Giving to missions – support our missionaries

Partner with our missionaries around the world

Conference Secretary for Global Missions, the Rev. David Davis is encouraging churches to support our United Methodist missionaries around the globe by entering in a Covenant Relationship.  When a church establishes a Covenant Relationship with a missionary, they enter into a partnership.  The church commits to financially support the missionary.  “This is an expression of being a connectional church.  It demonstrates being the Body of Christ at work around the world for those who are most in need of God’s love,” said Rev. Davis.

In developing a partnership, the missionary and the church pray for each other and communicate regularly about their struggles and successes, creating a dynamic relationship.   Once every three years, the congregation has the opportunity to meet the missionary face-to-face by hosting them at their church.

Over 300 missionaries in 60 countries are supported through Covenant Relationships.   “When you support our United Methodist missionaries, you are helping to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the World,” Rev. Davis said.

Please consider entering into a Covenant Relationship with these missionaries:

The Rev. Dr. Mark Abbott is a United Methodist missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries assigned with his wife, Diane, also a GBGM missionary, to serve in Madrid, Spain. He is professor of New Testament in the United Evangelical Theological Seminary.  The United Evangelical Theological Seminary (SEUT) is an institution of the Spanish Evangelical Church and the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church. Their vision is to help prepare spiritual leaders, both clergy and lay, for the Spanish Protestant community without focusing upon a particular denomination.

Prior to this assignment in Spain, the Abbotts served in Monterey, Mexico, where Mark was professor of New Testament and academic dean of the John Wesley Seminary, one of two seminaries of the Methodist Church of Mexico.  Mark Abbott #10069Z.

Mrs. Diane Abbott is a United Methodist missionary, who, along with her husband, the Rev. Dr. Mark Abbott, is serving in Madrid, Spain.  Diane does materials production, translations and secretarial back-up at United Evangelical Theological Seminary, She is a harpist and pianist. She plays for seminary chapel services each Wednesday and is director of music and organist in the English-speaking Community Church of Madrid.  Prior to this assignment the Abbotts served in Monterrey, Mexico. Diane worked in family and community ministries, and was also pianist for the Union Church of Monterrey.  In her earlier term in Madrid, Mrs. Abbott served as hostess, musician, and choir leader at the English-speaking Community Church of Madrid. She shares,”Jesus ministered to those around him, not just by preaching and teaching, but helping them with everyday concerns. I was in a servant/encourager and sometimes leader role.”  Diane Abbott #10070Z.

Craig and Karen Dial, Board of Global Ministries missionaries, are Associates in Mission Service (AIMS) serving with Red Bird Mission of the Red Bird Annual Conference in Kentucky.  When the Dials arrived at Red Bird Mission in August of 1987, Craig came to serve as supervisor for Retail Operations, and Karen came to be manager of the craft program, which is one of the major parts of economic development outreach.

In March of 1995 Karen became the Development Associate for Red Bird Mission handling inquiries about Red Bird as well as sending acknowledgments for all donations received. In 1998 she became a Candidate for Ministry and was licensed as a Local Pastor in July of 1999. Karen has served full-time as a pastor in the Red Bird Missionary Conference since 2000, and is currently under appointment to the Lothair and Combs United Methodist Churches in Hazard, KY. Besides being a full time pastor, Karen serves as a board member of General Board of Church and Society. She is also serving on the Board of Directors of the Red Bird Mission as well as continuing her Course of Study as a local pastor.

Craig serves as the Director of Economic Opportunities at Red Bird Mission. He also oversees the Craft Program, the Community Store at Greenbriar, and the main Community Store at Red Bird Mission. Under his leadership, Red Bird Mission built a new clothing store to replace the old one and also built a receiving building that can handle all the clothes, household goods, and furniture that are donated to the Mission. The remodeled craft store has twice as much sales area as well as a warehouse.  Craig and Karen Dial #773906.

Dr. Ellen Titus Hoover is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church serving in the Democratic Republic of Congo (also called DRC or Congo-Kinshasa). She is a part-time professor at the United Methodist University in Mulungwishi where she teaches courses in Islam and church history in the college of theology.  Ellen also works with The English-speaking School of Lubumbashi (TESOL), an elementary and middle school for children of missionaries, full-time church workers and other English-speaking families in a city where French is the common language of instruction. After helping start the school in 1987, she served on the Administrative Council and as director of the school.  Dr. Hoover holds a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University and a Ph.D. in African History from Yale University.  Ellen entered missionary service in 1979 and is married to Dr. Jeffrey Hoover, also a GBGM missionary who serves in the DRC. Their family includes their children Jane, Jeremy and wife Lindsay, and Mark.  Ellen Hoover #07990Z.

