I met Patty at our Prison Ministry Retreat in Long Barn. My first impression was… she is so fun! From then on, no matter WHAT we did together, we ALWAYS had something to laugh about. It’s been a joy to know so many wonderful women in this ministry, and watch them do great things for God. But it seemed God gave extra assignments to Patty?!! She could start a new one BEFORE she finished the last one, AND SHE ALWAYS FINISHED each one….amazing!
She joined the CALIFORNIA Aglow Prison Ministry Board in 2000 as Field Coordinator and became President in 2003 after Rachel, Betty & I resigned. She wrote an excellent “teaching series” (patterned after her life) and organized it into a 2-Day-Seminar to use “inside” prisons. She called it “THE JOURNEY”. Jill & I went with her on that journey for 8 years.
Dennis once gave me an “assignment” so Patty could attend an Aglow conference in St Louis. He asked me to be her “Lumper” and carry her breathing machine. She was having a hard time with the asthma she battled since a child, and he wanted to be sure she used the machine daily…or he would NOT allow her to go. No one realized how very sick she often was. She was a little fighter and very determined. God used that quality many times for His glory!
I wasn’t very surprised when she felt God called her to Men’s Prisons. She tried to persuade me into this “new assignment”. Rachel & I went ONCE, then Patty accepted the fact that this was “her calling”, NOT ours. We prayed and read her “exciting emails” about services she, Dennis and Linda held for the men. I believe God’s anointing became even stronger on her then.
When she resigned as President of APM, she took-on another “job from God”…a different kind of assignment. She called it THE PLACE…where she gave men & women the chance to share their “miracle stories”. I came once a year to minister, but also to make music in Patty’s home. Dennis & I played “oldies-songs” from her Teen Challenge days as she sang along w/ us…so fun!
During our Retreat last month, Patty asked to spend a few days in Temecula. She said, “Earlene, I need to pray about some important things w/you.” Well, I thought it was about “ANOTHER ASSIGNMENT” so we planned to meet at Ontario Airport. But on July 11th I received a phone call from Jenny Travis…“Patty went Home to be with Jesus this morning.” I struggled in shock. Late that night, the Lord gently reminded me of a verse which I pray will also encourage YOU.
It is John 17:4… Jesus was praying to His Father before He went to the Cross. He said, “I have glorified Thee on earth. I have finished the WORK Thou gavest Me to do…”
Patty had finished HIS assignments on earth. Now she received the BEST ONE that God could give…to be with JESUS for eternity! May EACH of us who loved Patty follow her example, so we can also say: “I have finished the work God gave me to do”!