Friday, February 28, 2014

Homestead in Oregon

Many years ago a young boy attended this school.

As the story goes, he would ride his horse down this road, perhaps seeing these same moss covered trees on that Oregon road.

Into town he would ride when there wasn't work to be done on the farm (if there was, he was excused from school!)

His great grandfather had come out on the Oregon trail to homestead in this area, Amity, Oregon, and settled on land that is still in the family today.

Who was that young boy on horseback many years ago?

Dave's dad, Dick Patty!

And there is "Patty Lane" as evidence of his family's long-time presence in the area.

Although Dave's dad left the farm to follow God's call on his life, the land never left his heart. He's always been a farmer at heart, still gardening probably the biggest garden in Englewood, Colorado!

He may not be in Oregon, but that's still some of the Patty land there where the marionberries are being grown.

We took a trip down memory lane as we came out to the area to see friends, and not only stopped by the Patty land, but also by the house Dave's dad grew up in, where Dave loved visiting in the summer.

While the house no longer belongs to the family, Dave has many fond memories from summer trips out to Oregon with his family to visit his grandpa and grandma at their farm.

He remembers watching his granddad milking his cows, shooting sparrows in the granary, driving the tractor for the first time at ten years old, and taming a sheep to make it a pet. He would've made a good farm boy too, had God not called him elsewhere in the world!

Being an Oregon girl myself (though not from a farm!), I loved being out in Oregon country today, soaking in the beauty of the farmlands, and remembering the heritage of my Patty family!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Change in Ukraine

Just in case you haven't seen this news, I wanted to post about what has happened in Ukraine these past few days. It is so significant, and must be credited to the Lord as He is at work there.

Quoting from Christianity Today this is what they wrote:

Oleksandr Turchynov, a well-known Baptist pastor and top opposition politician in Ukraine, took office on Sunday, Feb. 23, as acting president after the Parliament voted to oust President Yanukovych.

Monday night in Kiev, Turchynov, 49, spoke publicly for the first time since taking office as acting president. According to an unofficial translation, he said, "Unprecedented cruelty and brutality of the dictatorial regime did not stop citizens. They selflessly gave their lives to defend their rights—and won.

"Our first task today is to stop the confrontation, to regain control … to ensure peace and tranquility, to prevent new victims, local rivalries and lynchings. Another priority is returning to European integration. We must return to the European family. We recognize the importance of relations with the Russian Federation, and are ready for dialogue with the Russian leadership to build relations with this country on a new, truly equitable and good-neighborly basis, which implies recognition of accounting Ukraine's European choice."

Please pray for this man as you finish reading this. It is no small task that has been put upon him. Yet we know that God has placed this mantle on him for a season.

May a new season of justice, uprightness and truth come to this country. And most important, may there be an openness to the Gospel like never before.

**Full Christianity Today article HERE

**Excellent blog post by our JV teammate, Kristy Williams, HERE

Monday, February 24, 2014

Little Missionaries in Training

"Who wants to go on a (very) short term mission's trip, raise your hand!" That's how we started children's church yesterday at my home church of thirty five years, Laurelwood Baptist in Vancouver, Washington.

What a great time we had with those kids as we took them on a virtual journey to the Czech Republic for a tour of our country, a little language learning and a week at English camp. I'm telling you, there are some future missionaries right there in that room!

They participated in absolutely every game, activity and discussion we had with them, so eager to learn and interact. Here they are in the photo below, learning how the Gospel spreads quickly if you'll just touch the person next to you.

Will any of these precious kids end up on the mission field like I did?

It's people like Melanie, who leads the children's ministry at Laurelwood, that open up the world to kids by having missionaries like us come in to share with them. I pray that some of those kids will follow Jesus and give their lives to sharing about him into the uttermost parts of the world!

Nothing Like It

We've seen some spectacular sites throughout the States this year as we've traveled on our sabbatical/home assignment. But there's nothing like starting to see familiar ones that tell you "you're almost home".

As we drove from Redding, CA up towards Oregon, we passed by the magnificent Mt Shasta looming large in the distance. Another "WOW" moment!

But an even better "wow" moment? Stopping in Eugene yesterday for lunch with my family!

So so so very sweet to walk into my mom and dad's house and soak in all the comforts of home and family (not to mention mom's home cooking!).

And get a good hug from my brother, Mike, as well!

There's nothing like a good visit with the people you love, in the land you love.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

After All These Years

Forty four years ago a missionary family returned from the country of Laos to Denver, Colorado. They moved into the Patty family basement while they looked for a home in the area.

Over the summer a boy from each of the families spent time getting to know each other. And in the process, became life-long friends.

I wish I had a photo from long ago of these two boyhood friends, but here they are today: Dave and his dear friend, Brian Davis.

Brian and his own precious family now live in Redding, California and we had the joy of staying overnight with them as we traveled up through California.

But this wasn't your average "stay with your husband's friends" visit. Recognize anyone in this photo?

His wife, Lori, was the first full time staff girl to come on to the Malachi team in Germany back in the early 80's and has been a very dear friend of mine for, oh about thirty years! 

