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.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Papa, Nonnie and Judah

Tomorrow morning Tyler, Lara and Judah leave our house and head to the airport, on their way back to the States where they will begin their journey towards returning as missionaries with Josiah Venture.

What are Nonnie and Papa to do on the last morning before they leave? Let mom and dad go out while we Judah-sit!

These past three weeks have been so sweet, getting to share normal life with him. If I had to sum it up in one word it would be ... DELIGHTFUL!

He's inquisitive, engaged, and endearing. He's chatty, charming and sweet-tempered. And he's always on the move!

He made friends with Kaylee, our dog, this week and spent endless hours trying to get to where she was ... only to have her move as soon as he got there!

Though every now and then she'd stay put when he came near!

He's at that discovery age where everything within reach is interesting. Even a piece of bark pulled out of our bag of wood for the fireplace is worthy of his curiosity.

I loved watching him discover things here that his dad knows about from his childhood, like rohlíky, the rolls of bread that are so common here in Czech. That quickly became one of his favorite foods to eat.

Or drop, for Kaylee to enjoy with him. 😂

Having him sit at our island in the kitchen each day brought no end of delight. Who doesn't love seeing that precious smily face every day?!

His cheerfulness, even in the midst of cutting two teeth these past weeks, made each day so precious and memorable to be with him.

I'll have those memories forever of these first days with Judah at our home here in Czech. I look forward to many more!

Friday, September 23, 2016

My Movement Call

INSPIRE: Movements that Change Your World

This was the theme of our JV Fall conference. After three days of looking at the movement of the early church in the book of Acts, at the Moravian Brothers movement that began in the 1700's, and then our own movement in Central and Eastern Europe, we ended our last evening program with our eyes fixed on Jesus, and asking "What is my own movement call?"

I don't think I've ever been at a JV conference where we've given so much space for worship and personal reflection. No crowd breaker, no speaker, no powerpoint. Only worship and reflection ... worship and reflection. It was, for me, one of the the most, if not THE most powerful night yet at one of our conferences.

At the end of the evening, after having thought on what God was speaking to each of us personally, we wrote down on paper, our movement call.

Then one by one, we made our way to the sides of the room where there was space to tape up your paper to corporately declare what your call is from this time forward.

I wept as I saw our JV team commit to steps of selfless obedience to the Lord.

We took communion together, and then ended in the greatest worship session, gathered around the stage all together, calling out to the Lord our love and devotion to him. I imagine this was a sneak peak of heaven!

The next morning we gathered back at Malenovice in our tent, for one last session. And look what greeted us up front.

What we'd taped our 'movement calls' to last night were the letters "INSPIRE" which have been at the front of the stage all week. And now our declarations are there for everyone to see...what we've been inspired and called to this week.

Dan Hash gave our last session, speaking on what it means and looks like to be "all in", nothing held back, giving your all for the sake of the Gospel going forward.

"Don't look for next steps that cost you nothing. This will cost you everything," he said.

"It's your calling from God, to step into courage today and tomorrow, and the next tomorrow. To do what He's asking you to do. Don't shrink back. Move forward with what you've got."

"Yes, there will be delays, obstacles and redirection. But God knows what he's doing so just go do what He's telling you to do today!!"

We concluded our time by corporately praying over each of the countries where JV is working, and then Dave asked us to hold out our hands and receive the filling of the Spirit as we leave.

We now look forward, with excitement and anticipation, to what God is calling us to as we participate in HIS movement in this part of the world!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

No Less Than Yes: Launching my book

Last night was one of those lifetime moments that I'll cherish forever.

I launched my book, "No Less Than Yes" at our Josiah Venture Fall conference!

After an incredibly special evening of celebrating what God is doing through our JV teammates in countries across Central and Eastern Europe, Dave invited me onto the stage.

Against the backdrop of a photo that our daughter Claire took for me in Chicago just a few days earlier ("Thank you Claire! I'm glad you were part of this evening, even from afar!"), I had the privilege of telling our team why I wrote this book.

I have a passion for remembering what God has done, and this book is about His story in my life.

In it I share about my beginnings, how God led me to the mission field, what it was like to meet and marry Dave. It's about the pressures and struggles, as well as the joys and victories of moving to the Czech Republic twenty three years ago to begin God's work of Josiah Venture in this region of the world.

In it I tell many stories about God .... what He's done, what He means to me, how He's led our family, and how He's working in this part of the world to draw people to Himself.

And it's about the faithfulness of God's promises and how He has fulfilled those in our lives.

It says in 2 Corinthians 1:20: "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "YES" in Christ."

If HE says yes to all of his promises, how can you or I say anything LESS THAN YES to what He asks of us?

Dave tenderly surprised me with flowers after I finished sharing my heart. How I loved having him on stage with me for this significant event! This book surely wouldn't have happened without his constant love and encouragement.

With tears in my eyes, I stood for one last moment in front of our incredible team of 350 young leaders and missionaries, soaking in the privilege of getting to be part of such an amazing movement of God with these people. How I love sharing life and being on mission with them!!

The evening program ended with worship, but my friend Martina sent a text saying "There's already a line for the book!" so I rushed out to greet some of my family who were waiting to buy it!

How I appreciate these dear ones, and all the others who came, wanting to support and encourage me by purchasing a book to read!

And for the rest of the evening, I absolutely loved hugging people, laughing and crying with them, signing their books, and feeling the presence of God among these faith-filled and faithful servants of God.

I'm crying as I finish writing this post. I'll never forget this evening, and the joy God filled me with in sharing this moment with my beloved Josiah Venture family.

You, JV Family, are my heroes of the faith. Thank you for joining us in this incredible movement of God in Central and Eastern Europe!!

** My book is now available for purchase on Amazon - you can get it by clicking HERE
The Kindle version will be available in the next couple of days. 
If you read it and would like to post a review on Amazon, I'd be so grateful!**