This has already been a full year, and things are just getting started! Right after Christmas. James went to Kalispell, Montana, and had the opportunity to preach for the winter teen retreat at Lake Blaine Baptist Camp. Attendance was great, the fellowship was refreshing, and he made quite a few contacts with other pastors in the northwestern region of the country. Two weeks later, he was off to the Salt Lake area for Chaplain duty, then flying from there to Florida for the Arch Ministries fellowship meeting. We were blessed that the flights and lodging were covered by the host church and a donor. The fellowship is a group of likeminded pastors who are concerned with or actively planting churches in the US (see more at https://archmin.org). Several Northwest Baptist missionary pastors and other like-minded pastors we know were also in attendance, and it was a great time of fellowship, encouragement, and sharpening. Please pray with us as James contacts several pastors from the fellowship meeting, that we will be able to fit more meetings into our schedule and that this will be the year the Lord provides all the support that we need to get started in Logan.
In the midst of James' traveling, Elizabeth stayed busy ministering in Kemmerer and glorifying God through art. We are exceedingly grateful that she is now off of the two major medications for Wegener's and appears to be continuing to improve. However, continued prayers are always appreciated as Wegener's is likely to flare up occasionally, and she will continue to have regular blood work to monitor for that.
This past weekend, we were able to spend some time in Grantsville, Utah, presenting our ministry at the Mountain View Baptist Church and helping out with some Northwest Baptist Mission related tasks. We have known the pastor (also our mission director) and his wife since our missions trips back in 2003 (the separate trips that God used to call each of us, individually, to ministry in the West), and are always grateful for the times we get to fellowship with them!
On that note, please pray as we begin traveling once again in earnest. One or both of us will be on the road throughout February and March. James has a short trip for his Army endorser's annual conference, then we'll be headed towards the Carolinas, with several stops in either direction. We would greatly appreciate your prayers for safety and provision along the way, as well as opportunities to minister to the pastors and churches where we'll be sharing our ministry. As much as we look forward to serving the Lord in Cache County, our ministry right now is not only in Kemmerer but also to those we meet in the areas God has directed us to for meetings. We would also be grateful for any additional financial support the Lord might lead you to share, as these lengthier trips tend to cost a bit more, between lodging and meals and additional wear on our vehicle.
Also, please be in prayer for a ministry opportunity that the Lord may be opening up to us in this general region of Wyoming. We aren’t in a position to share details yet, but please pray that we are attuned to the Lord’s guidance and know whether to step out in faith or wait for further leading before making a move.
We need prayer for team members as well; we know that we cannot do all the ministry available in Cache County alone, spiritually or physically. We are relying on God for ability and for helpers to come and share the burden of making disciples.
On the personal side of things, James continues to work on some long-term software projects and Elizabeth has been trying to do more with selling her art. We'd love prayers for wisdom, direction, and success in those endeavors! We are both planning to work a bit while on the road, but that's always tricky with long days of traveling and unpredictable energy levels. We're thankful that God has everything planned out, from every penny we need to every meeting we are supposed to take!
Beyond the next two months, we have even more trips planned (or at least being nailed down), from Idaho to California and possibly a few other states on this half of the country. It is going to be a very full year, and that's just the first six months! We are also praying that God would direct in when we could move to Cache County - depending on having sufficient support that we could cut back on non-ministry jobs, as well as at least one couple to help with the work while we're away on Army or further deputation trips. We would love to plan for either mid-summer or early fall, but it's all in God's hands!
For the Sake of His Name,
James & Elizabeth Johnson