Pratt resident has a song in
her heart and a message to sharePRATT -- With a song in her heart and a message to share, Patrice Egging has taken to the stage either to share her gift of music on the piano, or to share words of the joy of life at all its stages.
Egging is the founder of the newly formed “Music and Ministry,” which she hopes will allow her to provide music and share an important message at the same time – and always with the intent of affirming God’s gift of life.
While she is willing to speak about a variety of topics that she has addressed throughout her life, one of the primary issues is abortion. She said she is willing to speak for anywhere from an hour, to filling a day-long seminar.
In 1999, the grandmother of eight and mother of six co-founded the ABC Pregnancy Center in Pratt as a way to provide a nurturing environment for pregnant women who otherwise might choose abortion.
“Years ago we were at a Nebraska county fair wandering around displays,” Egging said in explaining what led to the formation of the pregnancy center.
“A pro-life group had a booth in which there were pictures on a wall of aborted fetuses. It opened my eyes. I had no idea what an abortion was.
“When we came back home to Kansas, I joined a little pro-life group. Out of that group we eventually started the center.”
“I’m pretty outspoken,” she said with a laugh. “I say it like it is. I’ve talked to enough women who have had abortions to know that the regret is real and the physical damage is real and the mental damage is even worse.”
She soon found herself speaking about the Pregnancy Center at luncheon engagements, in churches, the Lions Club or the Rotary Club, where she’d sometimes play the piano.
Egging, who released a CD entitled, “Cross His Heart,” began to play the piano some 40 years ago. In 1980, after sitting down to pray, she was given what she described as a “gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Suddenly she no longer needed song books or sheet music. In fact, she could play beautiful music as she created it – just by sitting down and letting the Spirit work through her. And she continues to do so today. Late in October she will travel to Dallas to perform at the University of Dallas Pastoral Ministry Conference. It’s a gift she will intersperse within her speaking engagements.
Another subject close to Egging’s heart, and one for which she said she could share multitudes, is the process of conversion. Egging is a convert to Catholicism, which came only after a 15-year conversion to Episcopalian.
“That process was quite interesting -- the conversations, joy, and struggles,” she said. “People who are cradle Catholics have no idea what converts go through.”
Her husband, Mike, was Catholic when the two were married. Years later – long after converting to Episcopalian, and only after Patrice recognized the strong, unwavering pro-life stance of the Catholic Church, did she decide to become Catholic.
With their six children and eight grandchildren, she has talks prepared on the joys, challenges, and often comic endeavors that come with raising a family.
“Besides abortion, the other hot button topic at the center was sexual trauma and abuse,” she said. While she is not a trained counselor, she said she has had enough experience addressing the issue with her former clients at the center (she has since retired as center director), and through educational video sessions by Dr. Doug Weiss of “Heart to Heart” counseling, that she feels prepared to address the issue as a topic at a presentation.
“As I would talk about sexual abuse over the years, there were people who would approach me and say, ‘That happened to me and I never told anyone.’ My dream was to build something with that and be able to present a day-long program and a healing session.
“I just want God to use me,” she said. “I figure if God gave me the gift, it’s his to use however he wants to. Wherever I’m called, I’ll go.”