmates asked a question. When we gave him a biblical answer he got up from his seat and went to sit with those awaiting baptism, making the number ten. Another joined the group before it was over, and a total of eleven people were baptized that day!

(One of the eleven inmates being baptized in the portable baptistry)
Recent Happenings in Suriname
God is doing great things in Suriname. A few events from the last few months are mentioned below.

Ministers in Training meetings were started in the capital city church.

Friend Sunday was held in Paramaribo, with twenty visitors present.

One inactive minister was reinstated and one transferred from the UPC of Guyana. The UPC of Suriname now has four licensed ministers.

Men’s retreats were held in the western and central regions.

A new congregation was started in the Saramacca District. The UPC of Suriname now has three churches.

A twelve-year-old boy, who first started attending church in 2003, was baptized.

Fifty-six ladies attended the western and central region ladies’ retreats. Three ladies received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Monthly Bible school classes were continued at the central prison.

A seventy-six-year-old man, the father-inlaw of an Amerindian captain, was baptized in Jesus’ name.

We Appreciate You! Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support. We appreciate your faithfulness.

~Barcelona Commentary - the Nathan Harrod Family


Barcelona Commentary
Rev. & Mrs. Nathan A. Harrod
Missionaries to Spain
United Pentecostal Church International

Revival Report...

A Time of Harvest In Barcelona

We are excited with what God is doing here in Barcelona. In the month of January our church began a 30 day fast for greater revival in 2011. We have fought many spiritual battles since the beginning of this year but God has been faithful, and we have been reaping a harvest. Since the beginning of this year we have had 33 receive the Holy Ghost just in our local church and many more throughout our region of Spain. Strongholds are being pulled down in Jesus' name!

New Building for Our New Church Plant in Tarragona

In December we opened a new church in the city of Tarragona. We began by having services in a hotel meeting room, since then the Lord has opened the doors for us to rent a building and now we are averaging more than 30 souls on Sundays in this new city. After many bible studies we now have many that are ready to be baptized in Jesus' name!

Lincoln Andrew Harrod

On April 12, 2011 at 8:40 p.m. our son, Lincoln Andrew Harrod was born here in Barcelona, Spain. We are thankful for God's help and protection during this time and are grateful that both mom and baby are doing great and were able to leave the hospital two days later.

Thank you for all your prayers and support. Together we are claiming Spain in Jesus' name!
God Bless,
Nathan, Tanya, Alaina and Lincoln Harrod
 Prayer Request:
We are in the process of looking at several buildings for our new church. Please pray that God would give us favor in obtaining all city permits that we are required to have.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

~Featured Missionary and Country of the Week - Bennie DeMerchant Family/Brazil


Bennie and Theresa DeMerchant
Region(s): South America
Field(s): Brazil
Website: click here to visit
Bio: Bennie DeMerchant, left NB Canada for Saint Paul, MN in 1959 where he acquired his private pilot license, married Theresa Shomberg a Bible school techer from Wisconsin and graduated from ABI. After a short three year pastoral stage in New Brunswick they arrived as UPCI missionaries in Manaus, capital of the huge Amazon state in northern Brazil in 1965 where they live to present. Bennie combines evangelism tools of a Cessna 172 and 206 single engine seaplanes kept in a floating hangar in a lake off the Amazon near Manaus with a fleet of wooden boats, aluminum canoes, portable cement block forms and trained workers to plant churches in the Amazon cities, towns, villages, islands, lakes and among Indian tribes. A UPC convention Center has been built in East Manaus that acomodates up to seven thousand people for special events. Theresa DeMerchant, national director of Bible schools, coordinates the work of translating, printing and curriculum for 65 Bible school locations with 204 teachers, 1,121 registered 2-year students, and 4,500 alumni. This vital training work has been liberally supported by Ladies Ministries of UPCI since 1972. Many trained youth have left these schools to open up new works in many towns. DeMerchant was elected Bishop of the UPC of Brazil in 1989 presently with 32 districts and 1,200 churches and congregations. About 750 churches are in the Amazon Basin, the northern half of Brazil, a hot equatorial zone equivalent to the area of the USA east of the Mississippi River. Most áreas have no roads. The natural road is the rivers to many places reached in days by boats otherwise only reached by air. Full Throttle, (a Pentecostal Publishing House publication) records their adventures, challenges and fears in flying thousands of hours to open the worlds largest rain forest area for His kingdom.


