|New Address! (repeat)
Please take note of our new box number.
A Bit of a Climb to Go
Todd & Jana Patterson
2065 Half Day Road
Deerfield, IL 60015
Over the past few months a much larger part of our schedule has been given over to support team building and we've been able to see the fruit of that ministry. Teaching has been a lot of fun and a great encouragement to me. An overwhelming number of people have expressed that they have been enriched as we've gone through the books of Acts and Genesis or as I've had the opportunity to preach. We've also been affirmed by people we've met who know our ministry context and the people we work with in Slovakia. One has told us, "It's so obvious that God has called you for this ministry in Slovakia." And this summer we even had a chance to receive encouragement from professors at the seminary in Slovakia. All that encouragement is really important to us right now because it reminds us that we are on the right path and we need to stay the course.
We've also seen some fruit in terms of financial support. We've received quite a few large, one-time gifts, a major supporting church increased its monthly support by 67%, individuals have increased their giving, and one new family has joined our regular support team. We thank God because we believe we have one of the most faithful and committed support teams that we know of.
A Critical Moment
We have some stories to tell about God's faithfulness and in the next few months I plan on telling a few of those stories on our blog. I hope they'll be an encouragement to you. Those stories are important to us as a family because we are reminded that our God is a great God who sees all and who has a plan that cannot fail. His plan is one of salvation for all people, including the people of Slovakia, and it's his plan that has shaped the direction of our lives.
Even with all the encouragement and the increase in support, we still find ourselves at a critical moment. We were hoping to be in Slovakia even now, but our support level forced us to postpone until December or January. Now, after most churches have completed the budgeting process, we find we are still lacking a significant amount of support (just over 25%).
A Change of Strategy
Until now, because of the way we have seen God provide in the past, we have kept our focus on building deeply into the churches we know and the people we know who love Slovakia. We will have to change that strategy. The strength of our support team has been that we have a relatively small and very faithful team. That's you! Now we need to expand that network of supporters and that's where our focus will be in the coming weeks and months. (If you want to know how you can help us do that, please read below: You Can Help). Our previous strategy required very little "soliciting." It seems clear now that we will have to be more aggressive in letting people know how they can become an active part of our sending team. We feel this is necessary in order to be faithful to God's calling and responsible to those who are already supporting us financially.
Thank you for the encouragement, the prayers, and the financial support that has been crucial in helping us do our part in bringing God's plans for Slovakia to fruition.
You Can Help
If, as you read this, you are wondering if there is anything more you can do to help us return to the ministry God has called us to in Slovakia, then I would like to offer these suggestions.
If you're reading this you've already done something very important. Thank you for reading our update and for partnering with us! You're staying informed about our ministry and that allows an opening for God to put us and Slovakia on your hearts.
Pray for us. Prayer is really important. No one needs to say that but we all need to be reminded of it. Pray for wisdom for us and that he would move people to partner with us in ministry.
"Spread the love." Our focus right now is on expanding our network and you can do a lot to help us. If you are genuinely enthusiastic about our ministry (Have you heard me teach or preach? Have you been a part of Jana's Music Together classes? Have you read something good on the blog?), please share it with your pastor, someone at church, someone at work-wherever. Have us come teach at your church on the book of Genesis, or creation, or missions, or to preach (link), or to lead a Music Together class at a Sunday school. We have seen again and again that when we have the opportunity to teach, preach, or share our ministry, God gives us favor in people's eyes.
Maybe some people can even increase their giving. We're looking for people who are willing to take on three year commitments to give $25 per month or according to their ability. Every single person who is willing to take on one or more of those commitments moves us closer to our return to Slovakia. Every single person.
In this update I've focused on our support team building status. If you'd like to see more on our ministry and family check out
Thank you very much for your prayers and for your continued support.