Saturday, December 31, 2016

Oh Magnify the Lord with Us!

Psalm  34:1-4 reads, "I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 
My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.  
Oh, magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together."  

2016 was a great year!  Pat and I know it was because of the Lord.  We also recognize that it was because of your serving, giving and praying with us.  Lives were touched and changed because people experienced His Love and Grace!

Thank you for the part you are playing so that people far from God can experience His Love and Grace!  Here is a quick recap of what we were able to accomplish during 2016 - through God's grace,  your prayers and financial backing.

In Sri Lanka: Twelve Eye Vision Clinics were held when Pat, Cyndy and I were there in February.  A total of 768 Eye Exams were performed and we were able to give away 657 pairs of glasses.  After we left, two additional Eye Clinics were held by the Sri Lankan team.  342 people were examined and 310 glasses issued.  There were also many healings, and salvations at every clinic.

In Ghana: Assistance was given for church construction, Pastoral support and a Christmas Party with food and gifts for an Orphanage.

In Cambodia: Three houses were built for homeless villagers. Support was given for anti-human trafficking in Phnom Penh and the rescue of girls from sex trade with counseling and vocational training provided.

In India: Preparations were made for our upcoming trip in March 2017.  A team was trained to do every aspect of doing Eye Clinics. which includes doing the exams, eyeglass distribution and evangelistic follow up. Souls were saved and healed in the church services.

Working with others that share the love of God, financial support was given for:
  • Missionaries and Pastors in Thailand, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Europe, Myanmar and India.
  • Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes for children.
  • Livestock provided for sustainable income in Southeast Asia.
  • Support for the Persecuted Church in Access Restricted Nations.
  • Bibles supplied to the underground churches in the 10-40 Window
  • Support to churches in the United States to reach their communities for Jesus.
  • Food, medical care, housing and assistance to Jewish people in Israel.
  • Food assistance to families in the United States.
  • Support to help in ending Human Trafficking in Las Vegas.
  • Salvations, healings and prophetic insight to churches we ministered in the U.S and worldwide.
2017 is going to be better than last year.  Pat and I are determined to passionately pursue the Lord; helping every nation, every church and every person He sends us to.  Our prayer for you is that in 2017 your life would be filled with the tangible presence of our Mighty God like never before!

Blessings and Happy New Year! - Gary

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Hearts Filled With Gratitude

Today we in America celebrate Thanksgiving.

It was officially declared a national holiday by President Lincoln in 1863.  In the body of  President Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation he says: "I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States. . . , to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

As we celebrate with family and friends, in gatherings small or large, let's use today as a spring-board into a season of continual gratefulness.  Each day there are countless reasons to feel and express gratitude: to our Heavenly Father; to our spouse and children; to coworkers and friends; to service people we encounter daily who make our lives easier by doing their jobs with a smile.

I am especially thankful that Gary returned from his India mission safe and sound. Our hearts are already eager to return - in just three months!

Thank you - for your love, prayers and support as we continue on this Journey with God.

With Thankful hearts - Pat and Gary

Thanksgiving Splendor Photo Courtesy of
Cyndy Hull

Monday, November 14, 2016

Arise and Go ....

" So I said, "What shall I do, Lord?" And the Lord said to me, "Arise and go... " Acts 22:10

When we have received the amazing gift of God's life and forgiveness, through the sacrifice and shed blood of Jesus, our next, and frequent question should be.. "What do I do now, Lord?"

For Gary and I, the answer is often... "Arise and Go.."

Obeying that answer,  Gary went.... to India on a 3 week mission trip, which is two-thirds completed as I write this. His time in India is going well, as he encourages ministers and churches, and spies out the land to possibly do some eye clinics next year.   He will be home for Thanksgiving.

This is the first time in 6 years that I have not gone with him on a trip.  It has been a bit of an adjustment, but God sustains us... and being busy truly makes the time go quickly.
For those who have been praying - Thank you. Your love, prayers and support allows us to follow God's direction.

Have you asked Him that question lately? 

Let us know what He answers.... it may be to go across the street, or to a co-worker.  It is always a joy to follow our Father's voice.

Blessings as you go... Pat and Gary
Darjeeling, West Bengal India

Sunday, September 25, 2016

INDIA 2016!

Hi Everyone!

Where has the summer gone?  September 22 was the start of Autumn and the weather has changed even in Las Vegas. There is a sense of Fall in the air.

One thing that has not changed for us  - is our desire to see people touched with the compassion of Jesus!

