More in Our Work
Hula-Hoops and Fried Chicken
Our Work
October 4

Hula-Hoops and Fried Chicken

Joan Pingel sighed as she walked into the Bossier City, LA, shopping mall on a Saturday in July and saw the extremely long line.

More in Video
Video: Victory is Mine
Our Work Video
December 20

Video: Victory is Mine

"The seed grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air sheltered in its branches." (Lk. 13:19)

March through the Valley #1: Allendale

Download audio version.

By Patti Deakin

Gerry and I have lived in Allendale for three years. One of the first neighbors we met was Miss Eula.  She is 82 years old, lives alone and doesn’t get a lot of visitors. At first she was reclusive and full of fear, and a lot of times she wouldn’t even open the door to us. We would knock and say, “We’re the People of Praise,” and there would be no response. After a while we would go away.

She believed people were breaking into her house. She didn’t want to leave, because if she left they would break in. She had three deadbolts on her front door. She called the police so many times about the break-ins that they recognized her and stopped responding. She walks with a cane and has a very bad knee. If there ever was a fire in her house, she wouldn’t be able to get out in time.

After we met Miss Eula, I began calling her to ask if she needed anything from the grocery store, since I was going to go anyway. She kept saying, “No. Thank you very much.” After four or five months of asking her, she began to let me get her a few items. Then I began asking if she wanted to ride along with me and pick out her own items at the store. She turned me down repeatedly.

Change was very gradual, and I kept visiting. One day, she talked about her fears of break-ins and about the lack of help from the police. I can’t imagine being a person who lives in fear all day long, every day—how that would wear on you.

On my next visit, after praying about what she had shared with me, I talked to her about what we might be able to do to fix the problem. If the police weren’t going to help her, maybe there was something we could do to make a difference in her life.

I told her, your house looks abandoned from the outside so people probably think that no one lives there. How about if we put in a dusk-to-dawn sensor light on your carport, so that if anyone is coming in from that side, you would be able to see them? Maybe we could put a light bulb in the front porch light. Maybe we could remove the debris and the brick pile from in front of the front door, so the door could be seen from the street. Maybe we could paint the porch furniture so it would look like people were caring for the house. I told her that there were brothers and sisters living on Yale who would like to help her.

After thinking about it for a couple of weeks, she agreed to the plan.

It was a team effort. I went to Lowe’s and got prices on spray paint for the porch furniture, along with a list of the colors that were available in satin and gloss. I showed her the list. She chose the color and I bought the paint. Laura Brummer installed the sensor light in her carport—it was a leftover light from an Action project. Some Action team members sanded the metal chairs on her porch, and Gerry spray-painted them. They’re bright red. I really think they shine in the dark, and the house looks lived in.

She still speaks of her fear occasionally, but it is no longer debilitating for her. I continue to take her shopping. I take her to the bank and we run errands together. Sometimes, we even see her sitting on the porch with her neighbors in her newly painted chairs. God is giving her a new life.

Responses

  1. Bev Bradley says:

    Hi Patty and Jerry - It'so good to see your smiling faces. How's come you haven't even aged a day! Must be that good living. God is certainly using your gifts to make a difference in the lives around you. My love to you and all my brothers and sisters in Allendale.

    In Christ - Bev Bradley

  2. Mary Duddy says:

    Hi Patty!
    I love your story; what amazing perseverance you have. I think I remember Eula's house and your concerns for her. You are so wonderful with the women in Allendale. They are such sweet women; it's good you folks love them.
    Love from your sister on Oahu,
    Mary Duddy

  3. Keith and Cathy says:

    Gerry and Patty --wonderful sharing. We hear daily of the importance of peristance -what a great example of this. It is truly a blessing for us to hear your stories of how the Lord continues to be served in Allendale...we love you guys keep sending the stories.

  4. Anne Brewer says:

    Praise God for your persistence! Lord bless Miss Eula and fill her with much joy!

  5. Pat Walsh says:

    Patti,
    Thank you for showing the love of Christ to this lonely sister. When did I see you Lord. . . you saw me in Miss Eula.
    Blessings,
    Pat

  6. Cynthia Hagens says:

    Praise the Lord for HIS goodness and for you serving the Lord!

  7. Liz Brewer says:

    Thanks Patti for sharing this story. It is amazing how long some changes take. But the Lord is really in the small victories - and the mustard seed becomes a large tree. I carry all of you in my heart daily and am grateful that the Father loves so well through y'all!

  8. Julie Walters says:

    Patti,
    You have such patience and love. Your love for Miss Eula shows me the love that Our Father has for all of us. It should certainly be a witness to the neighborhood.
    So good to see your smiling faces. Miss you.
    Julie

  9. John Boughton says:

    What wonderful perseverance you show in your life! You have a conviction of the dignity of each person, and the love of our Father for each person. It is encouraging to me to hear how your love is getting through. Please give Miss Eula our regards!

