2017 Update: A Patient Urgency

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! Continue reading

Support-Raising in Colorado

With the Summer over and Fall beginning, this means we get back on the road!


Thank you to all who prayed for our trip to Colorado. We had a wonderful time connecting with friends, family, and a dear church in the Denver area.

We fly out to the Northwest next week to continue seeking partners in our ministry. We are currently at 54% of our needs, with a little over 100 days to reach 100%. Join our team here:


Highlights from Colorado included:

1. Great time with friends at 8,200 ft in Florissant


2. Meeting our nephew Charlie in Fort Collins (and having Caleb and Haley meet Asher)


aug28 fam visit

3. Sweet memories with Grandpa and Nana Patty, who love their grandchildren and great-grandchildren so well



4. Sharing our story with Bethany E-Free, a church with a long history of missions involvement and partnership with the Patty family




Asher David Patty

We are now a family of FOUR!!


Asher David Patty was born June 12th 2017 at 9:29PM at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. At birth he weighed 6 lbs 13 oz, and measured 19.5 in. He arrived quickly — Lara was only in labor for 3 hours! We are praising the Lord for a healthy delivery.


The next morning, Lara’s parents brought Judah to meet his little brother for the first time. At just 19 months, we weren’t sure how much he would understand about what was happening. But, amazingly, Judah felt immediately drawn to Asher. “Baby?” You could see in his eyes that this wasn’t just any baby: it was HIS baby brother.


This, I think, is a cool illustration of the way God knits together families. While we in Western society place great value on individuality, this experience reminded me of how central community is to our identity. There is something deeper than shared DNA that unites these two boys. God has made a brotherly link between them, one that we pray only grows stronger in the years to come!


A little now about Asher David’s name.


Asher comes from the Hebrew אשׁר, meaning “happy, blessed.” The best example of the word is found in Psalm 1. We pray our Asher embodies this song of wisdom:

Happy (אשׁרי) is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.


His middle name, David, is also Hebrew (דוד), and probably means “beloved.” But this name is special because it is a family name: after my (Tyler’s) dad, Dave. We hope and pray that Asher David loves God and people as much as his grandfather!


Lara and I love being parents! It’s hard work, but oh so rewarding. We are excited that both these boys will grow up in Czech as missionary kids!


Our goal is to move to Czech by December 2017, but we can only do that once we have reached 100% of our support. God is providing, as we are at 40% now! But there is still a way to go. We still need partners who will pray and give.

Would you like to be a part of what God is doing in the Czech Republic? If so, please consider becoming a monthly donor to our ministry HERE, and help our family of four get to the field!



Master’s in Old Testament

Two and a half years ago, I enrolled in a Master’s program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.


Me in 2014, just after being accepted to Trinity.

Last Friday night, I received my hood and a Master’s degree in Old Testament and Semitic Languages!


Czech is where I came from, and Czech is where I am going! 

When I look back at where we were two and a half years ago, I am struck by two things.

First, we have stayed the course in the vision God gave us. Back in 2014, we knew that God was calling us to be a part of training the next generation of Christian leaders in the Czech Republic. This vision sustained us during these years, giving purpose to my study and our preparation. Now we are raising support with Josiah Venture, on the cusp of seeing that vision become a reality!

Second, God has expanded that original vision. In 2014, we had no idea whether there would be a job waiting for us at the other end of Trinity. We fully expected that it would be many more years before we would be able to work in formal theological education. Not so! We get to start right away, helping facilitate a BA in Theology and Mission for young leaders. Moreover, this program will be available to more than just Czechs, but also to Slovaks, Poles, Slovenes, Croats, Estonians, and more.


I loved my time at Trinity. I am so grateful for what I received. Now I am excited to pass that along!

I’m so grateful for Lara’s support during this season. We’ve grown a lot together through this; this degree is hers as much as it is mine. I honestly could not have done it without her. What a joy to welcome Judah into the world in the last years of my program; I will forever treasure memories of studying with that baby boy on my lap!


I’m also so grateful for my parents, who have encouraged and supported us at every stage of this process. It was such an honor to have them be at my graduation, visiting all the way from the Czech Republic. We can’t wait to live closer (just 30 minutes away) and do ministry with you in Czech soon!


My siblings have also been incredible supporters during these years. They’ve always been eager to hear what I am learning, acting regularly as my teaching guinea pigs! I’m so grateful they have been a big part of our lives, especially in their new roles as aunts and an uncle.


Finally, I’m so thankful for the faithful friendship of John and Jenna Perrine. I met John during orientation at Moody in 2009, and our lives have been closely intertwined ever since. We have loved living close to them and going through life together.

I’ve had an amazing experience at Trinity. I’ve grown academically, personally, and spiritually. Now that I’ve been equipped, I’m excited to equip others!

Birthday Boy

Judah’s first birthday was VERY memorable.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.


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?


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!


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.



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!


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?


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!


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.


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!

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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!


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.


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.


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!



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.


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.