Dear Friends and Family,
A very exciting endeavor, for which I believe the Lord has been preparing me all of my life, lies before me. I hope that you will join me in whatever way the Lord leads you.
First, I should give you an update on our family. You may already know that in June, Kelly had a tumor removed which was later found to be cancerous. She has recently begun chemotherapy to treat any cancerous cells that may remain in her body. At the time of this letter, she has had three treatments and is enduring things well. We have been very encouraged by Christians from everyplace imaginable who have been praying for our family. As for our children, they are doing very well. Cody (19), Kelsey (18), Lucas (17), Madison (16), Julia (14), and Micah (7) have all pitched in to help and encourage while we go through this season. We are immensely grateful to the Lord for our children. His Word is true! Children are a blessing from the Lord!
“I have always felt my heart was invested in the work our missionaries were doing around the world.”
This year also marks another evidence of the Lord’s covenantal faithfulness and leading for Kelly and me. It has now been 20 years since the Lord led us back to Cincinnati to serve in the church where we were raised. The Lord saved us through the ministries of our church and presbytery camp. It has been our passion and blessing to serve Christ together in these ministries where we could serve the children and grandchildren of saints who poured their lives into ours. Now, it is clear that the Lord is directing us to serve Him in new ways while allowing us to continue to serve His Kingdom at Grace Bible Presbyterian Church.
In August 2019, I will assume the role of Field Director for Presbyterian Missionary Union. The prayers for God’s leading in my teen years led me to consider serving wherever He called. I wondered if that might be the foreign field. But while that was not the case, the Lord did give me a love for the work of missionaries, and I have always felt my heart invested in the work our missionaries were doing around the world. Their work for the kingdom of God is a great work! I cannot tell you how excited I am to be able to support and encourage PMU’s missionaries in their work for God’s Kingdom. Two principles for serving the Lord have led me to pursue this role. First, “To whom much is given, much is required,” and, second, “It is required among stewards that a man be found faithful.” I believe I have been given much, and I desperately want to be faithful with it. In the 20 years I’ve served at Grace BPC I’ve acquired a lot of experience working with people and leading teams on ministry trips, including trips to serve missionaries. But this kind of experience is only part of why I’m passionate about serving in this new role. I’ve become convinced that in the last two decades the Lord has granted me many relationships and a unique place as Assistant Pastor in my home church which work together wonderfully to be a special fit (especially opportunistic) for a Field Director for PMU.
This is where you come in. Will you join us in prayer? While I am convinced the Lord has been preparing me for this, I am also keenly aware that I am weak, but our God is strong. Please join us on this journey in prayer for the Lord to provide wisdom and strength to our family. There are many “firsts” ahead for all of us as I step into this role. Praying for us is the thing for which I’d be most grateful.
Of course, we will be in need financially, too. It is common for a percentage of a missionary’s funds to be used towards the sending agency’s expenses; however, one way the PMU Field Director supports the missionaries of PMU is by raising his own funds. My role and salary at Grace BPC will be decreased by approximately 1/3 which means I need to raise a portion of my salary through monthly donors. If the Lord leads you to support us financially I would certainly be grateful. Support of any amount is helpful!
PMU has made it easy to give. You may donate by credit card, debit card, or bank transfer through PMU’s website, http://presbyterianmissions.org/. Additionally, checks are also welcome and should be mailed to PO Box 879, Bonners Ferry, ID 83805. (Many donors prefer to set up automatic checks from their bank; this method carries no fee to PMU.) Please note on the memo or reference line “preferenced for Southerland,” so that donations will be credited towards my fund.
Thank you for considering partnering with me in this new PMU ministry, and do please keep us in prayer.
By His grace,
Rev. Casey Southerland