Friday, July 21, 2017

While We Wait

For the past month, Dave and I have been sharing a car. Which means that sometimes I walk!

Dave left early this morning to go into the JV office, but I needed the car this afternoon so walked into town to pick it up from him.

In June, we took my car into a garage to have the transmission looked at as it seemed that something wasn't quite right. It's turned into a much bigger deal than we anticipated.

The mechanic said in twenty years of business, he'd never seen anything like what had happened inside my transmission. He said he didn't even know how we possibly could have been driving it! This is the car that we bought in Austria when my other car died. It seemed to be a good car at the time, but obviously, something was going on inside it that we didn't know about.

Currently the mechanic is trying to find parts to solve the problem, and keep us from having to purchase a whole new transmission. He's motivated to find those parts because my car is up on the only lift in his garage so he's not able to do anything else. So I'm praying for him to find those parts SOON, mostly for his sake so he can get on with his business!

In the meantime, Dave and I are enjoying walks and bike rides into town when the other person needs the car.

We live in a beautiful place so those walks and bike rides are enjoyable!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Celebrating My Firstborn

This amazing daddy is having a birthday of his own today! 😄

Twenty seven years ago, our firstborn, Tyler, made his entrance into the world on this day!

It was unexpected. He wasn't due for another month. But the Lord knew his birthday was in July not in August! And so on a hot July day in Schwetzingen, Germany, he made his appearance and has been delighting us ever since.

Watching Tyler grow through these a son, brother, husband and now daddy...has brought us untold joy.

Tyler is strong in living out his faith and has deep knowledge of God's word. He is loyal and loving to all in his life, excellent in every endeavor, responsible and conscientious, and a lifelong learner! He reads and writes Hebrew, is a talented musician, bakes sourdough bread from scratch, gardens like a Patty (you have to know our history to understand that one...let's just say he takes after his grandpa, dad and uncles!) and is an utterly devoted husband and dad!

Love this photo of the three generations of Patty boys!

Tyler is celebrating this birthday in Chattanooga, Tennessee where he's currently living with his wife, Lara, and their two boys, as they raise support to come serve with Josiah Venture here in the Czech Republic.

Next year at this time, I just might get to celebrate my firstborn in person after many years of being apart on this day. That would be a gift!!

In the meantime, I'm sending all my love and hugs to Tyler on this special day of celebrating his birth.

"Tyler, you delight me! I love who God made you and am thoroughly enjoying seeing more expressions of who you are as the years go by. I thank the Lord for giving me the privilege of being your mom and look forward to seeing what God has for you in the years to come back here in Czech!! Have a great birthday today!!"

And hot off the press! Tyler sent me this photo today, on his birthday!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dog Talk

This has been a very long week, particularly for one little member of our household who has been alone a lot as we've been busy with various things of the ministry sort.

She's spent a whole lot of hours alone at home, which I'm always so sad about. Yes, I know she's "just a dog", but still, I also know she has some feelings.

Which she expressed tonight when I got home.

No kidding, as soon as I sat down late at night after returning home, she was there, with her head on my lap, communicating all sorts of things to me.

"It's okay, I understand. You have to be gone sometimes and that's your job. But my job is to take care of you and I can't do that if you're not here. So can you stay home soon so I can do my job??" 😌

Yep, I'm pretty sure that's what she was saying. And yes, I'll be home soon!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Blog Problems

I wish I was a savvy girl with Blogger design skills. Because then I could perhaps solve this problem.

Is that what YOU see across the top of my blog too? It appeared a few days ago, and in fact, in a few other places as well on the front page. I have no idea why those "buttons" across the top are gray and blurry.

I have on my heart a blog redesign as it's been four years since the last one. But that takes time, effort and money since I need to find a new blog designer to do it for me.

In the meantime, I'll just keep blogging about life as the Lord brings it!

Though it's been chilly in the evenings (tonight it's 46F!), there sure have been some pretty sunsets!

UPDATE Sunday, July 16: I know what the problem is thanks to a friend of mine who told me what's going on. It's a BIG problem with Photobucket. If you click on that link you can read about it.

They changed their policies and are now charging people $400 a year to use their services. What were they thinking????

So, this is good prompting to follow through on my desire to redesign my blog. Could be sooner rather than later!

UPDATE #2: I've deleted all my "about" pages that had buttons using Photobucket pictures until I can figure out what to do about it. Kind of sad about that. But I'm hoping a new design is coming soon that will bring it all back to life!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

When Forever Friends Come

To have friends that you can pick up right where you left off, even if it's been twenty years since you've seen them...those are the best kinds of friends!

These dear friends have known us since before we were married! We first knew them in Germany during our early years of missionary life there, as we led Malachi Ministries and they served on the volunteer staff of one of our ministries.

After those years our lives took different paths and while we moved to the Czech Republic, they moved to the States, working and raising their family there as we did the same here.

The last time Dave saw them (I reconnected last summer) was in 1997 when they came to see us before that move!