Pat and I have been ministering in India since 1996 and it is like our second home. Our local contacts, who we have known for over 20 years, have requested that we come to do Eye Vision Clinics.  Since Pat is not able to accompanying me on this trip, I have invited a friend to join me. He is a seasoned missionary whom I have taken to India on numerous occasions.

This will be a pioneering trip. We will need to find an eyeglass wholesaler where we can buy glasses and optical equipment at a good price.  We will also be setting up the places to hold eye clinics in March 2017 when Pat and I plan to return.

Pray with us that the Lord will bring us someone with a heart to be trained to do eye exams and run the clinics when Pat and I are not able to be there.

As you know, Pat and I are not ashamed to ask you to pray for our mission work.  We need as much prayer covering as we can amass.  An itinerary has been set up for ministry in churches, Bible schools and conferences. The situation in India is changing, with the government's attitudes towards Christianity and funding coming into the country from outside sources making it more difficult to minister.

Harry Lovell and I leave for India on October 31st and return November 22nd.
I will be posting updates as I can so please follow our Journey With God to India!

Thank you for partnering with us and thank you for your prayers!


Monday, June 13, 2016


Hi Everyone,

It's that time of year, that Pat and I look forward to every summer.  Heading back (home) to Montana for a time of ministry and visiting family.  

This year we are coming a month earlier than usual.  This coming October, I have a trip to India with the possibility of a trip to Dubai.  I am still working on the dates and will let you know when the schedule is finalized.

We will be arriving in Missoula, Friday, July 15 and returning to Las Vegas on Monday, August 1.

Here is our schedule:

  • Sunday, July 17 - 10:30 am at "House of Praise", Victor, MT with Pastors Jim and Lorraine Andrusky
  • Tuesday, July 19 - 6:30 pm at "Christian Assembly Foursquare", Missoula, MT. Youth Group and weekly House Meeting. Joining together. 
  • Thursday,  July 21 - 10:30 am. "Woman of Worship", Missoula, MT with Pastor Lorraine Andrusky
  • Sunday, July 24 - 10:30 am at "Barnabas Ministry", Hamilton, MT  with Pastor Nancy Pendergast
  • Wednesday, July 27 - 6:30 pm at "Christian Assembly Foursquare", Missoula, MT with Pastors Mike and Marlene McGovern|
  • Sunday, July 31 - 10:30 am at "Barnabas Ministries", Hamilton, MT with Pastor Nancy Pendergast

As we walk out the purpose and destiny the Lord has given to us, we want to thank you for partnering with us through your prayers and financial gifts.  Words can never express how grateful we are and how important each one of you are to us.

Our prayer for each and everyone one of you, is that you will continually grow in the love of the Lord and always be filled with the fullness of His Presence!

Pat and I will soon have some very big and exciting news to share with you.  As I write this blog details are being worked out and when everything is finalized we will be letting you know!

Blessings - Gary

Sunday, March 27, 2016

BUT GOD .....

A Buddhist Monk, a Hindu High Priest and a Witch Doctor walk into a Eye Clinic .... seriously, this is no joke, it actually happened!

While contemplating what happened and what we experienced during our Sri Lanka trip, we cannot help but give God all the glory!

While Conferences, Seminars, Crusades and Church Meetings are an important tool to bring the Word of God to feed the spiritually hungry, we have found that by doing Eye Vision Clinics, we get to interact with people of different religions, ideology and beliefs that we would never get to touch in a church setting.

That is why we are so thankful to the Lord!  Who BUT GOD, would bring a Hindu High Priest, a Buddhist Monk, a Witch Doctor, Muslim women,  numerous Police Officers and a Criminal Investigator to our clinics.

After every examination, we ask the person if we can pray for them.  We begin with a prayer for their eye conditions and any other physical healing they need.  And then we pray that salvation will come to them and their household; that they would experience and know the power and love of the Lord.

Pat and I were given a report of the effectiveness of this type of prayer.  Last time we were in Sri Lanka, we prayed for a female Witch Doctor (at the time we did not know this was how she earned a living).  She received glasses and was prayed for.  Two weeks later she came back to the church where she attended the Eye Vision Clinic.  She told the Pastor that for the past two weeks she had been unable to cast any spells and she no longer feels a power within her.   The Pastor shared with her about Jesus, and was able to lead her and her family to salvation.  For the past year and a half, she and her family have been faithfully coming to church and growing in the Lord.

Witch Doctor -  -  -  - Buddhist Monk

Muslim Women - - - Hindu High Priest
Who BUT GOD would love someone so much that He would reveal Himself to them at a Eye Vision Clinic.

