Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, who also serves as President of the Board of Directors for the General Board of Global Ministries, has issued the following statement: "I am appealing to you today to join me in prayer for three missionaries who are being detained in the Philippines. Our Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church joins our colleague bishops in the Philippines in requesting assistance from the Philippine government for the immediate release of the three missionaries: Tawanda Chandiwana is a citizen of Zimbabwe; Miracle Osman is a citizen of Malawi; and Adam Shaw is a citizen of the United States.

Chandiwana and Osman are part of the Global Mission Fellows of the General Board of Global Ministries. Overtures by United Methodist leaders in the Philippines for the release of Chandiwana, and resolution of other visa issues have been unsuccessful. All three missionaries took part in mission related to human rights concerns in General Santos Province last February; and apparently came under government surveillance.

Global Ministries has enjoyed cordial relations with the Philippines for many years. We have placed young adult missionaries in Mindanao since 2006. We hope to continue to work with Filipino partners.

We call on United Methodists worldwide to observe daily prayer beginning at noon on June 27 for the missionaries’ safety and for government permission to return to their homes. We pray: “God of grace and peace be with our missionaries. Keep them free from harm. Bring them home. Lord, hear our prayer. Amen.”

View Bishop's plea for prayer (YouTube video).

Calling for a missionary’s immediate release from the Bicutan Detention Center in the Philippines, the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church today took the unusual step of calling upon the government of the Republic of the Philippines to expedite the discharge of a young adult United Methodist missionary who has been the victim of repeated bureaucratic delays that have caused him to be incarcerated for more than six weeks.

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. Mr. Shaw is a former Global Mission Fellow in the Philippines who now serves there as a global missionary with The United Methodist Church.

The GBGM invites you to visit umcmission.org/LetThemLeave and join them in:

  • Signing the online petition that calls for the immediate release of our missionaries;
  • Raising awareness through social media; and
  • Covering our missionaries in prayer by praying daily at NOON, wherever you are, for as long as these three young people are held:

God of grace and peace,
be with our missionaries.
Keep them free from harm.
Bring them home.
Lord, hear our prayer. Amen.

Read the full GBGM statement here.

Read the Council of Bishops statement here.