Monday, January 20, 2020

Patty's in the House

Today is a special day in two ways!!

First of all it's Caleb's 27th birthday today!

What an amazing man of God he is becoming through these years, raising his family in the context of ministry (they live in Albania and serve with us in Josiah Venture), going hard after the language (they've been there a year and a half), discipling students and the director for summer camps to reach Albanian teenagers.

I am so proud of this tenacious, persevering, joy-filled man who brings an element of strength, but also fun, into whatever he does! He has weathered a lot of suffering in his life, but has come through it with faith refined like gold.

I love this Caleb of ours so much! Happy Birthday my dear son!!

Second of begins the first week of Caleb, Haley and Charlie living with us for the next few weeks/months as they await the birth of their daughter here in Czech!! She is due February 22! It is THE SWEETEST to get to live some life together with them here in our home.

Since Caleb left for college he's never lived back at home, and except for visits over the past eight years, we haven't lived life in close proximity. So this is very special!

Feeling deeply thankful today for all of God's blessings,  which include a precious wife, a special son, and a soon to come treasured granddaughter - and all of that from the Father's hand through our wonderful son, Caleb!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Freshly Squeezed

For Christmas I gave Dave an unusual gift this year.

I adopted an orange tree in Spain for him through something called CrowdFarming!

According to their website, CrowdFarming® is a "new, transparent and sustainable way to source food: adopt a tree, an animal or part of a garden, and receive fresh food cultivated just for you straight from the farmers and help fight food waste."

Our first box of oranges from our "Patty family orange tree" arrived this week directly from Spain.

I started reading about CrowdFarming a few months ago and was so intrigued by it. You get to be part of sustainable farming by investing in small family farms from around the world: Spain, France, Italy, Columbia, Austria, Germany, Hungary and even the Philippines (that one is for a chocolate farm!).

By using this method you're introduced to your farmer and get to buy directly from him/her. It helps them to generate funds and provide jobs in rural areas, as well as helps them plan ahead and avoid overproduction and fight food waste. I like that!

And I loved introducing the goodness of fresh squeezed orange juice to our grandsons today!

Each of them took turns making their cup of juice with me this morning, but I only remembered to have pictures taken when it was Charlie's turn!

He helped me pull the lever down on the orange half and let the juicer do its work as all the goodness dripped into the bowl, which was then transferred to a cup.

Those boys wanted more than one cup (and got it!), that's for sure. They loved every last drop of that orange goodness in a cup.

Over the next few months, we'll get a few more boxes from "our Patty family tree" in Spain. What a fun way to continue helping our little guys learn about where food comes from, and how nice it is to have it fresh!

And by the way, oranges have been one of Dave's favorite snacks since he was a boy. So it's a huge treat for him too to enjoy fresh ones!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Movement of Prayer

I arrived at Malenovice late this morning, just as Dave was finishing up the last main session of JV Winter Academy, our staff training event that's been going on this week.

But before this week of training ended, I got to have time with our team to talk about our continued vision for the Prayer Room, a project that's very dear to my heart.

No movement of God in recorded history has ever not been accompanied/preceded by a movement of prayer. I'm so encouraged by all the prayer that has already been prayed over our team, and believe we're seeing more and more of God's movement, as we've prayed for all these years.

At the beginning of the Prayer Room's fourth year now, we've had 28,000 hours of dedicated prayer for our JV team since January 1, 2017; in 2019 we even exceeded our goal of 8760 hours by 1424 hours!

If you ever want some encouragement about how God is moving because of those prayers, go HERE to see our answered prayer wall in the Prayer Room. There are so many awesome testimonies to how God has been at work.

I look forward to seeing what the fruit of prayer will be again this year as we press forward with the equivalent of praying 365/24-7 which is 8760 hours of prayer.

Maybe this year we can double our amount of EXCEEDED hours in 2019, from 1424 to 2848! Definitely a worthy goal to pray for!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Film Crew in the House

Last night we had a fun visit at our house from these Slovak friends!

They are all here for JV Winter Academy, but asked if they could come over to film Dave for an upcoming event that he'll be speaking at in March in Slovakia.

They wanted to show Dave in his home environment (Christmas decorations and all that are still up! 😂) and have him answer some fun questions about himself so people can get to know him.

They wanted me in the background of the video, just doing what I do (reading and drinking a cup of tea!) so I had a front row seat to the filming.

I'll be so curious to see this video when it's all edited and ready for showing at KPM, the youth leader training event where it will be shown in March!

(By the way, it's all in Czech/Slovak - the questions were asked in Slovak, and Dave shares the answers in Czech! Maybe they'll let me post it after KPM just so you can hear and see it!)

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Lessons from the Journey

This afternoon I headed up to Malenovice to join JV Winter Academy that's in progress right now.

For the past three years, our training team has been hard at work bringing our whole team up to speed and competence in all the various JV training materials and tools.

Every JV staff person now goes through two consecutive years of training - a week a year - to be equipped in these areas.

This afternoon Dave and I had a session with the group who are year one - missionaries who have been on the field less than a year. 

Our topic today was "Lessons from the Journey" - things that we learned (sometimes the hard way!) in our first few years here.

While we could say so many more things about practices that helped us, we chose ten that we felt were significant for these new missionaries, and took turns back and forth, sharing what God taught us along the way.

I don't know if you noticed that ever deepening sunset that was happening outside as we talked!

I seriously wanted to go over to the window and take a picture the whole time we were up there. 😂But I restrained myself...and was happy to find afterward that Rob, one of our JV staff, captured it for me!

Want to know our ten lessons from the journey? Here they are!

1. Don’t doubt in the dark what God told you in the light

2. As you are going, make disciples

3. Let your difficulties sanctify you.

4. Cultivate a thankful spirit.

5. Try everything, build lots of relationships.

6. Pray without ceasing

7. Don’t ignore relational problems

8. Renew yourself

9. Imitate before you emulate

10. Trust God!