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The Sundstroms - Living Life with Passion and Purpose

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10/01/2011 - By Gayle Irwin

Serving God by serving people is central to lives of Marc and Heather Sundstrom. These Wyoming natives are the parents of three small, active boys, and their love for their children overflows into their life purpose: living life and serving others passionately.

Marc and Heather are the proud parents of Keaton (5), Ryan (3), and Owen (8 months). The parents are active in the boys' lives, and the boys keep their parents active. That activity fulfills a large part Marc and Heather's life purposes, translating into passion for people not only in their own family but also in the community and around the world.

This month denotes Marc's third year as a pastor at Highland Park Community Church (HPCC). The couple is involved with community groups and other church organizations and functions. Marc began his work at HPCC as the Administrative Pastor and helped lead the new building campaign. Earlier this year, he accepted the role of Administrative and Discipleship Pastor, continuing to oversee financial aspects of the church and now also assisting with leadership and discipleship outreach, such as the Global Leadership Summit that took place in August and the Missions Board. He also preaches eight to twelve times a year, and he currently teaches a Wednesday evening class called "How Are You Growing?"

"My passion has always been teaching," Marc said.

Heather's passion is her children. She homeschools them and keeps a family scrapbook. She chose the Sunlight program to teach her children, which was recommended by a friend who also homeschools.

"It's a Biblically-based curriculum," Heather explained. "It's awesome to see Keaton memorize Scripture."

Keaton said he enjoys learning, especially math. He also likes computer games and playing "Angry Birds" on his dad's phone. He and Ryan attend and enjoy Sunday School and the Journey with Jesus program on Wednesday nights at church.

Heather often combines her passion for her children with her enjoyment of photography.

"I take pictures of everything about the kids as well as video. I want them to have a good record of their growing-up years, so I keep a scrapbook, a journal, for them," she said.

The family spends quality time together, going for drives, playing in Casper's parks, and going to the local museums as well as the Aquatic Center and library. Reading is also a pastime.

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"We read a lot to the kids," Marc said.

Marc's enjoyment of reading parallels his passion for people.

"I'm passionate about leadership," he said, "and I enjoy reading leadership stuff."

His leadership in the church started before he even became a pastor. After becoming a Christian, Marc began serving in various areas at Highland, including leading Sunday School classes.

"I felt a call to the ministry," he said.

He began taking online courses through Anderson University, the seminary of the Church of God, with which Highland Park is affiliated. A week later, a ministry position opened at Highland, and Marc began his service as a church pastor.

Although balancing work and home life for any working parent can be challenging, Marc ensures quality time with his family. He often makes pancakes for the kids, and he and the boys spend Wednesday afternoons together so Heather can have some downtime. Keeping up with three active, young boys can be challenging.

"Keeping my boys busy is one of my challenges," Heather said. "They do entertain each other, which is great."

"The kids like Legos and watching movies", she added.

Although they have traveled a great deal, Marc and Heather believe there is no place quite like Wyoming, and this is where they plan to raise their family.

"We enjoy living in this beautiful state," Heather said.

A book was written and published several years ago titled "The Purpose-Driven Life" Marc and Heather embody that title. They are confident in their purposes, which translates into passionate service, to each other, their family, and their community.

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