Saturday, 31 October 2015


When I joined Josiah Venture one of the questions I was frequently asked was “Why are you joining an American organisation?” Now, I don’t think JV would describe themselves as an American organisation but I was the first full time missionary from the UK to join and move onto the field with JV. And our staff are half North American and half nationals (people who serve in the county in which they were born).

That meant there was a lot of details we had to figure out – how do we get my support over and processed? Do I go to missionary training in the US like everyone else? What about visas? And health insurance?

Thankfully we were able to figure out most things and there were just a couple of small surprises when I arrived in Czech.

But one thing I remember telling some of our leaders was that I was praying that JV would start JV UK as a charity/sending organisation. I think the response was a chortle and a “maybe in five years.”

Not to be perturbed, I kept praying and even felt from God that JV UK was something I should be praying for. I felt it was really strategic, to start building our base in the UK and hopefully get more short term teams and interns. It would also make the route my support takes a little easier and, in general, raise the profile of the needs of the Gospel in central and eastern Europe.

And then I started to hear the whispers and the maybes. Another family from the UK was hired and they were going to be based in the UK! And it was decided that now was the time to start the process.

Setting up a charity/sending organisation in the UK isn’t a short process, and it isn’t over yet, but on the last day of Fall Conference the UK board members arrived in Czech for some meetings.

Just after Fall Conference ended the JV missionaries from the UK met with the board. After all being introduced, and not a few jokes about geography, we got to share about our lives and ministries, our path to joining JV full time, our needs and prayer requests. It was such a joy- and faith-filled meeting and it was wonderful to meet these men and be prayed over by them.

So here it is – our first official JV UK board members and JV UK missionaries photo! I’m excited to see how God is going to continue to answer prayers and build His kingdom through this venture!

Please be praying for this process as hopefully everything gets completed and we start JV UK. Please be praying for the board as they shepherd the process. And rejoice with me about the God who answers prayers!

For all my wonderful UK financial supporters: when JV UK is fully set up, including Gift Aid status, I will be in touch about how your support will be funnelled over to Czech.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Fall Conference 2015: Unstuck

From 21st-25th September we had our 2015 Fall Conference! So over three hundred youth leaders and missionaries from across central and eastern Europe descended on Frydlant nad Ostravici, a little town in Czech where we have our international office and our hotel/conference centre.

This conference is our training and equipping conference and as people started to arrive on Monday afternoon it was like welcoming family home. From the people who live just across the border in Poland, to people who had spent over fifteen hours driving down from Latvia and Estonia, to people who had flown in from Albania. 

Some of these people I see multiple times a year at meetings and other conferences, some are full time JV missionaries. And then there are other young youth leaders who I maybe only see at this conference. The joy of travelling internationally, especially during the summer, is I've been in twelve of our fourteen countries, and this was my third Fall Conference, so there were many faces I know well.

The theme of the conference was Unstuck and we spent the week looking at ways we need to and how we can get unstuck - in our personal lives, in our local ministries, and in our national and international ministries.

We looked at the tools God has given us to help us get unstuck and live faithful and fruitful lives for His glory. He has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit. We also looked at different theories for analysing problems and how to bring change. There were also lots of breakouts, seminars, and time in small groups.

Here are some photos, with captions, so you can get a feel of our time together.

Dave Patty, our president, sharing how God has been at work in central and eastern Europe through Josiah Venture this last year.

These young Albanian men have planted a church! It is an incredible story and one we long to see across our region - young people coming to Christ, being changed, and seeking to share His Good News with their friends, families and towns.

Brian, one of our vice presidents, working away even during the football games.

Casey in goal during a penalty shoot-out. The JV men are wonderful and love each other dearly... in spite of the annual football tournament.

This is where we met during the day for main sessions: a temporary marquee/tent structure. During the evenings we were in a "Culture House" in the local town, because some of our neighbours don't love how loud conference can be. Please pray for us as we seek to support raise to build an Event Centre!

Inside the tent.

One of my favourite things about Fall Conference is getting to catch up with people, especially our interns from the summer. Here is the beautiful Doroteja from Slovenia.

For the first time ever the "Northern Irish people at conference" photo wasn't a selfie! It was so good to meet and chat with Jenn who has been serving with us up in Latvia for the year.

Fall Conference is usually a time when new materials are rolled out. These are two Bible studies written for new believers. One goes through John and the other Colossians. 

The wonderful Katcha!

Playing team building games that had us thinking and processing how to get unstuck.

Malenovice is beautiful!


I loved having so much time to process the teaching and apply it to my own life, ministry, and context.

Our vision as an organisation remains the same: 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.

And here is the group shot! Please pray for all the people in this photo - that as we seek God and faithfully follow Him we would see Him move mightily in our lives, our ministries and our nations.