Thursday, October 10, 2019

Arriving on Hvar

The ferry from Split over to Hvar brought Dave and I here today for the wedding of two Czech friends that will take place here tomorrow!

They have rented our house out for their whole extended family, so as Dave and I travel on these very familiar roads, it's funny to think that we're not staying there tonight.

Instead we'll be in a room down by the marina in Sveta Nedjelja. It honestly makes me so happy though to think that our friends and their family will be blessed to be at the house for this very special occasion.

And I'm just happy to be back on the island that I love so much!

The Pitve tunnel. Never seen what it's like? It's a little crazy! You can watch a video HERE!

The weather couldn't be farther from what it is at home in Czech right now.

As we were driving I saw this photo from Tyler on Instagram of what it's like in Ostrava right now!

I love it there too! But for today, I'm glad to be driving up to this spot on a warm, sunny day.

As we walked up to the house, we could hear happy voices!

Our friends who will be getting married tomorrow (see here for the earlier story about them) have already arrived with some of their family.

And what a show Hvar is putting on for them tonight!

When you see sunsets here, especially in the fall and early winter, you feel like you've never seen one.

Oh they're just so spectacular!!

I don't know if this old saying is true, "Red sky at morning, sailors take warning; red sky at night, sailor's delight". But if it is...we should have a beautiful day ahead for a wedding!

Heading South

Whew, that was one short night's sleep!

We arrived at this hotel at 12:30 AM, after going to our original hotel  at the Vienna airport and being told there were no rooms.

They put us up in a nice hotel, but it was a ways from the airport so we had to be up at 4:30 in order to get a taxi back to the airport for our 7 AM flight.

Now you understand why someone is tired this morning. 不

Dave didn't see the sunrise over the Vienna airport, but I did!

And then I promptly fell asleep all the way to Dusseldorf, where we had a layover which we used to get breakfast. Little did we know that we had quite a bit of security to go through after thinking we were already near the gate.

Thus, we're the only people on the bus out to the plane. And were the last ones ON the plane!

Nothing like being "those" kind of people! 不 不 不

Even though we're heading south on this trip, the ticket we're flying on routed us through Germany. But I always enjoy seeing these kinds of familiar German views!

Within a few hours, our terrain had changed quite a bit.

Yes, we're back to Croatia and HOT weather!

I was writing a friend and saying that I completely dressed wrong for this part of the trip.

But then I saw my "twin" and it comforted me.

Black pants, white and black top, sandals. That's what I'm wearing too!

We made it down to the ferry port at Split in time to run a couple of errands and then hurry back to our car so we could drive on.

And now, here we are on our familiar ferry once again!

We're heading to a wedding over on Hvar! More to come!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Surprise at the Hotel

After a full day of work and packing to be gone for a month, Dave, Claire and I got in the car this evening and headed to Vienna.

I drove so that Claire and I could be up front and talk while Dave made phone calls and did email in the back.

As I stopped to drop Claire off at her hotel (she's not going to the States with us - she just had some appointments here that coincided with us coming down so rode with us) we were laughing that even while he was talking he could stop for a wave in our photo!

After goodbyes with Claire, Dave and I then headed toward the airport, where we were dropping off our car at a parking area off site, which meant we then had to take the train to the airport as we were staying in a hotel there tonight.

By this time it was 11 PM, and we were anxious to get to bed. We have to be up at 4:30 AM in order to make a 7 AM flight tomorrow morning.

Much to our surprise when we arrived at our hotel, they told us "There's no room in the inn"...or something like that. 不

The hotel had been overbooked (I knew airlines did that, but hotels??) so they found us a room in another hotel...twenty five minutes away, not far from where we'd just dropped off Claire!

Their big selling point, in order to make us feel better I guess, was that they were upgrading us to a five star hotel.

As far as we could tell, for five stars you get a big desk.

And two pillows each...with one piece of chocolate to share! 不 不 不 不

At this point I'm so ready for sleep that I'd just about lay down anywhere. I'm thankful that we at least HAVE a bed tonight!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Celebrating Twenty Five!

Today is a significant birthday for our Claire!!

Our sweet daughter is 25 today, and we're celebrating her with a family party, including flowers from her dad!

Tyler, Lara, Judah and Asher are here today too, and the boys helped me get ready for the party this afternoon by wrapping gifts for Claire. There's a lot of tape on those presents! 

Tyler and Lara made a wonderful dinner for Claire, the menu she'd asked for (that they made for her last year too...yep, it was that good!): Israeli baked meatballs with tahini sauce, Israeli salad, turmeric rice and lots of hummus!

I wrote a note to Claire on Facebook today that said, "Your joy in life and for the Lord shines as the brightest sunshine, your generosity in giving of yourself touches people (me included!) deeply, your tenderness to the Lord inspires and compels people towards Him, and your love for Him and His Word can’t help but come out of you every day! You are a blessing to me and I love you very much!"

And all of that was evident tonight! Even as it was her birthday, she is shining bright for Jesus, loving her nephews so generously with His love as she let them "help" her unwrap gifts!

She had said earlier that she wasn't in the mood for a birthday cake, but that she wouldn't mind macarons, so that's what Judah and I brought in for her, complete with "2" and "5" candles, as Judah called them!

We sang "Happy Birthday" to her twice as her candles got blown out once by Judah, and once by her! 不

We all gave her "words" as we do for birthdays, sharing what we've seen in her life in the past year, and what we're wishing for her in the year to come.

