Monday, June 18, 2007

Significant Day

Father's Day 2007 was just a great day all around! Not only did we get to celebrate Dave, but we also celebrated Caleb's baptism! In the afternoon during our church service, Caleb made his public profession of faith in Jesus and was baptized by Dave and Ken
Pitcher, our long time friend and pastor here in Frydlant.

Caleb gave his testimony in Czech in front of the church and had to answer a few questions that Ken gave him. Then Dave joined them and went down into the cold w
ater with him!
It was a really sweet (and emotional!) moment for me to watch Dave and Ken baptize Caleb. I was so proud of Caleb for having come to this decision on his own, for having talked to Ken and the elders about it on his own, and for giving his testimony in Czech - it was awesome!

After both he and Svatia (a dear gal who trusted Christ at English camp a few years ago) were both finished with their baptisms, they came and sat on the front step in front of the church and Tyler and I surprised them both by singing together, "You Alone", a worship song that talks about how God alone is our Father and Savior. I could barely get my emotions under control to sing, but I guess that's okay for the mom when it was her son who was baptized!
How I praise God, and do not take it lightly, that our children are following after the Lord. Praise God that He has called each one of them to Himself.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


One of the most significant events for our family this past month has been some difficult good-byes that our kids have had to say to very special friends. After 14 years in Slovakia, one of our JV families, the Jones', moved back to the States. While it is absolutely clear that the Lord has orchestrated this move, it didn't make the good-bye any easier for the kids.

The Jones' family had been on sabbatical in Arkansas this past year and it was during this time that the Lord began to move them in a different direction. In many ways that was God's good gift to everyone as it made the transition somewhat easier since they hadn't been here this past year.

But in May, the whole family (mom, dad and seven kids - their 8th one was still in Slovakia finishing school during the school year) returned to Slovakia for the month to close up their home, ministry and life there. They were able to be at our JV Family Conference at Malenovice, and there were numerous trips back and forth afterwards between the kids so they could see each other as often as possible. We hosted several week-ends of good-byes at our house (thanks to our good friend Theresa who was here to host one of them while Dave and I were in Italy!) in order to give the kids the opportunity to "finish

When the day came to say a final good-bye though, it was a heart-wrenching and tear-jerking experience for us all. We stood on the train platform with our kids, Becca (our JV Kid leader) and the Ellenwood's, another JV family, and waved until we couldn't see the train anymore. And then we all cried.

In missionary life you live in a different culture, give your heart and soul there, and do all you can to make your life in the place where God has led you. But...our kids straddle a strange world of being TCK's - Third Culture Kids. Wikipedia defines them as: "Someone who [as a child] has spent a significant period of time in one or more culture(s) other than his or her own, thus integrating elements of those cultures and their own birth culture, into a third culture. TCKs share more in common with one another, regardless of nationality, than they do with non-TCK's from their own country."

Because of this, no matter where they are at in the world, TCK's typically feel most at home with other TCK's - thus making a good-bye like this painful. Someone who they loved, and who understood them and their world, was leaving. That is sad and there's no way around it.

On one hand it's a huge blessing that our kids have other people in their lives who really understand and "get" them (in fact, Becca, our JV TCK leader is a TCK herself!). On the other hand, it's painful when they are separated from each other.

So we have been grieving in our house and talking a lot about what it means to trust God when people we love have to leave us. That's not easy, but we're getting through it with God's help.

I'm thankful that our kids had (and still have, thanks to the internet!) such good friends who now live in Arkansas!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dave's Doings

Dave has just about finished a season of teaching and preaching unlike any other season either of us can remember. But it has been so fruitful and used by the Lord, and for that we're both so thankful to the Lord for sustaining him, and for using him in people's lives.

* In May he was the main speaker for our JV Family Con
ference where he led the adult sessions and spoke on "Personal Transformation". It was a study in the contrast of King Saul and King David's lives as he walked us through why their lives turned out so differently. He began with a "Theology of Change" which was fascinating and enlightening. It was so good that I want to put in his points from that first talk - think about them in light of Saul and David:

Good News about Change

1. God is initiating your transformation
2. Your future is not determined by your past
3. Change in you will automatically bear fruit around you
4. You are never done with the process of transformation
5. Nothing is impossible for God

Bad News about Change

1. Past change does not guarantee future change
2. Unresolved problems will always repeat themselves
3. You can be stuck at the same place for the rest of your life
4. Your lack of transformation will affect everyone around you, especially your family and children
5. Deep transformation by yourself is impossible.

If you are interested in listening to Dave's talks (they're in English!) let me know and I can point you to a website where you can download them and listen to them.

