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You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light. (Psalm 18:28)

August 2019 Newsletter


This Month's Featured Writer

Joan Patterson

Pre-note: Folks, for months I personally begged, bugged, cried to, pestered Joan to the point where I was thinking of driving down to PA again and plead to her in person. Now as a rule, I only pester someone so long then, I give up BUT I was told that she had a testimony that just had to be shared and the sooner she shared......a HUGE weight would be lifted off her shoulders. I will stop here and let you decide.

Joan, I am so thankful that Our Father knowing best, He pushed me and you surrendered. This folks is the Father working with an obedient Son and Daughter.

Bless you Joan and I am now sure that we will read more of your testimonies in months to come. Please Pray for Joan's days and years ahead as she has kicked Satan's butt through her Fathers Faith an some Mother's Nurturing moments in time.

~Bob Olynyk

Joan Patterson writes...

I grew up in a prison playpen...until I was 3 years old! And, I was a triplet! Three kids in a playpen! Almost like the cages our POW's were put in.
Barely given the needed things for life- food, clothing and, most importantly love, we managed to survive by the grace of God!
NO TALKING! We could not express ourselves. We were not to disobey or ever say " No". This proved very harmful later in life.
We talked up in our rooms, between the three of us. We were like second- class citizens with two other siblings being treated better than us.
We didn't matter to anyone.
Somehow, by God, I am sure, I thought I was special. Maybe because I was a triplet and people liked to look at us.
I looked forward to Sunday's, when we got baths and,afterwards, sat on our mother's lap to have our hair brushed. Precious moments of positive, physical contact.
My mom had 5 kids by the time she was 21.
She had no expectation of having triplets and was afraid to tell her husband they had 3 more hungry mouths to feed. They were poor.
Because the newspapers wanted pictures of the " Miracle Triplets", she was forced to te her husband right away.
Even though Carnation and Gerber supplied much of our needs, and strangers brought donations and someone paid our hospital bill, we were still hated for being a burden to them.
That is the environment I, we were born into!
One company bought 3 incubators because we were so small: 3 pounds each. Three babies, three pounds, born on the third day of the third month in 1953! So special!
We almost were named April, May and June. Our middle initials were A, B, and C.
I would have been " May B."! That's a name bent for ridicule! Mercifully, we were named Janet, Joan and Joyce! Thank you, Jesus!
We arrived home on Easter, which may have been considered a blessing to some, but...
There was no bonding because my mom had a one and two year old at home.
Mom may have thought herself special for having triplets. It brough her attention for the first time in her life, but it did not transfer to affection toward us.
Mom came from a very poor family. Her father died when she was young, making her life horrible because her mother became emotionally disturbed by her husband's death which left her destitute.
Mom was court ordered to stay with a specified family until she was18.
She married my dad who was the first boy who dated her, just to be on her own.
I know even less about my father, except that his life was no better than my mom's.
In order to escape another pregnancy, his mother slept with him, telling her husband that the baby needed her because he was sick.This alienated his dad from him.
So, Jimmy and Pearl, my dad and mom, two unloved and unwanted youths marry, only to form another replica of their own lives of misery and poverty.
This is the " wonderful" family I was born into.
With little sustenance, my mom, now 21, has 5 children to provide for. Her husband is horrible and he hates her.
Once,a,week, he gave her a dollar to go to the movies, provided that we all were sleeping, so he didn't have any work to do to care for us. He never held us. He never even knew us by name.
Every payday, twice monthly, he got drunk and came home, ready to scream and yell at my mom and beat her up. We got NO sleep on those nights! I don't know why the neighbors never called the police.
When I was 5, we moved from Philly to Norristown, Pennsylvania, about 20 miles NW of the city. Our house there was too small.
My dad worked for the Reading Railroad. I thought that was a decent paying job, but..we were always poor.
My mother had to stay home. We were now 6. Bobby was born.
My dad worked 3-11 so we barely saw him.
I was 15 when my mom told us we were leaving my dad. I hoped this would improve her behavior toward us. We were being beaten regularly for the audacity of being born. This did stop by this time, though.
We 3 got babysitting jobs and sat for our mom's girlfriends so they could all go to the bar together. We made decent money and helped mom pay her bills.
Again, we hoped our helping financially would make her like us. Wrong again.
The next year we got REAL jobs and,worked as much overtime as possible to avoid going home to " hell house".
What did I do to deserve this? Get born?
I was in constant mental and emotional pain. We all were.
Like mother, like daughter. I married the first boy who took me out. I did think he was cute. I was 20 years old and, like my mom, was desparate to be on my own.
His sister tried very hard to talk me out of magnifying her brother, but...I was,excited about being married and,away from home.
I never even thought about the sexual part.
My sister was,expecting to get married and asked me what sex was like. I couldn't tell her and she became very angry with me.
I was not what my husband was hoping for and I became more distressed and unhappy and he started going out with the guys, getting high and who knows what else. I did find out that he was cheating on me with his old girlfriend.
I was at a new low in my life. I loved my husband but he didn't love me.
THEN,one of his old girlfriends stopped by with her husband to witness about Jesus!
