Saturday, September 9, 2023

The World is Calling

In the book of Acts chapter 16 we read the account of Paul's Macedonian call:

During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.  Acts 16:9-10

Gary and I have heard a similar call from the hearts of our ministry partners in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and other nations.  There is a great peace as we answer the call and prepare to travel back to India on October 22, 2023.  Plans are to base in India for seven months, travelling to other countries from there. 

Wow right? There is a deep sense of awe and amazement that we are finally living out what we have longed for our entire lives.  It has always been our desire to spend more time on the mission field than in America.  We thought we were ready for this decades ago.  God had other plans and the perfect timetable.  Now - we believe it's His time.  

Faithful God
You hold my life secure
and all my days are yours

Powerful lyrics from one of our  all-time favorite worship songs 'Faithful God' by Gateway Worship. We serve a  God whose faithfulness endures.  Because He is the same yesterday, today and forever, we can trust that He knows what is ahead and how to lead us through it in victory.

Thank you for your ongoing love, prayers and financial support.  We truly do feel the strength of your prayers.

As we embark on this seven month adventure, please pray for wisdom, guidance, protection and the direction of the Holy Spirit.  

You are part of our journey.  Stay strong in your walk with the Lord. Remember that He is working all things out for your good. Stay in peace as you wait. 

  The journey continues ~ Pat

You will be encouraged by Gary's message "It's Another Touch"
shared at The Place Church in Hamilton, Montana 

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Montana Reflections

What a joy to experience summer in Montana. Days filled with blue sky, mountains, good friends and family, precious fellowship as we share God's Word and highlights of our India Mission trip.  Even as fire season starts, and the mountains are obscured by smoke, we see the goodness of God. 

If you are in the area join us Sunday August 13th at 10:30 a.m.  as we minister at The Place Church, 273 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, Montana. 

Looking Back - Love and the Taj Mahal

On our way home from our recent India mission trip, Gary and I spent a couple nights in Delhi and visited a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Taj Mahal.  

Commissioned in 1631 by Shah Jahan, as a tomb and memorial to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, it is one of the most impressive pieces of architecture in the world, especially its intricate marble and stonework.  Each year, over 3.3 million people from all over India and around the world visit the Taj Mahal.

I was captured by the story – a memorial to love. I was captivated by the detail that went into its construction: a perfectly symmetrical layout, pure Makrana marble hauled from Rajasthan, India, 231 miles by river barge and then on carts pulled by oxen or elephants.  The marble was intricately inlaid with precious stones, finials of pure gold topped every dome.

People are drawn to the Taj Mahal because of its beauty, because of the story. It’s a love story. I was struck by this thought: scripture says that we are the temple of the living God. It made me wonder – does the story of my life, does the beauty of my life, draw people?
That’s the challenge and privilege of having the spirit of almighty God live within us. To be a worthy representative of His great love; demonstrating the love that brought Him to earth to die for our sins.  

The prayer of Paul in Philippians chapter one contains a key to becoming all that Jesus destined and purposed us to be – His glorious church, a pure and holy temple:

I continue to pray for your love to grow and increase beyond measure, bringing you into the rich revelation of spiritual insight in all things. This will enable you to choose the most excellent way of all —becoming pure and without offense until the unveiling of Christ.  And you will be filled completely with the fruits of righteousness that are found in Jesus, the Anointed One—bringing great praise and glory to God! Philippians 1:9-11 TPT

When light shines from the inside the Taj Mahal, through the translucent marble, the radiant colors of the precious stones are revealed.  When the light of Jesus shines through us – His glory is revealed.

The Taj Mahal is a monument to love:   The one who built it is dead. The one he loved is dead. You and I are a living monument – a living memorial to love. Jesus is alive. We are alive because of Him.

Let’s make this our prayer today and every day: to grow in spiritual insight so that we will wisely chose the most excellent way of all as we follow Christ.

