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What’s In a NAME?


He called it a Divine Appointment. An uncle by marriage, he was the quintessential father figure. He sat me down one Spring day in March 2014 in Taylorsville, NC and asked me how I got my name, ‘Patch’. I was taken aback; I thought everyone knew the etymology of my name.

Christened Maria Patricia Isla-Avendano, my given nickname was “Patsy”. I know, so un-very me. But in the Philippines, ‘ts’ was pronounced “ch”; so, I was, essentially, Patchy. Familiarity shortened it to ‘Patch’. It was the name I associated myself with best.

At the time in my life when I, again, was “wondering what I’m going to do when I grow up”, he sat me down for this divine appointment and asked me if I knew what a “patch” meant. And he typed up the following description for me:


  • a small piece of material used to mend a tear or break, to cover a hole, or to strengthen a weak place:
    • patches at the elbows of a sports jacket.
  • a piece of material used to cover or protect a wound, an injured part, etc.:
    • a patch over the eye.
  • any of the pieces of cloth sewed together to form patchwork.
  • a small piece, scrap, or area of anything:
    • a patch of ice on the road.

And then he read to me one of my favorite passages of scripture, one that I learned from my now-husband, Joe Wetzel, when we were first dating:
Jeremiah 29:11, NIV : “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Looking at my Uncle Rudy, I had NO DOUBT, he was sent in my life as an angel. Not only for this one defining moment, but many others, too many to count.

And then there’s: PATCH BLAKEY

If you thought the above-story was out of the ordinary, there’s this guy: Christened Blake Blakey, he was fondly called “Patch” because he said he looked like a Cabbage Patch doll when he was a baby. At least, that’s how I remember the story when he told me in an intercontinental trans-Atlantic flight from Europe to the US, September 1989.

For now, I will tell you that God ordained that we forge this unbreakable bond (in which we don’t even ‘talk’ but once every 15 years) when he prayed for me, for my future, for my life in that 9-hour long flight.

Fast forward, when I called him last year (2015) that it was going to be called “PatchWorks Ministries” and asked permission to tell ‘our’ story, he asked what the ministry was about. My warped sense of humor kicked in and I decided to freak him out by saying “We need more people named “Patch” – it’s a really good name and it can be for either gender! We need to populate the world with more Patches!” … yes, there were crickets. Not talking much, let alone never seeing each other again after that fateful flight over the span of decades, I guess he didn’t really know my sense of humor. Poor guy!

There’s much more about Patch I’d like to share with you. You can read more about him in my upcoming book, “CALLED: Living a Life According to (His) Purpose and Plan”; coming April 2017.

This ministry is about so many people; the tapestry of living characters who create this PatchWork. God has placed so many wonderful, amazing, colorful people in my life to manifest Himself through; these people who loved me so that I can be me. There are so many people who have partnered with me and spoke love, light, peace, kindness and hope. This ministry is about THEM.

Organizations and entities I partner with – COMING SOON!

Be part of the PatchWork; the coolest, most amazing group of kind-hearted, selfless and passionate people gathered together in one spot!

Please let me know if you want to be included!

That my life would speak;
That whispered echoes of my life’s work would roar resolute…
Not necessarily in this life;
But the next.