  10. Tia Hewitt says:

    I was so inspired by your perseverance Patti. Thank you for sharing your story.

  11. Dan Brewer says:

    Way to go! You guys are putting your light on a (red spray-painted) lampstand. You inspire us.

  12. Joan Meeks says:

    Patti, I can just see you and Gerry serving the Lord with love for his people. Such great witnesses on how to change the world, one person at a time. We are seeing it down here also. God's love is for all. God Bless! Harold & Joan

  13. Sharon Rose says:

    Hi Patti,
    One of the things I love most in your story is your freedom to offer Miss Eula all those practical ways of supporting her, knowing that you could count on every member of your Yale family to help you carry it out! That Yale St. love certainly casts out fear!

  14. Phil & Carol Ehemann says:

    Jerry & Patti, good and faithful servants...your gifts are being used in wondrous ways. Phil and Carol

  15. Olive Satchell says:

    Hi Patti:

    What a beautiful love story! What a joy it is to know that our heavely father loves us so He gives to us in the form of each other.

    Keep on building God's Kingdom

    Olive
    Buffalo/Toronto

  16. Nancy Grams says:

    Greetings, Patti,
    So good to see you at the Walters wedding and hear your story about Miss Eula in person. How beautifully the Lord is blessing your "yes" given once again to Him over three years ago while serving in Colorado Springs. May the Father give you and Gerry health and strength to love his people in Allendale for years to come! Miss you,
    Nancy Grams

  17. Marcia Bowar says:

    Glory to God! Patti, your story inspires me once again to persevere in love. What a blessing it was to have you all join us in Servant Branch and to hear again how the Holy Spirit is living and active in all we do. Thank you for your commitment to love and serve Miss Eula and the many other people whose lives you and the other missionaries touch each day. You are truly a light in the darkness.

    Marcia Bowar

  18. John & Marlene McLaurin says:

    Patti & Gerry,

    What great wok and persistance to get into Miss Eula's life. We know thw Lord will continue to bless you effort.s

    John McLaurin

  19. christopher.chin says:

    Hi Patti & Jerry
    That is a beautiful story, and i pray God bless you tremendously for you love and caring, keep up the good works

    love Chris
    Jamaica

  20. Dianne Cuningham says:

    Thanks for your sharing, Patti. There are many Miss Eula,s in life and your very loving strategy is Christ at work. God bless you continued work there.

    Dianne Cunningham

  21. Paul and Jeanne DeCelles says:

    Dear Patti and all of you,

    What a great story! I agree with all the comments above, but I want to add how smart you are and practical.

    Miss you all,
    In Christ, Paul and Jeanne

  22. tom caneff says:

    I was fortunate enough to attend the original meeting at River Ridge. To hear/see the stories again is absolutely wonderful. Thanks to you all who are mastering the new technology and getting this work of the Lord to all who have eyes to see and ears to hear.
    Glory be to God!

  23. Nanci Panos says:

    Patti,
    Lovely story! We all have Miss Eula's in our neighborhood of some kind. Your story is an inspiration to bring freedom to them as well.

    Blessings on you and yours.

    Nanci Panos

  24. Ann Thomas says:

    What an inspiring store about God continuing to use you and your faithfulness to Him on Loving others
    God Bless and many prayers

  25. Bruce Wansart says:

    What remains the same is our commitment.

    Our portion of love,for Miss Eula's has changed. Older persons take a lot of patience, effort, creativity. Also,working over many months to gain an openning, to work with her. In other words, to get beyond her fears takes a lot of spiritual effort.

    The conection is an increase in team sharing and info on how to deal with Miss Eula's situation.

    I use the term our commitment--some of us are prayer support.

  26. Edna Malone says:

    Patti and Gerry The work you are doing for the Lord in Allendale is such a big blessing to that neighborhood and the folks who live there. The People of Praise light shines brightly there and reflects the love of the Father to all those you come in contact with. Keep up the good work and know that we are praying for you and those you are reaching out to. Love to you both, Edna

  27. Chris Rousselle says:

    What a great testimony to the love of Christ through you two. You are a great example of using God's gifts that were given to you.

  28. Carmen Fraga says:

    Dear Pattie,
    I really like Eula-she got her head out of the dark and into the light! Way go Sister! Couldnt have happened without you! Blessings!
    Love, Carmen

  29. Maria Elliott says:

    The perseverance and friendliness of Christ was striking in this story and also the freedom to choose that was presented to Miss Eula. Praise God for this witness; we should all be building the Kingdom in this way.

  30. Ray Hickey says:

    "Be not afraid!" Great story Pattie.

Leave a Response