Out East

Posted: October 23, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

About a month ago,  I received an email from my alma mater, Baptist Bible College, telling me that I had been chosen to receive one of the annual alumni awards they give out each fall.  The awards were to be handed out during a chapel service in mid-October that culminated the end of the Bible conference and the beginning of homecoming weekend.  I knew immediately that I wanted to go…Northeast Pennsylvania is gorgeous at this time of year and I have years of fond memories from college and seminary.

But there is a big difference between wanting to go and making it happen.  We kept it on the down-low and started making plans.  I knew I couldn’t just get in a car and drive ten hours anymore, so we had to break it up into bite-size pieces.  Then there were the unknowns of the hotel rooms and accommodations along the way.  Plus, we knew we needed more manpower….I’m too much for Dena to handle alone when away from the set-up in our home.

Once the plans were made, we still almost didn’t make it when two nights before we left, I fell in the middle of the night walking to the bathroom.  Dena and Parker had to call 911 for them to come and get me up.  I only suffered a cut on my head and some pride, as now walking alone was put on the “never again” list.  We knew that the administration and students at our college were praying we could come, so we kept plugging away.

It took Dena two days to pack for our little trip, but she’s doing everything now including loading it all up.  As she made several trips to the van with bags of meds, extra supplies, the wedge pillow, handrail for the bed, wheelchair and scooter, she gave me a look that said “do not say one word about how many bags I have!”  It’s kind of a joke between us, as it probably is with every married couple packing for a trip!!  Needless to say, she made sure we had it all!  At each stop along the way, we had friends or family come to meet us and help us into the hotel rooms.  Starting the second day, our friends, Matt & Jolynn Frey, joined us in our van and continued the trip with us.  Once there, Dena’s brother, Tim, also flew in and jumped in to help.

The weather was great, the service was nice, the familiar faces wonderful, and the young students refreshing.  I laughed so much my sides hurt. Receiving the Outstanding Faithful Service award was a real honor and blessing.  It is only because of God’s grace that he can use a former troubled teen for His glory.  I have only been serving God for 25 years, and many others have done so for much longer.  I am humbled.

So was the trip a lot of effort?  Yes!  But worth it? Definitely.    Thank you, friends, family and BBC!

Psalm 84:11  For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord bestows favor and honor; No good thing will he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

  1. Mary Stahl says:

    I am so proud to know you both and pray on a daily basis that if you or Dena ever need anything then I am here and I love you both

  2. Paul G Tremewan says:

    Although we never think of it at the time, I believe God guides us to marry smart, tough,resourceful women… Our wives are truly one of our greatest blessings…
    Paul T

  3. Phyllis says:

    Congratulations, Patrick! I’m sure you were thrilled to be the recipient of this award. You have surely been blessed with the family and friends God has given you! I know you are grateful for Dena and all her family that so graciously care for and about you. We love you too, and have been blessed to know you, and by your teaching as have our grandkids. We thank God for you Patrick! Prayers continue, dear friend. Bill and Phyllis

  4. Diane says:

    It was WONDERFUL to see you and Dena at BBC!

  5. Mary Rodgers says:

    So glad that you could attend the event in your honor. It must have been a wonderful
    experience for you and family.

  6. KRoot says:

    Thanks for the continued updates. Patrick, your life, and that of your family, continues to be a testimony of the goodness and faithfulness of God. I consider it an honor to be your friend. You’re in my prayers.

  7. Terri Lewis says:

    So happy that you were able to make it, Patrick! What an honor. You surely deserve it, and I love that you got to go in person! Thanks, everyone, who helped Patrick make the trip.

  8. Sandy Love says:

    Pat and Dena: I have been following your trip east on facebook but was refreshed to read your email this morning. It gave me more information than I got on facebook. Congratulations. I am so proud to be able to say that I count you both as friends. God bless you in this difficult journey.

  9. Robert says:

    Truly, God is merciful. I am thankful to God that He carried you to BBC and back.

    I’m sure that you’re familiar with Sovereign Grace – not only our Great God’s 🙂 but also the music published by SGM. This song came to my mind after reading your post.

    “And when the storms swirl and rage, there are mercies anew.
    In affliction and pain, You will carry me through.
    And at the end of my days, when your throne fills my view,
    I will sing of Your mercies anew.”

  10. Mandi says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I love seeing the pictures. I am so happy that it was enjoyable and you were able to see a lot of people. Kudos to Dena – that was a lot of work!!

  11. Amy Zizelman says:

    Congratulations Patrick. We are so honored to know and love you and your family! Aubrey said, ” I love Mr. Patrick and Parker so much!”

  12. Judy Stafne says:

    I have been following your blog since one of your church members sent the site to me. I live in Minnesota and my son, who is 40, has had ALS for 8 years. It truly is a blessing from God that we still have him with us. It has been a long hard road and I can relate to each step you are going through.My prayers go out to you and your family in this ALS Journey (as I call it) God Bless!

  13. Rich and Cheri Engle says:

    Patrick and Dena, it was wonderful seeing you again at BBC! Thank you for all the effort that you and your loving family and friends put into the difficult trip. It was a blessing to hear your testimony and see your smile as God was praised for all He had done and is doing in your life. Thank you for longing to suffer well and bring honor to God as He continues to use you. It was a precious example to those of us who have lived long enough now to see the realities of the devastation of sin and for the young people who will experience hardship as fellow servants of Christ! We continue to pray for you all! May God’s strength and grace be poured out on you!!!!

  14. Patricia Bradford says:

    So cool….thanks for the info..love and continued prayers…

    Sent from my iPad

  15. Les and Judy Johnson says:

    Enjoyed your letter about your trip[. Congratulations on your award. Just think of how greater your eternal reward will be. You are a great witness for the Lord to many people.
    You are in our prayers

  16. Tom & MaryEllen Newman says:

    “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” In the beginning you said ” I want to live that out!!” You are! Thank you for humbling me regularly through your incredible journey.

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