At the time we were looking to purchase a facility to use as the home and training center of Josiah Venture, but thought it would be across the mountain from here because at the time, this place wasn't available for purchase.

Who knew that would be our last time together as couples for twenty years?? And that we wouldn't buy the other hotel, but rather this one, Malenovice?!

With so much joy, we got to show them the miracle that God worked in making this place available!

And tell them stories of all that God has done here over the past 19 years since we purchased Malenovice!

A new group of short term teams had just arrived at the hotel, so they got to see it in action, in one of its uses: preparation for another round of camps this coming week!

One of the amazing connections between us is that their daughter-in-law served as a JV intern a few summers ago, and was in this very place a number of times on short term teams like this!

For the rest of the evening we never stopped talking as we told stories and caught up on each other's lives. It felt like our friendship had never gone on pause, even though we hadn't seen each other in so long. Instead, it was so easy and delightful, as it always was, sharing our lives and what God has been doing in them all these years.

"What an incredible blessing to reconnect with you again, Robert and Sondra, after all these years! Let's not wait another twenty till we see each other again! Thank you for blessing us with your visit!"

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sweetest Gift

I'm curious...

How big do you think this jar is? And what do you think is in it?

I had the greatest surprise last night when our friend Lucka stopped by to give us this GALLON jar of HONEY!!!

Her brother has bees and this is absolutely fresh honey from his hives!

This was such a truly sweet, loving and generous gift. Thank you Lucka!! We'll be enjoying this for a long time!

If you're ever at our house, ask me for a taste and I'll be happy to let you enjoy some too!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

At the River

After church this morning, we all took a trip to the river.

And witnessed the baptism of four precious young people who have recently trusted Christ.

Three of them came to know Jesus through our church's Fusion music ministry, and one was led to the Lord by a friend.

Oh the joy of witnessing their public profession of faith!!

With the Czech Republic being one of the most atheistic countries in the whole world (it ties for number one with Estonia), you are looking at such incredible miracles each time you see and hear of someone putting their faith in Jesus.

We celebrated with them as a church family by having a picnic back in town. Thanks to Petr and Lauren for ordering turkey and putting together such a nice afternoon!

With blankets and pillows spread out on the lawn of the building where our Fusion choir meets, we sat together for several hours enjoying a summer day with each other.

My long-time friend, Danca, (who I've known since she was 13!) was there without her family so we had time to just sit, catch up and enjoy some hours of conversation.

Thanks for the photo Lauren!

There is such a fresh wind of God's Spirit blowing over this land these days, with many recognizing their sin, asking forgiveness, and receiving Jesus as their Savior. In fact, in two weeks, we'll have another baptism!

Praise the Lord for all those He is calling to Himself right now!!!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Rainy July

Sun, rain, sun, rain, sun. That sums up our Saturday.

While we DO get sunshine in July, it is actually our rainiest month of the whole year in these parts.

And when the rain comes, it can be ferocious. I got caught in a downpour this afternoon while out grocery shopping that actually hurt as it pelted my skin, the drops were so big and hard. I did consider taking a photo of the storm, but thought better of it to save my phone from being soaked!

We like to say that in these parts we grow two things really well. No three.

Grass. Trees. Weeds.

Thus whenever it wasn't raining today, Dave was outside dealing with some of those weeds ... all the way down our lane, and then some! It literally took him hours to do that today. He's a good man. 😉

But the rain keeps everything green and growing, and we like that!

When the sun does shine, we love sitting out on our porch, as we did this evening for dinner. But with more rain in the forecast (like, every single day next week), we'll see how much sitting out there we do in the coming days.

At least it's pretty to look at through the windows.😂

Friday, July 7, 2017

Beautiful Name

Back in March, at our JV Ladies Retreat down in Austria, our friend Lisa, who came from the States to lead us in worship, introduced us to a new song. That song has played through my head seemingly a thousand times over the past four months.

"... the heavens are roaring, the praise of your glory, for you were raised to life again ... you have no rival, you have no equal, now and forever God you reign ... "

"What a beautiful name it is ... the name of Jesus."

If you haven't heard it yet, oh my ... you're in for a treat!

While I've had the sweet voices of our JV Ladies playing over in my head all these months, today I heard a rendition of the song that is absolutely stunning.

Stop what you're doing. Take five minutes. Click on the video below ... and let the power of the name of Jesus sweep over you.

I pray this blesses you today!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Pure in Heart

Caleb came down from camp at Malenovice this morning, to do laundry, have coffee with me, and go visiting.

His schedule at camp is full, but he kindly made time to go see our neighbors that live on the same lane as us, people he's known for the past 14 years. Why go visit them?

Because they have prayed every day for two years, that Caleb and Haley would have a baby. When they miscarried a year and a half ago, they intensified their prayers, praying first thing in the morning, and again before bed at night.

In the world's eyes, this brother and sister might be considered "less than". They have no money, they are dependent on their cousin to care for them, they are simple-minded (though very sharp) and they almost never leave their house. They were born in that house, and they will most likely die there.