Lori was a bridesmaid in our wedding, and we have stayed connected through a long distance prayer group of friends who were early Malachi staff  with us (see HERE for my post about our reunion recently).

Still such treasured friends after all these years.

Friday, February 21, 2014

In Two Places

Driving through sunny California as it blossoms into spring gives us lots of joy as we connect with dear, long-time friends.

These are friends from all different sections of our lives:

American neighbors that lived down the street in Germany when we first served there with Malachi thirty years ago.

A fellow graduate student from my Multnomah days who I haven't seen in over twenty years but has partnered with us all these years.

Friends who have served at English camps with us in Czech and still have a piece of their heart there.

And more that I'm sad I didn't remember to get pictures of!

These are precious days to catch up and fellowship with people we love. Thank you dear ones for making time to see and bless us!

At the same time our hearts are across the ocean, grieving with the recent events occurring in Ukraine, and with our JV teammates who live, minister and love people there. Just so you know, they are not in Kiev where the protests are happening (even now as I write), but they know people there, and are in constant prayer over this grievous situation in their country.

While you may not be following these events as closely as we are, please know it is a VERY DESPERATE situation. Over a hundred lives have already been lost on the main square, and there is an ultimatum out right now for the president to resign by 10 AM tomorrow.

Oh please, PLEASE join us in prayer for a peaceful resolution, and for a new, fair, just government to be put in place as soon as possible. May the Lord REIGN.

Our hearts are equally in two places right now. As we continue our travels, being so deeply blessed by those we're able to see, our hearts, thoughts and prayers are not far from those we love across the ocean as well.

** For updates from our JV team leaders in Ukraine, Ben and Kristy Williams, click HERE

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Wave of the Future


This is not my average blog post! Perhaps a few of my male readers (hi to my dad and brother, Mike!) will find this especially interesting today. :)

If you walked past this would you stop??

Dave and I did. The reason? This is not an ordinary car, by any means! Do you know what it is?

This is a Tesla, an electric car that is sweeping the country as well as Europe. As we've been driving, we've seen the "Tesla super charger" stations and wondered what it would be like to pull up to one of those instead of a gas pump.

Dave's been fascinated by the concept of this car for a while, and has even done some reading about it just to learn more. But this was his/our first time to actually see one in person.

If you compared its mileage to gas mileage, the young man who let us sit in the car (no offer of a test drive!) said the Tesla gets an average of 89 miles per gallon.

But of course, it doesn't need gas. Just electricity. At a super charging station it can stop for just thirty minutes and get a charge that will last 250 miles. They figure that's the equivalent of paying $5 for a fill-up. Not too bad.

Next year they're coming out with new model (there's only one model out right now). The next one will be an SUV type, and has some pretty interesting features. See how the doors open?!

At a cool sticker price of $75,000 this is about the closest we'll ever get to a Tesla!

But I like knowing that there's a company who is really trying to make a difference in the environment and provide a viable option for the future of the car industry.

I'm glad we stopped when we saw it!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Full Attention

We arrived into Kingsburg, CA late Saturday night after having been up in the mountains at a youth retreat.

You can imagine my surprise when we woke up the next morning and saw what was just steps from the house where we were staying at.

"Well hellooooo Beautiful!" (That's what I'm saying to her, not what I think she's saying to me!)

Because we were busy all day Sunday, I didn't get to go out and have a proper chat with her until Monday morning.

As I made my way over to "Beautiful" she lifted her head and turned her full attention to me (even though she had a full trough of hay waiting for her). I couldn't take my eyes off her, and she, in turn, couldn't take her eyes off me. Wow, she really was stunning!

After some time with her, and a few pictures, I headed off to visit some of the others out there.

Unlike Beautiful, this little one wasn't interested in connecting. Oh I tried! This was the best I got from her: a little lifting of her head to acknowledge I was there. But then it was back to the hay.

And this handsome one? Not interested in me ONE BIT!

"Munch, munch, chomp, chomp. Must. Eat. NOW!"

I swung back around to "Beautiful" and once again, she lifted her head, brought it over the fence and held my gaze until I left.

How I wish I knew what she was thinking! It truly meant something to me that she let me just look at her for as long as I wanted though.

As I went back into the house, I couldn't help but think about those three horses.

"Beautiful" stopped each time I passed, giving me her undivided attention.

"Little One" acknowledged me, but was distracted by the hay.

Fully engaged in his own thing at the moment, "Handsome" didn't even bother to raise his head .

Oh that I would be like "Beautiful" and stop each time the Lord passes my way! 

Might I give Him, my precious Lord, my full attention, gazing into His eyes, engaging with Him at any moment He's near.

Which is pretty much all the time! :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

JV Family in California

Twenty years ago, Scott Ardavanis came to pastor our church in the Chicago area, just months after we headed to Czech to begin Josiah Venture.

He didn't choose us to be missionaries sent from his church (that had happened just before he came), but he and his wife gave their hearts to us, and a lifelong friendship was established.

Even after he and Patty followed God's call to California to pastor another church ten years later, the friendship endured. Scott became one of the founding board members for JV when we became our own organization in 2002, and continues to serve on that board today.

