An unassuming woman who accomplished great things for God
ON 19 MARCH, our World Outreach International colleague and friend Patricia Green passed away at the age of 77. She had travelled from her base in Germany to New Zealand last October to attend a conference, visit some partnering churches and friends and take a break, with the plan to return to Europe in January. Unfortunately Patricia began experiencing pain and great discomfort toward the end of 2014, and subsequent medical tests revealed she had terminal cancer. She was told she had a few weeks to live.
The eulogies and tributes shared at her funeral confirmed again and again that Patricia was a unique and very special woman of God. She was born in Wellington, NZ, and her father died when she was seven. In her late teens, she moved north to the city of Hamilton, and took a job with a mobile bus library, which provided service to rural communities. In 1969 she attended Faith Bible College in NZ, and then returned to Hamilton where she and a friend established Landmark, a refuge for homeless girls. In 1986, after her mother passed away, Patricia went back to university to complete her studies.
When hearing a missionary speak in a local church about huge poverty issues in South East Asia, Patricia’s heart was greatly stirred and challenged. Single, passionate for Jesus and with a burden for the underprivileged, Patricia left NZ and moved to Thailand at the age of 47. After a couple of years of working and ministering in various Bangkok slums, Patricia was burdened to help rescue young girls and women who had been sold by their parents or trafficked into prostitution and the sex industry. In 1988 Rahab Ministries was founded in Patpong, Bangkok.
In 2006, after leaving the Rahab Ministries team in the hands of good leadership oversight, Patricia relocated to Berlin, Germany, where she founded a similar ministry called Alabaster Jar.
The effects of Patricia’s ministry reach far beyond the bases in Bangkok and Berlin. Most years her schedule included invitations to speak in both secular and Christian forums on behalf of women at risk. Her experience, wisdom and knowledge were much sought after in both developing and first world nations.
Some likened Patricia and the ministry of her respective teams in Bangkok and Berlin to those who ‘minister on the doorstep of hell.’ It is an ugly, dark and spiritually oppressive world, where Patricia and team members faced great opposition, discouragement, threats and disappointments. Yet the success of seeing one person one week, then another a week or two later, and so on, seek refuge and help, and in turn surrender their lives to Christ, caused the positives to far outweigh any negatives. Literally hundreds of girls and women have been rescued from the sex industry, have heard and received the Gospel message, and are now followers of Jesus Christ.
Patricia’s legacy carries on! Her newly published book, Roses in the Red Light, will no doubt inspire people to pray, and even get involved in such ministry. Her training manuals will continue to offer wonderful insights and understanding in how to make an eternal difference in the face of great odds. We in WOI will do all we can to help keep the candle that Patricia lit burning, so many more abused and enslaved girls and women can be rescued from the clutches of darkness and bondage.
By John Elliott