The PMU Council gathered for its annual meeting on August 2, the day before the BPC’s General Synod convened, and embarked on a long but profitable day of planning, listening, refocusing, and communicating. We were comfortably hosted by the Edmonton BPC, and we were encouraged by the fellowship that we had together.

A PMU Council meeting is a mix of what seems like mundane matters of regular business that must be accomplished year by year and more compelling work specifically related to the fields that we serve. In reality, it’s all interesting and important, because one type of business cannot be sustained without the other!

After the opening devotional and roundtable of prayer, minutes were approved and elections for the coming year held. Revs. James S. Blizzard, James Huff, Tito Lyro, Morris McDonald, and Casey Southerland, along with Elders William D. Hansen, Jr., and Lloyd Vaartstra were elected as the Class of 2020. Revs. G.W. Fisher, Kevin Backus, John Dyck, and James Huff were reelected as President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, respectively. Joining the officers on the Executive Committee will be Revs. Tito Lyro and Casey Southerland as members at large. Please be in prayer for these men and all the members of the Council as they oversee the work that is being done.

The more “interesting” items began with the Council giving the green light to begin to seek out new fields to serve overseas. We’ve been deliberately limiting ourselves to putting all energies into existing fields and church planting, but the time has come to look for fresh harvest fields. There is certainly no shortage of places to go: the questions are, what would the Lord have us to do and who will go? Pray with us as we seek the answers to these questions.

Church planting opportunities were a big topic of discussion this year. We rejoiced in the progress being made in Tacoma, Washington, led by Rev. Andy Yong among the Korean community. And reports from the Orlando church plant being overseen by the Lakeland BPC and supported financially by PMU were also very encouraging. Both works will continue to be underwritten through PMU’s church planting fund. In addition, several other potential church plants in Ohio, Washington, and Idaho were also discussed.

Rev. Kima’s personal report blessed all of us, as he winds down his immediate oversight relationship with PMU, and the ongoing funding and accountability shifts to the church planting efforts and orphanage in Myanmar. Pastor Kima urged us to continue our support for those works through the next decade as he strives to establish two fully functioning presbyteries in the country, which the Council eagerly approved. More about that change in the article, “Change is in the Air,” in this Banner.

We also had the joy of interviewing Miss Michaela Sharpshair from Grace BPC of Sharonville, Ohio, and approving her for Pre-candidate status. Michaela desires to serve as a missionary in South America eventually. She will be working with PMU in cooperation with her home church to be fully prepared educationally and spiritually for that wonderful goal.

Reports from all of our missionaries are always great to hear, and this year was no exception. The news of how the Lord is using all of our field partners reminds us that He “neither slumbers nor sleeps” as He builds up His kingdom and is faithful to supply every need our faithful missionaries have. You, our prayer and support partners, are naturally a big part of the outworking of that faithfulness.

PMU has not fielded a Team Timothy short-term ministry for a couple of years now for various reasons, but this year the Council considered and approved a domestic team for 2018 which will serve the newest church in the denomination, Trinity BPC in the Weed, California, area. Be watching for more details to come about that team soon!

The meeting wrapped up with a number of “nuts and bolts” items that make efficient operations possible. Refinements to our governing documents, for example, and numerous legal actions that must be taken each year. The Council also continued to work on a policy regarding leadership transitions. It is important that an organization like PMU have directions in place for how such changes are to be made, so that when the occasion arises there is guidance for all those involved. Personnel come and go, as providence dictates, but we want to be sure that those changes are as seamless as possible, no matter who may be “at the helm.”  Of course, the big item was considering the coming year’s budget, which, including the church planting funds we hope to raise in the coming year, came in at over $325,000, one of the largest budgets we’ve ever set out to raise. By God’s grace, every need anticipated will be met, we are confident.

Thank you for your prayers for PMU and its work of declaring God’s glory among the nations. We pray that the good day’s work just described will bear much fruit in the days and years to come.

Dr. Leonard W. Pine