Monday, December 10, 2012


With Stories

Jeff & Kari Patterson with Richard Stearns
It's true.  I love reading.  I love fiction and nonfiction.  In fact, I look at the Bible as one huge narrative.  It is an eternal story.  One of a kind.  Authored by God Himself for the benefit of mankind.  And He offers each human a part in His story.  Stories within The Story.

I've been privileged to have a story that spans nearly 66 years.  During that time I've been able to observe and even participate in a few stories of others.  Some turned out to be short stories.  Others seem to be serial stories.  And some are stories that are so close to me that I've wanted to have a hand in writing some of the sentences and paragraphs.

I have a story to share with you ... a fascinating story!

The beautiful woman you have seen, named Kari, was about 5 years old when I met her.  Her father has been one of my best friends.  They were family friends and church friends.  God put me in a position to influence both Kris and Kari the two children given to Bill and Karen Zyp.  Kris is one of the major reasons I work in Uganda.  But, that's a different story!

Kari with her children Dutch & Heidi
I watched Kari grow from her childhood into adolescence, transition to Oregon State University, and enter adulthood and a genuine journey with God.  Kari, Jeff, and my son, Dawson, all served God in Real Life, a campus ministry to the students of OSU.  I officiated at Jeff and Kari's wedding.  They both received post graduate degrees and entered vocational ministry with a growing congregation.  But, never did they imagine that their lives would take some turns that would make them pioneers among their generation. They have chosen to take a road less traveled.  One that is challenging, but equally fulfilling.

I can't tell you the whole story.  But, please click on the next word in orange and take time to read just one chapter from Kari's blog titled Unfinished.  I'm honored she has called me her Papa #2 and proud of the grace of God I see in the life of her and her family.  They are among my heroes!


  1. You are too kind, Papa #2! Thank you for almost 28 years of influencing my life and loving our family. We love you!!

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I am glad for every experience that helps me lift my eyes to the needy and to take action. Each story helps. Richard Stearns, the Hunters the Pattersons and many others I can't remember..... thanks.

  3. Paul,

    Thank you for inspiring us along this "road less traveled," as you challenge, affirm, and encourage us as a fellow sojourner, and as a spiritual father. Grateful for your influence Kari's life, that spilled over into in my life as well, and for the words you have spoken over our lives. Jesus is the Hero and He sent you on many assignments in these parts to see so many find the wholeness and significance He alone brings.

    Grace, friend.


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