Greetings from Patrick!
As most may know, I’m one of “Sister Sally’s” mission team that has the honor and privilege of traveling to South Africa. Our mission is to in some small measure bring hope, love, encouragement and caring to our Flames Christian Family Church, and the precious orphans in the surrounding very poor villages. My task… beside an occasional “preaching,” and loving on the kids as they swarm me, wanting their picture taken… is to document our trips in video and photography. Have you ever smiled so much your face hurts? Well, that’s what the little ones do for me!
John 12:15-17… as Jesus told Peter: “… feed my lambs, care for my sheep – feed my sheep”.
This was Jesus’ commission to Peter… and we today should do the same.
This year’s trip, as you will read from Sally and others… was an AWESOME success. Well, that is… for everyone but yours truly. You see, the second night of our trip, I got violently ill, resulting in my being taken to a local hospital ER three days later. Let it be known – traveling with a MORE than qualified “Nurse” (… won’t mention any names, but her initials are SALLY HERMAN) has its benefits! I was well cared for.
Even though I was very sick and in tremendous abdominal pain, I got unbelievably BLESSED by our Flames Church family! Their love and caring for me… was something to behold. You see, on the night that Sally determined I needed immediate medical care, I entered the hospital ER waiting room, with two people assisting me as I could barely walk… only to see many of my beloved Flames family. They were there to greet me… and to pray for me.
I’m NOT ashamed to say… I broke down and cried, buckets… especially when I noticed my dear young brother in Christ, Tshepo… whom had gone out of his way to come and see me. Sally told me later… I had the whole room crying… including the hospital staff attending to me. Wow!!!
This much love… from people I see only once a year… there just aren’t words to adequately convey how I felt, and the love I have for them. My heart and soul goes out to these people. They not only accept us, they LOVE when we come to serve them… in some small way.
God has blessed me with my Flames Church family… I love them so much!!!
May God bless you and yours!
Ye ‘ol Irishman… Patrick.