Friday, November 20, 2020

Grateful - in all things

Thailand ~ India ~ Cambodia
 Myanmar ~ Sri Lanka

While we aren't able to travel overseas at this time - we are in touch with our partners in various countries.  All are dealing with the 'usual' challenges of floods and poverty and need - which are multiplied because of the COVID restrictions.

All are moving ahead with the work of the Kingdom.

Preaching, teaching, baptizing and helping with practical needs like food and hygiene.  The most pressing need   right now might be to know that someone cares. That in the middle of life's harsh realities - we are not alone.

It's wonderful to hear (and see photos) of God at work in lives around the world.

During this season of Thanksgiving, and throughout the year,  Gary and I want you to know how grateful we are for you.  Your love, your prayers, your support, every encouraging word - it all makes an impact in our lives and the lives of those we minister to.


Our Amazing God has given each of us an Amazing life.   And the Journey Continues ~ Pat


                 

"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:18


Are you shopping online this year? You can support Greater Works at no extra cost to you - by shopping at Smile.Amazon.com and choosing Greater Works Unlimited as your charity.  Amazon donates a portion of their profits!  

The easiest way to get started is: a) log into your Amazon account as usual. b) click this link and follow it through to support Greater Works Unlimited.  This setting will be part of your account until you change it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

What Missions Looks Like

Jesus gave His followers their marching orders: to be His Messengers through the power of the Holy Spirit.   And then he got specific: ".... go to Jerusalem, throughout Judea, the distant provinces—even to the remotest places on earth!”     "....preach openly the wonderful news of the gospel (Good News) to the entire human race." (Acts 1:8. & Mark 16:15 TPT)

Our mission field is wherever we are.  Look down at your feet. You are standing in your mission field!!

What a joy it has been to serve on a Short Term Mission Team at the Los Angeles Dream Center.  The love of Jesus, combined with practical help, is poured into the lives of literally thousands of people each week. It is an ongoing miracle of God's provision and faithful servants. 

I encourage you to watch the Night of Dreams Virtual Gala this Wednesday October 14th.  Simply follow this link to sign up,  watch and pray. It will encourage your heart to see what God is doing. 

Here's a pictorial overview of our week of service:

Food Trucks deliver fresh produce, dairy, meat, non-perishables and love to 21 communities each week.  

Restart: provides an outdoor classroom, Wi-Fi, laptops, breakfast & lunch plus hands on help as children & parents figure out online school. 

May you find a place of service that brings joy to your heart - wherever your journey takes you!  Pat

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Look Both Ways

'Look both ways before crossing the street, then proceed when it is safe to do so.'  Taught to children for their safety and protection,  this familiar refrain echoes in my mind when crossing a road or street.  Don’t run out without looking; without really seeing and paying attention.

So it is with God.  He gives us direction and instruction – it is our choice to listen when we hear His voice.

“.. yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.  And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:20b-21 ESV

God’s direction to Gary and I has always been "GO”.  But what if we can’t go to the places we normally would?  Like right now with most of the world shut down because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Our hearts long to go – but our plans seem to be restricted.

Our ministry partners are continuing the work God has called each of them to in their home country.  Because of your love, prayers and generous gifts we continue to support their work in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Thailand, India, and Myanmar.  

But what about us?  Look both ways.  Look behind – to where we have been.  Look forward to what God has.  Look around – where can we go?

Just 283 miles from our home in Las Vegas, in the city of Los Angeles, California, is an amazing mission work called The Dream Center.    

Their declared purpose is “… to connect broken people to a community of support by providing free resources and services that address immediate and long-term needs in the areas of homelessness, hunger, poverty, addiction, abuse, education and human trafficking.”

I have the privilege to 'GO' by joining a team from River of Life in East Missoula, Montana. We’ll be in the Echo Park Neighborhood of  Los Angeles Monday October 5th through Saturday October 10th. Volunteering to serve wherever they need us.  (It’s an extra personal bonus that my sister and her husband, their daughter and son-in-law, and our friend Josh are all part of this team.) 

