Birthday Boy

Judah’s first birthday was VERY memorable.

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

Cheerful traveling birthday boy!

He spent it in the car seat!

We drove back from our support raising trip to Chicago on November 11th, meaning that the birthday boy was strapped in for a good 12 hours. He was a trooper though! The Lord has certainly gifted us with a good traveler. It must be those strong Missionary Kid genes (he is a third-generation MK)!

It must not have been all that traumatizing, because shortly after we returned to Tennessee Judah gave us a very sweet gift.

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

On the move!

Yes, Judah is walking! While he had been taking small steps on his own before, he is now in full-on upright mode. Fearless, joyful, and precise, he is a wonder to watch grow up.

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

Happy Birthday Judah! #birthdayboy

Later on in the week we had a proper first birthday party for the little man. Doesn’t it feel like just yesterday we first brought him home?! Marmie and Gramps hosted a party at the house, and we invited Judah’s great-grandparents for presents and dessert. Of course, Judah’s absent aunts and uncle wouldn’t miss this occasion, so we video-chatted them in!

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

Judah with great-grandpa Ragan, as aunt Claire and uncle Caleb saying hello from afar. (Lara’s sister Jessica also said hi!)

After enjoying his new toys, Judah partook in his first birthday cake. We were hoping to do a proper cake-smash, but alas, Judah is just too much like his dad. Rather than throwing cake everywhere (as uncle Caleb was known to do), he preferred to take it slow: eating small, manageable pieces so as not to make too much of a mess.

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

There’s not even frosting on his shirt! Also notice his proper etiquette in eating with a fork.

We rejoice and delight in the son the Lord has given us. Although we celebrate him daily, it is particularly special to celebrate a first birthday. It’s an honor to be this little man’s parents, and to get to know him as the unique person that God created. This is what I wrote of him on this first birthday:

Thanks, Judah, for making us parents one year ago. You bring us so much joy! You are so curious, engaging, playful, and discerning. We continue to pray that you will come to know your Savior and be a blessing to many people. Happy Birthday!

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

Would you pray with us for this little Missionary-Kid-in-training?

 

Getting off the Ground

We are excited to say that we are getting things off the ground!

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

Fall 2016 JV Missionaries in Training

The week after our vision trip to Czech, we met up with other new JV missionaries-in-training in Wheaton for orientation. We had a wonderful week of sharing stories, receiving coaching, and being prepared for this stage in the journey. It was special for us to develop friendships with people who we will be serving with over in Europe soon.

Once we returned to Tennessee, we spent several weeks getting adjusted back into our new jobs and planning for the months to come. We wrote our support letter, finalized our budget, and began printing materials.

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

A familiar skyline.

Before we knew it, we were on our way back up to Chicago! We reconnected with old friends and had many opportunities to share about what God is doing in the Czech Republic. It really is a tremendous blessing to share our story and invite others to participate in God’s work in Central and Eastern Europe.

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

Judah at the kids table while the parents socialize!

It was a special treat to spend a whole day at Moody. Despite having graduated three years ago, we still ran into a lot of people we know and love. It is my sister Claire’s last semester there, so we especially appreciated time with her! Moody continues to have a special place in both our hearts, as a place where we grew both spiritually and academically. We look forward to facilitating that kind of a learning environment in the Czech Republic!

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

Lara with Judah outside her old dormitory, Smith Hall.

One of the major reasons we took this trip up to Chicago was so I could defend my Master’s thesis. I had spent hundreds of hours writing since June, resulting in a 151-page 431-footnote thesis on “blessing and curse in Genesis 1-11.” It was an incredibly rich and stretching process of learning. The final step before graduation was to defend my work. After two hours with two Old Testament professors, I am happy to say that I received a full pass! This means I am able to submit my thesis with little revision and graduate this December.

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

On Trinity’s campus about to head in to defend my Master’s thesis.

