Thursday, November 21, 2013

Days until Christmas

Before I was married I just assumed that we would spend one year with my husbands family and the next year with my family.  That's the way it was when I was growing up.  Why would it be any different when I got married?  Maybe because I married into the Patty Family!  They have always lived in different countries and been spread around the world since long before I came around!  So we have seen each other for Christmases.  Sometimes we get Christmas with one brother or the other.  Sometimes Mom and Dad have come to visit.  Once we were in the states for a couple months on furlough and got to spend the holiday with my parents.  But the idea of flying all of us back to the states at high season for just a couple of weeks has never been a viable option.  Until now.

Decorating the tree last year.  Can you see Kendra in the corner?  She thinks she's so funny!

Rebecca in 2012 decorating the tree.

Every 3 years or so the Patty Family tries to have some kind of a reunion.  Each year we get a little smaller as the grand kids are involved with jobs, getting married and starting families of their own.  We realized we are reaching the end of being able to count on all of us being there.  We sat around the lunch table with Josh's brother Dave saying, "How and when could do this with all of us?"  Christmas came up and right after it the realization that our family is the only one overseas this year.  With the rest of the siblings being in the states we wondered if this might be the year for us to do our first ever Patty Family Christmas!

So the result is that we are counting down the days until our first ever Christmas in Denver!  And we are so excited!  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

One year ago tonight.....

It was one year ago tonight that Klemen came over for dinner and joined us for family night.  That really wasn't unusual.  He's done it so many times!  We laugh because when he first started popping in on the one night of the week we reserve for just "us" time; no one really had the heart to turn him away.  When there finally was a night he didn't show up we all felt like it just wasn't family night without him!

But one year ago was a particularly special family night.  It was the night we all drew our own version of what Luke is holding in this picture:  The Bridge Illustration
We were having dinner on the back porch.... you can see everyone sitting there in the back ground.  That's Klemen in the red shirt. Josh had said to the kids, "Next week all of you (even Luke) are headed to English camp.  While you are there you will meet some people who don't know Jesus and don't realize that He died to pay for their sins.  I want all of you to be able to explain the Good News with nothing but a napkin."  

We always make a plan for family night.  Sometimes it's just a movie or going for a walk and other times it's a discussion or even a lesson.  We'd decided this would be our family night before we knew that Klemen was going to join us.  We had been sharing with him over the years but in recent days we'd been discussing more and more what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus.  So we charged ahead with our plan for the night and everyone got a marker and a napkin and started to draw.

We drew mankind and God separated by sin.  Alongside were written the verses Romans 3:23 and 6:23.  Next we drew a cross as a bridge between the two and wrote across it John 3:16 because God loved us so much that He sent his one and only Son.  Then we drew an arrow showing that while we can believe we have to respond by doing what Romans 10: 9 &10 talks about and confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts that Jesus is Lord and you will be saved.  

Klemen took careful notes and wrote down each verse and translated the important words into Slovene like Confess, Believe and Accept.  He slept over that night and after the guys had turned the lights out Blake asked him, "Where do you think you are at with God?"  They had a great talk!  And I LOVE to hear Klemen tell it.  I'll never forget him telling me the next day, "My heart just started pounding out of my chest because as Blake was explaining things to me I started thinking, 'Whatever he tells me to do next I'm going to do!'" And he did!  That night, one year ago tonight, Klemen accepted Jesus payment for his sins and asked Him to be his Lord and his Savior.  

We have seen the fruit of his decision all year long and we are so proud of him. This year Blake and Klemen are part of the Slovene staff team at English camp (and Becca too).  Would you pray for them as they continue to lead others as they follow Christ? All three of them are a part of the band leading songs at camp. Klemen will also be a part of leading the late night events.  We are praying that many more young Slovenes would know what it means to accept that gift and know and love God.   And we are praying that He'll use Klemen and people like him to do just that!  

Just one more piece..... this spring Klemen decided to be baptised at our annual church retreat to Crkvenica.  If you'd like to hear him give his testimony in person you can click on this link: here

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A fresh new look

Here's Becca back in January 2012 just before we jumped in the car to go get her braces on.  Although she has always had a pretty smile, some of the teeth you couldn't see needed the work.  I will admit I felt a bit nervous about working with an orthodontist in a second language; but since both Josh and I had braces as kids we knew it would be inevitable that some of our children would need to navigate this hurdle here in Slovenia.

The Lord led us to Dr. Pavšič and we liked him right away!  He spoke clearly and kindly and (at that time) had his grey hair pulled back in a pony tail. He has to be the grooviest orthodontist I've ever met!
It's only been a year and a half long process and I don't think Becca has minded them at all.  In fact I suspect she might even miss them.  Braces are the new black, y'know.  
But today all that changed and here is our finished product!