The Journey Continues ~ Pat

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Montana - The Journey Continues

The first half of 2023 has been a busy and very enjoyable time of ministry for Pat and I.  After three years of waiting to go overseas, our first 2023 India trip is over.  We’re expecting to return either late October or early November.  Plans are to base in India, and from there fly to Sri Lanka, Thailand and Cambodia to reconnect with our ministry partners.  We’ll keep you posted when the dates are set.

Now our focus is on Montana.  It’s a great opportunity to have a time of rest and refreshing, minister in a few churches and visit with family and friends. After 4 years, Pat & her sister Cyndy will be taking a road trip to Canada to visit family.

We will be leaving Las Vegas on June 28 and returning August 15.  Pat and I so appreciate your love and prayers and ask that you keep the following times of ministry in prayer.

  • Sunday July 16th - 10 a.m. CrossPoint Church, Corvallis, MT
         with Pastors Scot and Shelly Colwell
  • Tuesday July 18th - 10:00 a.m. Women of Worship,
         at Light of the Valley, Stevensville, MT
  • Tuesday July 18th -   6:00 p.m CrossPoint Women, Corvallis, MT 
  • Sunday July 23rd - 10:30 a.m. House of Praise, Victor, MT
         with Pastors Jim and Lorraine Andrusky
  • Sunday August 13th 10:30 am The Place Church, Hamilton, MT
         with Pastors Mike and Denise Echterling

It will be great to see many of you in the Beautiful Bitterroot Valley! Words can never express how important you are to us. Thank You for faithfully standing with us through your prayers and financial gifts as we walk out the destiny the Lord has set before us.

The Journey Continues – Gary

Saturday, May 27, 2023

That Went Fast

It sounded like a long time - four months in India.  Now it's over and we are back in Las Vegas, our home base.  How quickly the time passed.  Our hearts are full and a little sad as we leave this nation that has captured our hearts.  Our church family at Master's Touch gave us a prayerful and emotional send-off.  It was such a rich time of ministry and fellowship, we can't wait for our next trip.

Our flight home took us through Delhi, where we spent a few days and visited one of the Seven Wonders of the World: The Taj Mahal.

It's an amazing love story; an engineering feat; worth enduring the heat to marvel at the craftsmanship and beauty of its luminescent white marble inlaid with precious stones.  

From Delhi we flew to London where we had a 10-hour layover. The Heathrow Express train whisked us to Paddington Station with its iconic statue of Paddington Bear.  Riding atop a double-decker bus was a great way to view some of the city's historical landmarks, without expending too much energy.   A short boat ride on the Thames completed our sight-seeing. 

Non-stop from London to Las Vegas, almost 11 hours.  It was wonderful to be met at the airport by friendly faces and hugs.  It took about three days to recover from the jetlag caused by crossing the international date line and twelve time zones.  

And now we're ready to go again.

Next Stop - Montana.  The Journey continues ~ Pat

Saturday, May 20, 2023

A Land of Bright Colors

India is a land of bright colors: houses, sarees, flowers, fruits and vegetables. Bright colors bring life to an often dull environment and difficult life.

Bright Smiles when eyeglasses are given, 
making daily life easier with clear vision.
Baginbari is a tea garden village that the city of Siliguri has grown to surround.  While not far in distance from the neighborhood we are living in, it is a world away in culture and socioeconomic standing. Workers in tea gardens earn minimal wages, and cobble together homes and villages from whatever materials they can scavenge. Mostly dirt floors, tin walls and roofs. Recently some have been able to put up concrete walls. A common well and latrine serve their basic hygiene needs.

Master's Touch church has been reaching out to this village for several years, sharing the love of Jesus through basic medical care, clothing and food distribution, Christmas programs, fun afternoon 'Sunday School' and tutoring children.

Bright Smiles when haircuts and shaves
demonstrate love and care.

This India. This is our mission. To share light and love.

Find a way today to share the light and love of Jesus in your mission field - wherever your feet take you.

The Journey Continues ~ Pat and Gary

This friendly Istri-wallah (ironing man) indulged my curiosity
when I noticed his iron was heated with red-hot coals.
He handles this 6 kg (13lb) iron (literally made out of iron) with ease,
deftly smoothing heavy cotton fabric in one pass.