Things are getting off the ground. Life continues to move quickly; but we don’t want to miss a moment! These are sweet days of asking God to pave the way for us. We are stretched as we learn to trust God more, and we also rejoice at the opportunity to invite others to be a part of God’s movement among the nations.

screenshot-of-support-letter

A sneak peek of our support letter. Let us know if you’d like a copy!

If God is calling you to be a part of this ministry, please consider joining our support team. Our goal is to reach Czech by the summer of 2017, but we can only do that if we reach 100% support. Right now we are at about 7% of our monthly goal of $6,800 ($3,200 salary, $3,600 ministry budget). We would be overjoyed for you to join us as we follow God’s call on our lives!

Where God is Leading

If you tracked with us during our vision trip to the Czech Republic, you know how encouraging of an experience it was for us. While we hoped that God would open doors, he opened more than we could have even hoped for. We came back knowing exactly where and how God would have us serve.

Can we share with you where God is leading us?

img_20160915_165208-1

Us with Tom, Klára, and Mia at the Ostrava Zoo

The picture above is of us with our future ministry partners. Tom and Klára Michalko (with their daughter Mia) are young church planters. God has given them a burden for healthy reproducing churches in their city of Ostrava. They have been developing a leadership team for the past two years and will be officially planting a church for young believers this coming February. These are gifted servants with a heart for the lost among their people!

img_20160922_155104_1

Tom with his dad Milan. Milan is the director of KAM, JV’s Czech partner organization.

This is one of many stories of God moving in Czech. We have been asked to serve alongside leaders like Tom and Klára in strengthening the local Church in Ostrava. We will do this by leading Bible studies, developing teaching curriculum, and discipling young leaders.

 

img_20160923_083543

God is also opening up doors to equip these young leaders in a more formal setting. Josiah Venture is in discussion with ForMission about the possibility of offering an accredited undergraduate degree in Theology and Mission to national leaders across all 13 of the JV countries. We are hoping this can begin in the Fall of 2017. We have been asked to help direct this program from the Czech Republic, and are delighted to be able to teach and disciple these students!

11057226_481169822042715_4900749841278079362_n

God has gone before us and has prepared the perfect place for us to serve. We are so excited!

Our goal is to be in Czech by Summer 2017. But we can only do that once we have reached 100% support. Would you pray and consider partnering with us?

sept17-ostrava_11

We need both financial partners and prayer partners. For now you can give easily online. We would also love to talk more with you in person or over Skype in the coming months. If you’re interested in talking or hosting us, please reach out! And please let us know how we can be praying for you.

God is moving in Central and Eastern Europe. Thank you for joining us as we seek to be a part of His work!

josiah-venture-fall-conference-2016

National workers and missionaries with Josiah Venture across 13 different countries. JV Fall Conference 2016.

Czech Vision Trip – Part 1

We have had an amazing week.

sept17-ostrava_9

A little over a week ago we boarded a plane in Chicago headed to Europe. Judah took his first international flight like a champ, sleeping the whole plane ride over the ocean. He’s already showing signs of being an excellent Missionary Kid!

Processed with VSCO

As soon as we arrived in Czech we hit the ground running. We had breakfast with a young Czech couple, lunch with a pastor and his wife, and dinner with a local missionary family. And that was just the first day!

img_20160913_115625_1

Ondra and Annie, church leaders in Havířov (getting married on Friday!)

We’ve been able to witness local ministry, meet with Czech leaders, and visit with some childhood friends. We have been so encouraged by what God is doing here, and are thrilled that he has invited us to be a part of it. The faith of these young leaders is contagious. There is still much work to be done, but the Czech church is up for the challenge.

img_20160914_174211

A Fusion youth choir in Frýdlant, led by friends I grew up with in youth group.

We approached this trip eager to receive clearer direction from the Lord about our future. Even with this anticipation,we have been shocked at how clearly God has led us this week! He has gone before us in powerful ways, preparing conversations and bringing wise leaders to give us counsel.