It gives us great satisfaction to help people with glasses for their natural sight; but there is an unexplainable joy that fills us when they receive their spiritual sight!

Who knows what testimonies we will hear the next time we journey to Sri Lanka.   We might not know - BUT GOD does!

Thank you for your faithful love, prayers and support ~ Gary.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

A Brief Recap

Most people find statistics dry, uninteresting, even boring.  Movies, pictures, action - that's what we all like.

When the numbers represent people, families, lives that have been impacted by the love of God - it's the most exciting thing in this world.

Here's a quick overview of our recent mission trip that took us across the nation of Sri Lanka:
  • During four weeks we held 12 Eye Vision Clinics
  • Performed 768 Eye Exams and gave away 657 Pairs of Glasses

More reports to follow as we settle back at home, and contemplate all that was accomplished.
For more visual delights - visit Cyndy's blog
~ Pat

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Home Again, Home Again

Amazing trip - so worth the arduous travel part.  Glad to be home and already planning 'next time'.  Pat

Safely to San Francisco

So glad for a sign that tells me where I am!

Nine hours after leaving Tokyo we landed in San Francisco - the flight was uneventful, even got a little sleep.

Enjoyed clam chowder and fish tacos while waiting for our final flight home... which is delayed!  The final leg of our journey is the shortest, but seems the longest ... probably due to sleep deprivation.  So looking forward to getting home.  Pat

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

In Transit in Tokyo

Our airplane waiting at the gate as we enjoy take out sushi.  What more could we ask?

Home in about 14 hours (via San Francisco)  ~ Pat

Heading Home: Bangkok

What 4 am looks like.  Waiting to board our 7:00 am flight to Tokyo.  Then on through San Francisco to Las Vegas.

See you on the ground ~ Pat

Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 4: Panama Eye Clinic & Bibile Revisited

The day started with a beautiful sunrise at Hotel Lions Nature, woken by meowing peacocks (honest.. listen here).  

It was about a 2 hour drive to Panama - right on the coast, and famous for windsailing competitions.   The eye clinic started about 10 am.  We saw 50 people and gave out 43 pair of glasses.  Several traffic police officers came for exams and glasses.  While they might have afforded to get glasses on their own, the goodwill engendered is valuable.

In Panama the Buddhist Temple had previously held an eye clinic and charged RS 650 to register, then told some people their glasses would cost much more, up to RS 1,000 or more.  While just US $5 - $10, for village people and subsistence farmers, this amount is unmanageable.

Saturday we revisited Bibile to provide eye exams to the 50 people who had been waiting in line when we closed last week.   They all received a phone call, and showed up bright and early.  We saw a total of 58 people, and gave out 57 pair of glasses.

Our hearts are grateful that with your love, prayers, and support, we are able to touch these lives in such a needed way, knowing they will remember the love of Jesus each time they use their glasses.  

More to come as we wrap up our time in Sri Lanka ~ Pat

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Village of Ana

The villagers of Ana walk over 2 km  (1.2 miles) from the main road down into jungle dotted with modest, relatively new homes made primarily of hand fashioned brick or concrete.

Saturday night about 30 men, women and children waited for us.  In the crowded front room of the home, their praise rose to heaven, and the presence of almighty God filled the room.  Testimonies spoke of their simple, yet profound faith in this Jesus they serve.

Gary shared a Word from John 6:1-14, the story of feeding the 5,000.  The emphasis was on how God needs each person to fill their role in His kingdom work.
All of us joined in a prayer of renewed dedication to fully serve Him.  Followed by individual prayer for healing, blessing or  family situations.

Then a special treat was served with tea, as one of the woman had made and brought Sri Lankan Kokis as a thank offering. (Interestingly these are very similar to a sweet treat our Canadian Aunties made when we were kids)

Ended the day with a trip to our favorite local hopper shop.
Each day brings new adventures....thanks for sharing them with us ~ Pat

Monday, February 29, 2016

Heading to Bibile: Week Three

Winding roads through the mountainous heart of Sri Lanka brought us up into majestic scenery, and down through 18 hairpin curves.  (known here as elbows)

Stopped for fresh fruit - local farm to table at its best. Refreshing stop to stretch our legs and enjoy a new taste experience of wood apple juice with milk.. tastes like a milk shake flavored with really good apple sauce.

One of the benefits of Layasing knowing every Methodist minister in Sri Lanka - is arranging to park on the church grounds in the city of Kandy where parking is at a premium.