Please keep our Dream Center team in prayer.  I expect my heart to be broken when it is exposed to hurting lives. I expect my heart to be strengthened as we are able to share the love of Jesus in practical ways that make a difference in lives that long for hope and joy.  

Gary will be holding down the fort at home, and sharing the Word at Meadows Fellowship on Wednesday evening October 14th. (live and in person)

The Journey Continues ~ Pat

The Dream Center, Echo Park
Los Angeles, California


Monday, August 10, 2020

Learning to be Content

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being  content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:11-13 NIV

In this famous passage of scripture Paul emphasizes the value of being content in every circumstance that life sends our way.  I have to admit that I am still in the learning phase, especially as it pertains to the heat of our Las Vegas summer.

Gary and I enjoyed an amazing three weeks in Montana.   It was a joy to share about our mission work as we reconnected with friends, family, ministry partners and made some new connections.  We are grateful to everyone that invited us to share and generously blessed us with their love and financial resources. 

Montana had a cool Spring with lots of rain, leaving the mountains green and lush with a light topping of snow on a few peaks.   Rivers and lakes had high water levels, which we enjoyed as friends took us out boating and fishing.

The weather was just about as perfect as we could hope for with a variety of clouds, rain and sun that never raised the temperature over 85 degrees.  Back home in Las Vegas, it is hot and dry with triple digit temperatures forecast through August.  While we are grateful for air conditioning, we can’t help longing for the fresh, cool Montana air.  

Mark your calendar for Sunday August 30th at 9 a.m. and ll a.m. Pacific Time – Gary will be speaking at Meadows Fellowship, our home church here in Las Vegas.  You can find the video link at MeadowsLV.com Gary Richards

You can also watch my recent devotional teaching on YouTube ‘God’s Got This'. 

Our prayer is that your soul experiences contentment in whatever circumstance you find yourself. “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14

 Learning to be content as the Journey Continues - Pat





Saturday, May 23, 2020

Escaping to Montana!

YEAH!  It's time for Pat and I to escape home seclusion, a deserted Las Vegas and head back home to Montana!

This will be our first opportunity to visit and share with our Montana family, friends and host churches about our four-month long incredible trip to Southeast Asia.

We will be flying into Missoula on Friday, June 26 and will return to Vegas on Friday, July 17.

There are a few weekday spots open for ministry.  If you would like us to come and share with your small group or church about what the Lord is doing in Southeast Asia, through "Greater Works Unlimited", please email us at gary@gwunlimited.com.  I can promise you that you will not be disappointed.

Here is our schedule so far:
  • Sunday, June 28 - 10:00 am at "CrossPoint Church, Corvallis, MT
        with Pastors Scot and Shelly Colwell.
  • Sunday, July 5 - 10:30 am at "Barnabas Ministry", Hamilton, MT
        with Pastor Nancy Pendergast
  • Sunday, July 12 - 10:30 am at "House of Praise", Victor, MT
        with Pastors Jim and  Lorraine Andrusky
  • Thursday, July 16 - 10:00 am at "Women of Worship", Missoula, MT
        with Pastor Lorraine Andrusky.
(If you would like details on any of these meetings - just reply to this e-mail and let us know what you need)

Pat and I want to thank each of you for partnering with us through your prayers and financial gifts. We want you to know that each and everyone of you is very important to us.  Words cannot express how grateful and thankful we are for you!

We are all coming out of a difficult time, but our Jesus is still in control and He is still the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).   Pat and I have been praying for you and we believe we are all going to be better and stronger then before.  Jeremiah 29:11 (AMP) says, "For I know the thoughts I have for, says the Lord, 'plan for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

Blessings on your journey with Him - Gary




Monday, May 4, 2020

Shelter in Place - In the Shadow of His Wings


 He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. 
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.   Psalms 91:4 NLT

It's not much of a journey in the normal sense. We haven't really left home except to get groceries and a few plants for the yard.  When we do see other people, we speak across a distance, usually through a face mask. 

