Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sri Lanka Morning

We are safely back home, and mostly readjusted and recovered from jet lag.   There is still so much to share about our month in Sri Lanka. 

Sri Lanka is an island nation surrounded by the Indian Ocean. It has many gorgeous tropical beaches that attract a growing tourist market.

Several of our eye clinics were held in rural villages with no hotels. Beach hotels, however, were within an hour's drive, so we were blessed to return to a refreshing ocean setting after each day's eye clinics.

Early morning walks on the beach are a wonderful way to start the day, communing with the Creator of the natural splendor that surrounds us. Plus breathing in the refreshing ocean air and positive ions is quite energizing.

Wherever you find yourself today, may your day be blessed with the knowledge of your Creator God.
Blessings, Pat

Friday, November 10, 2017

Journey's End

The end of every mission trip produces mixed emotions. 

Bittersweet conflicting feelings as we leave our friends and ministry partners in this beautiful nation that we love; coming home to friends and family in the US, whom we also love.

A deep satisfaction for the individuals helped and community relations strengthened; along with a yearning to address the great need that remains.

A feeling of "is it over already?" as we make the long journey home, and assimilate into a somewhat normal routine.

Each day is an opportunity to make a difference right where we are. Right where you are.
Our prayer is that you will be inspired by our journey even as you live out yours. 

With grateful hearts for you ~ Pat and Gary

Bangkok Dawn as we Journey Home

Monday, November 6, 2017

Quick Report - Weekend #4

Since my energy level has been low, I find myself napping rather than summarizing events of this past week. 

Please forgive the brevity of this overview, and stay tuned for details and photos. 

Weekend #4 wrapped up Sunday evening with a six hour drive back to home base. Thursday through Sunday was spent in the Buttala area, which has had a lot of persecution and unrest.

Praising the Lord that the eye clinics Friday and Saturday were successful with 256 people seen for eye exams, and 211 pair of glasses given.  We had Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Christians all come. In fact Friday's clinic was in a partially constructed home of a Buddhist man!

Overall this trip has had the largest and most successful eye clinics. During 9 clinics, 1,023 people had eye exams, and 838 received eye glasses.  All at no cost to them, through your generosity.

Thank you for all the loving prayers and support. Each if you are important to us and the Lord.     Gary & Pat

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

My Sri Lankan Birthday Celebration

As birthday celebrations go, this one is right up there in my Top Ten.

Due to the time difference between North America and Asia - I actually celebrated for 2 days!

Sunday in Sri Lanka started with a perfect cup of milk tea, enjoyed at dawn on the shore of Bolgoda Lake.  Water birds provided our morning's sound track and entertainment.

The traditional Sri Lankan birthday breakfast of rice milk, coconut jaggery, and chili paste was delivered by our friends and hosts Deepthi and Layasing.  The apartment we are renting in a private residence has a kitchen/dining/living area - so we were able to reciprocate their hospitality and invite them to share the breakfast they so graciously provided.  Did I mention they included a tasty coffee mocha birthday cake?

The day was spent doing laundry, catching up on correspondence, and relaxing.  That evening we attended an English service at Kollupitiya Methodist Church in Colombo.  There is an reverent sense of history when walking into this 121 year old sanctuary with vaulted ceilings and stained glass.  An inspiring expository teaching on "Why The Reformation Matters" marked the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation (Begun when Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to the door of the Wittenberg Church)

When my birthday dawned in North America, I was fast asleep in Sri Lanka.  Electronic birthday greetings awaited when I woke up Monday.  Morning chapel at  Adara Sevana included a rousing account of Peter fishing all night, singing, prayer, and a special birthday lunch - with more cake.

The students greeted me with Birthday wishes and another Sri Lankan tradition - bouquets of flowers from their family gardens.  On this lush tropical island, that means vibrant exotic blooms.  And lots of smiles and love.   (Note: Adara Sevana means 'Love Shelter' in Sinhalese and is a non-profit school for the differently-abled.)

A special birthday lunch was served and enjoyed by all.  Feeling well celebrated indeed.

Refreshed and ready for our last week in Sri Lanka.  Thank you for being a part of what God is doing.  Your loving support and prayers means more than you can know.

Not feeling my age - - Pat