As things continue to come together, we will share more details on our near work here in Czech. For now, we want to praise God for his faithfulness in our lives. This week has stirred our hearts once again for healthy churches and biblically-empowered leaders in this country.

img_20160918_123615

A leadership meeting of a church planting team in Ostrava (ClicKostel)

 

This next week we will participate in Josiah Venture’s Fall Conference, where missionaries and national workers from all 13 JV countries will be together. Together we will learn about how to be a part of God’s movement here in Europe. Would you pray for this second half of our trip and our time with the JV team?

We have heard so many stories of God’s faithfulness this week. We can’t wait to share them with you soon!

sept17-ostrava_11

 

Thirsty for God

One of the greatest blessings of the last three years has been our church, Immanuel Anglican in Chicago. There we have found a vibrant community of faith, rooted in Scripture, rich in Christian Tradition, and infused with the power of the Holy Spirit. Saying goodbye to Immanuel is perhaps the most difficult part of moving forward in the missionary process. Yet we also know that this is just the beginning of our partnership with this church.

When our pastor Aaron asked if I would like to be a part of a summer team of lay preachers, I was overjoyed for the opportunity to give back to the community that has given us so much. What a better way to end an era than to bless this Church with the Word of God.

20160703_103217706

My sermon, titled “Thirsty for God,” is on Psalm 42, a personal lament over the experience of feeling far from God. The psalmist models for us how to pray in our darkest nights. In Psalm 42, he composes a lament with no resolution, so that others who are in a place of unresolved pain can receive hope.

You can listen online or download the sermon through the link below. May God grant you a deeper trust in Him, even as you persevere in your thirst.

Patty’s are Moving South

Hello Friends and Family!

Tyler and I have some pretty great news- we are moving to Chattanooga, TN this July! It has been quite the journey in making this decision, but we feel that the Lord has been directly guiding us there for awhile now.

A few months ago our land lord came by and was asking us about renewing our lease. At the time we were pretty positive we would stay here in Highland Park, IL. It has felt like home, and Chicago is even more home to us since we’ve been here for 7 years this May!

However, with more thinking, praying, and life events happening we felt that we needed to move forward. Move forward with what exactly? Well, as most of you know we have the deep desire to serve with Josiah Venture in the Czech Republic. We have been praying and talking with friends and family, and now JV about what exactly we are to do there, but things are moving forward!

So, we are moving to Tennessee to spend some very precious time with my family before the big move to Czechia, to give Tyler space to finish his Thesis and graduate from Trinity International University this December, and to eventually begin the support raising process to go with Josiah Venture!

Will you pray with us? This is a big transition for us, and one of many to come. Please pray that the move goes smoothly (we have three weeks to sell all our furniture, donate what’s left and pack). Also that Judah will transition easily and enjoy our new home! And lastly, that you would pray with us and JV/KAM as we continue to talk and figure out our place in the Czech Republic so that we can come along side with them in furthering the kingdom of Christ. We are so excited to see where the Lord will place in ministry there!

With all our love,

Tyle, Lara, and Judah

Easter 2016_2.jpg

Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

A lot has changed since we last blogged! We would love to share with you how God has blessed us in these last months, and how he is leading us heading forward.

Most excitingly, we welcomed Judah Andrew Patty into the world on November 11th, 2015!

We have settled right into being parents, which is easy with such a sweet little boy. We discovered he had some infant food allergies soon after bringing him home, so Lara has been on a strict no-milk, no-soy (in addition to her own no-gluten) diet. She is an amazing mom!

DSC_0080edit

This is our first family Christmas photo, where Judah is a little over a month old!

We just celebrated Judah’s four-month birthday, and he is happy and healthy. We are finding so much delight in his inquisitive, observant, joyful personality!