And whenever that happens, there will be a BIG, HUGE, WONDERFUL party in heaven to welcome these two precious souls home!

Many years ago Dave led them to Christ, and truly, Jesus has lived in their hearts ever since. They read the Bible, they talk about the Lord with all our neighbors, and they pray. OH how they pray! I can't see them without being asked how my health is (they know I've suffered from migraines), or how our kids are (they keep up on all the details I share with them).

You can see the sister is holding something in her hands ... those are recent pictures I brought to her today of our kids and grandsons. They will put them up in their hovel of a living room (they aren't the tidiest of souls, to say the least) and will pray diligently for us as they look at them.

They often ask the same questions, so today wanted to know from Caleb if indeed he and Haley are having a baby (the sister and I have talked about this every single time she's come to visit over the past 6 months!).

Caleb so sweetly answered yes, and chatted with them for quite a while about the upcoming birth, thanking them often for their prayers.

Usually it's the sister who does all the talking. Her brother has a speech impediment so it's quite hard to understand him (not to mention that he's speaking Czech). But today when Caleb was telling them thank you for their prayers, brother replied, "Prayer worked!"

Indeed it did! God heard those cries from these two dear ones, and answered them in the form of the sweet baby boy who is growing at this very minute in Haley's womb. When he is born, and I tell brother and sister the news near the end of August, I think they will receive it as if they themselves were the grandparents!

We left blessed by brother and sister's simple faith, that allows them to believe God for babies and all sorts of other things. Could there be anything more pure than that?

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." Matthew 5:8

Kaylee was reluctant to leave their place; there are so many "delicious" aromas around there! :) 

I said goodbye to Caleb soon afterward as I delivered him back up at Malenovice. His team finishes camp and leaves tomorrow for follow-up in Vsetin, and then team debrief will take place over the next few days. He'll be back home with Haley in a week, with the next big event being the birth of their son.

I can hardly wait for that news to come!

What a blessed gift to have seen Caleb so often these past few days! And what a blessing to know that he and Haley have been so prayed over so diligently and faithfully by our dear neighbors.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Doing Life Together

Last week we spent three days in Chattanooga, visiting with some of our precious family.

Judah Patty, 20 months old

For centuries, missionaries left their families and crossed lands and oceans in order to serve the Lord. They often didn't see or talk to their dear ones for years at a time; some never returned from the mission field but stayed their entire lives there.

We live in an age today where that is not our reality, and I'm so thankful for that! However, I don't take for granted these kinds of family "meet-ups", where we get to spend a few meaningful days together.

When we only have a few days, we make the most of them and pack in a lot of memory making, like a trip downtown to some fun water canals that kids can wade in!

Since it was a rare perfect summer day (meaning, low humidity in the south!), we chose to walk over the Chattanooga bridge in search of something special.

Brave Lara, carrying Asher in his baby wrap despite the heat!
When we chanced upon someone who looked like they wouldn't mind taking a photo, we grabbed it! While the rest of us knew to get our smiles on, Judah wasn't all that impressed by our makeshift photographer.

Quite ready for refreshment, we found Clumpies Ice Cream on the other side of the bridge, and that made us all feel better.

Can I just say ... if you are EVER in Chattanooga, it is definitely worth a stop at this ice cream shop. I'm truly not kidding when I say, "I think it's the best ice cream I've ever had!" A scoop of espresso chocolate chunk made my day. Wish I'd had two scoops. 😉

We headed back over the bridge, and later on that evening went over to Lara's parent's house for dinner and some more time with the family.

Papa had the magic touch with Asher, holding him for at least an hour in that position!

The next morning, while Dave and Tyler went out to breakfast with a team headed out here to do a JV English camp, I went to have breakfast with Lara and the boys.

Nothing like those sweet faces to make my day! Yes ... it's even better than that ice cream from the day before! 😁

We had a leisurely day, as if we had no where else to be for the afternoon.

I loved going out in the yard with Judah and having him give me a tour of his daddy's garden (which unfortunately, those photos are on Dave's phone so don't have any to post here!).

We went with the family to their favorite park, and played along with Judah on the various apparatus, giving Papa and Judah some time on the swings together.  😂

But all too soon it was time to say goodbye and head to Atlanta so we'd be there for our morning flight back to Czech.

My heart was so filled up from our days with Tyler, Lara, Judah and Asher, and I soaked it in all the way.

The gift of the Lord to me, despite being a missionary who lives on the other side of the ocean, is that it won't be long before this sweet family is living near us as they begin their missionary years with Josiah Venture. I am altogether thankful for this blessing headed our way. It's kind of surreal, actually, to think that they will live just thirty minutes away someday in the not too distant future!

"Thanks Tyler and Lara for hosting us with yummy food, delicious coffee, fresh baked bread and a peek into your world as a family right now. We can't wait to have you on our side of the ocean and do life together here!"