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  • Writer's picturepatrickandmichelle91

Patrick met Rick soon after us arriving here in 2014.  Rick was a loner and had a very tough exterior. He really did not connect with many of the church people and the one's that did know him did not think he liked them very much. Patrick stuck it out and became friends with Rick. God used their relationship to do His work.

During the past year and half, we learned that Rick had stage 4 cancer. Rick had a "bucket list", he explored London, Scotland, and many beautiful sights in Ireland documenting it through his photography. He expressed his desire to go to Israel. He knew his time was close, so he asked Patrick to accompany him on one last trip.

This past November, I dropped them off at the bus stop before dawn. After getting a message of panic, I scrambled back to the bus stop to look for Rick's bag with all of his medicine and camera. On the long bus ride to the airport, Patrick prayed intensly for the recovery of the bag so Rick's heart's desire would be fulfilled. Yet, the next call was Patrick's voice sad and low stating Rick was on the next bus returning to Portlaoise because without his medication he could not take the trip. 

As Christmas time approached, Rick was admitted to the hosiptal. He was in good cheer and it was hard to tell that he was really sick. Despite his healthy appearance, we knew his diagnosis. Patrick and I would visit him as often as we could praying for him, with him, and adding him to prayer lists. Patrick spoke often with him about being ready to stand before God.  These talks would end with Rick asking Jesus to forgive him, to give him peace and salvation. Yet, continued conversations of his past revealed anger and resentment to his mother. Rick grew up in commmunist Poland filled with tragic memories of loss and pain.

The break through came immediately after we cried out in anguish before God to bring other people to help us with Rick. See his condition grew worse, by January he was admitted into hospice and needed comforting people near him constantly.  All of a sudden, many of his friends from church and community began visiting him.  Some of these visits would turn into prayer meetings right at his bedside. We would see tear filled faces and we began to see Rick's heart soften.  

One day, Rick decided to call his mother in Poland. He beame boy like as he cried with her asking her to forgive him. The very next week we met his very small, 87 year old mother. She only spoke Polish, but we could tell from her face that she was delighted to reunite with her son. She stayed only a week, but years of bitterness was desolved.

Just a couple weeks later, we gathered around Rick's bedside one last time. Now, there was peace, love, friends, and hope of eternal life. When the doctor arrived to issue Rick's death certificate, she spoke about three months earlier how she had warned Rick NOT to fly to Israel. "This, she said, "could have been catastrophic due to the air pressure in the airplane combined with the inflamation inside of Rick." At that moment, Patrick realized God had indeed answered his cries for Rick's real heart's desire.

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  • Writer's picturepatrickandmichelle91

Found myself again, in a time where I felt alone and unsure of which direction I needed to travel.  By travel, I mean in all areas of my life: my thoughts, my actions, and even my attitude.  On this day, I was in Boston Public Gardens, actually working because the lady that I help with caregiving had a procedure done in that area hospital so I was waiting for her.  As I walked this first day of "spring" where it really felt like spring, I enjoyed the sun and the tulips that circled the area.  I was able to quieten my thoughts with the beauty and warmth that surrounded me; I didn't feel alone, but I knew in my heart I had questions for God that I felt were unanswered.  I set my eyes on a broken fountain and thought this is how I feel lonely, broken, and isolated.  I felt drawn to that area and as I walked towards it, I felt God say there was a verse on it to encourage me.  Faded from time, there was a verse etched in the stone: Isaiah 28:29 "This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working."  I was not seeing His hand at that moment in my life, but all I needed to do is to ask and watch, because He is wonderful in counseling me and excellent in working things out in my life.  This reminder certainly encouraged my heart that day and moving forward.  Sure I have days where I feel lonley, but I will determine my heart to seek His conunsel and praise Him for the good works I see and will see in my journey.

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  • Writer's picturepatrickandmichelle91

Another prayer was answered in our journey, as we found a wonderful family for our dog Ella.  It was just another piece of the puzzle put into place by God's hand.  So coming home, from Virginia to no pets in our home felt a little funny.  For as long as we can remember we had a family pet of some sort.  Well, God who is just perfect at all the details gave us a little blessing before we pack our bags for Ireland.  We found a baby bunny hopping around our front step.  She seems to like our yard and has been here for weeks now.  The children love watching out for her and picking some dandelions leaves which she enjoys.  We even gave her a name "Front Runner" because we found her in our front yard.

Front Runner is a term given to a runner who is the leader in a race or competition.  Paul compares our faith journey to a race.  In 1 Corinthians 9:24, Paul says, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize".  Paul is talking about the front runner.  We are called to be front runners, hand in hand with Christ leading this race in life that He has us on. 

We are at the end of our itineration "race".  We are only given 18 months to "compete" and we have only two more months to get our last 35%!  We need your prayers like never before.  As soon as we get 15% more, we will begin our visa/passport process.  We can not book our flights until we reach 100% of our budget.  We need your prayers.  Will you believe with us?  We need people "running" along side us right now.  I was thinking the other day if everyone that could, would commit to giving $5's a week that would be approximately $22 a month and that would take us right pass the "finish line" and into our mission field!

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