A Special Kind of Joy
Dave Patty | February 2017
There are some moments that fill me with a special kind of joy.
Whenever someone puts their faith in Christ, I can’t wipe the smile off my face. The Bible says the angels rejoice, which is a big deal. I always feel like I get to taste a bit of their joy!
Another special joy comes when I see something I’ve dreamed of and prayed for actually come to pass. I felt this in late January as I met with our 34 new JV national staff during their week of training and orientation.
One of JV’s core values is indigenous empowerment. We believe that in order to reach the youth of Central and Eastern Europe, gifted young people from the local soil need to be mobilized into mission. They first serve in their local youth groups and churches, and then some of them join our team so they can mobilize and equip others across their nations.
The dynamic created by this multinational team is amazing! Among the new JV staff were gifted young leaders from Estonia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Czech, Slovenia, Poland and even Brazil, Holland, and Norway. Many of them had trusted Christ or been discipled through JV ministries. All were taking bold steps of faith to become national missionaries, committed to raising their own financial support and serving God full-time.
Bogdan is starting a street ball league in the capital city of Romania to help local churches reach young men. Vlada is leading a brand-new network of almost 300 Christian teachers in Czech schools, equipping them to be salt and light and share the gospel through their daily contact with young people. Sasa has been making disciples in his local Ukrainian church for 15 years and now will be training youth leaders across Ukraine. Since their church began as a youth group (the pastor, at 27, was the oldest person in the church), he is especially prepared to help others.
Baiba trusted Christ through a youth group in Latvia and was already discipling other girls at 17. Later she realized that most Latvian young people don’t have the opportunity to be part of a dynamic youth group like she was —and she wants to help change that! Kenneth went to Estonia from Norway on a short-term missions trip and never left. Now he is fluent in Estonian, and his youth ministry experience will be a huge asset as he joins the JV Estonia team to equip others.
Watching these 34 new missionaries gave me double the joy as I pictured all those who are going to trust Christ because of their service. Will you join me in prayer for these national JV staff members as they take bold steps of faith in obedience to Christ?
Praying, and rejoicing, with you,