International Ministries

My father’s passing

September 6, 2009 Journal
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Please pray for my family as we celebrate my father's life and his going home to be with our Lord.

On September 4th, I learned that my father had not been able to have his regular dialysis the previous day and that because of his decline and medical complications he would not be able to continue dialysis at all.  I was blessed by a couple of phone conversations with him after that point even though he was in a lot of pain that day and the next.

We knew that death would come within 1-2 weeks, but for him it came even more quickly.  He began hospice care on the 5th, and by 6 p.m. on the 6th our family had gathered round his bed (with one brother having driven 2200 miles in 2 ½ days to get there from his family's vacation spot, with me having traveled from China and with my other brother having arrived the day before).  Our father was already in a coma by that point, but a regularizing of his breathing patterns as we sang hymns, read scripture and prayed together showed us that he could both hear and respond at a deep level, though other avenues of response were no longer open to him.  My brother's pastor joined with us for part of this time.   Then at 3 a.m. today (Monday, September 7th) we received the call that he had gone to be with our Lord.  

On Labor Day, William W. Sutterlin, was released from his labors among us on this earth, to his heavenly reward.  I will be staying in California at least through his memorial service
which we are planning for sometime this coming weekend. Then I will return to Nanjing and my teaching at the seminary.

We praise God for our father's life of service beginning from serving as a missionary in China for 2 ½ years in the late 1940s and continuing to serve on the pastoral staff of four different churches over the years, followed by two different interim pastorates and a time as an Area Minister in his "first retirement," as well as lots of volunteer service after that.  We praise and thank God for his role in our lives and our family.  He will be greatly missed even as we rejoice in God's promised eternal life.

Thank you for all your prayers.