Thursday, September 29, 2016

Chinese Food and the Glorious Sunset

With a few hours of sleep mixed into the past 24 hours, I've had the pure joy of again working yesterday and today on the special project that our Josiah Venture team is preparing for you all.

It's beyond exciting to me and I can't wait to release it in early December!

Because of those working hours, food preparation just wasn't on the top of my priority list this evening when dinner-time rolled around. So off I went to a new place we just discovered that is the answer to what to eat after a long day of work.

I promise I was being very careful to take that above photo as I drove ... just had to record the magnificence of that evening sky. The sunset was BEYOND gorgeous ... it was even more beautiful than my phone could possibly capture!!

While my food destination pales in comparison to the glory of that sunset, I have to give a shout-out about the new Chinese restaurant that opened recently near Frydek-Mistek. Not only is is really tasty, made with fresh ingredients, they also do TAKE OUT!! I needed that tonight!

But the real reason for this post is to get back to that ever increasingly beautiful sunset. While I waited for the food to be freshly prepared, I walked to somewhere that gave me a better view of it as it became more and more spectacular.

I don't know what it was in the air, clouds or atmosphere that brought these kinds of views tonight, but oh my! I couldn't get enough of it!!

I stood there as long as I could watching the colors swirl and change right in front of my eyes. Really, it was one of the most magnificent sunsets I can ever remember seeing!

Walking back to the Zlaty Drak (which means Golden Dragon!) I could barely contain my joy for having been out and about when that sunset was making its debut. It was God showing off, that's for sure!

So thankful I had a reason to take a drive to get take-out Chinese food tonight!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Prayer Walk

A friend and I took a long prayer walk this afternoon, out into the fields near my home.

All we did was talk to the Lord out loud. Back and forth we prayed, focused on our Josiah Venture team and their ministries across Central and Eastern Europe.

What a privilege, to bring so many before the throne of God, asking bold prayers on their behalf!

Later I thought about a couple of quotes from Martin Luther that have impacted me recently:

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”

“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”

I love to pray. It's my joy and delight to spend a morning, an afternoon, or an evening with the Lord in prayer.

But I still have sooooo much to learn in this area. I want to keep growing in my prayer life so that it's truly as much a part of me as breathing is. And that I would see my busyness as my reason to stop and pray longer and more fervently. Not to skip it because I'm too busy.

When I remember this and do it, life is as peaceful as this quiet lane.

"Pray continually ... pray in the Spirit on all occasions ... the Lord is near to all who call on him ... in every situation, present your requests to God ... devote yourselves to prayer." 

May these Scriptures ring true in my life.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Faith-Filled Path

When Caleb and Haley stopped by our JV office at noon today, Caleb discovered something on Dave's shelves.

Yes, Dave has kept all those precious hand-made treasures that his kids gave him throughout their growing-up years!

"For the best dad in the whole world. On your 28th birthday (or is it 46 ...) Hehe. I LOVE YOU DAD! 16 September 2007"

Much as I didn't want their visit to the office to be over too soon, they needed to be on the road and we had a meeting to return to.

We took quick pictures, prayed over them, and then I walked out to the car with them to say goodbye.

They're heading to Bratislava, Slovakia, where Haley's parents serve with Josiah Venture. They'll be there for a few days, and then they head out on the biggest adventure of their lives so far:

Seeking and praying for discernment of God's will for their future as missionaries with JV.

As I hugged them and waved goodbye, it brought back so many memories of the day we left Germany in 1993 to drive to the Czech Republic and seek God's will for our lives.

We couldn't know then what we know now: that we would not only love it here, but have the joy of joining God in His amazing work of drawing people to Himself - not only in Czech, but across Central and Eastern Europe.

And now our kids are heading down a similar road!

They'll encounter the Lord's kindness, protection, mercy and love on that road, just as we did. And He will meet them in times of trial, difficulty and disappointment as they travel that faith-filled road.

As they head to Macedonia and Bulgaria, to see which one of those countries is His choice for them, I pray they'll be led to where God is on the move, and where He's prepared in advance good works for them to join in on.