Federative Republic of Brazil/República Federativa do Brasil
Area Coordinator: Bennie L. DeMerchant
Population: 186800000
Area: 3,300,154 sq. mi.
Capital: Brasilia
Languages: Portuguese
Religions: Roman Catholic

Brazil, the world’s fifth largest nation in area, covers nearly 50% of South America and contains one-half of the continent’s population. It is the only South American nation to derive its culture and language from Portugal. Manaus is in the center of the world’s largest forest that scientists call the “lungs of the world” by its contribution of oxygen it gives the atmosphere. Over a third of Brazil is drained by the Amazon and its more than 200 tributaries. The UPC of Brazil began in 1956 under the leadership of Samuel Baker. Under Superintendent DeMerchant, the UPCB now has 1,000 churches and preaching points, 852 licensed ministers, and about 67,700 constituents organized in four regions and 20 districts. In March 2002 the UPC of Brazil, with its own Faith Promise and Partners In Missions programs, sent the Cezar Moraes family from its shores to Mozambique, Africa, to help in training. Under the Regional Missions Program, Brazil plans to reach other Portuguese nations: Angola, Azores, Assunção, Cabo Verde, Guiné-Bissaú, São Tomé and Príncipe, Macaú, and East Timor.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

~HELP Needed for Bihar, India Oneness Outreach Seminar

Dear Partners-in-Missions,

Praise the Lord!

We greet you in the wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ and pray that this email finds you blessed of the Lord! The Lord has been so good to our family and the work of the Lord here in Bangladesh and we are blessed!

We thank the Lord for the great work that He is doing here in Bangladesh and we look forward to a greater outpouring of the Holy Ghost in the great land and hungry people of Bangladesh.

Praise Report;

Recently, Rev. Patrick Miller and I (Rev. James Corbin) were blessed to travel to a new field in the southwest of the country for ministry. Each night hundreds of hungry souls attended these special revival services and the Lord moved in a mighty way! As the Word of the Lord went out and faith began to rise, God began to move in a mighty way healing the sick and delivering the oppressed. People were healed of tumors, back ailments, etc. in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Holy Ghost was poured out in a great and mighty way. 66 received the Holy Ghost, 9 were baptized in Jesus name and over 60 were healed in Jesus name. We thank the Lord for all that He is doing and for this new field opening up for the gospel in Jesus name.

We need your help;

As many of you know, we have been ministering in various areas of India (especially West Bengal/Kolkata). During the month of May 2011 (4-6) Lord-willing we will be conducting a Oneness Seminar in Patna Bihar as an outreach to non-Apostolic pastors.

Bihar, India; Bihar is the third most populated state of India with total population of 82,998,509. Population Density; 2,855.2 people per square mile. Bihar is renown for being the place where Gautama Buddha (founder of Buddhism) received supposed enlightenment, and the birthplace of the founder of Sheikhism (hybrid or combination of Islam and Hindhuism).

There are 62 pastors/ministers or teachers that have expressed their desire to attend this Oneness Outreach Seminar and we desperately need your help. We currently need 2,000$ to help make this vision from the Lord a reality. Bihar, India has been a state that has suffered the results of war, strife and turmoil and consequently neglect both spiritually and physically. We need your help to help turn this around in Jesus name. It is time for true spiritual enlightenment in Bihar, India, which can only come for the Lord in Jesus name! “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

If you would like to help with this special need, please send all donations as follows;

Project; (earmarked) Bangladesh Evangelism 103.FA.033215.25.2501.1.110997#

Foreign Missions Division
8855 Dunn Rd.
Hazelwood, MO. 63042
(Please email with information on what you can do.)

We are so thankful for each and every one of you and the many investments that you have made into the kingdom of God in Bangladesh, India and around the world. Thank you so much for the difference that you are making in the kingdom of God!

