Joy is a needed character of God in our lives, even in times of challenges. Recently, I was able to teach on the joy of Jesus, the main theme was that Jesus gives us His joy as we abide in Him and His joy is greater than our circumstances. Some people who were present at the church service told me that it was just the message that they needed. A week or two later in the midst of our own challenges, Marta paused one morning and said, "I was thinking about the teaching you shared, I am not happy but I choose to have joy". We are making the choice to cling to Jesus as assist Jamie with her health struggles. In the last two weeks we have taken Jamie to the emergency room twice, both times she was not able to stop vomiting. Yesterday we were in the hospital because Jamie had complications with her PICC line, which enters her vein and goes over to her heart. Recently they did an endoscopy and confirmed that Jamie has a few ulcers. Last week she had an infected upper molar which caused her to have a serious eye infection that is causing her right eye to be red and sensitive to light. She seems to be struggling in many areas as we help her we also sense our need to see the beauty of God's creation, to be in fellowship, and to seek the Lord through reading the Bible and worshipping Him. God can allow storms in our lives but He also has the power to calm the storm and even if He does not, He can keep us calm through the storm. As I am writing this, Marta is in the next room playing the guitar and singing praises in Hebrew. Each of us has so many reasons to be thankful to the Lord. Pray for Jamie to be healed. Pray for her ulcers to be healed. Pray for her as she has an infected tooth and is searching for a less expensive dentist. Pray for her to be able to eat without being nauseated and throwing up. Pray that the PICC line would not become infected and the doctors would understand the correct course of treatment.
Pray for Jamie to move pass her health and financial struggles.
The picture above was taken at the Sunday Resurrection service of Calvary Chapel of San Juan Capistrano. We were so grateful that Jamie was able to attend the service with us. We were rejoicing to see over 50 people go forward and commit themselves to follow the Lord. We have been encouraged by Pastor John Randall's teaching, he recently started teaching verse by verse through the Book of the Revelation of Jesus. Heaven is an amazing place because of the glory of God and because of His grace towards us! We are living in San Juan Capistrano in our friends' house. John and Doranne came and served in Israel with us last year and invited us to stay with them. You can pray for John and Doranne as they are planning to sell their house and move to Washington state. We do not know where we will live in the future. A few days ago we had a meeting with Pastor Gary at CC of San Juan Capistrano, he has a lot of experience serving in missions trip and he mentioned that we might pray about being "home based missionaries". Basically for this season of our lives that is what we are doing, we feel that we need to assist Jamie in her challenges and still assist in Israel. I have another trip to Israel planned the end of June and the first weeks of July. The only issue for us is where to call home. Marta is ok with being here and allowing me to travel in ministry but we do not know if we should try to rent a place here as the cost of living is so high. We are content in this season of transitions and we are in San Juan Capistrano because it is close to where Jamie is renting a room from a lady who is a believer and a friend. It is a beautiful area.
The picture above is with Pastor Hector (in the red shirt) and his wife Diana (and Anthony). Hector is a pastor at Calvary Chapel of Downey and they brought 25 people over to Israel to do an outreach trip last year. It was an encouraging an fruitful time so they already have a team of about 21 people to travel to Israel in November to serve Holocaust survivors and to encourage Israeli believers. Marta and I are helping them and we plan to be in Israel to serve together with them in November of this year. Pray for Hector and Diana and the team that is preparing to serve in Israel. Pray for Hector and Diana as they recently assumed the responsibility to raise 6 of their grandchildren.
This week we were able to join with some friends who are reaching out as believers and encouraging Luba, who is turning 85. We met Luba a few years ago, she is a Holocaust survivor who lives in Southern California. Our friends are sharing with her and we all prayed for her. It is always a special time when we interact with survivors as each one has a spirit to overcome. Pray for Luba to understand and receive the love and salvation that God freely offers each of us.
Pray for me, as I have been invited to teach on May 27th at Calvary Chapel Shoreline in Morro Bay, Ca. on May 27th.
Pray for a survivor in Netanya, Israel named Michael, his wife Galina, wrote to us and said that he is in the later stages of cancer. Galina is a believer in Jesus, we are not confident if Michael is, but we have shared with him in the past. Pray as my friend Bruce, who has invited me to travel in June and July to assist in distributing eyeglasses to Holocaust survivors and to people in need. We understand that they are nearing the end of their lives and we want to share the love and light of Jesus to them. Pray for the Lord to direct us in His will and to the place that we will live. Pray that we do not get tired in this season of challenges and that we will abide in Jesus and have the joy of the Lord as our strength.
Thank you for serving with us,
Don and Marta Patten