Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Welcome Home - back in America

Upon arrival into the United States, all persons regardless of their citizenship, are required to go through US Immigration, collect their baggage, then go through US Customs.

When we returned to the United States last week – we simply presented our passports, which the Immigration official scanned, stamped and handed back to us with a poignant greeting “Welcome Home”.

Our customs form read ‘Nothing to Declare’. We handed it the officer and walked out to the warm embrace of friends at the arrival gate in Las Vegas. 

God is a lot like that US Immigration Official.   It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been away, where you’ve travelled, how tired and dirty you are – when you return, He simply stamps you with His love, puts His arms around you and says, “Welcome Home Child”.

Then we have the opportunity to declare and surrender all those things that we shouldn’t be carrying around – fear, hurt, discouragement, worry, habits, indifference.

Surrender them to Jesus – He’s like the Customs Officer for heart matters. He’ll take them and dispose of them properly. Imagine how much less baggage you’ll have to carry around.  How much lighter your heart will feel. 

We’re officially back in Las Vegas for the next two months.  Although it’s been our home for many years, somehow it no longer feels like ‘home’ – our hearts have been transplanted and taken root in India.

What's ahead for us?  August will find us enjoying Montana's big-skies and cool summer days, reconnecting with friends and families and sharing at our partner churches.  We'll share that schedule soon. 

Plans are to return to India by early October.  Our cozy flat is waiting for us.

We're often asked, 'What does it feel like to be back home in the United States?'    It's good to be back and we definitely feel loved and warmly welcomed by all our friends and supporters.  

Morning walks in our Las Vegas neighborhood feel  'sanitized' without the dust, garbage, cows, cowpies or stray dogs. 

Thank you for sharing our journey as we continue with God.   ~ Pat

Be prepared to be challenged and blessed as you listen to Gary's recent teaching. "How Do I Smell?"

Have you read our book?  Click the image for more info or to order from 

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

It's Just So Different

Early morning walks through the surrounding neighborhoods provide continual fascination.  It's a bit of a challenge to be up and out just after dawn; before the sun gets too high and the humidity makes it unbearable. While I do encounter a few fellow walkers, it's the closest to 'quiet' as it gets.

Its radically outside any comfort zone I ever had.  I stay observant and always feel safe, so don’t worry about that. 

Here are a few random observations that most of us don't see on a regular basis. (This assumes you live in a developed or first world nation, like the United States, Canada or parts of Europe.)

Trash is dumped in empty lots and occasionally burned along the edge of the road.

Cows. I know I keep mentioning the cows - but now they are calving and its cows and adorable newborn calves.    The ones I see on my walks have owners who move them to empty lots each day to graze.  (Which means dodging cow pies on the road)

There are small Hindu temples at many corners and junctions. People passing by stop for a moment to pay their respects to the enshrined deity before resuming their tasks.

Daily life spills out into the streets.  Especially in the poorer neighborhoods where houses are one or two rooms, an outdoor toilet, water is hauled from the faucet along the road. The public water supply is turned on at 7 am for a few hours each day.

This is life at it’s most basic.

Laundry is washed in buckets
and hung to dry
wherever there is room.

Transporting huge loads of goods by truck,
motorbike or balanced on a woman's head.

Ministry is also different.  As foreigners we try to keep a low profile by not openly sharing about Jesus in public places, only in private homes and at church.  Deliberately not being flashy or attracting more attention than our white skin already does.  We are careful about using social  media and not promoting ourselves.  It’s really all about Jesus anyway.

Christians face severe persecution in several India states. The Chief Minister of West Bengal, the state where we are based, fights for minorities, including minority religions, which has kept the persecution here to a minimum.  

While everything about life in India is so different than life in America or Canada, one thing is constant: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, forever.” Hebrews 13:8.   It’s why we’re here. It’s why we live. It is our purpose to share His love wherever we go.

May this truth encourage your heart today.  When it seems that everything in your life is changing - Jesus is eternally the same. 

The Journey Continues ~ Pat

It’s pre-monsoon or summer season.
Flowers are blooming profusely.
The food is always delicious.

There was a powerful anointing for freedom as we sang "Break Every Chain". (In both English and Nepali) The Word Holy Spirit directed me to share instructs us to keep our freedom.  May you be challenged as you listen to leave those chains on the ground.  Pat