Learning to Smoke a Turkey


Three weeks ago, I received a phone call from my brother that impacted my family for the rest of our lives. As many of you know, my dad passed away in his sleep from a heart attack just two weeks after his 54th birthday.

The last few weeks have had certain challenges that are familiar to many of you, but very much new to us as a family. Mom is having to learn to take care of her monthly bills, gather the needed information to handle their estate, and to continue living each day without her spouse of 32 years.

I have also had to learn several hard lessons over the last few weeks. I am having to learn how to listen and give biblical wisdom to my mom, when my own heart is breaking as well. I am learning that our time in this life is short and that each and everyday we have a purpose to get the gospel to the world! And…yes, I am even having to learn how to smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving!

I know that this sounds menial, but each year, dad would have orders and requests from his friends from all over for a smoked turkey. Dad loved firing up the grill, prepping the coals, brining the turkey, and patiently waiting over night to carve into that delicious bird.

This year, as an attempt to bring some sort of normality and familiarity to my family, I am going to attempt our smoked turkey. Some of you may be wondering why I am writing an update on this subject. If for no other reason, I am asking you to please remember my family, and continue praying for us during this time of sorrow. The days ahead will still have many uncertainties, and many new lessons that we will need to learn. I ask you to help me pray that God will continue to provide great grace, and that we will not squander the opportunity to grow from this storm.

As with many life altering events, I believe God has a special purpose in which He may receive glory unto Himself! I believe He has many lessons for me to learn. I believe He desires that I be more conformed into the image of Christ! I believe there remain many “turkeys” that I need to learn to smoke!

Thank you all for your prayers, your love that has displayed, and your continued support for me, my family, and our ministry! God bless each of you and Happy Thanksgiving!


Stephen, Ashlee, Peyton, and Eli
The Underwood Family to South Africa

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