Frequently Asked Questions... And Answers!

Why do you use the name Living Stones International? 

  • Previously, News Service 2000 was a radio ministry passing on information about missions around the world. News Service 2000 merged with another radio ministry, taking on a new name and leaving Dr. Pat as the only remaining officer of News Service. A new board of directors was elected with Dr. Pat as the President and began functioning as a ministry to Persecuted Christians in 1992.
  • After using the name News Service 2000 for more than thirty years, we decided to change our name to Living Stones International, because it better fits our mission. 1 Peter 2:4-5 says, "As you come to Him, the Living Stone -- rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to Him -- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." 
  • Dr. Pat: "I first heard the term Living Stones when I was standing on a street in Bethlehem, Israel, in 1991. I was talking to the president of Bethlehem Bible College who said, 'Ten thousand tourists come to the Holy Land every month to visit the dead stones (the sites), but nobody visits the living stones.' It affected me deeply because I was in the birthplace of Jesus, with Christians who have a legacy of Christianity going back to the time of Christ. They are forgotten by most of the tourists who come to see Bethlehem's historic sites, but do not interact with their brothers and sisters who live there. Our new name reflects the global unity of the Body of Christ, which is why we added 'International' at the end of the name. Changing our name doesn't change our ministry, it just better expresses who we are. We are excited to continue serving as Living Stones, and excited for what God has in store for our ministry going forward."

How often do you travel? 

  • Dr. Pat and Brother Dave travel as often as necessary to meet with the Persecuted Church to bring encouragement and to oversee the continuation of Bible distribution and other projects. This usually involves several trips a year between the two of them, visiting multiple countries with each trip.

Should the persecuted Christians stay in their countries rather than emigrate? 

  • Christians who are persecuted for their faith are very much like us. They suffer from discouragement and have families that they struggle to protect. Immigration to a country with religious freedom is very tempting for them. For example, 80% of the Christians in the Middle East have left their countries. There are precious few who remain to reach the non-Christians with the Gospel.
  • These are a committed remnant that we encourage through visits, Bible distribution and support.
  • They are well-equipped to reach their fellow countrymen with the Gospel because they know the language and the culture.
  • Most importantly, they are committed to Jesus Christ and, in obedience, are used by Him to bring Good News to the nations.

In what countries does Living Stones International work? 

  • For the first 10 years, Dr. Pat worked with Christians in Communist countries such as China, Cuba, Grenada, Nicaragua, Czechoslovakia, French Guiana, Guyana, Ethiopia, and Suriname.
  • For the last 30-plus years, she and Living Stones International teams have ministered in Muslim Majority Countries in the Middle East and North Africa. They have brought encouragement and aid to Christians in Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Egypt and Sudan. In addition, LSI has provided hundreds of thousands of Bibles to the Christians in these countries.
  • Brother Dave came on in 2016 and has been to many of the same countries. He has also had the privilege of meeting Believers in Mauritania and Tunisia.

How do you gather the information that you put in your Prayer Letters? 

  • Most of the information that we disseminate is gathered by Dr. Pat, Brother Dave, and their resources as they visit with those who are persecuted for their faith. Occasionally, the information is sent to us by Christians who are undergoing persecution and by Christian news agencies.

How do you find Christians in these restricted nations? 

  • God calls us to go, so we go. He has always opened the doors for us to meet Christians who are persecuted. Dr. Pat has said that she doesn't seek them out, but God has brought the Christians to her, even when she enters a country for the first time and knows no one. She also says that "we can make plans, but almost always, my plans are changed by God. And His plans are always better than mine."

Besides Bible deliveries, what else does Living Stones International do in countries overseas?

  • We bring encouragement to those Christians who are persecuted for their faith by visiting and praying with them. With the donations of fellow Believers, we are able to provide aid to the Persecuted Believers (including pastors). LSI continues to bring Bibles to their communities, provides Christian training materials, and sponsors Christian conferences.

What do the Persecuted Christians ask for?

  • The first thing they ask for is prayer. In the 40+ years that Dr. Pat has met with them, not once have they asked for prayer that the persecution end. Instead, they ask for prayer that they will remain faithful. They know they will pay a price for not denying Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 3:12 says "All who desire to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." They persevere in spite of the persecution! They are standing in the gap for us, bringing Christ to the nations when we cannot. Let us stand with them in prayer.
  • The second thing they ask for is Bibles. Many Christians have never owned a Bible and it is our privilege to provide Bibles for them. It is estimated that for every Bible that we deliver, it is passed around and read by 10 people. So, if a Bible cost $8 and ten people read it, then we can reach one person with the Word of God for a little as 80 cents.

Why do you have to smuggle Bibles? 

  • Whenever possible, Living Stones goes through legal channels to distribute Bibles as we work with the local governments and the Bible Societies. However, when Bibles are needed and the religious or governmental agencies will not allow importation, "creative" ways have to be implemented. Christians living in these restricted countries choose to risk their lives to receive and distribute the Bibles. We deliver only what is requested by the local Believers.
  • We do not go in "blind" to a restricted country and pass out Bibles on street corners. We meet with our Persecuted Brethren and determine their needs and preferences. Our foremost concern is for the safety of our Brothers and Sisters who live in these countries.

Has there been a time when you've been afraid for your life?

  • There is minimal danger for Dr. Pat, Brother Dave, or their team members.
  • However, there is a real threat to those we minister to because our persecuted brethren are under the scrutiny of their government. They can face imprisonment, torture, and even death for their Christian activities.

How do you communicate so well when you don't know the language?

  • If God calls you to go, then it is up to God to provide all the necessities for the trip. God has always provided Christians who know English and the local language to act as translators.

How can I help the persecuted Christians?

  • First and foremost, earnestly pray for them.
  • You can also support the efforts of ministries you trust that seek to help them.
  • Seek God's leading as to whether God would have you travel to meet with the Persecuted Church.

Is Living Stones International affiliated with a particular denomination?

  • We are not associated with any particular Christian denomination.
  • We are a Christian organization reaching out to Christians in lands where they are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.
  • We are classified by the IRS as a 501(c)(3), a non-profit organization. Contributions to Living Stones International (LSI) are tax-deductible as allowed by law. We will, to the best of our ability, honor the wishes of the donor, however, we have discretion over the use of donated funds.