The Council, and the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, the agency from which Tawanda Chandiwana received his Christian commission, are launching a worldwide campaign to call public attention to the plight of Tawanda and two other missionaries who were in the country fulfilling their commission to show God’s love in the world.
Despite continuing efforts by the staff of the local regional United Methodist conference, Philippines-based attorneys and officials with The United Methodist Church, Mr. Chandiwana of Mutare, Zimbabwe, Adam Shaw of Brunswick, Ohio, and Miracle Osman of Blantyre, Malawi, have experienced repeated difficulties getting the legal documents and clearance they need to leave the Republic of the Philippines.
Mr. Chandiwana and Ms. Osman are Global Mission Fellows. These missionaries are young adults from all over the world between the ages of 20-30. They are sent by The United Methodist Church to serve for 20 months in works of justice and mercy through participation in such ministries as peacebuilding, creation care, English teaching, human rights advocacy, and social work. Many Filipino young adults are part of this program, serving in such places as Japan, South Africa, Ireland, Barbados, and Uruguay.
Mr. Shaw is a former Global Mission Fellow in the Philippines who now serves there as a global missionary with The United Methodist Church.
“We vigorously protest this treatment of our mission personnel, placed and supervised in collaboration with The United Methodist Church in the Philippines,” said Thomas Kemper, general secretary (chief executive) of United Methodist Global Ministries, the worldwide mission agency of the denomination with 12.5 members in the U.S., Africa, Europe, and the Philippines.
“It is unconscionable that Tawanda has been held for six weeks,” continued Kemper. “We are respectfully asking that these young people be allowed to leave.”
On June 26, the full Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church joined their episcopal colleagues in the Philippines and Global Ministries in appealing to the Philippines’ government to free and allow Chandiwana to leave the country. They also asked for immediate action by the Bureau of Immigration that would allow Ms. Osman, and Mr. Shaw to leave voluntarily. Read more at http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/united-methodist-bishops-ask-philippines-government-to-release-umc-missiona.