These values permeate everything we do, from the biggest events down to the smallest details. We memorize them, talk about them, seek to live them and spur each other on towards them because they are so deeply part of who we are and what we value.
Today at our annual spring conference, we experienced a lot of very sweet dynamic community.
Our morning began with awarding one of our teammates the annual award for "Dynamic Community." Gwynne, who serves in one of our Fusion ministries in Slovenia, was given the award for her outstanding embodiment of this core value. She is one of those people who beautifully and richly creates community wherever she is and we deeply love and appreciate that about her!
This evening, Dynamic Community played out in some very tender goodbyes to team members who are leaving Josiah Venture because God is calling them elsewhere.
Terry and Lori Jackson came fifteen years ago to open the ministry in Slovenia with Josh and Kristi Patty, and have been faithful pillars of faith, and anchors of dynamic community. They're moving to Louisville, Kentucky to begin their new chapter of life.
Greg and Heidi Carlson came to JV twenty years ago, and have also been anchors on our team of faithfulness, godliness and generosity as they served in Poland with their two precious daughters, Kelsey and Jillian. I've known Greg for almost forty years as we went to high school together; I feel so blessed for having spent all these years serving together with he and his family.
Our goodbyes don't come just from the front, having Dave or Mel say a few words.
These goodbyes are shared by all of our teammates as they speak up from wherever they're sitting to share words of blessing, encouragement, memories and how those leaving have impacted their lives.
The genuine richness of dynamic community is so deep on a night like this. It is truly beautiful and honoring to God to hear people express their hearts, often through tears, for one another.
Sadly, there were a few more goodbyes to be said. Three of our single JV missionaries are also moving on to what God has next for them. What richness they've brought to our lives and in the countries where they've served!
|L-R: Lucka Zagorova, served in Slovenia; Katie Copley also served in Slovenia; Daniel Reimer served in Czech.|
Our final goodbye of the night was to Rob and Audrey Chestnut, who have faithfully served in Prague for the past five years. Amidst laughter, many tears also flowed as heartfelt words were expressed to them by their JV family.
We never want to see anyone leave as we really and truly enjoy everyone in our JV family!
But the beauty of dynamic community is that it doesn't end when you leave. These dear ones will always be JV family, always be in our hearts and prayers, and will always be people that shared a very special time of life with us that will not be forgotten.
Jackson Family, Carlson Family, Lucka, Katie, Daniel, Rob and Audrey:
We will miss you like crazy! We're SO thankful that we got to share life with you in the JV family, we're thankful for the impact for Christ that you made on so many lives in Central and Eastern Europe, and we bless you as you move on to what God has next for you.
Once JV family, always JV family!!!"