Heavy rains cleared for Friday's all day eye clinic at Bibile, checking 130 people including villagers, agricultural workers,  school children, police officers, retired military, a Buddhist monk, and a witch doctor. (Yes the practice of going to a village witch doctor for cures,  potions and spells is still a very real part of life).
Saturday we drove to Mahiyanganaya. Morning service with about 18 new Believers a house church.  This is what pioneering a church looks like in Sri Lanka. After a delicious lunch prepared by the church ladies,  the eye clinic saw 63 people and gave out 53 pair of glasses. Light dinner of hoppers  (egg and plain) and we called it a night.

Sunday Morning we were served  breakfast at the mission house. A Sri Lankan specialty of milk rice with your choice of chili sauce, or sweetened with  a coconut honey mixture (made from coconut syrup and coconut meat).

The Church grounds have  room to grow pepper (shown green immature, plus ripened and dried)  when ready, they climb bamboo poles to harvest the pepper berries.  Also papaya, banana, and a fruit that when dry, the flesh becomes fluffy and is used as cotton to stuff pillows.

Our weekend literally winds down with a 6+ hour return trip to our home base in Moratuwa.  Stay tuned for a report on our final week's adventure.  Thank you cannot begin to express our appreciation for your love, prayers and support ~ Pat

If you are wondering what Cyndy is doing back in Montana, visit her photo blog at .

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

And Then There Were Two

As you continue to follow our journey here,  you will quickly notice that you are hearing  a different voice.
After two wonderfully busy, productive, adventurous weeks - Cyndy left this tropical paradise to return home to the snow covered mountains of Montana. 
She will be posting about the amazing Sri Lankan food, as well as a few thoughts on debriefing and returning to life at home.
Gary and I have the honor to continue serving in SL for another 2 weeks.
Part of the week, we are based in Moratuwa,  along the shore of the Indian Ocean, and this week enjoyed the beauty of the full moon just before dawn. Yesterday included an early morning walk around the neighborhood.  Banana stalk missing it's blossom - probably picked to make banana blossom curry.
Each full moon is a national holiday (Poya) in Sri Lanka, providing many workers with time a day off for family time.
During Monday's eye clinic, it was a joy to see the local Sri Lanka team smoothly running the clinic as they have without us during the past 1.5 years.  The running joke is that we have ' infected' them with the eye glass 'bug'.
Our goal has always been that people would not depend  on us.  But that we would be able to leave tools and resources that would support and strengthen the work they have been doing for so many years in their homeland.
Evening meeting at Adara Sevana where hungry hearts gather to worship the Lord, hear the teaching from the Word of God,  and receive prayer.
Note the multi purpose of this room .... meeting hall, class room and garage.  Land is used to its maximum capacity, and dedicated garage space would be a great luxury
It's Thursday evening. We just finished the 6+ hour drive across Sri Lanka, to Biblie in the Monaragala District, where we will hold eye clinics and services this weekend.
Thank you from the depths of our hearts for you continued love, prayers and support ~ Pat

Homeward: Safely Arrived In Missoula, Montana

Finally arrived home just after 9 PM Tuesday evening, with no further travel excitement - yay! Got a decent most-of-a-night's sleep (thanks for the extra melatonin, sis!) and enjoyed a quiet day at home to re-acclimate, unpack, and square away a couple small loads of laundry. Everything feels slightly odd - the experience of being busily away in a whole other culture and suddenly being back seems a little unreal - perhaps akin to Dorothy artiving back in Kansas. Plus, the comparative quiet and the colder weather are a distinct contrast. I will actually have to wear socks and closed shoes tomorrow - the horror!
But physically I feel well, aside from an unexpected floaty, dizzy sensation throughout the day. I barely managed to resist the pull of an afternoon nap, so I should sleep easy tonight and be ready for work in the morning.

But now, it's time for another spot of tea, personally imported from the historic  Mackwoods Estate.
The Lemon Puffs are irresistible enough to be one of the few items I brought home for myself - er, I mean, to share with Tom. They're two exquisitely flaky butter crackers, slightly salted, and married with a light, not-too-sweet lemon icing. Yum!

On that lovely note I'll sign off. Cheerio! - Cyndy

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Homeward: Tokyo, Japan, To Denver, Colorado, USA

Hooray for empty seats to sleep in and an engaging flight crew to entertain during a delay in Tokyo! And hooray for the Dreamliner, which pressurizes at 6,000 feet - significantly lower than most flights - which is apparently easier on the human body and thus should shorten my recovery back to Mountain time!

