Moving Update

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We announced a few weeks ago that our season as full-time missionaries in Germany is coming to an end. This was a complete surprise to us. We were expecting to be missionaries for many years. We did our part, but due to circumstances out of our hands, we have to leave the mission field. We are still here in Germany, but are leaving next week. Where are we moving to? Nashville, TN.

We will be flying out of Hamburg next week. Our plan is to move back to Nashville, TN. It’s really our 2nd home. We lived there from 2003 – 2014. Even though it’s our 2nd home, the process won’t be easy.

We are devastated that our time in Germany as missionaries had to come to an end earlier than we expected. Even though we have only been gone a little over a year, we will be going through a transition that many missionaries returning home go through. The ending of this chapter can be difficult. If you are interested in what we are going through check out this blog: http://www.saritahartz.com/what-every-missionary-needs-to-know-about-reentry/

We are completely starting over – no jobs, no home, no cars – nothing. We arrive in Nashville next week. Ray and I will begin looking for full time jobs. Thankfully, a close family friend in Nashville is letting us stay with him for the month of September. Hopefully, we will be able to secure jobs quickly, save the funds needed for a car and an apartment before October 1.

Please pray for God to provide for our needs: jobs for both of us, 2 cars (somehow), a place to live and things needed for the apartment once we get one (furniture, cooking items, etc.).

If you would like to help, here’s our Youcaring.com fundraiser. https://www.youcaring.com/raypattiandreaganlegrand-892512

We will continue have this blog. It’s our ministry blog, and we will keep serving the Lord and blogging about it. If you are interested, then keep checking back.

Thanks so much for all of your prayers and support. We are so thankful for it.

~ Patti

 

 

 

 

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It’s Just The Next Chapter

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Today, we sent out our latest newsletter to our supporters to inform them that we are moving back to the States. This was a very hard newsletter to write.

God broke our hearts for Germany back in 2013. It took us three years to finally make it to our mission field, Hamburg, Germany. Ray almost didn’t make it here due to his cancer, but God brought him through it. We sold everything that we owned, left family and friends in faith, following God’s lead. All of that to just have to go home after just over a year?

There are a number of elements that have influenced this decision. God has been showing us many things in Scripture and we are realising a calling that is not restricted by geography. In the coming months, we will be sharing more about the ministry he has for us to do. This may be full time or we may need to have “day” jobs while doing ministry outside of work hours.

In the eyes of many, once we on our U.S. soil again we aren’t missionaries anymore. God’s mission through us is not over. It’s just the next chapter.

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”  Jude 3

Click here to our fundraiser to help us get back home/with our transition back to the States. We will return to the U.S. on August 23, 2017.

~ Ray and Patti

 

 

 

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Real False Teachers Among Us

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“But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.” 2 Peter 2:1-3

Peter, one who walked with Jesus, warned us that there were false teachers back then and will be in our day. Jude warned this as well,

“I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches…” Jude 4

I experienced this first hand last weekend. Let me explain.

My family and I attend a very small local Christian, Bible believing church here in Hamburg, Germany. Ray was sitting next to a man and his wife who were just visiting. They said they were from Taiwan, living in Australia, have a Healing Ministry and their next stop was London. The man said that he usually visits churches and tries to find a time during the service where he can “jump in” and speak, but at our church service, he found it difficult to jump in so didn’t.

After the church service was over, I was sitting next to someone that attends our church and he was sitting next to the visitor with the healing ministry. I could hear the conversation and some things I heard just didn’t sound right.

It didn’t take long and everything in me was shouting “red flag! false teacher!” I couldn’t sit any longer. I ran and got Ray and told him to come and listen to what this guy was saying to our friend Sean. I also sat and listened. This guy was fixated on this verse,

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” John 14:12

At that point Ray jumped into the conversation with some other Scriptures. The guy just kept saying, something like, “it took me 30 years to get this verse. And we can have the power even greater.” This guy has a healing ministry, his message to us was to get the power to do even greater things than Jesus. He told us to keep reading that verse over and over. We shared other Scriptures and that we have to remember getting the power also isn’t for our glory.

We should always be pointing people to Jesus, not ourselves, just like Peter and John did in Acts 3 after the lame man was healed.

