Monday, June 26, 2017

Frank Patterson: From North Georgia to Southeast Asia

My dad passed away on July 31, 2015. He was 75 years old and had experienced increased health issues in recent months and years. But as recent as August of 2008, Frank Patterson was still traveling overseas to teach the Bible to Christians who would in turn go and continue to teach their own.

Dad was born on June 25, 1940, in a small community called Ivy Log, in north Georgia. Ivy Log is a few miles north of Blairsville, the county seat of Union County. In fact, the small cabin where dad was born, was later removed with all surrounding homes during the clearing of that section of Union County for the building of Nottely Dam. The location of dad's birthplace is now under water, under Nottely Lake.

Dad's family was a poor farming family, as were many from this section of north Georgia. So how does a young boy from a community like this, end up traveling to so many countries in his lifetime? Frank had a passion for teaching the Bible to men and women who wanted to learn about the Lord Jesus Christ. This passion led him to take at least 26 trips overseas from 1973 to 2008.

The following details were gleaned primarily from dad's passports, as well as other anecdotal information known by this author and other family members.

#1) Israel - 1973 (2 weeks?)

- Frank traveled with a team from Piedmont Bible College to Israel for a couple weeks.

NOTE: Attempts were made to reach out to staff members from Piedmont in order to verify the specific details of that trip - but with no success.

#2) Brazil - 1975 (7 weeks)

- Frank and Vanza (his wife and my mother) arrived in Brazil on July 11, 1975.

- Frank and Vanza arrived back in the U.S. on Aug. 28, 1975.

#3) Bangladesh - 1979 (3 weeks)

- Frank and three other men from Baptist Mid-Missions (BMM) arrived in Delhi, India on March 31, 1979; departed Delhi same day, arrived same day in Calcutta, India; departed same day, arrived same day in Dacca, Bangladesh.

- Frank departed Dacca on April 17, 1979; arrived same day in Delhia, India; departed Delhi on April 18, 1979, arrived at JFK in New York, New York, USA on same day.

#4) Bangladesh - 1979 (19 months)

- Frank, Vanza, Chip and Wes (me) departed New York on July 2, 1979, arrived in Delhi, India on July 3, 1979; departed Delhi on July 4, arrived in Calcutta, India same day; departed Calcutta same day, arrived same day in Dacca, Bangladesh.

- Frank and family departed Dacca on Feb. 10, 1981; arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on Feb. 11, 1981; departed Bangkok on Feb. 12, arrived same day in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; departed Honolulu on or about Feb. 15, arrived in Atlantla, Ga same day.

#5) Bangladesh - 1981 (20 months)

- Frank, Vanza and Wes departed San Francisco on or about October 10, 1981, arrived in Singapore on Oct. 12; departed Singapore on Oct. 14, arrived same day in Bangkok, Thailand; departed on Oct. 16, arrived same day in Dacca, Bangladesh.

- Frank and Vanza took a 3 day trip to Calcutta, India from Feb. 19, 1982 through Feb. 22.

- Frank and family departed Dacca on June 3, 1983; arrived in London, England on June 4; departed London same day and arrived at JFK airport in New York City on June 5, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC.

#6) Bangladesh - 1983 (8 months)

- Frank departed the U.S. on Aug. 15, 1983 and arrived same day in London, England (Vanza and Wes had already returned to Bangladesh two weeks prior on the previously scheduled round trip tickets); Frank departed London the same day, arrived in Dacca, Bangladesh on Aug. 16.

- Frank took a short trip to Hong Kong and back to Bangladesh. He departed Dacca on Oct. 9, 1983, arrived in Bangkok, Thailand same day; departed Bangkok on Oct. 11, arrived in Hong Kong same day; departed Hong Kong on Oct. 14, arrived in Bangkok same day; departed Bangkok on Oct. 16, arrived in Dacca, Bangladesh same day.

- Frank took a short trip to Bangkok, Thailand; departed Dhaka, Bangladesh on March 30, 1984, arrived in Bangkok same day; departed Bangkok on April 3, arrived in Dhaka same day.