And yet - our hearts are on a Journey With God.

Psalm 139:16 NIV says that "... all the days ordained for me were written in His Book before even one of them came to be."

Regardless of what the day holds.  God Almighty has blessed us with life.  He walks with us through each day. Each moment. 

We are so grateful for the resources of teaching and music we can enjoy from our own homes.  Here are a few favorites that we’ve been playing.  They encourage our hearts and compel us to worship.  Worship changes our perspective.  Our focus remains on the plans and purposes of God  in this season. 

Journey deeper into the heart of God wherever you are. Whatever today holds.
May the Lord keep you in strength and health, sheltered in place, under the shadow of His wing.

The Journey Continues - Pat

Link to our Shelter in Place Playlist   
     (WARNING - You may feel like dancing)

Featuring:
     Bethel Worship: Raise a Hallelujah
     Leland: Way Maker




Saturday, February 15, 2020

Our Epic Four Month Adventure - Summarized

It's been just over a month since we returned from our Epic Mission Adventure - it took over a week to adjust to the 15 hour time difference and sleep through the night!  I mean who really wants to eat dinner at 3 a.m.?

So much transpired during our four month adventure in Southeast Asia and India - that we were given two Wednesday evening services to share with our home church, Meadows Fellowship, here in Las Vegas.

The videos of our presentations have been uploaded to our YouTube Channel.  We invite you to experience our adventure through photos and our narrative.

Click here to go directly to Part 1 on YouTube

Click here to go directly to Part 2 on YouTube

Wherever you are on your life adventure, our prayer is that  you follow the heart of God wherever it takes you.

The Journey Continues - Pat

What an Amazing Journey!





Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Fresh Outlook

During our recent overseas mission trip, we received a request from Josh, who attends the same church as Pat's sister Cyndy, (who has accompanied us on missions trips before), asking if he could come for a week to be a part of our ministry in India.

We said, 'Yes!'  He worked out his schedule to join us for his first overseas mission trip.  Here is Josh's view of what it was like to be in India on a mission trip.  We pray that you will be encouraged to follow the heart of God wherever He leads you.  Enjoy!

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My time in India was better than I had hoped for.  I arrived at the airport preparing myself for an eye-opening experience.  Gary and Pat along with Pastor Megha, met me and we were off into traffic. In the U.S. everyone stays in their lanes and follows the rules of the road.  In India however, it is what I can only describe as chaotic sympathy.  Driving is in the left lane and that is more of a suggestion then the rule.  Honking is not considered rude, it is a way of communicating and Indian drivers are constantly communicating. I loved how crazy it was and how well it seemed to work!

Gary and Pat spent time with me showing me around the area so I could soak up the culture to better understand life in India.  We took trips to the tea hills of Darjeeling with the view of the Himalaya Mountains, as well as the to markets in the area we lived.

My first outreach experience was to a small and very poor tea plantation village.  There we sang worship songs and I gave a short message on the story of David and Goliath to 40 young children, that was translated into Bengali.  Afterwards, we handed out cookies to all the children that were present.


The next day was a free eye clinic that Gary and Pat have established here as an evangelistic tool to help reach the community with the love of Jesus. This day was very special.  In 6 hours we saw 80 people come to receive free eye exams, free glasses and prayer. 


Gary, after he did the eye exams showed me how to use the instruments to find the correct prescription and let me do quite a few that needed reading glasses.  I was filled with joy to help and watch the smiles grow as the people began to see clearly for the first time. The highlight was no doubt when a gentleman received reading glasses and was asked to open the Bible that he was given to see if he was able to see and read correctly.  He randomly opens God's word and starts reading how Jesus heals the blind!  I tear up with happiness at how beautiful God works.