Mark and Rebecca Smallwood are serving as Associates in Mission Service (AIMS) with the Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church at Red Bird Mission in Kentucky.  Mark and Rebecca came to Red Bird Mission in August 1988 to serve as teachers at Red Bird Mission School during its first full year as a private Christian School. Mark directs the vocal and instrumental music programs for the elementary, middle school and high school. Rebecca taught 4th grade for 9 1/2 years and now teaches Elementary Christian Education.

For Mark, music has been an outlet for expressing his faith since childhood. When a pastor took him on a visit to Asbury College, he knew that was where he would be going to college, and in 1986 graduated prepared to share his music and put it to use for the Lord. After two years in the public schools in West Virginia, he arrived at Red Bird and began the process of resurrecting a music program what had suffered severely for lack of a teacher. Mark earned a MA degree in Music Education from Eastern Kentucky University in 1991.

Rebecca’s pilgrimage gives credence to the saying at Red Bird that “if you get your feet wet in the creek you’ll be back.” Her first contact with Red Bird was in 1982 as a member of a work team and even then she felt God’s call to return to Red Bird as a teacher. Rebecca is a 1986 graduate of Oakland City College in Oakland City, Indiana with a BS in Education and in 1992 earned a MA in Elementary Education from Eastern Kentucky University. Following her marriage to Mark in 1986 she was a public school teacher for two years prior to returning to Red Bird.  Mark and Rebecca Smallwood #773777.

Dr. Mark Zimmerman is a United Methodist missionary assigned to work in Kathmandu, Nepal, a predominantly Hindu country in the Himalayan region of Asia.  A medical doctor specializing in internal medicine, Mark has been working in Nepal since 1986 – initially as a hospital-based clinical doctor, later as medical director of Patan Hospital (1998-2005), and now as director of the Nick Simons Institute (NSI), an organization working in Nepal with a mission to train and support skilled, compassionate rural health care workers.   “NSI emerged out of several confluent streams. First, those of us working in Nepal’s hospitals have long been aware of (and frustrated by) the huge urban-rural gap in health care. For many people in the hills, quality health care is the privilege of the prosperous few. Second, in the last few years our mission hospitals have conducted innovative types of training that improved rural health care. Finally, Jim and Marilyn Simons of New York came to Nepal to create a memorial for their son, Nick, who had worked here and died. Through training and staff support, NSI is working to improve health care for rural Nepali people. We believe that God’s hand brought these situations together, and we value your prayers for this exciting work.”  A native of Warminster, PA, Mark is a member of the Lehman Memorial UMC in Hatboro, PA.   Mark Zimmerman #10908Z.

Mrs. Deirdre Zimmerman is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church – in partnership with the Church Missionary Society of Ireland – serving with her husband, Dr. Mark Zimmerman, in Kathmandu, Nepal.  A nutritionist and dietitian by training, Deirdre was first assigned to work for United Mission to Nepal’s Nutrition Programme, which addresses the problem of malnutrition in women and children through training and education.  After a two-year break to care for their young sons, Zachary and Benjamin, Deirdre returned to part-time work as advisor to Nutrition Promotion and Consultancy Services, an organization which is an offshoot of the previous Nutrition Programme.  Of her work Deirdre shares, “I see this as involvement in God’s work to restore full life and to provide for all the needs of all people: nutrition and health (in all its facets) being essential for people to achieve their God-given potential.”  Deirdre understands her assignment as a ‘ministry of presence.’ “I hope my presence in Nepal as a United Methodist missionary can encourage the local Nepali church that the universal church stands in solidarity with them (a minority faith in a Hindu country), and that I may be a channel for bringing some of the gifts of the Nepal church into American churches”   Deirdre Zimmerman #13171Z.

How to establish a Covenant Relationship

• Establish a financial goal of $2,500 annually or $5 per church member per year.

• Complete and submit the Covenant Relationship Form to establish your partnership with a missionary.  Covenant Relationship Form:

• Send financial support to the EPA Conference clearly designating the missionary’s name or Advance number.

• Consider the missionary as an extension of your church staff by listing them in your church bulletin and prayerfully support their work.

For more videos from the General Board of Global Ministries: