Monday, October 31, 2016

Treated on Halloween

On this dark Halloween night, we're tucked away in a hotel room overlooking the city of Austin, Texas. There are no trick or treaters in sight around here, just "Old Glory" waving her famous colors at us out the window.

There were no tricks played on us today, only the treat of coming to this city for my first time! Dave doubled that treat by finding a great place for dinner. It sure is nice getting to travel and do this together.

October has flown by as we crisscrossed the States this month. I'm thankful for this great country, despite all the crazy political things going on. From our standpoint this is a nation of kind, caring, loving, and generous people who have "treated" us so well!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Duties of a President

From the title of this post, you might assume I'm writing about the duties of the President of the United States, especially since we're so close to election day in this country.

But no, I'm only thinking about the duties of the president of Josiah Venture!

Honestly though, Dave truly doesn't see anything as a duty but rather a privilege. And he's had a lot of those this past month while we've been traveling in the States.

This week-end one of those privileges was preaching at a friend's church here in Orlando.

As well as sitting on a judge's panel for a youth group costume party in the evening! ๐Ÿ˜€

These past three and half weeks have been full of such a variety of places and people. We've been blessed time and time again by our all of interactions and opportunities along the way, and count it a privilege to represent Josiah Venture everywhere we go.

Even at a costume party!๐Ÿ˜€

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Keeping Us Safe

Yesterday was a bit of adventure for Dave and I as we tried making our way across the United States from California to Florida on this trip where we're sharing about Josiah Venture.

Our flight out of San Francisco was delayed an hour at a time, beginning at 2 PM when it was supposed to have left. First they said we'd leave at 3 PM, then 4, then 5 and so on.

Finally at 7 PM, after a new plane was brought to the gate, we were able to board.

And that was my view for the next hour and a half while they had to fix the NEW plane that had been brought for us to head out on!

But you sure don't want them to take any chances so we practiced patience as we sat there waiting to find out if we'd leave or not.

Finally at 8:30, we pushed back from the gate.

And here we sat for another fifteen minutes. Time seemed to slow down to a crawl.

By this time I was really beginning to wonder if we'd actually make it out or not. And throughout the plane you could hear murmurings of people wondering the same thing. Even the flight attendants voiced wonder about our prospects.

But finally, ever so slowly, we pulled away from the gate.

As we sat here, away from the gate but not yet out on the runway, the pilot came on to say we were further delayed by air traffic control because of a change in our routing. At this point everything just seemed funny!

It wasn't until 9 PM that we finally left the ground!

That was seven hours later than we were supposed to depart.

I'm actually still in the plane as I type this, with an arrival time in Orlando of 5:10 AM. I was just beginning to wonder if I'd see the sunrise from the plane when I decided to look it up (thankfully I've got wifi on this flight).

Nope. The sun doesn't rise until 7:30 this morning! So we left the West Coast in the dark, and will arrive on the East Coast in the dark.

No telling if the rental car agency will be open at that point. If not, it will be an adventure figuring out how to get to our friends' house an hour or so away from the airport.

But this is just the stuff of life. There is nothing to get upset about it - they're doing their job of keeping us safe! I'd sure rather be safe than not make it there. So I'm glad they checked and double-checked...and even changed planes in order to keep us safe.

I see the western coast of Florida from the window now! We'll be landing in a half hour or so. It's been a long day, but I'm glad to almost be at our next destination safely.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Will We Get There or Not?

Our day started out so well.

A text notification at 7:30 this morning told us our plane was delayed out of Orange County. But that meant a shorter layover in San Francisco which was fine with us.

That flight left late without fanfare and soon we were in San Fran enjoying Peet's coffee before our flight to Orlando.

But things changed shortly after that photo. First an extra hour at the gate. Then once onboard, another hour. But finally they closed the doors, told us to put away devices, revved the engines to pull back from the gate and...nothing.

Until the pilot came on and said we'd all have to deplane.

So here we sit, with the plane out the window.

And a waiting area full of people doing the same thing as us...waiting for news.

The pilot's explanation was a bit technical so we're not exactly sure what's going on, though we think it has something to do with a fuel pump and a generator. In any case, I'd sure rather be sitting here than on a plane that's having those issues.

While we wait, Dave is trying his best to be productive. I have no idea how he does this! I feel in such limbo that it makes it hard to get anything done. Well...except to blog! ๐Ÿ˜‚

A few minutes ago they made an announcement that there were snacks and water bottles available to all passengers waiting. That was unexpected!

We were supposed to have left at 5 PM, now they're saying 6. But it's 5:30 and there is no sign of boarding yet. Who knows if we will make it to Orlando today or not? If we do, it will be very late there when we arrive!

But after hearing what happened in Chicago today, an airport we fly through regularly, I'm thankful to be on the ground waiting to have whatever is wrong be fixed.

We'll get there when we get there!

UPDATE: Now they're saying 7 PM, with an arrival at 3 AM.๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ All I can say is that I'm glad I'm not traveling with the two year old near me who is having a complete meltdown! Poor little guy. Even poorer parents. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Thursday, October 27, 2016

California Days

With a dinner appointment down in Corona del Mar, California, we drove there early so I could see a bit of that area for the first time. A beautiful sunset greeted us!

Before I knew it, we were driving over onto Balboa Island, a quaint vacation destination that I've heard of but never been to. I wish we'd had more time to explore! It looked so interesting, everything from shops to houses.

And wouldn't you know, one of my long-time favorite dessert looks like it originated here!

Too bad we were so close to dinnertime or for sure I would have had a chocolate dipped frozen banana. Does anyone else love those too?!

We quickly drove down to the water so I could step out and take a look at the area. If I'm ever back I'd like to eat my frozen banana while walking on this boardwalk along the marina!

We've had wonderful meetings here in California these past two days. I'm so thankful for all the dear people we've met with, and for getting to see some beautiful places along the way too.

Off to the other side of the United States tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Feeling Sentimental

Another day, another airport, another very cool, if not slightly sentimental view!

We left Portland this morning, flying over very familiar scenes to me: the Columbia River, I-205 bridge, Vancouver, the Cascade range. Even the rain was sentimental to me since I grew up in Oregon.

It didn't take long to reach altitude and find some sunshine up there. I like sunshine too!

And as we came down for a landing in San Francisco, it was a completely different sky than we'd just left in Portland an hour and a half earlier. So crazy how that works!

After such sweet days in Oregon, I woke up feeling a little homesick today. For where, I don't know! Oregon, Czech? I think mostly it was just that feeling you feel of belonging somewhere and missing it.

We got off the plane in Santa Ana after one more flight, and headed to baggage. I was still feeling sentimental for "home", wherever that is, when all of a sudden I saw this across the way.

My two girlfriends at home in Czech and Poland have this type of dog, and I had JUST written them an hour earlier while on our layover in San Francisco so was thinking of them. It seriously made me laugh out loud to see "their" dog here in LA! A little piece of "home" to me in an odd, sweet and wonderful sort of way.

We're here in the LA area for the next couple of days to share the vision of JV and about the new event center. We have several meetings scheduled while here. Off to one of them right now!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Overflowing with Blessings

When we come to Oregon, I love getting to visit these precious faces!

Hi Caleb, Jonathan and Joanna! I sure loved being with you! Your friend, Mrs Connie 

They are part of a family who are long-time friends of ours, and of the whole extended Patty family!

Our friendship with them goes back before all of us were even born...all the way back to Dave's grandpa who farmed with their great grandpa many years ago here in Oregon. It's always a blessing to get to see them!

This afternoon the goodness continued with these very dear ones.

My mom, dad and brother drove up from Eugene just to have lunch with us in Portland! What fun to sit in a German restaurant for several hours, telling stories, laughing and enjoying family time together.

And then, to top it all off, this evening my spiritual parents and long time best friend met us for dinner.

My cup is overflowing with blessings and goodness from the Lord these past two days. On a trip like this where we're on the go, it's deeply nourishing to be with dear friends and family to get tanked up and loved on in order to have what we need to keep going.

Thank you dear family and friends for loving us so well!

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Dad Whisperer

After arriving in Portland, Oregon at midnight last night, Dave and I headed out early this morning to a breakfast appointment.  But not before I noted this familiar sight: the I-5 bridge.

My junior high and high school years were spent in Vancouver, Washington, just across that bridge.

During those years this bridge across the Columbia River was the only link between Vancouver and Portland. I can't tell you how many times I've been across it in my lifetime! There was something oddly comforting about seeing it this morning in the dawn's early light.

After a delightful breakfast over in Vancouver with the pastor and a few others from my home church there (bummer that I forgot to take a picture!) I sent a quick text to say hi to my friend, Michelle, who I met at that church thirty six years ago.

She texted back, not from Portland but rather from the Denver airport!

And told me that her new radio program was on KPDQ in Portland at 2:30 today!!

Dave and I happened to be in the car right at that time, so got to tune in and listen to "The Dad Whisperer" as we drove! Want to tune in as well? You can find her HERE!

How very cool to speed down I-5 and listen to my long time best friend talk to dads about how to be the heroes their daughters and sons need!

I'm so proud of her, and hope this show goes nationwide. It's such an important topic, and she has amazingly helpful and practical things to say to dads, to help them be successful at that most important job.

It's a good day to be in Oregon!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Refreshing Week-end

Over the years the Lord has connected us to many wonderful churches across the United States who have chosen to partner with us in reaching young people in Central and Eastern Europe with the Gospel.

One of those churches has been Christ Community Church in St. Charles, IL. They came alongside us nearly twenty years ago when Josiah Venture was in its early stages of growth. They have sent teams to camps, work teams to help with renovation projects, people to pray, staff to come and encourage, their pastor to speak at a conference for us, and generous financial resources.

They have not only invested people and resources, but prayer as well. And that was evidenced again this morning.

After Dave shared a short update about what God is doing, these dear people stretched out their hands to pray along with Eric who led prayer for Josiah Venture.

Can you imagine how this felt?? I felt like crying! It was simply awesome to have all these dear people standing with us in prayer for God to do even more than He's already doing! SO thankful for this body of believers.

And speaking of dear believers in this body: Harold came to say hello, reminding us of the time he came to help with renovations at Malenovice fifteen years ago! This kind, servant-hearted, loving man of God has been on SIXTY FOUR (or was it 84?? It was A LOT) missions trips in his lifetime! He even wrote a book to tell about them, which includes stories and photos of his time in Czech.

He and I exchanged books! I felt like I was in the presence of one of God's saints.

While it has nothing to do with an awesome church or wonderful believers, I can't end this post without saying...THE CUBS ARE IN THE WORLD SERIES!!! This is big news for all of our Chicago friends!

We'll remember our refreshing week-end at Christ Community with much fondness.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Special Breakfast

This morning, at a beautiful location on another gorgeous midwestern fall day, we arrived here for a special breakfast.

In the past year, one of our partnering churches, Christ Community Church in Batavia, IL, sent out over 25 groups of people on what they call "Go Teams". Over 300 individuals from this church traveled to six different countries all over the world, to share the Gospel, build relationships, and serve ministries in a myriad of ways. Their commitment to missions is awesome!

This morning's time together was a thank you to all of the leaders who led those trips.

With about 40 leaders gathered, we fellowshipped, enjoyed good food, worshipped together, and then listened to Dave teach! They asked him to bring something from the Word that would further equip, as well as encourage, these committed followers of Jesus.  It was such a rich morning together.

I didn't get a picture in the end since I was enjoying lots of different conversations with many people! But it meant a lot to me that the church leadership gave everyone a copy of my book, No Less Than Yes, as their thank you gift to end the morning.

It's a joy and privilege to be partners together with this church in reaching the world for Christ!

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Bit Like Heaven

It was still dark as we traveled down the freeway this morning, headed towards a restaurant for breakfast.

Although we were only going to be in Indianapolis for 24 hours, I contacted some longtime friends to see if they had time to see us. Not only did they have time, but their sons as well! The last time we saw them was when they were 3 and 5. They've changed a little bit since then. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But oh my, the fellowship with them and their parents was so precious as we caught up in person for the first time in ever so long.

At one point Rob, the dad, commented, "Isn't it crazy how we can be apart for so many years, and yet within two minutes it's as if we just saw each other. Don't you think this is what heaven will be like?"

Tears fill my eyes with that thought. YES! I do think heaven will be like that (and no doubt so much more!). We'll be reunited with people who love Jesus, who have lived their lives for him, and who we'll get to spend eternity with in worship of Him and catching up on all we didn't get to experience together on earth. And I think it will feel like we were always together.

We wish we could live life with so many of God's children that we know and love. But I'm glad we have eternity to look forward to in spending with all of you dear ones.

Thank you Rob, Cricket, Caleb and Joshua for years of loving us, partnering with us, and for living your lives for Jesus! You inspire us and we're blessed to be your friends.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

An Evening of Blessing

It's not much of a picture, but it represents a lot of our life these days.

Among other things while we're here in the States, we're having many meetings to share the vision of expanding our training center at Malenovice. We're praying that God would raise up His people to give towards this significant project. See HERE to read more about it.

Tonight we're in Indianapolis, having just come from one of our sweetest meetings with a group of businessmen who love the Lord and share our passion for reaching young people with the Gospel in Central and Eastern Europe. How I loved hearing about their lives, and we loved sharing ours.

While some might consider our current travels "work", it's actually been such a blessing to travel these days. Tonight most certainly was nourishing to my heart and soul.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

On Moody's Campus

Walking down Chicago streets this morning, on our way to Moody, I prayed the Lord would direct and bless each conversation and interaction we had today.

Who knew the first one would happen so quickly!

We'd been in the student commons area no longer than two minutes when all of a sudden someone appeared in front of us.

This is our very long-time friend, Neva, who served with us in our Malachi Ministry days in Germany! She was at my bridal shower and our wedding...that tells you how long ago it was (nearly thirty years in case you don't know).

A graduate of Moody herself, her daughter is a freshman here; we had no idea. Yesterday she brought her back from fall break, and somehow saw that Dave speaking in chapel today so arranged to spend the night with a friend in the city and showed up this morning!

She and her husband served as missionaries in Ukraine for thirteen years with their family, and returned to the States four years ago. I can't even remember the last time that I saw her, though ironically had her daughter in our home in Czech a few years ago when she came on an exchange trip from her high school in Kiev who partnered with BMA, the high school our kids went to in Frydlant. Small world! And totally delightful way to start the day.

We headed into Torrey-Gray auditorium and had a chance to greet staff and students we know as everyone began to fill seats before chapel began. After worship, Dave was introduced and began to speak.

He spoke from the text in Matthew 28, known as the Great Commission. But it wasn't ABOUT the great commission. It was about the verse just before Jesus spoke those memorable words.

"When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted."

It was a powerful message about not getting derailed or distracted by doubt, a tactic of the enemy to draw followers of Jesus away from the mission of making disciples. When the message is posted, you'll find it HERE, under Fall 2016 chapel talks.

Joining us today on campus, to interact with students and talk about JV summer internships, were these two couples from Poland and Slovakia. Both were married just one month ago, a day apart from each other!

During lunch, I loved hearing them share about what God is doing in their countries, along with what Dave shared about JV to interested students.

We already have 70 intern applicants for next summer, and are hoping that the fall recruitment tour to Christian colleges around the nation in the following weeks will result in many more. Hopefully a number of those will come from Moody!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

End of an Era

Tomorrow morning, we'll be at Moody Bible Institute bright and early as Dave has the privilege of speaking in chapel for all the students.

If you know anything about driving into Chicago from the suburbs on a weekday, you can imagine why we chose to come in this afternoon! Rather than wait for the slow-moving traffic jam that inevitably occurs each and every morning, we drove in today when traffic was light and found a fun neighborhood Starbucks so we could get some work done.

An hour later, I turned around and happened to see this person walk through the door.

Okay ... so I didn't "happen" to turn around! I'd been texting with Claire and asked if she'd like to come over and meet us since we were not far from Moody's campus. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We're in a certain type of "lasts" with Claire these days ... the last time we'll hang out downtown Chicago while she's a student, the last time we'll be in chapel with a Patty child attending Moody, the last time we'll come into the city to meet up with one of our kids. That's a strange thought!

It's been seven years of having a Patty child downtown Chicago, and I think we're all feeling a little sentimental about this era coming to a close.

Which made it all the sweeter to hang out at a Starbucks with Claire, talking, laughing, and watching dad get work done!

We headed out afterward to get dinner across the street at Plum Market, where Claire had one of her jobs during these Moody years. Homemade soup, chips and Pellegrino, mineral water from Italy, soothed and nourished us all as we soaked in these last memories downtown Chicago.

These have been such good years for our kids as they've studied God's word and been impacted by godly professors and dear friends. We are deeply thankful for Moody Bible Institute and the excellent Bible education our kids have received there.

Even though in one way it's sad to see this era come to a close, our kids have been well equipped to move on to the next part of their life journey. I'm excited about what God has ahead for all of them!