Judah_37Judah_13

I (Tyler) am on my final semester of classes, and am preparing to take my comprehensive exams on April 1st. After I complete these, I will be able to submit a thesis proposal and begin writing. If all goes well, I will spend the summer and fall writing, and graduate with my Masters in December!

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

We have reached some other major milestones recently.

On March 1st, I (Tyler) completed my 16,500 page course reading list!

This month, we will pay the last of my school bills, and will graduate debt free! The Lord has truly gone before us, and we are so grateful to those of you who helped make this possible.

In February, we began discussions with Josiah Venture and KAM (the Czech national ministry) about moving to the Czech Republic! As my studies come to an end, we are eagerly looking forward to the next step to becoming missionaries.

539638_497749896985012_1270038205_n

Tyler and Lara in Czech three years ago

You’ll hear much more from us soon. But for now, pray for us as we raise Judah, and as I take my comprehensive exams on April 1st!

First Year of Grad School — Check!

The past two months have consistently looked like this…

DSC_0027

With working full time at Intelligentsia, having a full load of classes, and trying to be a good husband to Lara, life has been a bit of a juggling game. Even though it has been exhausting at times, I wouldn’t trade this for anything. God has taught me to be more disciplined, more reliant on him, and more engaged with the people and tasks before me.

I’m happy to report that my first year of grad school is complete!

photo 4

Lara has been the most incredible wife throughout this journey. She’s persevered during busy weeks, voiced her need to spend time with me when I have been distant, and really entered into this time of growth with me. We are so happy with where we are at right now, especially as we await the arrival of our little one!

photo 1 (1)

Let me share some highlights of the semester with you.

1) Studying under Dr. Averbeck, with whom I had two classes this semester. Dr. Averbeck is a leading biblical scholar and one of the top Sumerologists in the world, and also happened to be my mentor’s mentor! He is such a kind and knowledgable man. He has taught me the importance of thorough study and sound research, the necessity of understanding the Bible in its cultural context, and what joy there can be in studying God’s word. He pushed me beyond my limits —  I wrote two papers for him that I never believed I could write before.

photo 2 (1)

2) Taking a class with PhD students. One of Dr. Averbeck’s classes was titled “Literature of the Ancient Near East,” and consisted mostly of PhD students. We spent the semester reading a massive amount of primary and secondary literature in order to better understand the Bible in its cultural context. At the end of the semester, we each wrote a (long!) paper on a topic of our choice, and presented it to the class (for feedback and critique). The experience and discipline of rubbing shoulders with students of this high of a caliber was incredibly valuable.

photo 3

3) Attending this year’s Midwest Evangelical Theological Society Meeting. Last year I presented a paper at the Midwest ETS conference; this year, Lara and I got to go see my good friend John present! It was such a privilege to be able to support John and Jenna; they are both at Trinity and have been our closest friends during this season. It was so encouraging to be back at Moody for this event, where some of the greatest issues for the church and theology were discussed in an open, honest, and constructive way. We also got to meet up with Dr. Schmutzer and hear him present a paper on Creation theology and its implications for our understanding of sexuality.

DSC_0066

DSC_0063

4) Becoming members at our church on Easter Sunday. For the past year, Lara and I have been attending a new church plant on Chicago’s north side. We have been so loved, fed, and strengthened by this community of believers, and felt the Lord calling us to offer our own gifts and resources during my study at Trinity. Immanuel Anglican is a liturgical church with deep roots and such vibrant faith. What a joy to join into the life of this church on the day we celebrated the power of Jesus’ own resurrection into new life!

DSC_0034 DSC_0052

First year of graduate school — check!

We Are Pattys Three

Guess what?! Tyler and I are expecting a new little addition to our family in November 2015!!

TL 2.2

We could not be more excited! Prayers appreciated for my cravings, moods, and nausea that Tyler has to put up  with; and prayers for him too!! At least he’s getting a lot of school work done at night since I’m going to bed at 7pm every day:)

We will update as we go, but we are SO excited to share this news and to have this adventure!!

TL 6