Eric Spangler, Asia Area Director, has announced the following appointments in Asia:
New Asia Area Administrator
Rev. Seth Van Tifflin has been appointed as Asia Area Administrator. Ordained in the Southern Michigan Conference of the FMC in 2015, Rev. Seth Van Tifflin was appointed, along with his wife, Hlawn Hlawn, as an FMWM career missionary in September 2015. Seth and Hlawn Hlawn established the non-profit organization In Better Hands (IBH) in 2012, rescuing at-risk children and assisting widows in Myanmar. Currently In Better Hands cares for 35 children, in five homes, and 12 widows. Many of these homes work alongside existing Free Methodist ministries in Myanmar.
Seth is exceptionally gifted and experienced in administration and organization. At 16 years of age he had earned a shift manager position at his local McDonald’s restaurant. Later he moved to full management of another local business and purchased his first “fixer-upper” home with cash at age 19. Seth continued to serve in shift management positions as he and Hlawn Hlawn moved toward missionary service.
Seth has had a very active participatory role in the mission work of the FMC in Myanmar. He made his first trip to Southeast Asia as part of a VISA Impact Team in 2006. Over the next several years he developed a relationship with his wife, Hlawn Hlawn, a Burmese national. Together they have ministered the last six years in Myanmar, developing IBH and working alongside Supt. Pa Kep Thang, the Free Methodist superintendent of our work in that country.
Seth and Hlawn Hlawn will continue to nurture and oversee IBH while fully engaging in our FMWM work as the new Asia Area Administrator. Currently focusing on partnership building, they, along with their son Jason, intend to locate in Chiang Mai late 2016. Full implementation of Seth’s role will gradually take place as their support is solidified and Seth learns the work.
Don and Kathy Williams Returning to Chiang Mai, Thailand
Don and Kathy will return to Chiang Mai at the end of March 2016. In addition to serving as the Country Team Leader for all FMWM personnel in Thailand, Don will put his experience and expertise to work serving as Organizational Development Consultant. Don will travel several times a year, providing highly qualified educational, leadership and organizational consultation for FM works (and other works as possible) across Asia. Kathy will continue to host and coordinate two Community Bible Study classes, co-lead Grief Share and assist with International Child Care Ministries in Thailand. Don and Kathy also have a ministry of hospitality for fellow missionaries, small mission teams and those considering missions service. Four of their children live in the USA; their daughter and son-in-law will teach in Bangkok at International Christian School beginning Fall 2016. Don brings a wealth of experience to his new position: Superintendent of Grace International School for the past 10.5 years, 18 years in Christian and public school settings, and six years as a missionary educational consultant throughout Asia involved in the care and education of MKs.
I fully expect that among the many ways Don can help us will be to guide leaders, conferences and educational institutions in strategic planning and in the specific re-development of administration toward healthier organizational practices. Pray for Don and Kathy as they transition to a new season of significant ministry and spiritual leadership and influence.
– Eric Spangler