Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Christmas is Outreach Time

Christmas is outreach time in this Hindu nation.  They worship many gods - millions in fact. Many Hindus recognize Jesus as a good teacher or one of the gods.  As we share the true meaning of Jesus' birth at Christmas time - our prayer is that their spiritual eyes will be opened and they will receive Him as Lord and Savior.

What does this look like?   Families from the church invite their neighbors and host a night of carols, food and fun.  If their home is small, the party will happen around a bonfire in the yard.  Christmas songs will be sung in 5 languages - Hindi, Nepali, Bengali, Adavasi and English.  I volunteered to be part of the Carolers and am working to learn the songs!  Whew.  I'll probably be humming along for a lot of them.

During the evening Gary will be sharing the story of Jesus - from the manager - to the cross and the power of the resurrection.  We have this hope - when we receive Jesus we are assured of salvation and now have the amazing privilege to actually have a relationship with God almighty.  We know that God loves us and cares for us; hears and answers our prayers.

Hinduism and other religions do not offer any assurances that their prayers, incense, offerings, good works, etc. will actually be accepted.  There is very little hope.  That is the difference between religion and relationship.

Scenes from Christmas 2019
Notice the snacks!
Volunteers from Master's Touch Church have been loving on the children at the tea garden village of Baginbari for almost six years now.  We've shared reports and photos in previous blogs. Click here to see the report from Christmas 2019.  

This year's Christmas outreach party will bless 16 mothers & young married women and 55 children at Baginbari. At a second location, the party will bless an additional  20 children.  They will receive groceries for each family, toys for the children, beauty products for the mothers, and a small box of Christmas treats for everyone.  (Slice of cake, a samosa, and a delicious crunchy snack called Bhujia )  There will be singing and sharing the Christmas story in their tribal language: Adavasi. 

India's Prime Minister Modi’s BJP Party has been pushing Hindu Nationalism and we have noticed that people have become much harder to the Gospel than in previous years.  

Will you join us in prayer for these outreaches?  As you prepare your home and your hearts to celebrate  Christmas, would you lift up these lost souls who will be hearing about Jesus' love - many for the first time.  Agree with us for:

  • Hearts to be dramatically touched by Holy Spirit
  • The Love of Jesus to penetrate their hearts so that they receive Him as Savior
  • Christians in India to stand strong and boldly share their faith in Jesus in spite of opposition
Your love and prayerful support make it possible for us to be here.  You are part of all we do - and we are so grateful.  This Christmas, may you find the joy that only Jesus can give.  

Praise the Lord! How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands.  They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.    They will have influence and honor.  Psalm 112: 1 & 9 NT

~ Journey with Joy ~ Pat

My morning meander lead me down a new path
 that opened up to this beautiful view with the
 foothills of the Himalaya's in the distance. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

An Early Morning Walk

Early mornings are the most peaceful time in our neighborhood.  It’s that magical hour when the sky is light, but the sun has not fully risen. The cool, crisp air echoes with birdsong – it’s energizing.  

The road is mostly clear of school buses, goods carriers, gravel trucks, tuk-tuks, motorbikes and other conveyances that normally raise clouds of dust.

Cows are on the move, they seem to know where they are going, while I dodge the ‘offerings’ they leave in their path.

Hindu worshippers search for flowers to gather for their morning worship. Street dogs sleep curled up on piles of gravel.  

My route takes me down Military Road,  the only smoothly paved road nearby. At the end of the road a block wall with heavy gates and ‘Keep Out’ signs are a reminder that India’s army is always on alert.

The neighborhood is stirring.  I pass a few other walkers, see porches and entrances being swept, watch laborers offload a delivery of bricks (by hand), and greet house servants as they cycle to work in their bright-colored sarees, their long scarves (chunni’s) trailing like banners.

Did I mention the cows?

Quiet street. Hindu altar. 
Unloading bricks by hand.

Walking, praying, singing - my favorite way to start the day in any country.

Wherever you find yourself today, I encourage you to start your day by talking to the Lord. Share your heart with Him.  Look up to Him. Find strength for your day.

The Journey Continues ~ Pat 

“Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” Psalm 5:1-3 KJV

Join us for Bible Study at Master's Touch India
English teaching, translated into Nepali.
Find more teachings on our YouTube channel 

Friday, October 27, 2023

Back Home in India

What a journey!  It took four flights, across 12 time zones and the international date line to get to our final destination in India.  

Originally our trip was 41 hours including flight time and layovers. That was before our flight from Las Vegas to Phoenix was delayed by 3 hours - resulting in missing our international connection, spending the night in Phoenix, and rebooking our flights 24 hours later. The airline agent who rescheduled our flights was wonderfully patient and calm. (Thank you Harriet.) 

Sixty-five hours after leaving our house (you read that correctly - 65 hours) we arrived safely in India - our second home.  We were warmly greeted, fed delicious Paneer Butter Masala with fresh roti, and put to bed. It's wonderful to be home. 

How can it feel like 'Home' when it's so different from our life in America? 
While listening to a worship song based on Psalm 84, I was reminded that our true, eternal home is not a place, but a person.  His name is Jesus. As we follow the heart of God, wherever He leads us - our home is where His heart is. 

Our prayer for you, wherever you are on your own journey with Jesus, is that you will experience the peace, joy and love that results in finding your home in His heart.

~ The journey continues - Gary & Pat

Listen to Shane & Shane's worship song based on Psalm 84

How lovely are Your dwelling places
Your Holy Spirit here in us
Oh how I love to sing Your praises
One day with You would be enough

Wherever I go is home
Because You're here
In my soul
You're an oasis in the desert
Living water overflow

Thursday, October 5, 2023

It's Not Glamorous

Counting down: It’s less than three weeks until we head to India for an extended stay. 

It looks like a bomb went off in the house. 

  • Piles of items set aside for the neighborhood yard sale clutter the downstairs and garage. We’ve cleaned out dark corners of our closets, borrowed tables, and slapped bright yellow price tags on everything. 

  • The spare room overflows with piles that need to fit into our four allotted suitcases.
    • An entire suitcase will contain eyeglasses for village eye clinics.
    • Another one will hold children’s church materials, gifts for our Indian family and friends, a few household items for our apartment (called a flat) plus specific vitamin supplements and personal care items that are a challenge to find in India.
    • We’ll fit our clothes around everything else to cushion anything breakable.

Pre-trip planning also involves preparing our hearts.  

  • Staying open to what God has for this trip. Although we have been to India many times, every trip is different.  
  • Times of prayer and fasting where we invite Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts, expand our vision and capacity to walk out His will and purpose. 

A song called “New Wine” speaks to our hearts.  We need to know what God is doing now, at this time, for this trip and the people we will minister to.  'New wine' speaks of a fresh anointing from Holy Spirit.  We are very aware that we need Holy Spirit to lead, guide and protect us as we go. This is why your prayers are so important to us. We feel ‘bubble-wrapped’, at peace and safe because of your prayers for us.

Make me Your vessel
Make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be

I came here with nothing
But all You have given me
Jesus bring new wine out of me

So I yield to You, into Your careful hand
When I trust You I don't need to understand

Siliguri Sunrise Awaits (Photo by Samuel Kahling)

(Photo by Brenda Williams)

Thank you for following our journey.
Thank you for praying.

The Journey Continues ~ Pat

"Now Lord, .... enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus." 
Acts 4:29-39 NIV

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