And I pray they'll find people they love there too, like we found here! It's crazy to think that they may meet some of their future dearest friends on this trip.

I'm praying for God's supernatural leading to those very people, ones they can partner with to bring the Gospel, disciple new believers, and train up young leaders to advance God's Kingdom.

As I rode a train home this afternoon (after saying goodbye to Dave who is headed to Ukraine on an overnight train so that he can be at a meeting in Lviv tomorrow!), I felt such a deep sense of thankfulness in seeing my kids walk in faith as they trust God for His leading.

They're going to know Him in a deeper way for having been on this faith-filled path towards finding out what He has for them in their future.

That brings me the utmost of joy and delight as their mom, as I imagine it does the Lord, their Father!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Thrill of the Ride

With a whole day free before they have to leave, Caleb, Haley and I decided to head up to a favorite spot in the Beskydy Mountains this afternoon: Pustevny

This is a place full of memories for our family. A half hour from where we live, it's a mountain peak where we've hiked, walked, skied, ridden bikes, eaten meals, and had a lot of fun over the years.

For Haley today, it was her first time here, plus her first time up the ski lift! It's a leisurely fifteen minute ride in the peacefulness of the forest. I'm glad she got to experience it!

Of all things today, we got there just a few minutes before the last lift of the day ... at 1:30! Normally it's open until 5. But because of repairs, they were closing down early.

We decided to go up anyway.

The view is stunning from the top, and it was so delightful to share it with these two!

Colorfully painted turn-of-the-century buildings are up there and make for spectacular pictures.

Our favorite restaurant, and the most beautiful building of all up there, burned down several years ago. Those of us in the region truly grieved the loss of it when we woke to news of the tragedy the next morning.

After time, thought and fundraising effort, construction has begun on a new building that they say will look like the old one. Hopefully it really will because we all miss it! The construction will be complete in three years, they say.

Since that restaurant obviously wasn't an option, we stopped at another one for lunch.

Tastes of home for Caleb, including Sauerkraut soup (kyselice) and Kofola, hit the spot.

After a leisurely lunch in the warm fall sunshine, we hiked up to a lookout so Haley could see the view of these beautiful mountains.

At this point in our the trip, we'd already experienced plenty of goodness for our souls and bodies.

But, because we now had to get down from Pustevny without the chairlift, the trip took an eventful turn.

We rented scooters and biked down the six kilometer road to the bottom!

In the picture above the scooters look very similar to mountain bikes. They just don't have seats. But oh are they fun to be on!

The thrill of the ride, not to mention the beauty, peacefulness, joy and delight of that ride down will stay with me for a long time.

Sharing it with Caleb and Haley on a beautiful fall afternoon in our mountains was a perfect way to spend time together!

"Loved being with you Caleb and Haley!!"

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Generations of Missionaries

Although we were missing Claire, we took a family photo this morning, just before saying goodbye to Tyler, Lara and Judah as they head back to the States.

These three weeks have gone by quickly, having them here with us. Aside from the joy of having Judah here for the first time, it's also been special to be part of Tyler and Lara's journey towards ministry here in Czech. God has confirmed their calling and opened doors in amazing ways.

I'm excited for them to share more of their processing soon!

Not only did we get to have them here during this past week for fall conference, but also Caleb and Haley!

They too are on a journey of asking the Lord where He would have them serve. Next week they'll head out on a survey trip to explore the southern region of Central Europe, prayerfully looking at various countries where the work of JV could be expanded.

I am still astounded, so thankful, and deeply moved by God's work in our kids' lives, that they first of all know and love Him ... and that they are also being led to return and give their lives to sharing the Gospel and training up young leaders in this region of the world.

Dave is a second generation missionary as he was raised by his missionary parents. That makes our sons third generation missionaries.

And then there's Judah, who we pray will also put his faith in Jesus and follow the Lord, and perhaps be a fourth generation missionary, if the Lord leads him in that way!

Pray for all of us in the Patty family, that we would continue to faithfully serve the Lord and keep our eyes fixed on Him alone.