Faith Promise Ministries
Dr. Belinda Forbes, Nicaragua. Dr. Forbes is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving in Managua, Nicaragua with Acción Médica Cristiana (Christian Medical Action or AMC). AMC is a Nicaraguan Christian ecumenical organization specializing in community health and development in impoverished rural communities, many of which are home to indigenous and afro-descendent populations.
As AMC’s international liaison for community health, Dr. Forbes serves God and the church by contributing to a community-based primary dental health program, mentoring volunteers, and interfacing with AMC’s international partner organizations.
Of her assignment, Dr. Forbes says, “AMC’s model for local empowerment allows my contribution to be long-lasting and sustainable. AMC has evolved from a clinically-based health organization into an agent for transformation, committed to building local capacity among families in the areas of health education and promotion, farming and nutrition, disaster prevention, HIV/AIDS prevention, clean water and sanitation, women’s health, and youth leadership. AMC’s successes are based on community participation and the values of faith and justice.” The health program is guided by AMC’s pastoral care commitments and is more than just a humanitarian response to need. The Christian principles that undergird AMC’s work reflect a living example of the Gospel teachings.
Dr. Forbes obtained her DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston. Dr. Forbes is married to Gerardo Gutierrez, a medical doctor with a Master of Public Health, who is director of AMC’s community health program. They live in Managua with their two daughters.
Beatrice Mamawah Gbanga, Sierra Leone. Ms. Gbanga is a missionary with the Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church based in Sierra Leone, West Africa. She is Medical Coordinator for the Sierra Leone Annual Conference and supervises the work of KISSY Hospital and the seven medical clinics supported by the annual conference. Beatrice's responsibilities as coordinator also include supervising work in communities in Sierra Leone.
Of her return to West Africa as a GBGM missionary, Ms. Gbanga says, "When I was in the USA in 1997, I intended to stay for a month but war broke out in Sierra Leone, which made me stay longer. I tried to update my license to practice as a nurse (in the USA), but things did not go well. Just then, I got a call from the GBGM to apply for mission service. I believe God wanted me to serve him in this way."
She earned the G.C.E. Level in 1967 from the Harford School for Girls in Freetown and an R.N. degree in 1972 from Grantham & Kesteven General Hospital in Grantham, England. She received a masters degree in nursing in 1973 from the Leeds Maternity Hospital in Leeds, England, and a nurse tutor's diploma in 1989 from the Centre for Teachers of Health Sciences in Ibadan, Nigeria. She was certified in Advanced Health Leadership in 1997 by Global Health Action in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ms. Gbanga is married to Tamba Samuel Gbanga and together they have five children: Samilia, Agnes, Henrietta, Julliette and Teddy. Her mother, Agnes Nancy Minah, is a member of Bauya Anglican Church in Sierra Leone.
Dr. J. Jeffrey Hoover and Dr. Ellen Hoover
Jeff and Ellen are missionaries with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church assigned to the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire.
Ellen is a part-time professor at the United Methodist university in Mulungwishi where she teaches courses in church history and Islam to theology students. Jeff is a professor at Katanga Methodist University, both in the theological college as professor of church history and in the School of Information Technology.
Jeff shares that he is deeply committed to the development of a viableUnited Methodist-related university at Mulungwishi which can help address the critical needs of the Congo that are emerging after three decades of the Mobutu regime and five years of war. In a country where French rather than English is the principal international language, a Congolese university can better and more cost effectively serve the needs of its country.
Gayle Lesure, North America. Ms. Lesure is a Deaconess and a Church and Community Worker in the Wesleyan District of the West Virginia Conference. A missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, she is involved in the Greater Clarksburg Cooperative Parish, a project related to Global Ministries.
"It is really great to experience churches and communities working togetherto live out the gospel by responding in loving ways with persons who struggle to provide for their familes' needs", Gayle shares.
Prior to this assignment Ms. Lesure served as a Church and Community Worker in the Pocahontas County Cooperative Parish for 17 years. The parish provided direct services to the poor.
Gayle received a B.A. degree in Religious Studies and Biblical Literature at Scarritt College in Nashville, Tennessee, continued her graduate studies there, and earned a Master's degree in Church and Community Ministries.
Mark Zimmerman, Nepal. Dr. Mark Zimmerman is a United Methodist missionary assigned to work in Kathmandu, Nepal, a predominantly Hindu country in the Himalayan region of Asia.
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."