We have been praying about what ‘missions’ looks like in our life. We've seen God direct us and we just can't wait to follow up our last letter with this one ... our most current plans. Please know that you are someone special to us and we are thankful for your presence in our life. We hope that you will be encouraged by our story. We also want you to know that your prayers and giving to our last trip allowed us to fully step into this part of God's plan for our life. We aren't asking for money this time, we aren't asking for supplies or advice. This time we are simply asking for prayer. Please read our story, be encouraged by our thankfulness of you in our life, and pray for us. Thank you in advance!
We've made a lot of changes in our life over the past couple years and are SO very thankful for God's direction, provision and guidance. You might remember when we first decided to go to Guatemala back in 2011. At that point we felt God stirring our hearts for something coming. We prayed about family, about our jobs, and about missions. Well, after the trip, we knew that Guatemala was part of our plan, but not the whole answer. We didn't pack up and move, but we did fall in love with the country and the people. Fast forward three months and Kristen had anew job! God took his time preparing our hearts, stirring us to feel the change coming, allowing us to experience a third world country, and directing us in His perfect will. Turns out our permanent answer to the stirring we felt was her career change, and missions was an amazing thing we got to experience!
You might be thinking that it's great that we found a direction for our life, but we want you to know that we are still in the change phase. In fact, we think that we'll always be in some kind of change phase. As soon as we get idle and comfortable, we'll forget the dire need we have for our Savior to lead and guide our lives. We pray that you can understand that feeling and be comfortable with it as well. Change is not always easy or what we'd choose, but we have come to embrace it joyfully. We aren't always excited about it (and sometimes we go kicking and screaming), but we've learned that all of the changes in our life that were directed by God were much better than anything we had planned for ourselves. With that said, we've stayed completely open to having missions be a regular part of our life. David said just a few months ago, "I really have a heart for the Central American people. I feel like God can use me there and I'm ready to go back." Kristen got the chance to go on a short trip in September with FBC’s missions coordinator to make plans.
So, we are now, officially, Team Leaders. What does that mean? It means that we are going to be taking teams to Guatemala. It means that we have committed to FBC's missions and to working with our church's partnerships in Guatemala. It means that God's plan is still being worked out in our life. It means that even though we aren't planning on packing up and moving, we'll be actively involved. We’ll take our first team in March. Our church partners with two missionaries down there who have identified a village, named Chanco, for us to work. There is only one family of Christians. One family ... in the whole village ... sad! So, with the work of a couple local churches we are going to tell the people about Jesus. The last time we went, we talked to people that had never heard the name Jesus. NEVER!
Will you pray? Again, we don't need you to send us money for our trip, we don't need any supplies, and we don't even need any advice. We know that this is where God has us. We know that He is good and His work is worth it! We know that the Bible tells us to "Go and make disciples of all nations." Matthew 28:19. We also know that the Bible promises the work, though difficult, will not be in vain. Revelation 7:9 says this about the end of time: "from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne." All that's left is for us to go. We will need prayer and here's a list of things you can pray for: Pray for the people to be open to what we're going to tell them. Pray for our safety (last year, a man was killed because he became a Christian). Pray for God to move in a mighty way in this village and in the country of Guatemala. Pray for the pastors we will work with in Guatemala, that they will have courage to go into villages that are hostile toward them. Pray for their health.
We know this is a longer letter than normal (the most you probably get from us is a Christmas card or a thank you note, haha!), but we appreciate you, we covet your prayers, and we wanted to share with you!
Kristen & David Patrick
" Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest...' "