Global Missions

Based on the “Great Commission”, one mission of Shady Grove United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Shady Grove does this through various means and we hope you will join us as we take direct responsibility for people of the world around our church, the community in which we and others study, work, shop, and play.

Operation Christmas Child

Through a simple shoebox gift with Operation Christmas Child, our congregation members can help change the world, one life at time. Shoeboxes are filled with school supplies, toys, hygiene items and a note of encouragement for a child overseas suffering due to disaster, disease, war, terrorism, famine or poverty. More information about Operation Christmas Child is at  In November 2017, Shady Grove UMC packed and wrapped over 550 shoeboxes! 

Heifer International

Heifer International's mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth. It all started with a cow and we are thrilled to support this great mission by purchasing animals to give families a hand-up, not just a handout. We hope to empower families around the world to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity. To read more about this great outreach go to


In October the children and youth of Shady Grove UMC, as well as SGUMC Preschool and Center for Creative Arts, trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, the United National International Childrens' Emergency Fund. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF began in 1950 as a way to help kids who need more than candy. Since then, children all over America have gone door-to-door on Halloween with UNICEF collection boxes, calling out, "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF!"  They have raised more than $170 million for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF since 1950.  Funds collected will help provide children around the world with clean water, nutritious food, medicine, vaccines, and education.  To see how pennies add up, $5 can buy a soccer ball for children in a refugee camp, and $30 can provide 100 children with a measles vaccine. The Power of Kids Helping Kids.


Shady Grove supports the following missionaries, working around the globe:

Nico and Natacha Chantel serving in Europe
Nico and Natacha serve in Kiel, Germany. Nico provides this update:
Because of your faithful prayers and financial support we are able to work in God’s vineyard here in Kiel. In 2017, God’s providence led us to minister here in Kiel, the northern part of Germany. God gave us the privilege to start an International English speaking Church, the only one in a radius of 100km/62miles. Starting with only one person at our first Sunday Worship Service, a year and a half ago, we are now close to 40-45 people from all over the world. So far people from 54 different countries. Our missions organizations are: TMS Global (www.tms-global.organd People International ( Updated 7/2019.
View pictures in newsletter.

Kris and Kip Fisher serving in the Dominican Republic 
Kris and Kip and their family seek to connect the people of the Dominican Republic with solutions to both physical and spiritual needs. They offer help by meeting their material needs, while presenting the hope we have been provided by the gospel. By removing the barriers presented by physical needs and building genuine friendships, minds are opened and spiritual discussions can happen. Their outreach includes clean water programs, construction, education, and Discipleship/Bible studies. Kip provides this update:
Our projects are doing well:
1. This year, we have been able to distribute about 75 filters to families in the Palo Alto community. Several of these were provided by Shady Grove and its members, and we thank you deeply for them. Each filter provides up to 10 years of clean water for a family that doesn't have it otherwise. 
2. We have wrapped up our English classes in the school for this year. We have been able to provide basic understanding and reading skills to 75 students this year, and over 200 altogether these past 3 years. By getting to know the kids, we can establish connections with the parents and are able to visit them in their home and share the faith as well as provide a filter, pray with the family, etc.
3. When we visited Shady Grove last year, we were just putting together a prevention program for youth in the high schools around Santiago. The genesis of this program was that our friend William (a Dominican pastor) had a similar program in the prisons for 8 years, and realized that the inmates were constantly telling him that if they'd had this faith based program as teenagers they would likely never have ended up incarcerated. So, we thought we should try and get the program into schools. 
4. We also have various one-off projects with other ministries around the area (I help out on occasion with a local pastor and his ministry, an orphanage, etc.), but those above are our regular items.
Updated 7/2019. Visit their website at

Eva and Lindsay Gilliam
Eva and Lindsay Gilliam and their two sons are currently in Richmond preparing for their next assignment. They are preparing for their next journey to South Asia. They recently visited South Asia and feel this is where God is calling them to serve. While they are in the U.S. they have been very involved in ministering to Veterans at the VA Hospital among other ministries. They continue to serve daily wherever they are located. Their email is

Laura and Timo Harkonen
Laura and Timo Harkonen will be in Nairobi for two years. Laura provides this update:
Timo will be teaching theology students that come from all over Africa at Africa International University. He will also be working through a mentoring program and some curriculum development to help him be truly prepared to return to grassroots teaching in rural Africa. The vision is to help provide strong Biblical training and discipleship for national church leaders and missionaries who do not have the financial means to attend a University, but who will strengthen the church and be involved with evangelism and discipleship. It is essentially the same vision as the learning center that was started in Nyankunde. We will also conquer Swahili, which we had began in Congo, but not mastered. After two years, we will move to a smaller village in one of the Swahili speaking countries where Timo will then focus on grassroots level teaching, discipling and equipping local Christians to go out and make disciples and plant Christ-centered churches among their own people. Updated 7/2019.

Liz Jackson serving in the Philippines 
Liz is now in the Philippines teaching English and coaching basketball at a non-profit outreach as means to share the love of Jesus. She also serves in a homeless shelter for children. As Liz says, “Love all—serve all!” Liz provides this update:
Thank you for all your support and prayers over the years. As my work in the Philippines is coming to a close, I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life. My goal in missions has been to raise up nationals to replace me and continue the work and God has done that. I will greatly miss serving the street kids at Knox UMC, working with the community in Barangay 694, and coaching Philippine Chrisitan University women's basketball team. I will be moving back to the U.S. in November and Jamshid and I will be planning our wedding. My parents will continue the work of Generous Hands Ministries. My father plans to travel to the Philippines and also other locations to serve in the ongoing work there. My mom will keep the office going and manage the international travel. We are believing in God to continue the miracle for her health. I'm hoping to find a job by January 2020. Please pray that I will find the right job and especially for Jamshid and I as we begin our lives together. Updated 7/2019.

Quynh-Hoa Nguyen serving in Vietnam 
Quynh-Hoa Nguyen was born in Vietnam and grew up in a Christian home in Danang. Quynh-Hoa received a Master of Divinity degree in the U.S. "My years of study in the United States were a journey of faith, which I explored, discerned, and renewed my call as I prepared myself to bring the gospel home.” The United Methodist Church in Vietnam has a center with training facilities in Ho Chi Minh City. Quyhn-Hoa works with other United Methodist personnel in the country. She is part of the Virginia Conference supported missionaries. From Quynh-Hoa:
I want to thank again for your love for the children and the people of Vietnam. We are able to start a Children's Sunday School program this year. I would like to share with you some of the pictures of a class in Gialai and Kontum, Central Highlands. The children love to color bible stories. Check out the link:!AuFTTX5uEe73jA_8FTxMYv5ObYFN?e=oRben9
It is still hot in Vietnam since it does not rain much this year. July is a busy month for the church here since we have many programs going on: VBS, Bibles & Backpacks, Health Kits, and Youth Camp. Updated 7/2019.

Dave and Laura Shuping
Dave and Laura lead the East-Coast efforts of the Navigators First-Responder Ministry which reaches out to first responders like police, fire, and emergency crews. Many of the Navigators Military staff work with the First Responder team to advance the gospel in first responder families. Keep up to date with their efforts by clicking HERE.

Heather and James serving in location undisclosed
This family is trying to reach the locals and bring them to Christ. James is reaching out to the men in the community by offering a service in the business community and opening doors for further conversations about Christ. Heather is ministering to women in the community in various ways, “Bringing one disciple at a time!" 

Virginia United Methodist Conference Missions

For more information regarding the missions of our conference, visit

If interested in joining the planning of global missions at SGUMC, please contact Teresa Gagliardi at or 804-241-3144.