Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Same kind of warm as Dad

Josh's brother Dave is our boss and the president of JV.  He writes a letter every month and sends it out to the folks who give and pray for the different ministries around Eastern Europe.  It's a great letter and if you are interested in receiving it let me know and I'll get you on the list.  When I read them I always get a sense of the genuiness of real people, following the Lord on His agenda. 

This month he wrote this letter.  I just had to copy it here on our blog for you all to read. I can't wait for Luke to get home from school this afternoon to read it to him! 
Dear Friends,
One of the challenges of living overseas is that family is often very far away.   Our parents live across an ocean, and now so do two of our kids, studying at college in the States.  So it is a special treat for me to have my brother Josh on the Josiah Venture team, leading our ministry in Slovenia. 
I was with him last week and enjoyed a wonderful evening being family and talking about what God is doing in Slovenia.  Relating to his delightful children was a special joy for me.
As I was on my way home to Czech, Josh’s wife, Kristi , sent me a text message with a  quote from their six year old son Luke.  “I miss Uncle Dave”, he said.  “He’s the same kind of warm as my dad.”
Way to make your uncle’s day, Luke!  I had a long drive to smile about that one. 
But then I started looking at the towns and villages I was passing through.  So few of the people who live there know Jesus.  Because of that, they are far, very far away from God’s family.  
What could possibility reach them?  For most, God is either a relic from the past, or an icon from the old, empty stone church in the center of town. 
Luke’s comment tapped into the dream I have for the Josiah Venture team.  That we would be the “same kind of warm” as our Dad, to these people. That our presence would bring the Father near to everyone we meet.  
In the middle of September our entire team gathers together for the JV Fall training conference.  Our theme is the lost, and how we can reach more of them with the good news of Jesus.
Thanks for helping us bring Him near,
Dave Patty
President, Josiah Venture

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

My Fazana!

Rebecca after her first day of school
This isn't the normal picture I've seen moms posting on Facebook for the first day of school.  But out of all the pictures we took on Monday, this just seemed to be the one that said it all!  It's the annual tradition here that the upperclassmen get to write the letter F all over the new Fazani (Freshmen) and they got Rebecca good!  But as you can see, she's loving every minute of it!

You might remember that there were some tense days for us regarding school this spring.  In April it was time to turn in high school applications.  We prayed about it, listened for the Lord's leading and Rebecca felt led to Gimnazia Poljane and specifically to the Classical Program which has a strong emphasis on languages including Latin.  Josh and I both agreed with her and so she put in her application.

During that waiting period we really felt the truth that faith is a muscle; the more you use it the more it grows!  We started to hear rumors about the point system and how high it was at Poljane.  Then we heard that all the kids who applied to Blake's school made it because they had extra space.  We began to doubt if she should have applied there.  Even some kids from school started giving her a hard time and telling her that Poljane wasn't for her and she'd never make it in.

One day she came home and told us about how she had told classmates that she felt like this was where God was leading her.  But she was beginning to get nervous.  What if she didn't make it in and He looked bad or she looked like a lunatic?  We remembered the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and how they had said, "We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Dan. 3:17-18

Rebecca joined them in saying, I know you've led me here God.  You do what you think is best.  I'm not holding you to a place where you have to do this for me.  I still trust You.
Rebecca and Josh at the Croatian coast
While we were still waiting to hear if Rebecca had been accepted she told this story and told the people at our church retreat that she wanted to mark this waiting period with an act of obedience.  So in May Josh baptised her in the Adriatic Sea and we waited on the Lord.  

The next week she met with a woman to test her to see if she should receive an exception for school entrance because it appeared she wouldn't have quite enough points for acceptance.  Rebecca said it was such a delightful experience.  This woman said she could see that despite the challenge of language that Rebecca seemed just the sort of person who would do well in high school.  And with a little bit of help from tutors she expected she would do quite well. On that day Rebecca received an exception and Poljane has accepted her.  

She started on Monday and is loving every minute of it already!  She still has to study hard and prove that she's earned this exception but our girl is growing into a young woman who is trusting the Lord with all the unknowns and believing He can rescue her at any moment and in the way that He thinks best.