May God richly bless you,

The James Corbin family
(UPC of Bangladesh)

*Please note! Bro. Corbin sent this letter to his PIMs of which I am a recipient. He did not request that I post this to our blog. I am asking that you PRAY about this need and if God puts it in your heart to give follow the instructions as given in this letter. Please HELP if you can and may God continue to bless you!

~Christian Life Centre of Malta - Moving to a New Home


New Home of Christian Life Centre - Malta ~first service on Easter Sunday 2011

Kirby and Mary Parker, United Pentecostal Church International appointed representatives to Malta, are thrilled to announce the news that Christian Life Centre, the Church they sponsored in 2002, has a new home. After nine years in the original location, a door has been opened of the Lord to expand and grow. The four hundred seat theater complex of the St. Vincent de Paul Senior Residence will host the first Worship Service on Easter Sunday, the 24th of April.

The Parkers, with their fifteen year old daughter Rebecca, arrived in Malta in May of 2002. There was no one to welcome their arrival at the airport, no church building to move into, no nucleus of saints expecting them. They came to Malta to pioneer a New Work for the Lord Jesus, with the Message of One God in Christ and the Acts 2:38 Salvation Plan.

In the nine years the Parkers have been in Malta, hundreds have gathered from more than forty countries around the world to hear the Life Changing message of Jesus Christ. Many have been baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus and have been filled with the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

One of the early group photos:

Christian Life Centre, 2003. Pictured are Kirby and Mary Parker, daughter Rebecca (r.), John and Kelly De Luca of Oceanside (l.), and Maltese believers: Kevin and Stephanie O’Niell, with son Liam.

Malta is located sixty miles south of Sicily in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. It is best known as being the Island where the Apostle Paul was shipwrecked in about 60 A.D. The Bible account is told in Acts Twenty Seven and Twenty Eight. With the later exploits of the medieval Knights of Malta of the 16th Century, and the amazing story of survival during the fierce Axis bombing of WWII, Malta is proud of its place in history.

Sis. Mary Parker standing in front of new church complex

Christian Life Centre with the Sullivan family from Citrus Heights, CA

Saturday, April 16, 2011

~Thai-Gram - April 2011


April 2011

Walking through the streets I see many smiling faces,
People who have come here from many different places.
Working all day until the day is through,
Then starting all over again when the day is new.
Smells of food, and people walking by,
Looking into their faces I begin to cry.
Lord I know You have placed us here in Your will,
Bless these precious people, deliver, save and heal.
Let us be a light for all men to see,
A light to twelve million souls who live in this great city.
Let your glory flow down every street,
Let Your love shine through us to every person we meet.
Help us reach these people, we need Your anointing this hour,
Let them feel Your grace and Your saving power.
We are ready to answer the call,
As we pray and believe Your Holy Ghost power will fall.

Jordan Simmons - AIMer


For the past three months Missionary Jack Coolbaugh has been teaching an older local man two evenings each week who had been a Buddhist priest for a long period of time. He had recently left Buddhism and joined a trinity pentecostal church until their lack of righteousness caused him to look towards the Bible School for direction. He and his family have now been re-baptized in the name of Jesus and he has been carrying the evening teachings back to others he knows from his former church. There will be many that come to the truth because of his boldness and new-found knowledge.

Bro. Coolbaugh teaching
Baptismal Service at Bible School

Gim, His Family and Brother David

The Bible School needs Partners in Missions! Click HERE to help support the Thai Bible School. Bible school graduates are pastoring churches, starting churches, serving in leadership positions, they are helping to bring about revival and evangelism in Thailand!

The population of the city of Bangkok is larger than 160 countries in the world!

If you haven't already, please add to your email's contacts/address book.

God bless each of you.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support,

Ed & Mary Simmons
Bangkok, Thailand

Ed & Mary Simmons
8855 Dunn Rd.
Hazelwood, MO 63042
Visit Our Web Site
Visit Thailand Bible School Web Site

~Suriname News Flash - March 2011 from the Phillip Rhoads family


Here we are already through the first quarter of 2011. Where has the time gone?

During March one inactive ministed was reinstated and one transferred from the United Pentecostal Church of Guyana. One of these has started a new congregation in the Saramacca District. Thank God for more workers!

