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