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PMU Annual Council Meeting Report by Rev. Casey Southerland (Aug/Sept 2020 Banner)

Mutual Encouragement Among Co-laborers

The first thing to report concerning PMU’s Annual Meeting is that, in lieu of a full-fledged Annual Council Meeting, which was not feasible as a consequence of COVID-19 travel restrictions, the Council had a pro re nata meeting.  This allowed the Council to handle the most pressing issues by way of a Zoom meeting which was held on Thursday, August 6, 2020.

I am pleased to report that Rev. James S. Blizzard was re-elected to a third term as our agency’s president.  It has been one year since Dr. Pine passed the baton to a new Field Director and the PMU office was moved from Idaho to Ohio.  We are grateful for Rev. Blizzard’s ongoing leadership which has helped us to have a stable transition and to be on good footing for future labors.

The Council’s Executive Committee this year is comprised of Rev. James S. Blizzard (President), Dr. Kevin Backus (Vice-President), Rev. Jim Huff (Treasurer), Rev. John Dyck (Secretary), with Drs. Jason Hutchinson and Len Pine serving as at-large members.

It was both duty and delight for the Council to review the reports of our missionaries and their work.  Each of our missionaries and church planters submitted reports of their labors and each was an occasion for rejoicing, in spite of the challenges that COVID-19 has presented to meeting in person and engaging in normal efforts within various communities.  As promised, our Lord’s word is not returning void, nor is the work of His laborers.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.   —I Corinthians 15:58

The Council is grateful for your prayers and financial support for these brothers and their families who are laboring in the gospel.  This year, the Church Planting Fund is supporting three works led by Revs. Frank Liu in St. Paul, MN, Jason Waeber in Lockland, OH, and Andy Yong in Tacoma, WA.

Our Home Missionaries who have just completed their first year of service with PMU are Revs. Mark Baldwin working to revitalize the BP church in Weed, CA and Doug Douma ministering to Appalachian Trail hikers in Unionville, NY through Sola Appalachian Christian Retreat.

On the Foreign Field we continue work in Myanmar toward the planting of churches.  Here we could see ministers ordained and a presbytery formed in the next five to ten years.  And in Brazil, Rev. Doug Leaman continues his Biblical Counseling ministry and is overseeing the establishment of the Soli Deo Gloria Project, which will be used to counsel and minister to pastors and their families.

PMU is grateful for our Lord’s gracious provision for the ongoing work and needs of our missionaries.  One of His provisions is the humble service of members of the Council.  This year we recognize one elder and four ministers who have reached milestones in their service on the PMU Council:

Revs. G.W. Fisher and Ben Robinson each joined the Council in 1990, serving in various capacities on the Council throughout the years.  Pastor Fisher has served as the PMU President while Pastor Robinson has served as the Secretary.

Dr. Len Pine has been serving with PMU for 25 years in various capacities.  He began as a church planter, then, in 2001, served as Field Director, and now serves as a member of the Council’s Executive Committee.

Elder Phil Resnick has been serving the Council since 2000.  Mr. Resnick is representative of several elders whose dedication to the work of missions has been a great blessing to the work of the Council.

Finally, we are grateful for the service of Rev. Tim Prussic.  Pastor Prussic, is one of our newer, younger Council members, serving now for five years.  We thank the Lord for these faithful churchmen who give of their time and energy for the sake of the proclamation of the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ in the U.S. and around the world!

Finally, without being able to meet and fellowship in person during synod, the Council was thankful to the Lord for the opportunity to share in a time of fellowship which followed the business portion of the meeting.  Our co-laborers in the gospel are a source of encouragement as well as joy in the Lord, making this time of fellowship with dear brothers especially sweet.  We invite you to praise the Lord with us over the His gracious provision in the work of gospel missions.

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