Clear skies coming into Denver, and a balmy 42 degrees F on the ground!
(Striking and massive historic photos along the walkways.)

Finally made it thru three rounds of US Customs/ Securiy. The queues were longer than Disneyworld, and not quite the same promise of fun at the end. 

A mechanical technicality sent us back to the gate in Tokyo Narita airport, thus departure ended up being 3 hours later, Thus, I miss my originally scheduled final flight home to Missoula, Montana.
BUT the good news is there's a 6:51 PM flight today to Missoula, and I'm on it! For this we are thankful, especially as flights to Missoula are of a rather limited selection.

In the meantime, enjoying my last travel meal - New Belgium Pub's house chili and roasted veggies, with bonus fresh fried potato chips - perfect! 

Now, for me, it's home again, home again, jiggety jig! 
Pat, Gary, and I will all be posting from here on out -  boots-on-the-ground updates from them and backward glances from me. Thanks for taking the time to step into our adventure!- Cyndy

Monday, February 22, 2016

Homeward: Bangkok, Thailand, to Tokyo, Japan

First off, from the Sri Lanka home front, the brief word from Pat is that they served 38 people at Monday's eye clinic at Adara Sevana, the school in Moratuwa. What a wonderful impact and relationship building opportunity in the local neighbourhood! (Even the resident pug puppy is excited! No, really - that's an excited face - you'll have to trust me on this.)

All went well for my afternoon and overnight in Bangkok - well, overnight meaning another 3:20 AM wake up for a 7 AM ish flight. (Sadly, growing up in the '80s has propelled into my head the snippet of song lyric, "one night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble...". Another childhood moment courtesy of my older brother's radio station choices.)

The Thong Ta Resort hotel was a lovely, calming place to rest for the duration. And their staff has some serious folding skills to create towel ninjas!  I was also heartened to see evidence of a fruitful local Gideon's group in the well-thumbed bedside New Testament. 

Venturing outside the hotel grounds, I got a massage to help work out a few travel kinks, 

and ate some smashing noodle and wonton soups from a street vendor, with a little help ordering from a very kind local customer sitting near the cart. Later, I managed to order all by myself - with much pointing and gestures on both sides off the conversation! - the second bowl for takeaway, which included some of the duck you see hanging from the cart window. Very tender and yum! And in case anyone is fretting, yes, it was safe; I had Gary's assurance. The takeaway packaging process was interesting, partly because it was done in about 20 seconds: broth ladeled into a plastic bag then secured with an elastic; wontons, noodles, greens, and duck portioned out in a plastic bowl then flipped into waxed paper, folded up and secured with a second elastic; all popped in a thin plastic bag atop a styrofoam bowl, plus chopsticks and seasoning pack - presto! 

After the charming chaos of Sri Lanka, Bangkok seemed almost a tad pale in comparison. The orderly traffic flow, all staying within the correct lines, felt almost a waste of good driving space. 

However, taking a bit of a walk, I definitely noticed Bangkok has its own slightly calmer charms, including this lovely businesswoman (another new Facebook friend IF I were on Facebook), who sold to me some Thai snacks to take home for Tom, my husband. She lives outside of the city and works as a middleman, coming into Bangkok weekly to sell traditional snacks that others have made and packaged, carrying the basketed pole across her shoulders. Here's hoping, for Tom's sake, that the packaging is official enough to make it thru customs in Denver. 

I'd hoped for a longer walk in Bangkok, since the front desk assured me the neighborhood was very safe, but air quality was not the best to be trekking about. I  can understand why many local people wore basic filter masks over their nose and mouth. But since it was far less intense than the forest fire pollution we've had in Montana, I still ventured a short stroll. 

It's rather fascinating to think that I left Bangkok at 7:10 AM Tuesday morning, and will arrive home in Montana at 4:30 Tuesday afternoon, since at my departure time it was just 5:10 PM in Montana - on Monday evening.

I've just arrived at Tokyo Narita Airport - hooray! - so can fire off this post.

Now for the trek the gate for my last connecting flight, to Denver, Colorado, USA. More to come once I clear customs there! - Cyndy

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Homeward : Columbo To Bangkok

And I'm off! Safely and successfully thru security - although I did get asked to open my carryon bag. It was slightly amusing trying to explain the pump up neck contraption (medically advised due to on-going auto accident recuperation). Thank you Dr. S.!

