How do you maintain a sense of urgency while also patiently trusting God’s timing? That’s been our lesson of the year!
Looking Back: Patience
Last November, we began raising up a team of partners to support us in our ministry to the Czech Republic. We are almost ready to go! Since we began, we have driven thousands of miles, shared our story with hundreds of people one-on-one or in small groups, and seen time and time again God’s faithful hand at work. (Somehow we squeezed in the birth of our second child in there as well!)
Our home-base has been Chattanooga, TN. God has not only surrounded us with community, but he has also opened up some amazing ministry opportunities in this season of transition. Namely, I (Tyler) have been able to work as a worship intern at Lara’s church: discipling the student band, teaching the youth, and leading the contemporary worship service. We have truly been able to practice what we preach, training young leaders right here in Chattanooga. What amazing training for our upcoming ministry in the Czech Republic!
On June 12th, we welcomed a fourth member onto our “missions team:” Asher David Patty! He has been true to his name, happy and truly beloved. Judah just turned two, and can often be found practicing his animal noises, running laps in the yard, or reading books with one of us. Seeing the world through their eyes is a delight. Both boys have been incredible during a season of much travel, instability, and relational demand. A special blessing has been the opportunity to live with Lara’s parents and make memories as a family before our move.
During this year of raising support, God has taught us patience in his timing. Our job is to faithful, and it’s God’s responsibility to bring forth fruit. Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 3 have truly come alive: “I planted the seed and [another] watered it, but God made it grow.”
Looking Forward: Urgency
While trusting his timing, God has continued to knit an urgency in our hearts for the work in Central and Eastern Europe. Josiah Venture’s vision is to see a movement of God among young people, serving in the local church and transforming society. This movement is not just a dream — it is happening right now! God is at work. The harvest is ripe!
Since 2015, Josiah Venture has seen doubled increase of unbelievers at evangelistic activities, and has seen 2.5 times more professions of faith. The largest increase in professions has occurred through the EXIT tour ministry, boldly sharing the gospel in schools and through concerts. In the last year, JV missionaries and nationals across 14 countries interacted with 43,833 unbelievers, shared the gospel with 12,589 of them, and saw 1,869 make professions of faith in Jesus Christ.
God is at work, there is no doubt! So how can we join in on what he is already doing? With more and more young people coming to the faith, there is an even greater need for discipleship, healthy reproducing churches, and Bible education for young leaders. We must shepherd those whom the Lord has entrusted to us, discipling them to become followers of Jesus who in turn make disciples.
As many of you know, this is what our hearts beat for. That’s why we are so excited about our role in the Czech Republic. First, we get to come alongside young church-planters in the Czech city of Ostrava: encouraging, shepherding, and training them. Second, we get to lead a new initiative in theological education, open to young leaders across all 13 JV countries. Should all the pieces come together, JV will be offering an undergraduate degree in Theology and Mission starting September 2018, in partnership with ForMission, a ministry training college in England. What an incredible opportunity we have to invest in the next generation!
Needs Before Departing
Thank you to all of you who have already joined us by giving and praying for our ministry. We are delighted that you are “on mission” with us! Know that you play a crucial role in bringing the Good News to a part of the world that has all-but forgotten about Jesus.
We are nearly ready to go: our target for departure is January. Would you partner with us in the great work that God is doing in the Czech Republic? Would you cover us with prayer as we prepare to transition and begin full-time ministry?
Would you also prayerfully consider giving so that we can meet our financial goals by the end of December? While our desire is to depart in January, that won’t be possible until we are receiving full support. At this time, we have less than 10% to go: about $8,000 toward our outgoing needs (plane tickets, visas, vehicle, etc.), and $650 in monthly recurring giving. Would you consider giving an end-of-the-year gift toward our outgoing needs? Would you also consider coming on-board as a monthly supporter, or if you are already giving, increasing your monthly commitment?
We know this is just the beginning of seeing God do mighty things. We are learning a patient urgency: compelled by the work that still needs to be done, and still trusting God for the fruit in his timing. Thank you for believing in God’s movement in Central and Eastern Europe, and thank you for sending us to play a part in it!
Serving God together,
Tyler, Lara, Judah and Asher