*Later on in May Dave was the main speaker at CBV, our Bible conference for the Czech KAM team and our intern graduates. There were about 100 people there for this conference where Dave spoke on lessons of leadership from the life of Moses. This was also tremendous and deeply used by the Lord in the lives of those who were there. Dave continues to hear good feedback from people about this event. He taught in Czech for this conference so you probably don't want the download for this one...unless you're fluent in Czech!

*On June 2nd Dave had the privilege of bringing the message at a wedding of two very precious people to us, Agnes and Petr. We have known these two for years and had the joy of doing their pre-marital counseling and then being with them on their wedding day.

*During the first week of June Dave was the main speaker (again!) at our summer intern training for all the Americans and staff who will spend the summer ministering in various countries being a part of ourEnglish camps. This time he went through the book of Ephesians and again it was super practical and applicable for these young college age students who have given up a summer to be here with JV.

*And today...he filmed the last episode of Exit 316! Episode #43!! Today's topic was "Grace" and he spoke on what God's grace means to us as people here on earth. This episode will actually not air until September as the show's last episode is being pre-empted this month by some big European sporting event. That's good news for us as we get one more opportunity to proclaim truth to the people of the Czech Republic this fall!

On top of all this he's been working hard to get our yard and garden in order...he is a Patty after all! (In case you don't know, Dave has been a "gardener" since he was just a young boy - it was a Patty family thing when he was growing up in Denver!).

We are happy to celebrate him this week-end on Father's Day for being an all-around wonderful dad, husband, leader and friend!

The Boys

I love having my own blog because I can write about anything that I want! Sometimes my blog is newsy about ministry things, sometimes it's stories about things God is doing in and around JV.

But today I just want to brag on my boys for a bit!

When Tyler was about 13 he asked if Dave could teach him how to play the bass. Once he learned that he moved on to the guitar where he found his "home" and has spent hours and hours playing for the past three years.

This past fall Caleb decided to join in the fun and asked Tyler to teach him how to play bass. He picked it up quite naturally and found that he had a knack for it. This led to him playing for "Tensing" the music group that I've written about before.

But sometime this spring the boys started playing together...and it sounded really good! There is nothing sweeter to my ears than hearing them in Caleb's room having a good jam session playing all the songs I love (especially Switchfoot!).

When the boys' good friend, Hudson Jones, returned from the States for the month of May, they decided to spend a Saturday doing a recording of their music. They asked their good friend, Hannah Ellenwood, to join them and spent the day at our church using my little Mac computer, their instruments, and the sound equipment to make a CD! They recorded eight songs for their first CD and made a few copies for themselves and a few friends. Not too bad of work for a Saturday!

Then this past Friday night, Tyler and Caleb had their first live "gig"! The youth group sponsors an outreach event every year in June and this year decided to expand it a bit to include a Friday night "cajovna" - think "coffeehouse" in America to get the idea! They asked Tyler if he would be the live music, so he asked Caleb to join him and they started practicing...initially Tyler made up a list of 50 songs that they could do!

I don't know how many they actually did that night, but they played for nearly two hours and sounded awesome!

It was kind of a mother's dream to walk into the "cajovna" tent and see her boys playing together up front. I rather think it won't be the last time!

Back to My Blog!

After a very busy season of life, I'm back to my blog again. Hard to know where to even start? Do you go back and try to catch up? Do you start from today and just move on? Hmmm, these are the things I ponder when it comes to a blog!

When I last updated it was the day before Dave and I were leaving on our 20th anniversary trip to Italy. I think that would be a good place to pick up from since it was such a special time together.

When Dave and I got engaged 20 years ago in January 1987, we were in Switzerland at a Bible conference in Beatenberg. The day after our engagement we went skiing together and while on the chairlift up one of the runs Dave shared his drea
ms of cross-cultural ministry someday with me. (At the time we were serving with OCSC-Malachi {now Cadence International} and were working with teenagers whose parents were stationed overseas in the American military).

Since this dream was a departure from what we were doing at the time, he asked me very seriously if I was willing, as his future wife, to go anywhere in the world that God led us. I was newly engaged to the man I'd been wanting and waiting to marry for two years so of course I answered an enthusiastic, "YES"! And sure enough, six years later we moved here, to the Czech Republic to begin Josiah Venture.

Why do I write that little part of our story? Because as we were sitting on the banks of Lake Como in Bellagio, Italy, I was thinking about what a rich, full, wonderful, exciting, incredible twenty years it's been with Dave! While we've had our share of heartache and difficulty (not in marriage, just in life), we have been blessed by the
Lord over and over and over again...too many time to ever recount them all. And I would have to say that I feel like one of the happiest married women in the world!

I wanted to put in a picture of us when we got engaged twenty years ago, but sadly can't put my finger on it at the moment. But here we are, twenty happy years later, celebrating our life together thus far at Lake Como, a place
of such beauty that I never, ever in my wildest dreams expected to see in my lifetime. What a good gift and blessing from the Lord to be there with my fabulous husband!