This “healing” man claimed that he himself healed a man from leukemia in three days. Ray shared that we don’t see that happening in the Bible. When the apostles and Jesus healed or raised people from the dead, it was instantly – not taking three days and if the healing took three days that isn’t doing “greater things than what Jesus did.”  The man said, “It took Jesus four days to raise Lazarus from the dead.” I told him that he was wrong and reminded him that it was instantly not four days later (see John 11:43-44)

Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

This guy couldn’t sit still and looked very nervous. He switched to talking about people’s lack of faith. He didn’t admit that what he had said was wrong and not in the Bible.

This guy was truly trying to convince us to get the power and then we can use it and do greater things. He never talked about doing greater things for God’s glory.

This incident reminded me of a man who saw the power coming out of Peter and John, and wanting this power. (see Acts 8):

“When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power. 19 Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!”

20 But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought!”

We saw this couple quietly sitting with anyone in our church who would listen to them. They were clearly there to spread their agenda – quietly. They were clearly teaching “another Jesus”.

In the end, the man said, “oh you just haven’t been enlightened.” We alerted our Pastor and his wife to what was going on.

Please, read and know what God says. Don’t just believe people who come in the name of Jesus or say they are a Christian. There are many using Jesus’ name, but aren’t teaching the same Jesus, the Jesus in the Bible.

Jesus also warned us not only about false teachers/prophets, but they will perform great signs and wonders.

“And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.” Matthew 24:11

“For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.” Matthew 24:24

I also want to note that one week before, Ray, was sitting in a different church service where there was a guest speaker who was clearly a false teacher. The guest speaker said that he had a message from God “thus saith the Lord, a key to present to you…” What the this teacher taught, went against what the Bible teaches and didn’t point people to Jesus, but potentially turned them elsewhere.

BEWARE: False teachers are alive and active.

~ Patti

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The Difficult Road

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Being a missionary isn’t easy. The mission isn’t about you at all. It’s all about God and for His glory. We just get to be a part of the story.
No matter what we think or feel. It’s not about us. We may want things to turn out a certain way or just want what we want on the journey, but it’s not about us.
Is it easy to get the “calling” to go to a land away from your homeland and follow God when all you have is faith? You can’t see the faces of the ones you are going to. You don’t know their names. You don’t see all the answers, the results. Walk by faith not by sight.
You don’t always see first, but even when you do see, you always want to see the next step or the money or the answers. If that doesn’t happen, do you give up? Is God not with you?
At times you may feel like He isn’t. Do we love and serve God for the feelings or do we walk by faith? Feelings come and go and are up and down. Faith is a harder road. God’s way isn’t the easy way though most today won’t teach that, but it’s true and Jesus said, in Matthew 7, ” But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”
Who wants to go the difficult way? Relying on God to led you and not your feelings, standing up for Jesus, for God’s Word without compromise is not the easy way. It’s very difficult.
When all Hell literally seems to be breaking loose – do you still listen to God or run and hide? Do you turn to things or go back to old ways? Does the missionary just give up and head back to their homeland with their tail between their legs?
What do you do when this becomes reality, “‘Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people…..because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” Jude 3-4. 
It’s a continuous dying to self and yielding to him. Trusting all along the way through the good, the bad, and the ungodly; even when you don’t see the fruit, the answers, the money, the next step.
If you aren’t in God’s Word you will get discouragement, be led astray, or get caught up in feelings instead of in God.
This is a an encouragement for us all:
“For this world is not our permanent him; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” Hebrews 13:14
and
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
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Being Led Astray?

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The other night I had a dream about a church gathering that looked Christian. I remember hearing “this is not of God. Jesus isn’t the center. The Gospel message isn’t the center.” Then that old song “Jesus, Be The Center” came to mind.

That was just a dream, but this is really happening. I am seeing here in Europe and saw it when living in the States. You can see it happening online as well. If you are a Christian that knows God’s Word, then you know that we are in a battle. Your spirit is at war. And you know that we have an enemy, Satan. This war is real.

