The Top 10 Reasons I Love JV - Part 2
Amy Nickerson | May 2017
Hello again! I’m currently in the middle of sharing my top 10 reasons for loving Josiah Venture. If you haven’t read the beginning of this, the first 5 of these reasons are located here.
After being involved in the organization since 1997, first as a JV kid, then as a summer intern, and now as a full-time staff member, I’ll warn you that I am far from being impartial and the opinions included in this article are anything but neutral.
That being said, I love JV and think you should too. Here are the last of my top 10 reasons why.
6) JV is about God-honoring excellence. Working in the main office here in the Czech Republic has given me a behind the scenes look into the effort that goes into all that JV does throughout the 13 countries we work in. I now have a greater appreciation for the desire our staff members have to do everything with God-honoring excellence, which is one of our 5 core values. As a non-profit organization, JV wants to be professional in conduct, taking the time needed to create training resources and ministry tools that are effective. We pay attention to the small details at camps and conferences, working toward meeting high standards of quality in everything we do. But JV does this not to succeed in the eyes of the world, but to honor God and pursue His kingdom here in Europe. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, I am thankful to serve in an organization that strives to do things well, but I’m even more grateful for the reminder that the standards we are striving for are set by God and the reason we pursue them is to glorify Him, and Him alone.
7) JV is about dreaming big. Whether entertaining ideas about an online prayer chain to get people around the world to pray for what God is doing here in Europe or planning expansions for our Malenovice Event Center so that we can equip more leaders each year, Josiah Venture welcomes big dreams. Everyone who knows JV at all knows Dave Patty, the president, is a visionary who is often imagining what God might do in the future. After over 20 years, he is still dreaming and now has a large team behind him who dreams big as well, seeing potential in how things could be, instead of just how they are. I’m happy to be included in that group.
8) JV is about bold faith. This goes with reason number 7, but not only does JV dream big, JV is a group of people who aren’t afraid to step out in faith in order to make those dreams a reality. This is why bold faith is another one of our core values. I’ve seen this modeled numerous times throughout the years, beginning in my own home where my parents moved our family of five overseas twice and showed me that taking the chance to trust God, even when it’s scary or seems impractical and risky, is always worth it. These days, I’m loving getting to hear about all the new and innovative ways JV missionaries are using the gifts and opportunities God’s given them to walk bravely forward in ministry. Some have had crazy discussions with public school or government officials, others have risked sounding like fools in a foreign language, others have committed to buying houses here and settling down even without being married, and others have started entirely new ministries within JV. No matter what, I work with people who are strong and courageous, because they hold onto God’s promise to be with them wherever they go.
9) JV is about family. This is nearing my absolute favorite thing about JV. I honestly have no idea how JV has managed to keep its DNA the same even as it grows, but I’m super glad it has. When my family first arrived in Poland in the 90s, the JV team was only a small group of families living in two countries. We would celebrate Thanksgiving in one room in someone’s house and would have gift exchanges at Christmas time. We were a tight-knit group sharing the same heart for Christ and the youth of post-communist Europe. Today, we’ve outgrown our Malenovice training center in Czech and I can’t always remember everyone’s names. We’re more spread out, which means I don’t see friends I wish I could see very often, maybe only once or twice a year. And keeping up with all that’s going on within the organization is a difficult task, even with technology to help us. But, whether I’m just having lunch at my place with a fellow team member or worshipping alongside the whole group in our tent at a conference, this community still feels like home. JV has always been about relationships, first and foremost, and I’m so grateful that throughout the years, and with plenty of growth, that’s continued to be the case. I find it an absolute privilege to serve alongside the JV staff.
10) JV is about a movement of God. Most importantly, I love JV because it is so clear to me that God is at work here. When I get to conduct interviews with people whose lives have changed drastically because of the gospel, I know that He’s present. When I sit in the office with six other communications team members so swamped with work projects that it is obvious we need more workers, I’m aware that the growing pains means God is moving. He’s in the middle of a great and mighty work that He’s invited us into. And although it’s far from finished, the stories of the past make me even more excited about what is to come. Our vision as Josiah Venture is to see a movement of God among the youth of Central and Eastern Europe that finds its home in the local church and transforms society. This is what we pray for, what we work towards, what we’ve committed ourselves to, but we know this isn’t about us. God is big and good and loves young people here more than we ever could. We’re just happy to be witnesses as He proves it to them.
So, there you have it. These are just the top 10 reasons I love JV. What are yours?