Family On Mission

Dear Friends,

On May 31st I was both the pastor… and dad.

My son Caleb stood beside me as we both watched Haley walk down the aisle in Fort Collins, Colorado. She was stunning in her flowing white dress, handmade for her in Poland. But the smile that lit up her face was even more beautiful. I didn’t dare look sideways at my son – I was fighting to hold myself together and couldn’t risk a total meltdown. It’s hard to be a good pastor when you can’t speak.

I could see Haley’s parents in the audience on my right. They are fellow JV missionaries who courageously moved their family of six to Slovakia three years ago so they could use their musical gifts to reach young people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m so proud of them and the way they are daily living out one of JV’s core values – bold faith.

On my left stood five handsome groomsmen. Noah grew up in Czech with Caleb and just graduated from 13 years in the Czech school system – an amazing accomplishment. Jacob just finished his first year in college in the States, but grew up as the son of JV missionaries in Poland. Caleb’s brother Tyler was there, his cousin Justin and a young man from Ireland named Shane. All but one are children of missionaries, and every one of them are passionately following Jesus. I love these guys.

So what does the pastor say at such an important event? I talked about how to have a storybook marriage – by letting God be the author and following his instructions. “Those who experience storybook marriages do so because they follow the storyline given in the book,” I shared. I expressed my joy in the fact that this had already characterized their lives and my confidence that it would continue in the future.

I’m glad my last lines were short because I barely got through them. “I now pronounce you man and wife!” I said, my voice cracking. The audience cheered.

We hung around for hours – six more to be exact. It is precious to serve the Lord with people you dearly love.

Today I am a missionary… and still a dad. I’m glad Josiah Venture is a family on mission.

Dave Patty President, Josiah Venture