I'll admit, I did get a little teary on take-off, watching the buildings and landscape of Sri Lanka grow smaller. But that's because I'm a bit of a sap. Of course, I will miss Pat and Gary - I especially cherish any time I can get with my sisters. But I will also miss the gracious and inspiring new friends of Sri Lanka; I'm very grateful for the opportunity to work alongside and amongst them in very straightforward and useful activities. It's been a very satisfying two weeks. 

I'm definitely a fan of Sri Lankan Air. Seriously, three delectable main dish choices for a 3 hour flight?! After a bit of agonizing, I decided on the milk rice, chicken curry, and seeni sambal. Is this not just too perfect?! (I remembered this time to take off the lid before the photo. And yes, that is a little pack of real silverware. All this just for the hoi polloi like me! Crazy.)

Food aside, the airline staff are astonishingly polite. Case in point:  the security check guard actually zipped my suitcase back up, after replacing my weird little neck thing.
And I'm guessing I won't see this considerate little sign in any western airline restroom. (Sorry, Pat - I couldn't resist.)

Well, it's hello Bangkok for me. Just waiting for luggage at carousel 17 - I paid attention this time to the announcement. (Note to self: moving luggage carousel track in peripheral vision, while typing on cell, produces the same kind of 'vertigo' as when the car next to you at the stop light moves.)

Just snagged my bag and am off to customs and then the lovely hotel. There will be more to come - from dual sources! TTFN! - Cyndy

Moratuwa Once Again: Sunday In Sri Lanka

The seeming whirlwind of the past couple days has brought us 'home' to our hotel in Moratuwa, with its close up views of oceans and trains - two of my favourite things (after raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens).

The staff may have shuddered upon seeing me again.: 'There's the lady who's clueless about the call button...' Sadly, my button pushing incident on the ANA flight in didn't prepare me for the arrangement of switches at our Moratuwa hotel. Our first night here I doggedly clicked away until I hit the right switch to turn off the bedside lamps. Belatedly, I realized that the fourth square didn't actually click - because it's a BUTTON. With a very faint outline of a bell on it. Oops. Another great opportunity to offer profuse apologies. 

Pat and Gary will be based here the first half of the next couple weeks, but I leave tomorrow at 4 AM from our hotel. Well, we all leave at 4 AM, since Pat and Gary are kindly coming to see me off. Partly because they want to avert anything similar to me getting on the wrong shuttle  to the wrong baggage claim at the Vegas airport. But mostly because they love me. It's a bit unbelievable that two weeks have already zipped past. But they were active and fruitful weeks.

Since I have to take a melatonin tab and go to bed soon, I'll keep it brief tonite. But I'll post more about the last few days (and one whole foodie post - I heard Kathy is waiting for that one!) while I'm journeying home, alone, since I'll have plenty of time by myself (insert sappy crying emoticon here). Odds are more realistic that I'll have additional interesting conversations with total strangers like the young Buddhist monk next to me on the flight into Colombo. (If I were on Facebook, he'd already be my friend.) 

I will miss Pat and Gary; the time together has been amazing. And I can't think of a more delightful last morning than one spent with our extended church family. We left the bird sanctuary bungalow just after 6:30 this morning, driving a couple hours through miles and miles of switchbacks and terraced tea estates to join in the 8:30ish service at the Methodist church in Dunsinane.

This happened to be Communion Sunday.  Before the adults come up to receive the sacraments, all the children came forward and each were given a candy - what a wonderful way to be included and to learn that the life found  in Christ is sweet. 

Worship was rousingly rhythmic and fully engaged. And, again, we were privileged to pray for people after Gary's rousing and relevantly illustrated sermon, which was as rousingly interpreted by Reverend Richard, who travelled with us from Nuwara Eliya. To do this, he had to ride the bus for over two hours to get home, and Sumi, his lovely wife, covered the preaching at their own church. We were blessed time and again by this kind of selfless generosity through many people. 

After service and a short cup of tea, we looked in briefly as Reverend Richard greeted the students gathered in the classroom adjacent to the church sanctuary. On Sundays, the church hosts classes for the children of tea plantation workers, taught by an English teacher who drives in from his main school location (& he just happens to be Buddhist). We were sent on our way by smiles and friendly waves.t

It's off to beddy-bye for us. Oo - but not until after we eat this lovely watalappam (very special Sri Lankan custard that reminds me all at once of the most amazing bread pudding, pecan pie, rice pudding and flan) just delivered - and lovingly  prepared by - the indefatigable Deepthi!

More to come over the next travel days! - Cyndy