At the Eye Clinic - all are prayed for
That Sunday, I was told by Pastor Mike that if I wanted to say a few words at the Sunday Church service that he would let me have some time.  I felt fear come in as I thought about getting up in front of the congregation, but God whispered, 'say yes.'  So I told Pastor Mike I would be happy to.  As I thought about what to share and what would be meaningful, I felt to share my testimony.  It went well and I hope my words reached and encouraged whoever God had in mind.

Travelling by Auto Rickshaw (aka Tuk-Tuk)
This trip was unbelievable and I felt God's presence the whole time.  I was blessed to make this trip with Gary and Pat as they show God's love through kindness and care in ways that have an instant and powerful impact.  The family I made on this trip will forever be in my heart and I plan to provide continued support and God willing set dates for my next visit soon.

I learned on this trip that we don't always need to know what is next; we just need to listen for God's calling and walk boldly in faith.  When we do this God blesses us and the people we serve in ways that are far beyond our imagination."

God Bless - Josh




Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Safe & Sound

Four days after our safe arrival in Las Vegas, I woke up feeling rested and as normal as it gets.
Without the groggy-brain effects of jet-lag. It's a wonderful feeling.

Sunday morning we received a warm loving 'Welcome Home' at Meadows Fellowship, our home church.  Totally feeling loved!

Gary and I cannot express how much we truly appreciate all the love and prayers and support each of you gave us during the past four months.  You are a vital part of our safe and successful trip.

  • If you live in the Las Vegas area - you are invited to come and hear our Mission Trip Presentation.  
  • It will be presented in two parts - on Wednesday evening January 22nd and January 29th.  From 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Meadows Fellowship, 7801 West Alexander Road, Las Vegas, NV 89129   (just West of Buffalo)     www.Meadowslv.com

Everyone wants to know about the food - what did you eat? So here's a sampling of the delicious meals we enjoyed in five different nations.  Nothing too crazy.  God has given us 'missionary stomachs' and kept us healthy.

Stay tuned for more reports .... Pat







Sunday, January 5, 2020

The Love of Jesus Displayed in India


Our love for others is our grateful response
to the love God first demonstrated to us. 1 John 4:19 TPT

Our time in India has flown by and has been very fruitful. Working alongside The Master’s Touch Church and Pastors Mike and Megha Gutknecht has been a great  joy.   In addition to regular church services, prayer meetings, home groups and Bible Study, there were special outreaches during December.

Eye Clinic
Eye clinics in India are not at all clinical!  With numerous people participating in multiple conversations, carried out in five languages, the cozy space we were set up in sounded like a large family gathering.  Which – to be honest it really was.   Eye exams were conducted, glasses were distributed, neighbors visited with each other, and the Gospel of Jesus was shared.  

What a joy-filled day it was.  By our best count 80 people had their eyes checked, 60 pair of glasses were gratefully received, the gospel message was shared. Regardless of their ethnic background, religion, age, or vision problems - all were prayed for and touched by Jesus’ love.


Baiganbari – Tea Garden Village
The local team from The Master’s Touch has an ongoing weekly outreach to the Tea Garden Village of Baiganbari.  Strong relationships have developed over the years as they help the children with schoolwork, teach Bible lessons, provide basic medical care and assist with other basic needs throughout the year. 



Haircuts at Baiganbari -  Armed with plastic salon capes, hair clippers, scissors, combs, ready smiles and generous hearts – a team of eight hair stylists from a local salon descended on the village and provided free haircuts to over 20 children. 

 

Christmas Celebration at Baiganbari  – Children and their families enjoyed an evening of singing, teaching about Jesus and the reason for Christmas, gifts for the children (a warm jacket aka a hoodie and matching sweatpants) and snack boxes for everyone there.  Our host family in the village are Christian and set up a lovely nativity scene. The very rustic village setting really made that ‘first’ Christmas come alive.


Thank you for being a part of showing Jesus Love to “the Least of These” (Matthew. 25:32-40) We believe it brings a smile to Jesus’ face as we share His love in a tangible way – especially as we celebrate His birth and share the real reason for Christmas.

The Journey Continues into the New Year ~ Pat