Columbia District Missionary Update: Rev. Luke Rhyee and Sara Flores

Missionary Update:  Rev. Luke Rhyee, M.D.

The Rev. Luke MoonTaeg Rhyee, M.D. is the creator, developer and director of Healing Guatemala in Quetzaltenango.  Healing Guatemala is a non-profit that provides medical and feeding services to enhance the healing of bodies, and also proclaimed the Gospel of our Lord by sharing the Kingdom of God together.  The Bethesda Mission Center is a basecamp to bring the healing of the Lord into Guatemala. The Bethesda Mission Center has the Bethesda Medical Clinic, the Bethesda Dental Clinic, a missionary’s house, and a guest house with a mini-chapel set on 1.5 acres of land. Five years ago, this place was a barren field full of weeds. However, today, we can see “an amazing miracle of God.” The Bethesda Medical Clinic has a general outpatient clinic open from Monday to Friday, an ophthalmologic clinic, an endoscopy clinic, an Ultra Sound room, an X-ray room, and a pharmacy. The Bethesda Dental clinic has three dentists and five dental units. Normally, the Bethesda Medical Clinic provides an “urgent care” level of medical service. However, with the cooperation of surgical teams from the US and Korea, Bethesda performs many invasive medical and surgical services. For example, in July of 2019, an ophthalmologist plans to do a “cataract camp” at Bethesda, at which we will offer free cataract surgeries.

According to Luke, “The Bethesda Mission Center is a place of healing, not only to patients, but also to mission teams. Bethesda has a quiet and green environment which is perfect for meditating, praying, praising, and resting! At Bethesda, I am sure that many of our friends will restore their faith and passion for the Lord.” The South Carolina Conference will be sending a team of 8 to 10 persons in July of 2019.  The Columbia District intends to follow suit in the near future.

Pastor Luke says, “Like year 2017, this year we have made a huge progress in our construction. We finished the second floor of the Dental Clinic, which we started last year. Currently, the construction of the guest house (first floor) and mini-chapel have reached about 80 percent of its completion. The Mini-chapel will be used for worship service of our staffs, volunteer doctors, medical and dental students and short-term mission teams. The first floor of the guest house has the mini-chapel, three guest rooms and a kitchen. The guest house will be used mainly by short term mission teams. Our missionary’s house, which we used to host short term mission teams, will be used for mid- or long- term missionaries. To complete the first floor, we still need to finish tile job, resurfacing, installation of windows and doors, to do plumbing and toilet jobs, and illation of electricity, which will cost about 30,000 dollars. God has provided everything abundantly until now, and we are sure that God will fill the need according to His abundance.

The Columbia District has partnered with Rev. Luke Rhyee in support of the mission work in Guatemala. You too may support him directly by mailing funds to: Healing Guatemala, 110 Windsor Point Road, Columbia SC 29223.

(photo left) Local elementary school students shared the joy of the Lord with a traditional Guatemalan folk dance.



Missionary Update:  Sara Flores

Sara Flores works in and through the Methodist Conference in Ecuador.   She partners with the 14 Methodist  churches in the Sierra District, the 8 churches in the Costa District and 8 mission sites in the Amazonica Region.  She also partners with UMVIM teams coming mostly from the U.S. establishing connections between the teams and local congregations.

One of her biggest recent projects has been with a new church start outside of the city of Otavalo, Ecuador.   Some years ago a ranchero formerly owned by drug lords was seized by the government.         (photo left: the view of the Volcano near El Prada) The indigenous Cayambe (Ki um bee) persons that had lived on and worked the ranch were left with uncertain futures.  No one seemed to own the land or control the farm work.   They did not know if they were to be removed or if they would be allowed to remain.  Eventually they settled into a no man’s land of not knowing but being left to their own devices for survival.  One of the women that lived on the ranchero had a sister in the U. S.  The sister contacted Sara suggesting that a mission site be established for the children and families living on the ranchero.  After a little while Sara had establish a one Saturday a month VBS experience for the kids. That was followed by one of the residents offering to house the project in a spare room of her home.  The next step was to identify a spare barn for a worship center.  Currently a neighboring congregation is helping set up and staff the worship services.   The dream is to establish a self-contained church facility and existent congregation:   From “nothing” to “full-fledged worshiping community”, what a powerful dream that is coming to reality.  Several UMVIM teams have visited and fostered the work in El Prado.  Many folk are praying for and working for this dream to come to fruition.

Our support for Sara has helped this to come about, along with all of her other work.   She, as United Methodist Missionary sent on our behalf by the General Board of Global Ministries, is helping to establish the Methodist ethos of abundant grace in Ecuador.    The Columbia District through the District Connectional Ministries has established a covenant relationship with Sara.   If you would like to join in supporting Sara you may do so by making contributions to the SC UM Conference Treasurers Office.   Mark your contribution as “CO MISSIONARY” account # 639.

(Photo left: Sara opening a gift from members of a Columbia District UMVIM team.  Pictured with her is the local translator.)




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