Below are a few other events from March.

March 4

Traveled to Nieuw Nickerie, in western Suriname, to check on building for congregation there. Visited offices of notary, appraiser and surveyor.

March 6

Newly active minister preached in Paramaribo. One person received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

March 8

One person baptized.

March 9

Three Open Door Groups restarted in Paramaribo.

March 11

Service at one of the prisons of Suriname.

March 13

Monthly leadership meeting for capital city church.

March 18 & 19

Western Region Men's fellowship.

March 20

Preached at new congregation in Tiger Creek, Saramacca District.

March 26 & 27

Central Region Men's Retreat.

March 27

Bible study at central prison, with nineteen students studying Essentail Doctrines of the Bible.

Thank you for helping make these things possible.

The Rhoads Family
Missionaries to Suriname

**Follow us on Twitter at username PhillipRhoads.

Friday, April 15, 2011

~Missionary Prayer FOCUS - April 16th - April 30th, 2011


Saturday April 16th, 2011 - Charles and Charolette Stovall - Germany/Netherlands

Sunday April 17th, 2011 - Terry and Cheryl Riddick - Cameroon/Africa Impact Team (AIT)

Monday April 18th, 2011 - Monte and Dianne Showalter - International Evangelism

Tuesday April 19th, 2011 - Steve Willoughby - Singapore

Monday, April 11, 2011

~Georgia Harvest Newsletter - April 2011


Remodeling the "Upper Room”:

This month we are working on a number of things to get ready for revival in Tbilisi. The first thing we are doing is preparing for the influx of souls. The only meeting place we have is a small office that I like to call the upper room. (pictured above is Pastor James Simpkins from Living Hope Church in Maryland and Pastor Kote Rizhamadze in the Upper room.)

We may not have much but the Bible tells us to be good stewards with what we have. We are going to tear down some walls. (literally) to repair the damage an earthquake did in 2000.

We have also purchased music equipment for the church to use.

I want to say a special thanks to all of our field account supporters. It is your support that has made this possible. I intend to keep the pictures coming as we fix up the office. Keep us in your prayers as we are in desperate need of a larger facility but can not afford anything right now.

Remodeling the structure:

After sitting down with the leaders of the Church in Tbilisi it was apparent to us that in order to grow we needed to be better organized for a harvest to occur. God had given me a plan while on deputation in the states but it was also apparent that the Georgian Church was not quite ready for this. After much prayer, God allowed a revision while building the faith of the people so that they would be able to grasp the full vision in the future. With that in mind we started three house churches in three separate areas of Tbilisi. With two leaders in each group, these leaders will grow the churches to capacity of the house and then begin another group in a new location. This structure will allow us to grow outside the boundaries of our current limitations.

Our Prayer Needs: 

1. Vision for our leaders
2. Continued direction
3. Facilities for Children’s Church
4. A spirit of worship
5. Excitement in the church
6. Freedom of the Holy Ghost
7. Pastor Gia and Maia
8. Binding of false doctrine
9. Continued safety

Our Website I will be posting podcast periodically that you can subscribe to. The aim is to keep you up to date with the happenings in Georgia, and allow you to see some of the things we are doing.


Having another new baby in the house has been fun. I have realized that since we are in a foreign land I pay much more attention to her growth. When her umbilical cord fell off I was worried it seemed to soon. How to fix the diaper rash on her bum when you don't know how to ask for creme, and how fast she is growing. It is really quite a remarkable thing the growth of a baby. Do you realize that in three years a child will learn a new language, how to crawl, walk, eat, and pretty much most of the things they will need for their new life. Wow that is quite incredible. The greatest part is that they are just beginning to learn, and they are having fun doing it.

That is exactly how we are when we come to God. In the first few months and years we learn most of what we need for this new life we are living. And we should never stop the learning process. The moment we reach a place where we “know it all” is the moment we become a spiritual “handicap."

Moving to a foreign country will teach you exactly how much you don't know. It will also give you new perspective on the world around you. I love moving into the new Kingdom of God, and learning new things from the guide book and then being able to experience them for myself.

Pray that Georgia might catch the vision.

The Staten Family