- Frank and family departed Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 27, 1984, arrived at JFK airport in New York City on April 28, 1984, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC. (Note: No other airports are stamped in dad's visa for this trip, but I (Wes) remember that we traveled through Amsterdam, Holland on this particular trip home.)

#7) Bangladesh - 1984 (1 week)

- Frank arrived in London, England on June 28, 1984, departed same day, arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh on June 29.

- Frank departed Dhaka, Bangladesh on or about July 2, 1984; arrival location and date not discernible, but was most likely one or two days later.

#8) Bangladesh - 1985 (2 weeks)

- Frank arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on Feb. 17, 1985; departed Bangkok on Feb. 19, arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh on same day.

- Frank departed Dhaka on Feb. 24, 1985, arrived in Bangkok on same day; departed Bangkok on Feb. 26; arrival location and date not discernible, but was most likely one or two days later.

#9) Bangladesh - 1985 (2 weeks)

- Frank arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on June 20, 1985; departed Bangkok on June 21, arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh on same day.

- Frank departed Dhaka on July 5, 1985, arrived in Bangkok on same day; departed Bangkok on July 7; arrived in Dallas, Tx on July 7, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC.

#10) Bangladesh - 1986 (2 weeks)

- Frank arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on Apr. 10, 1986; departed Bangkok on Apr. 11, arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh on same day.

- Frank departed Dhaka on Apr. 22, 1986, arrived in Bangkok on same day; departed Bangkok on Apr. 23; arrival location and date not discernible, but was most likely one or two days later.

#11) Bangladesh - 1986 (5 months)

- Frank, Vanza and Wes departed San Francisco on or about Sept. 22, 1986, arrived in Hong Kong on Sept. 23; departed Hong Kong on Sept. 29, arrived same day in Bangkok, Thailand; departed on Oct. 3, arrived same day in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

- Frank and family departed Dhaka on Feb. 27, 1987; arrived same day in Bangkok, Thailand; departed Bangkok on March 1, and arrived in Dallas, Tx on March 1, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC.

#12) Bangladesh - 1987 (1 week)

- Frank arrived in Hong Kong on Dec. 5, 1987; departed Hong Kong on Dec. 7, arrived in Singapore same day; departed Singapore on Dec. 8, arrived same day in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

- Frank departed Dhaka on Dec. 15, 1987; arrived same day in Singapore; departed Singapore on Dec. 16, and arrived same day in Honolulu, Hawaii, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC.

#13) Bangladesh - 1989 (6 weeks)

- Frank arrived in Singapore on Sept 24, 1989; departed Singapore on Sept 26, arrived same day in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

- Frank departed Dhaka on Nov 7, 1989; arrived same day in Singapore; departed Singapore on Nov 8; arrival location and date not discernible, but was most likely one or two days later.

#14) Bangladesh - 1990 (4 weeks)

- Frank arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on Jan 25, 1990; departed Bangkok on Jan 26, arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh on same day.

- Frank departed Dhaka on Feb 25, 1990, arrived in Bangkok on same day; departed Bangkok on Feb 27, and arrived in Seattle, WA same day, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC.

#15) Bangladesh - 1990 (6 weeks)

- Frank arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on Apr 10, 1990; departed Bangkok on Apr 12, arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh on same day.

- Frank departed Dhaka on May 22, 1990, arrived in Bangkok on same day; departed Bangkok on May 23, and arrived in Seattle, WA same day, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC.

#16) Bangladesh - 1990 (13 months)

- Frank left Winston-Salem, NC on Aug 26, 1990 at the last possible time as his grandson (Wes Patterson Jr) was due to be born any time; Vanza joined Frank in Bangladesh about 1 month later; Frank arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on Aug 28, 1990 (the day his grandson was born); Frank departed Bangkok on Aug 31, arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh on same day.

- Frank and Vanza departed Dhaka on Oct 5, 1991; the route they took is not totally clear, I just know they arrived in Chicago, IL on Oct 6, 1991, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC.

