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A word from Pastor and his family.

 I’ve been part of Southland Baptist Church for 27 years this year. I am who I am because of God’s work in my life through our church. I think about each of the families that represent our church and all of us have a story to share that’s a memory. Much has happened over these years. 

 As a 12 year old boy, I came to the first Sunday of our church filled with nervous anticipation at what God was going to do. Now, I can scarcely fathom all that God has done. Countless times God has blessed me through the very ministry of our church. I’ve been both giver and much more the receiver. Here, I grew up and found my calling from God. Here, I met Azariah, married her and found our purpose as a couple. Here, my children have been born and our lives have been intertwined with yours. I owe ALL to the Lord, and much to our church. 

 So, it’s with profound sadness that I make this announcement. God has seen it fit that we leave this church family. He has changed our course. Today, I am announcing that we will be moving. 

With this, I am also filled with hope. Firstly, because this isn’t my doing. It was truly God that has disturbed our comfort and has shown us what is next for us and conversely for Southland. I will no longer be your pastor, because God has called me to pastor Good Shepherd Baptist Church, in Brisbane. This week, they unanimously voted me in to be their new pastor.

When Pastor Wayne Sehmish called me after the shock resignation of my good friend Nathan Lloyd, I had no idea that he would ask me to pray about going there to be the pastor. I thought he was simply going to ask me to fill the pulpit and give counsel to their men. I was shocked enough at Pastor Lloyd’s resignation and those words,  “Would you consider coming and pastoring Good Shepherd?” didn’t seem real. Yet, as we travelled there and back, God’s Word, God’s Spirit and all my counsellors were confirming the same thing – “Go”. 

 Secondly, because this is God’s doing I know it will be good. It will be good for us as a family, but it also be good for our church. I had a sense that God was going to shake us up. We have become too comfortable, many great things are happening, and yet this is usually the time for some shaking up. I didn’t know that “all in” meant that my faith would be tested and that God would be leading us to a time of uncertainty as a church. Yet, this is hopeful because God isn’t done with our church. He wants to bring us to uncertainty because He wants us to seek Him more. He wants our church to grow and move forward. This means that me staying in disobedience to His revealed will would be detrimental, and us going is how God is going to facilitate His growing of you. This was a hard realisation. 

 Thirdly, I’m hopeful because I know there’s still much that God wants to do through you. There are men we are training for ministry. We have a ministry of influence through our camps and TNS. We have missionaries we’ve sent and missionaries still yet to be sent. All my counsellors and even my new church family know that this is a great church. 

 I was asked during my time at Good Shepherd last Sunday, if I owe much of my ministry success to the people of Southland. I answered that barring God’s blessing and favour, I owed all to our faithful church family. The work has never been about me. I’m just a servant my master is moving to a different area of service. The work will only keep going growing and succeeding because of your faithful following of the Lord. So, keep doing what you know! Keep faithful. Keep encouraged and look to our great God for His leading.  

 Prior to our departure, there are some things we will take care of. As requested by the men who I leaned on during the last month of seeking God’s will, I will stay on to help guide the pulpit committee in recommending the right candidate as your new under shepherd. Please be in much prayer about this. Walk with God, and surrender your agenda. Make this next appointment God’s choice not ours. 

 I will give you my all in my preaching, teaching and counsel until the day of our departure. I promise I will give you my best, as I always have. All these are not as important as our relationships and hence I look forward to spending time with you before we go. 

 I want to encourage you. God is in control. I’m mindful of this verse:  

Psalm 100:3  Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  

 We are His flock. God is the great shepherd and He will look after us. Please pray for our family as we make the move. We promise we will continue to love you, even when we take our family to Brisbane. I often say, “separated but not severed”, so I pray that you would extend that to my family and I as we move.

  If you ever want to visit Brisbane, you’ll have a place with us. We love you with all our hearts and I pray that you will look to God at this time and see His hand in all of this. He is a God worthy of all our trust, so let’s trust Him as we transition together in the next few months and then onward as we labour for Him. 

Pastor Hernan Hullana