There are so many fascinating images we want to share with you.
Follow this link for more photos and glimpses into life in India.

Scenes from Daily Life

Every day is a day of discovery.  Early morning walks in our neighborhood provide glimpses into daily life of the village and people that surround us. 

Our neighborhood is a conglomeration of medium-sized villages shot through with veins of modernism.  While many people carry a cell phone and browse the internet; families still carry water home from water spigots (faucets) on the street corner, do their laundry in buckets, and hang it to dry wherever there is space.

Photos convey the sights - but the sounds and smells have to be experienced first hand.

Hauling Bamboo and Concrete Forms
Fresh Fish Vendor

Manual Labor is Cheap
Construction and Cows are Everywhere

Aloo Paratha (flatbread stuffed with potatoes)
served with curd (plain yogurt)
Aloo Mutter (Potatoes & Peas) with Paratha

Charcoal Grilled Pork Belly & Chicken
Local Nepali Style Vegetables

Many Homes Have Hindu Shrines to Worship Thousands of Deities

Hauling Water ~ Subji (Vegetable) Vendor
Flowering Vine & Passion Flower (bottom)

Grateful for every blessing. The Journey Continues ~ Gary and Pat

Friday, April 28, 2023

The Nagaland Adventure

On a recent Tuesday morning, Gary and our friend Pastor Mike embarked on a twelve-hour train ride from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) Station in Siliguri to Dimapur (DMV), Nagaland.  Booked on the Rajdhani Express, first-class air-conditioned compartment, they expected a relaxing trip.  However- this is India.

The first glitch; They were booked in different compartments and had to negotiate a trade with another passenger so they could travel together. The second disappointment was the overall lack of cleanliness; the train was just ‘dirty’, especially the toilets. Airline-style meals were reasonably good, and they had brought their own bedsheets. After enduring the journey, they met with the rest of their ministry team and jumped right into a very full week of teaching and ministry.

Nagaland is a state in north-eastern India with a unique people group, culture and history.  Each of it’s 17 major tribes and multiple sub-tribes have distinctive languages, customs and dress.  Nagaland’s official language is English, and most of the people in these meetings wore Western style clothes.

Nagaland is often referred to as the Christian State as more than 80 per cent of its population identify as Christians.  When sharing the love of Jesus, it is important to hear the individual’s personal experience with Jesus – since many are ‘born Christian’ and have not been truly ‘born again' and personally received Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

Nagas love Americans, especially missionaries, because it was American Baptist  missionary Edward Winter Clark who brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Nagaland  in 1872. Nagaland has experienced several revivals, most recently from 1976 – 1982. 

With a strong Christian background, and thousands of existing churches, why go to Nagaland?  Christians are hungry for a deeper move of God in their lives.  This three-day Prophetic Conference was designed to train, equip, and activate those who wanted God to use them in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Hundreds of people were prayed for, received personal words of prophecy and encouragement, and are stepping out more fully equipped to share the love and truth of Jesus.  Nagas have a heart to go out to other states and the nations around them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ; fulfilling the Great Commission.

Mike and Gary's first mission trip together in 2000.
Look where they are now.
Mike and Gary have returned, safe, tired and fulfilled. The churches have asked them to return and conduct additional conferences later this year.

Thank you for your faithful prayer support.  Because Gary is a foreigner on a tourist visa, there can be problems if government officials decided to check out the church meetings, which they often do.

While Gary and Mike were away, I stayed with Megha, and was blessed to share the Word on Sunday morning and teach a three-part series at Wednesday night Bible study on the Armor of God.
The Journey Continues ~ Pat

Gary was privileged to give the young boy,
on the right with his Mother, his Biblical name. 
'Andrew'.  One who will bring many to Jesus.  

Village Church Worship and the Word

Neighborhood walks include interacting with friendly residents.  
They question me in a string of animated Hindi - which I do not understand - but
assume to be the typical Indian greeting, "Where are you going?"
I reply by windmilling my arms to mime running, and announce 'Exercise!'.
This earns a smile, sideways head nod, and a satisfied 'Tika tika' (okay, okay)