Five years ago, Dave and I were in the middle of planning our first ever year-long sabbatical when someone we didn't know (crazy story of who it was...the brother of someone who had been with JV years before!), who was doing an internship at Scottsdale Bible Church in Arizona, wrote to say that members at the church were making their villa in Croatia available for a leader on sabbatical. He wondered if we were, by any chance, interested.
We were! And this began what is now a lifelong friendship with these dear ones, John and Kris!
We stayed with them for two months in the summer of 2013, and it was as if we'd always known them. In fact, even today it's hard to remember that we only met the very day we drove up to live with them for that time!
Since they live here in the Phoenix area, we always try to meet up when we're here. But this time they went the extra mile for us and invited over the mission's committee at Scottsdale Bible, a church that has been partnering with JV for 20 years. Kris serves on that committee.
We had the sweetest evening sharing with the committee about what God's doing in JV, as well as getting acquainted with some new friends, and seeing others we've known...like Tyrel and his new wife, Natalie!
Maybe by Tyrel's apparel you can tell that he serves with us in JV! He met his now wife when he first came on a missions trip to Czech somewhere around 9 years ago, when she was his translator at an English camp.
Fast forward to today, Tyrel came on staff with us two years ago to serve on our Exit Tour Team, they reconnected, and just married here in Scottsdale in January! It was so sweet to see them here. They'll be back in Czech at the end of this month.
And of course, it was wonderful to catch up with John and Kris as we now know so much about each other's lives, family and work after staying connected since that time we stayed with them.
I love how the Lord surprises us with friendships, and brings people into our lives...some who then become lifelong friends!
"Thanks for having us over John and Kris, and for your love, care and prayers for us and the work of Josiah Venture!"