I told her that I've seen more growth in her life in this past year than ever before - that I think it's been her most significant year of life yet! And I wished her more...more growth, more love from the Lord, more depth, more opportunities to be Jesus to others. I have no doubt that will happen!

How I love this precious daughter of ours! And wish her all of God's blessing, love, care and delight in this coming year!

Praying People

At 10 PM last night I said to Dave, "I think we should have the iTeam meeting at our house tomorrow."

That sent me into a flurry of activity so I could get the house ready to host 22 people in less than twelve hours!

You can't see everyone in this picture; there are more to the right!

Though we meet together each Tuesday morning of the school year (we take off summers because everyone is busy with camps), five or six times a year our iTeam, who serves the JV team from our home office in Frydlant, meets together for an extended time of being equipped to serve better.

Sometimes we meet at Malenovice if it's available; when it's not we meet at the cultural house in town.

Today's meeting was supposed to be at the cultural house which is suitable for certain types of extended meetings, but I didn't think it would be so conducive to part of what we were going to do today.

When Dave planned out all of the meetings for the year, he asked if I would take an hour at one of the extended meetings, and do something special on prayer.

Hmmm...let me think about that...

"YES!" (It didn't take me more than a nano-second to give him that answer. )

So why hadn't I thought earlier about having it at our house?

I honestly hadn't looked at the calendar to see where the meeting was supposed to be held! So when Dave got home last night, it was the first chance I'd had to ask him if we could change it to our house! 

It was beautiful to see people praying here in our home this morning, especially as they prayed for each other using Scripture.

It just happened that Claire and Dave got to be partners this morning...appropriate since it's also her birthday today!

I love that our JV team is growing as prayer warriors, people who are known for regularly interceding on behalf of others before God. I believe we'll see God's movement as a result of these prayers.

"Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land."  2 Chronicles 7:14

Monday, October 7, 2019

You Are Valued

Today was one of those happy people days that I love!

Dave and I met for breakfast with Cory and Anissa, JV missionaries who serve with the EXIT Tour ministry here in Czech. They are so dear to us! Their ministry has been tremendously fruitful and catalytic across the country as hundreds and hundreds of young people have put their faith in Christ through this amazing ministry into the schools.

Later I came back to the office and met with these precious people too.

Each one, Boza, Claire, Petr, Kaca and Honza, are also tremendously fruitful and catalytic, serving in many different ways on our JV team.

I can truly say as Paul said, "Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God"!!!

These people give fully of themselves in love and service on behalf of our King, and I just wanted to honor them here with this little post, and say "Your deeds are seen and valued by me, and more importantly, by your KING!!"

Sunday, October 6, 2019

A Civil Ceremony

On this beautiful fall day here in Fr羸dlant we left from church and headed over to some friends' house.

The reason? Dave was performing their legal, civil wedding ceremony this afternoon!

Next week-end we'll be at their "church" wedding ceremony (though it will be in a very unique location so stay tuned!). But today, Dave married them so that the official papers could be signed for their marriage license.

This will be a blended family, as they both experienced divorce nearly ten years ago. I love that they're taking this wedding so seriously, and even celebrated afterward today with a special lunch with us, their daughters, and one of their witnesses.

A bigger celebration will take place next Friday in Croatia, when these two will make their vows and promises, and become husband and wife. I'm excited about that day for them!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Divine Train Conversations

Dave and I met up together at the Prague train station this evening after both having had different agendas here for the past 24 hours. 

We both had lots to tell each other after he'd been at a youth leader training, and I'd been with friends over the past 24 hours. But eventually, he turned to finishing his preparations for the sermon he'll preach tomorrow in our church.

Sitting across the aisle from us were three people, who we overheard talking about God (in Czech).

Dave couldn't resist asking if they were believers, and sure enough they were! He asked about where they were from and we found out they attend a church that is in our denomination, the C穩rkev bratrsk獺. They asked where we lived and Dave told them Frydlant, to which they replied, "That's the headquarters for KAM. Do you know about them?"

When he responded, "Yes, I was the founder of KAM", one of the men had a shocked look on his face and replied, "You're Dave Patty??" We all had a good laugh about that!

This man then told Dave he'd heard about the book he'd written and said he's been wanting to read it. Dave had a copy in his briefcase so pulled it out and gave it to the man. He thanked Dave and we talked just a little bit longer before Dave said he had to get back to his sermon prep!

About ten minutes went by when Dave felt a tap on his shoulder.

I was reading on my phone so had it in my hand, and felt prompted to take a photo of it happening, though had no idea what would transpire!

The man said he couldn't help overhearing the conversation that Dave had about his book, and he wondered if he could look at the copy that he'd given to the other people. Dave asked him why he was interested and he said, "I'm a father of a teenage boy and I'd like to be a better father." Dave shared that while the book is about God as Father, it could certainly be helpful to him as a dad too; and then Dave gave him a copy too (thankfully he'd had two Czech copies of it in his backpack).

For the next hour the man read the book, sitting just behind Dave.

When he reached his stop he said to Dave, "This is an amazing book", and thanked him for it before getting off the train.

Dave wrote his email address in the book, so perhaps he'll hear back from him sometime. But if not, we know God was at work in that train compartment this evening, weaving a story for his purposes!