Totally worth it

Posted: July 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

As many of you know via Facebook, I made it to Jamaica…for the entire trip, from beginning to end.  The prayers of you all, along with God’s amazing grace helped me make it.  It was not easy, but it was worth it.  Listed below are a few highlights for which I am thankful and will also show that I could have never made it alone:

  • the hotel completely renovated a shower to be walk-in accessible
  • Johnny & Ryan helping me on and off the bus countless times
  • Elliott dealing with my carry-on full of cans of formula for the feeding tube
  • Robyn ably learning and handling all the money like a pro
  • Chris, the bus driver, running the bus with the air on, when I needed to sit for awhile
  • Uton, pastor of McField Baptist, praying for me
  • Pastor Cooper & Calvary Baptist presenting a thank-you with a huge group photo
  • Yolanda, Shelley, Dion and many others for a beautiful presentation of thanks filled with songs, poems and gifts
  • all the students coming to sit and chat for a few minutes daily to see how I was doing
  • the kitchen staff making me lots of soup and rice
  • Everyone being patient with me as I speak slowly, quietly and am difficult to understand
  • Devon Linton (former pastor of Calvary) calling from Trinidad to tell me how sorry he was he couldn’t be there
  • Johnny cutting my food so Dena could sit somewhere else for a few meals
  • spending time with the 3 youth leaders with whom I have had ties with for many years:  Ryan, who went through our high school ministries and had been to Jamaica as a student the first two years I led the group and now as a leader the last two years with me; Robyn, who grew up at Cornerstone and was away at college when I arrived, but her mom was a youth leader and we had her brother, Daniel, all the way through; and Johnny, who interned with me in ’02-’03 and now I am passing the baton of ministry over to him.
  • Watching all our students step up, do their part by leading and serving all week
  • serving alongside my little family of four for, most likely, the last time together.  Paige is off to college soon and I am no longer the youth pastor.  So, regardless of how long I live, things are changing.  Some people never get the opportunity to go on a missions trip with their family and for this I am truly grateful!

It was not perfect and there were moments of stress.  On Thursday morning, I fell on the hard tile in the bathroom.  Dena couldn’t get me up alone (again, Ryan and Johnny came through) and from then on, it hurt to sit and get up and down.  In fact, I am still in pain from that.  Another time, I flooded the new shower so much that the water entered three other rooms and even got a student’s suitcase wet (sorry Haley).  And I have to admit, I did get tired of all the soup.

Other moments made me laugh – After greeting a child I knew from previous years, he told me something was wrong with my voice and I needed to get to the doctor quick;  Zach letting me pretend to take him down in the pool; trying to sneak pork and chicken when Dena’s not looking is another way I humor myself!  Any moment that can make me laugh is a good one.

Humanly speaking, I know that this was my last trip out of the country.  It was the 11th time my passport was stamped “Jamaica.”  I count it a real privilege and blessing to have so many Jamaican friends and someday in Heaven, we will have a reunion like no other.

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

  1. Mandi says:

    So glad you made it there and back without too much trouble.We were concerned about you and how you would do on the trip. WE were praying for you and Dena while you were gone and we appreciate the updates on your life and ministry. It looks as though you were still able to communicate and have an impact on others. We lov you and you are in our prayers and thoughts.

  2. Patrick and Dena, I have been reading your blogs and so thankful to you for letting us follow what’s going on. I am so sad that I didn’t get to see you when Jerry and the kids came. What a blessed time they had with you! God is using you greatly, especially as you give him the glory in these blog posts. It is so obvious that He is at work in you and in those around you. Soooo glad you all got to go to Jamaica together. We love you and pray for you often that you will be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord our labor is not in vain.” I Cor. 15:58

  3. lorie says:

    how glad to see and read the mercy the lord gave you to say goodbye to your friends

  4. Russ Arbuckle says:

    So grateful you had the chance with your family to travel to Jamaica and see your friends in Christ there. We have been praying for you guys and we will all know that this trip maybe your last out of the USA, but it was for the glory of God that He made it happen for you. Continue your journey as you have been in the body of our Lord. He loves you and so do we.

    Russ & Karin

  5. Darlene Krucker says:

    To God be the Glory!! Amen and Amen!!

  6. Delphine says:

    Wow, what an incredible journey. Even though my passport will never be stamped Jamaica I feel with all the pictures on facebook and your wonderful humorous stories you were able to take us along. I am overwhelmed by how God was able to work things out for your family on this trip. Yes, I am know there were many difficulties, but as you said a wealth of memories for all you and the folks in Jamaica. Thank you again for continuing to share with us as we continue to pray for each of you individually, as you go through this trial that God has placed into not only your own family’s life, but into our greater family of Christian Brothers and Sisters lives as well. To God Be All The Glory and Honor! Forever. Amen.
    PS: One passport stamp I am looking forward to is the one marked by the Triumphant CALL….

  7. Tom and Lee Ann Hedges says:

    Patrick we too have had the privilege of introducing teens to missions on out of country trips. The blessings continue to multiply for years after. I want to thank you for your blog. It is an encouragement to us who are experiencing many of the same things with this most terrible disease. We pray for you and Dena daily and treasure the time we served as coworkers at Calvary Baptist. Today is our 52 nd Anniversary and we thank the Lord for these years good and bad.

  8. janet searle says:

    We are so happy you had this opportunity one more time. Your faithfulness and dedication even through this time of intense difficulties was a testimony and challenge to all of us who love you so very much. We are so proud of you and your testimony of life and service to Christ!

  9. Earl and Becky Short says:

    WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE! we are so thankful for your safe and rewarding trip!

    Philippians 4:4-13 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. …

  10. Jana Braden says:

    We were praying for you! So humbled by your honesty and thankful for your faithfulness to our faithful Lord. You are loved.

  11. Kelly Stanton Pisciotta says:

    Great pictures Pat! Your family is beautiful and so happy you were able to make it back there! Love, Kelly

  12. Keith and Marilyn Kaynor says:

    How good to hear of God’s blessings on your trip! We are so glad that things went (mostly) smoothly. God answered many prayers…

  13. Rose Harla says:

    Patrick…you and Dena are an inspiration and I pray that God continues to bless you. Philippians 3:20. “BUT our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

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