#17) Bangladesh - 1991 (3 months)

- Frank and Vanza arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on Nov 27, 1991; departed Bangkok on Nov 28, arrived same day in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

- Frank and Vanza departed Dhaka on Feb 13, 1992, arrived in Bangkok on same day; departed Bangkok on Feb 14, and arrived in Los Angeles, CA same day, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC.

#18) Ukraine - 1999 (5+ months)

- Frank arrived at Gatwick in London, England on Sept 20, 1999; departed London same day, and arrived in Ukraine on same day.

- Frank departed Ukraine on March 3, 2000, arrived at Gatwick in London, England on same day, departed London same day, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC; arrival details in U.S. are not clear.

#19) Colombia - 2001 (1 week)

- Frank and Vanza arrived in Bogota, Colombia on Aug 17, 2001.

- Frank and Vanza departed Bogota on Aug 25, 2001, and arrived in Atlanta, GA same day, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC.

#20) Myanmar (Burma) - 2003 (2 weeks)

- Frank arrived in Paris, France on July 11, 2003; departed Paris on July 19, arrived in Malaysia same day; departed Malaysia on July 21, and arrived in Myanmar on same day.

- Frank departed Myanmar on Aug 4, 2003, arrived in New York on Aug 5, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC.

#21) Ukraine - 2003 (3 weeks)

- Frank arrived in Ukraine on Oct 3, 2003; specific route taken is not documented in his passport.

- Frank departed Ukraine on Oct 24, 2003, arrived in Atlanta, GA on Nov 8, 2003, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC; specific details about Oct 24 to Nov 8 are not clear from passport.

#22) Myanmar (Burma) - 2004 (2 weeks)

- Frank arrived in Malaysia on Jan 31, 2004; departed Malaysia on Feb 2, and arrived in Myanmar on same day.

- Frank departed Myanmar on Feb 13, 2004, arrived in Malaysia same day; departed Malaysia on Feb 14, arrived in New York on Feb 15, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC.

#23) India - 2006 (3+ months)

- Frank arrived at Gatwick in London, England on Jan 1, 2006; departed London on Jan 4, and arrived in Kolkata (Calcutta), India on same day. His ultimate destination was the Bible college in Silchar, Assam, India.

- Frank departed Kolkata (Calcutta), India on Apr 14, 2006, arrived at Heathrow in London, England on same day; remainder of itinerary is unclear but presumably arrived in Winston-Salem, NC a few days later.

#24) India - 2007 (4 months)

- Frank arrived in Frankfurt, Germany on Dec 29, 2006; departed Frankfurt on Jan 1, 2007, and arrived in Kolkata (Calcutta), India on Jan 2; departed Kolkata same day, arrived in Silchar, India same day.

- Frank departed Silchar, India on Apr 18, 2007, arrived in Kolkata (Calcutta), India same day; departed Kolkata on Apr 19, arrived in Frankfurt, Germany same day; departed Frankfurt Apr 20, arrived in Munich, Germany same day; departed Munich same day, arrived in Charlotte, NC same day, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC.

#25) India - 2008 (3+ months)

- Frank arrived in Kolkata (Calcutta), India on Jan 1, 2008; departed Kolkata on Jan 14, arrived in Silchar, India same day. Rest of travel details not specified in passport.

- Frank took a few days trip with Indian men from Silchar, India to Mizoram, India on Feb 12. Length of trip unclear, but if my memory serves me correctly, it was about a week or so. I don't believe the return trip to Silchar was by plane.

- Frank departed Silchar, India on or before Apr 6, 2008, arrived in Kolkata (Calcutta), India same day; departed Kolkata on Apr 6, 2008; precise details of return trip not documented on passport, but appears to have arrived in the U.S. on or around Apr 7, 2008, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC.

#26) Iraq - 2008 (18 days)

- Frank departed NC on Aug 4, 2008, arrived at Wien-Schwechat in Vienna, Austria on Aug 5, 2008; departed Vienna same day, and arrived in Iraq same day (Aug 5, 2008); his ultimate destination was in Irbil (Erbil), Iraq..

- Frank departed Iraq on Aug 22, 2008, arrived in Vienna, Austria same day; departed Vienna on Aug 23, arrived in Washington, DC same day, and continued on to Winston-Salem, NC.