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Cody & family wedding pic

Southerland Prayer Letter (September 2021)

Dear Friends,

First let me begin by thanking you for your interest and prayer for our family and my work with PMU.  Your support, whether by prayer, financial giving, encouragement, spreading the word so others might partner with us, is all very encouraging and helpful.  Kelly and I are truly grateful.

If you’ve been receiving the PMU Missions Banner, you are probably aware that we had our annual meeting in August.  This was our first full meeting since I became the Field Director.  In addition to that it was quite a full meeting due, in part, to the fact that we were not able to have a full meeting in 2020, but also due to the zealous work of our missionaries and three proposals I made to the council.  Two were for Team Timothy’s (our short-term mission teams) to serve in St. Paul, MN (summer 2022) and Brazil (winter 2023).  I will be working on these teams over the coming months.  The Mission Council also approved an effort by PMU to begin working in Iquitos, Peru.  There is much to share here but I’ll have to save that for other publications and speaking opportunities.  Please contact me if you’d like to like to hear more.  I’d be delighted to share.

I know you’re wondering how Kelly is doing.  Perhaps we need a “Kelly’s Korner” section in these Prayer Letters.  As for the cancer, we believe that it has returned, but it is only seen by blood tests and there is no mass to be removed at this point.  A close eye is being kept on all of these indicators, which will continue on a monthly basis until more can be known.  In addition to this concern, Kelly sustained a torn meniscus and a bone bruise at camp.  We believe Kelly was more vulnerable to these injuries because of medication she’s been taking to prevent the spread of the cancer.  She has had surgery to repair the meniscus and has just started therapy.  Please pray for her recovery.

Also on the home front, the family has had quite a few significant developments.  In the past three months, Cody was married and two of our children have become engaged.  Lucas is now engaged to Ms. Hannah Torrans and Madison is engaged to Mr. Dylan Francis.  We are thrilled and thankful that the Lord has provided our sons and daughter with mates who love the Lord.  We celebrated Cody and Maggie’s wedding in Pittsburgh, PA with Pastor Ben Robinson officiating.  This was special to Kelly and me because Pastor Ben and Liz have been instrumental in our lives through many years of presbytery camps and retreats.  They also took us under their wings when the Lord took us to live in Pittsburgh for a year of seminary and mentorship prior to bringing us back to serve at our home church in Cincinnati.  Having “PB” officiate the wedding, who, with Mrs. Robinson, have loved the bride and groom so well for many years was a deep kindness from the Lord.  Lucas and Madison are to be married next summer, Lord-willing, and we are eager for them to begin to honor the Lord with families of their own.

In addition to all the wedding rejoicing, our family also had a time of mourning the passing of my grandfather, Labon Jasper Dorsey, Jr.  This was also a time of thankfulness and celebration.  He was a wonderful Christian man, adored by all for his wit, helpfulness and unrivaled skill and ability.  His life manifested all of the fruit of the Spirit in greater measure than I’ve ever witnessed.  He was loving, joyful, peacemaking, long-suffering, immensely kind and so on.  He was the spiritual patriarch of my mother’s side of our family.  Nearly the entire family on my mother’s side (the Dorseys) were together for my son’s wedding on Saturday and drove directly from Pittsburgh, PA to Rupert, WV to lay my grandpa’s body to rest on Tuesday.  I have never experienced grief mixed with so much gladness for the life of a son of God who lived so many good years.  He was 91 and was able to enjoy company and tell stories until just a few days before he passed.  Goodness and mercy had surely followed him through all the days of his life, a life that was a witness to the glorious goodness and saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you for prayers for our family through life’s joys and sorrows.  Our God is abundantly gracious to us!

Yours for God’s Glory Around the World,


More Updates


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2021 Hiker Group, edited

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2021, 10 Children's Missions page pic

Children’s Missions Page (October 2021 Banner)

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