Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Blog

Announcing our new blog!!
Keep up with me and my growing family on thepattesons.blogspot.com.
You'll find photos, verses, stories, and more all posted by the Pattesons.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

After more than enough reflection time following my trip to Ethiopia and Uganda in June and July, I would still move to Uganda if God called us to go. You have to understand though that on multiple occasions I have tried to move away from San Antonio. We moved to San Antonio in 1997 after graduating from BU. I thought it was the hottest place on earth. We moved to Lampasas (Kempner) in 2000, possibly the smallest place I have ever lived. God delivered us right back to San Antonio the following year for medical school. Four years later we had the opportunity to move away for residency. We prayed. God called us to stay here. Three years later nearing residency graduation, we had another opportunity to move away. We prayed. God called us to stay in San Antonio. We have now lived in San Antonio for so long that we have a family of friends. We have roots here. I always say that I married a Texan; therefore, I live in Texas. The truth is that I love it here. However, if God calls us to Uganda, I'll go. Now I'm not sure about the native Texan living in the house! :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Finally...an update.

The roosters began their call for the sun to rise at 6 this morning. The children's voices carried over the wall beyond our room at 6:30. This is the way to wake up, no alarm clocks.
The rain is pounding the metal roof as I type. It is no wonder that the palm leaves are large and lush. The bouganvilla(?) grows strong in a canopy above the guest house rooms. Uganda is beautiful.
This morning we are in no rush to head out to the next orphanage. The rain slows everything. Instead of gathering crafts and sports equipment, I am reflecting on the people and places I have encountered. I am so thankful for all of you who have faithfully prayed for our team. I am so thankful for your financial support and encouragement.
Yesterday in the parking lot of a large shopping center, I overheard an chinese man speaking to a local. "They come for a week or two and then leave. They think they are helping, but really they do nothing." At first, it sounded discouraging. I know his view would be so different though if he believed in kingdom work. If our work were strictly out of our own efforts, it would be fleeting. The bible even tells us this in John 6:63, 'It is the Spirit who gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing."
When I return the babies to their tiled floor or say goodbye to the preteen with a hug, I am leaving, but Christ remains. The Spirit works in ways I don't understand. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be the hands and feet who served these children. Thank you for partnering with me. I know God will bless you for your faithfulness to respond to the extreme needs of the orphan. Words only say so much. I hope the photographs will speak to your heart. As sson as I can, I will post them. If you haven't yet, follow the link to Mindy's blog at www.mindygoestoafrica.blogspot.com to see some now.

We have limited access and many team members so I'll say goodbye for now.

With incredible gratitude,

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Psalms 100

Jinja, Uganda
Amazima Ministries
"Make a joyful noise to the Lord all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before him with singing." Psalms 100: 1-??
I read these verse this morning as part of a brief lesson to the 100 or so kids at Amazima ministries. We made bracelets using pipecleaners strung with beads and bells. The kids, from 3 to 13? 14? were beaming with excitment and pride! After the craft, I gave them a quick lesson from one of my favorite passages in the bible. At the end I asked them if they would sing some songs to the Lord. Could they?? Oh, how I wish you could have heard them the sing! Three older girls lead the group in song after song of incredible praise to Jesus. After 20 minutes of choruses, the drum came out. The clapping got louder. I am sure the sound lifted up over the compound walls and out into the streets of the community. I video taped the spontaneous praise session. Amazing.

I met a boy today, Stephen, who is 12. His sister is 13. They live alone. He doesn't know where his mom is,and his father was killed at war in Northern Uganda a few years ago. Please pray for the many children across this continent who have similar stories. The siblings are so well behaved and helpful. Jesus is their hope. They smile and are not destitute because they have faith. Once again, amazing.

I wish I could upload photos for everyone. I promise to post them when I return.

Please continue to pray for the team. We are all tired. God has allowed an incredible opportunity to love on his beloved children. We don't want to slow down because there are simple too many.

Love and prayers,

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 23rd...The End of the day.

I am sending news your way anytime I can knowing that this prob won't be possible later in the week. We returned to the Guest House about an hour ago after a full day of ministry. My cold shower was sensational!!! Anything to remove some grime and sweat. A few highlights of the day:
1. bible verses for each of us at breakfast
2. smiling faces and welcoming hands of the orphans (not for long!) at the THome
3. coffee at the Ethiopia version at Starbuck's
4. Playing soccer with the street kids on the pavement
5. Using the E-cube to share the love of Christ with the street kids
6. Boy addicted to glue . . . made clean

There were about 80 babies, toddlers, and kids at the Transition Home. Each competed for our arms, hands, and laps. These babies (all of them) thrive on one-on-one time. Their nannies were taking incredible care of them, but they couldn't provide the individual attention to one without ignoring another. Praise God that most of these children have families that are in the process of adopting them. We can't share the names or photos of these children out of respect but we will always remember these sweet children's faces. They are beautiful. Ethiopia people in general have broad foreheads, wide eyes, long lashes and heart shaped faces. They are stunning. One 11 year old boy attached himself to me. He was so very shy, but he wanted to walk where I walked and play where I played. I can't wait for him to have a forever family. Another little girl, maybe four, clung to Mindy. Her wailing as we drove away brought tears to all of our eyes. After lunch we rode to a coffee shop and then to the market. I bought many things with a few dollars. Thank you mom and dad for encouraging me to play soccer. Getting on the soccer "field" is an instant way to step into the world of poor children around the globe. Ethiopia is no different. We played a game of American vs street children. I don't have to tell you who one. After soccer, Amanda and I shared the gospel story using the Evangecube with the help of an interpreter, Ephraim. Please pray for two particular boys, Brahanu and the boy who sniffs glue. I'll find out his name. We brought the second boy back to the Guest House, gave him a shower, some clean clothes and prayed over him. Ephraim is going to follow up with him. Nothing is impossible with God. However, this boy needs major intervention.

We are awaiting the pizza delivery . . . traditional Ethiopian right??? I think I'll sleep much better tomorrow.
Tomorrow we visit the Mother Teresa Orphanage with 400 children. Pray that God multiplies our ability to love on these children

June 23rd

We are waiting for our transportation to the AWAA Transition Home. Soccer this afternoon . . . should be funny with the altitude change. Today will be our first interaction with the orphans. I'm sure stories will flow after today. I already know the Ethiopians are warm and welcoming due to the two hugs I received in the airport. Two separate little girls just came up and gave me the tighest hug around my legs. All because I smiled at them.

A few random thoughts:
1. Lisa is glad that we can flush the toilet paper in the ET Transition Home. We are definitely not roughing it. Pancakes, scambled eggs and fresh mango juice for breakfast.
2. Ou leaders, SImon and Amanda shared a word from God for each of us. Kevin, you might start preparing. :) Part of Lisa's is that people will see Lisa's and her family's success a blessing from God. Part of mine spoke of rejoicing in all circumstances.

Time to go . . .