Now pastoring at Grace Church of the Valley in Kingsburg, CA, he not only continues to shepherd and care about us, but he's releasing his daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter to join our team in Albania, and sending one of his dear "sons", a young man he's mentored for many years to our team in Czech with his family!

And all of us were in Kingsburg today!

As we travel throughout the US during this portion of our sabbatical/home assignment, we continue to be SO grateful for the people who have come alongside us through the years and stood in faith for what God wants to accomplish for His Kingdom in central and eastern Europe.

What a grand adventure it's been, and continues to be! I'm glad I'm along for the ride.

Also, Dave preached at Grace Church of the Valley today. If you'd like to hear a great sermon on Matthew 28, click HERE to listen. Right now it's up on their home page, just to the right under
"Latest Message". I guarantee you'll enjoy it!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

First Hand Faith

From the bottom of the San Joaquin Valley in California, we headed up an incredibly twisty and windy road that gained us 4000 feet of elevation in just twenty miles as we drove to Camp Nelson to be at a youth retreat tonight.

Grace Church of the Valley in Kingsburg, pastored by our long time friend and JV board member, Scott Ardavanis, was in the middle of their winter youth retreat, and we had the privilege of joining them there for the evening.

Not only was Scott and his wife, Patty, there, but new JV missionaries, soon to be on the field, Shay and Bethany Thomason (going to Czech) and Cory and Kristine Cramer (Scott and Patty's daughter and son-in-law who are on their way to Albania). SO special to share an evening tucked away up in the mountains with these dear ones that we'll soon share life with.

Dave spoke to the young people about what it means to have faith of their own, following in the example of Timothy who came from generations of believers, as these teenagers do. It's an awesome legacy to come from families who have brought their children up to know Jesus!

But there also comes a time when they have to make a decision for themselves, to follow Him because THEY know His power and love. Dave challenged them to that end.

As I sat in the back, I prayed over those students, that they would not only make that personal decision, but that some would even be called to follow and serve Him in missions.

I may never see these students again, but I hope someday when we're all together forever in heaven, I'll get to hear what God did in and through the white hot faith of these young people!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Gifts in California

On this Valentine's Day, I'm at my beloved Pacific ocean...albeit in California, not Oregon! But it's just as lovely as ever; maybe even a tiny bit more than Oregon since the sun is gloriously shining here today!!

While Dave is with his long time mentor today, Charlie Bradshaw, a pastor at North Coast church here in the San Diego area, I'm spending the day with his wife, Suzy, having a beautiful ladies day out. We've known Charlie and Suzy for many years, so it's precious to be here with them enjoying this Valentine's Day with people we love!

After Suzy and I had breakfast, we took a walk along the ocean and look who I found! A sweet doggie that reminds me of my Kaylee back at home. What a Valentine's Day gift to get a little love from a Cavalier!

Another little Valentine's Day gift came in the sky as we traveled down I-5...see it?? Too fun!

The smell of the salty air, the warmth of the sun, the beauty of the coast, the sweet conversation along the way: all good gifts on this Valentine's!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Good Brother

Today's story starts at this place, the Hospitality House in Rota, Spain run by Cadence International missionaries.

Google photo

It looks out on a beach that looks very much like this one.

Google photo

And is located in this picturesque town in southern Spain, not far from Gibralter and Morocco.

Google photo

Nearly thirty years ago I lived there for a year, serving as a teacher for some missionary families. Because it's a US Naval base, the hospitality house is located in Rota and reaches out to the naval personnel with the love of Christ to those who work on the base.

During my stay, I was not only teaching the child of the couple who ran the hospitality house, but was involved at the hospitality house so had the opportunity to meet a lot of people. But I didn't have many girlfriends that year.

Why? At the time, most of the singles stationed there were men (perhaps it's still the same all these years later) . Had it not been for a few "brothers" that year, I would've been very lonely.

Tonight, I got to see one of those "brothers" who I haven't seen since 1987, the year Dave and I were married! We've been in touch all these years but never in person.

And yet, it was just like yesterday as Dave and I went out for dinner tonight with Phil, and his wife Emmy who live in the Phoenix area. Such sweet, rich fellowship with these dear believers who live out their faith so beautifully.

Ah, but there's more to the story!

Phil played a part in my story with Dave, as not only a listening ear as I began dating Dave the year I lived in Rota. But he also carried my wedding dress across the ocean for me and kept it until not long before we were married...two years after I bought it!

It's a crazy story...but the short of it is I saw the dress of my dreams in nearby Cadiz just a few months after Dave and I started dating while I lived in Spain. Although I hoped our newly blossoming relationship would end in marriage, I didn't know so chose not to keep my dress in sight for however long it took before he (hopefully) proposed.

Phil was getting out of the military and moving back to the States in 1985, so took the dress with him in his belongings that the US Navy shipped for him. Can you imagine what they would've thought had they looked through those belongings?!

As you can guess, the story ended well two years later when Dave proposed. Phil then shipped the dress to a friend, who passed it on to my mom, who brought it to Germany so I could marry Dave in it!!!

That's what I call a good "brother"!

I'm glad he found the girl of his dreams, just as I found the man of my dreams. And the four of us lived happily ever after!