News & Updates
Southerland Prayer Letter (November 2019)
Dear Family and Friends,
I hope you are doing well this fall and living in the blessing of the Lord!
Life has been extraordinarily busy since my last prayer letter. I can’t possibly share all of it with you but I would like to share a few highlights of the ministry and family. While you may only hear from me quarterly in a Prayer Letter, you should be hearing from me almost every month through PMU’s monthly newsletter, the Missions Banner, and through the prayer requests that PMU sends out weekly. If you haven’t already, make sure you sign-up to receive those on the website: www.presbyterianmissions.org.
The day before the 2019 annual Synod meeting of the Bible Presbyterian Church I sat next to Dr. Len Pine at the PMU Annual Council Meeting. That meeting marked the official passing of the baton from his leadership to mine. This meant that it was my turn to report on PMU’s mission work to the Synod. Several of our missionaries were present and shared their greetings with the Synod. There were three church planters, two new Home Missionaries and one Foreign Missionary present.
The return from Synod took longer than usual. Six days longer. This time my son, Lucas, met me in Spokane, WA where we rented a moving truck and drove the PMU Office across the country. Along the way we spent a few days at Glacier National Park where we enjoyed a 20-mile backpacking trip in some of the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen, visited some of our family in Flathead, Montana, and spent an afternoon at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.
August and September were months of intense training for the PMU office. Karen Pine joined us and put us through our paces as she helped us get up to speed on a multitude of PMU office tasks. It takes more work behind the scenes than you can imagine to keep missionaries on their fields, especially when they are in several different states and countries, each with their own unique legal requirements and various challenges.
I’m sure many of you are wondering about the rest of the family. Kelly has been doing very well. Her blood work has shown no sign of cancer returning. Now she is enjoying returning to her “normal” life of being a homeschool mom, ballet mom, cheer mom, soccer mom and taxi driver for all of these. The way she lays down her life to provide these opportunities to our children is remarkable.
As for the children, from youngest to oldest, here is the latest. Micah has been enjoying soccer and any excuse to be outside. Like the trip with Lucas in August, October included a father-son hunting and camping trip in Eastern Ohio with Micah. No bears or long hikes but lots of squirrels! Julia and Madison have been cheering for a homeschool football team and they’ve been thriving. Kelsey is moving out of our home and in with her grandma. We are happy for both of them but sad to see her go. Our oldest, Cody, has been home from college over a couple weekends recently and we have enjoyed precious moments with him. These are years of transition for our family as our older “kids” get driver’s licenses and move on.
Your prayers for these years of big decisions and many transitions are welcome and appreciated. Please also pray for the family as I travel to Myanmar and Peru in December and January. I look forward to sharing news of those trips with you next time.
Finally, I want to give you my heartfelt thanks for your prayers and support of my ministry and family.
By His Grace,