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

There are many who are Christian, but don’t know this because they aren’t reading or being taught God’s Word, but instead, are taught stories, mans ideas, “new revelations from God” or an experience/feelings based Christianity and signs and wonders which can be masked as “Jesus things”.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1

This is serious. How will a Christian know how to fight the real spiritual battle that is taking place? How will the Christian know how to test for fakes and counterfeits? How will they know how to walk in God’s ways? How will they know if the “signs and wonders” or “God encounters”, shaking, laughing, falling down, crying, drunk in the spirit” are from THE Holy Spirit or if they are from other spirits that are not from God? God’s Word, the Bible, teaches us this together with Holy Spirit.

God’s Word needs to be taught to God’s people. Not just “pieces” of God’s Word, but all of God’s Word, and IN CONTEXT. Don’t tell me it’s not important or not relevant. Paul says, “You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. ALL Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:15-17

Paul goes on to say, “Preach the word of God. Be prepared whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:2

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

Many love to quote the verse in Joshua, “be strong and courageous”. But there’s more, “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” Joshua 1:7-8

My heart is sad because people are being led astray among God’s people. The war for souls is real, not just to keep people from hearing the Gospel Message about salvation, forgiveness of sins and eternal life through Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross, but to keep Christian’s from sharing that message either because of fear of sharing or because they are believing the lies to not teach God’s Word.

Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” People have to hear the Word of God.

Jesus told His disciples before He left, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

We need to pray. This is one of the things we are seeing out here in the field.

~ Patti

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Update from the States

My main objective for visiting The States has been to share with people face to face what God is doing through us in Germany (ministering to women in prostitution/human sex trafficking victims, Refugees, and the Heavy Music Community), and also to get the word out that we have some needs in hope of getting them met.

I’ve been in the States for 3 weeks now. I was able to speak at a few small churches. I have two more to speak at this coming weekend before heading back to Germany next week.

I have also been able to visit friends and family including 2 of our 4 children. I even got to help Pastor Bob with a food pickup for the homeless ministry.

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It’s so awesome to share what God is doing in Germany! We want Him to get all the credit for it. All we do is follow His leading, step out in faith and obedience, trusting Him to change hearts and lives through us.

Our landlords are moving back into the apartment that we are currently in. We really need to find another apartment to rent in Hamburg ASAP, but can’t even start the search until we have enough funds for the security deposit (2 months rent) and the first months security. With that said, here are our two greatest needs.

IMMEDIATELY Need ASAP:

  1. Security For An Apartment. If you’d like to help with that large amount (security deposit) which is needed immediately, here’s our US Paypal legrand.patti@gmail.com. Our European friends here is Paypal for our German Paypal SanctuaryDE@gmail.com PayPal is best so then we can start looking immediately and not have to wait for disbursement (no tax deductible receipt).
  2. More Monthly Supporters (any amount helps). This is what keeps us on the mission field. Monthly supporters can donate to us through our missions agencies, All Nations, and get a tax deductible receipt. Get the info to donate at the top of this page and click donate https://theunfoldingodyssey.wordpress.com/partner-with-us/ 

Not my favorite blog post, but have to make our needs known. I know Psalm 121 says, “…From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”

He is One who provides but chooses to use people to do this.

Pray and see if this is you.

~ Patti

 

 

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Ministering to Woman in Prostitution 


Today I’d like to share about one of the things I’m doing in Hamburg – ministering to woman in prostitution/human sex trafficking victims.
I am part of a team of Christian women who reach out to woman in prostitution. We seek out relationship with woman in the red light district of St. George in Hamburg, in order to bring them into a relationship with Jesus. 

The Hansaplatz in St. George, is a very dark area. It’s THE area in Hamburg for the drug addicts and alcoholics. It’s the second largest area of prostitution in Hamburg, and a very high crime area. That’s where these ladies are.

We have a cafe once a week where we serve them a meal, coffee,tea, and desert. We use the cafe as an avenue to get them in off the streets build relationships and talk with them so we can share the love of Christ with them.
We also share the love of Christ love with them in tangible ways by helping them find jobs and apartments if they want to stop prostituting themselves. We can also help them escape prostitution if they want to.

We also have a church service for the women once a month. It’s for women only. The time that I preached was the night we had our two women say yes to salvation through Jesus Christ!

These woman have come to trust us. They know we are there and that we represent Jesus. It takes time to build trust. Being a light in a very dark place. 

~ Patti
That’s a little about the ministry that I’m a part of.
~ Patti

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