Karen Vo-To attended Emmanuel Bible College in Kitchener, Canada, earning a BRE degree in pastoral studies. She received her MDiv from Methodist Theological School in Ohio. An ordained elder in the Detroit Annual Conference, Karen spent four years as an associate pastor at Cass Community UMC in Detroit. During that time, she served on the Commission on the Status and Role of Women and the Ethnic Local Church Concerns Committee. For four years she was president of Vietnamese United Methodist Women on the national level.
Karen's husband, Ut To, holds a BRE degree in pastoral studies from Tyndale University College and an MDiv degree from Ontario Theological Seminary, both in Toronto. He completed his DMin degree at San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, CA, and a PhD from Capella University in Minneapolis, MN. An ordained elder of the Detroit Annual Conference, Ut served 10 years as associate director of the Vietnamese United Methodist Ministry of the Michigan Area before he was commissioned as a GBGM missionary. Karen and Ut have two adult children, An To and David To. David has served as youth pastor with Chapel Hill UMC in Farmers Branch, TX, since 2004.
Karen and Ut serve as missionaries in Vietnam, planting new churches and working with government leaders and the General Board of Global Ministries to have the United Methodist Church in Vietnam recognized and registered, moving it from the underground into the open. Their work has resulted in the establishment of 162 new house churches. Karen's work focuses on recruiting women to study for pastoral ministry. She works with a women's support group to encourage them to “reach their full potential in Jesus Christ; to promote fellowship among women at the national level; to provide vehicles of communication for women, listening to and offering solutions for the women's needs; and to present the whole gospel to the whole person,” she says. Rev. Vo-To also serves as coordinator for the Women's Ministry. Ut trains Christian leaders in developing new congregations and nurturing Christians in the region. “I believe that through my teaching and example, I will prepare students for their future work as preachers, teachers, and pastors,” he says, “and through my witness many new congregations will be established.”
How You Can Help
Support of Ut and Karen will help provide leadership support to the emerging Church in Vietnam. Like all United Methodist missionaries, Karen and Ut are responsible for raising their own support through covenant relationships with individuals, groups, and congregations. To support Karen and Ut, you may give online here or send a check to Advance GCFA, PO Box 9068, GPO, New York, NY 10087-9068 with 'Karen Vo-To, #14174Z' or 'Ut To, #14175Z' in the Memo line.