They told us that Jesus loved us. I thought,
" Jesus loves ME! Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus." But, my husband wasn't moved at all. He had no interest.
My life turned around and I was thrilled to know I was loved by God, but, became depressed because my husband didn't even care. Another low. At this point, I am feeling nothing. After realizing I was being cheated on, I moved in with my recently married sister. I told God that I wanted to go to church.
Shortly afterward, I met a guy who seemed to be religious. He and a churchgoing friend took me to their place of worship: a home church. I wanted a man who loved Jesus and this guy seemed to be sent by God.
We,were fellow-shipping and worshiping 3 times a,week, singing songs like " He knows my name". My own dad never knew my name. I was very, very happy in my new church environment. Just what I had been praying for!
My new guy friend said he needed,a roommate to help share expenses. I thought, being a man of God, I would be " safe" and could learn a lot from him. So, I left my sister's place and moved in with him.
It didn't take long for him to show his true colors and intentions.
Because I was happy in the Lord, and so happy to be in church so often, I overlooked his manipulation.
Besides, I had never seen anything good before!
My Father in heaven said He would never leave me nor forsake me. I was happy, really happy for the first time in my life!
I was finding true love and happiness with my Father God. It was everything I had been longing for my whole life.
I didn't talk much and was a little backward socially, insecure, but I always had a smile on my face!
Now I am pregnant with my first child, Ronny, named after his dad.
Ron had 2 other children already whom he was paying support for.
We were married in October. Ronny was born on Valentine's Day.
I had joy with my son and my Father God. Life seemed good. Good enough.
I have a new life with God, going to church 3 times a week and a bundle of joy to love and care for.
The following year, Gina was born. How nice. We were already poor from paying child support so I got a job and went to work when Ron came home.
Ron's mother was a blessing from God. She gave us $200 a month for rent, bought other things and babysat for us.
Ron was her baby and she really loved him.
As years,went by, Ron drifted away from God. He was a good dad and okay to be with and the ministry, The Way Ministry, said there is no divorce for believers so my options were closed. Even though our relationship wasn't great, we,stayed together. God was meeting my needs.
By this time, our kids were teenagers.
Ronny was giving us a hard time, getting high and getting in trouble.
I was going to church, a place of solitude, by myself. It was a new church.
Ron was working long hours with his brother. We no longer needed his mother's help.
I found a friend at this new church, sad to say. A man who showed me lots of attention. I didn't realize, at the time, that this was a trap set by Satan.
Lies began to sound like the truth and, before long, I was in a relationship with this man, something I thought I would never do.
When Ron became suspicious, he asked me to swear on the Bible that I wasn't cheating and I couldn't. It ruined our family.
Ronny found out and was furious! At the time, I didn't care...until God told me I was killing Ron.
By now, my church was involved. I was receiving personal, Christian counseling by a woman named Heather.
Heather became " Jesus with skin on". She was wonderful. I never knew anyone good like she is. But it took many hours of hard work for me to find peace.
When I did realize that the devil set a trap for me, I did care and I sought, long and hard, for God' s forgiveness.
I hated myself. I felt like such a loser!
I couldn't stand to look in the mirror.
I cried, day and night, for many days and nights, asking God to forgive me, praying, " Unto Thee and Thee only have I sinned and done evil in your sight".
I felt a separation from God that was agonizing. I hated it!
My wonderful, human counselor, Heather, helped me so much. Thank you, Jesus!
After much hard work, taking about two years, things were sort of back to normal.
My former life of misery was nothing compared to the betrayal and lies that caused grief to my family and a separation from God with all of the guilt! Needless to say, IT WAS NOT WORTH IT! Sin never IS!
I would never do it again!
Married women...if you are unhappy and dissatisfied with hour marriage...GET HELP!
Pray and seek Christian counseling. Do not do what I did. It was worse torment than my miserable childhood and early adulthood.
A woman teacher came to a ladies meeting at our church. She did not just come. God sent her.
I forget the lesson she taught but I will never forget what she did.
After her lesson, she went to every woman seated with a general blessing, touching them saying " God bless you" or someting simikar. It was the aame for everyone until she came to me. She looked me directly in my eyes, put her hand on my shoulder, and quietly said, " YOU ARE FORGIVEN"!
Hallelujah. God heard and answered my prayer.
I was set free that day from a deep and horrible pit of despair! My Father still loves me. He did not leave me nor forsake me, just as He promised!
Thank you, Jesus, Son of God!
Free from the darkest prison of my life!
About a year later ,Ronny, my son, got into a fight and was killed. I was heartbroken. My beloved son and friend was gone.
When Heather heard the bad news, she rushed to our house to comfort me.
She asked, " How are you?" I answered, " It is well with my soul".
I knew Ronny was a believer and belonged to the Lord, not me. Everything we do have belongs to Him.
My good, good Father met all my needs and gave me peace. He took care of all of the final expenses, a,God of compassion and love!
It has been sixteen years since that date.
I have learned that God is all I have and God is all I need.
God is my refuge and my protector. He is Everlasting God. He will never leave me nor forsake me...and...He KNOWS my name!

Joan prayers / comments - Bless you all for sharing my testimony

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