We've had a long nine months of waiting for God's timing in moving West, and all of sudden things are happening! There's been a lot of exciting developments over the past few weeks regarding our cross-country move, and everything's starting to come together rather quickly.
The first detail to fall into place was the Lord's provision of a full-time work-from-home computer programming job for James. This was a big step toward narrowing down our internship location, since it will mean he doesn't have to depend on finding an EMS job in the community. The flexibility of working from home will also be a blessing as he juggles ministry, military, and marriage along with it.
Not long after that, he was finally able to take - and pass - the Army's PT test, which allowed him to begin the military transfer process. He has the full blessing of both Utah and South Carolina state chaplains, and there are quite a few openings for him to serve as a chaplain in the Utah National Guard. Now it's mostly a matter of getting all the digital pieces together and moving paperwork along (that old axiom, "hurry up and wait!").
Once those pieces fell into place, we started discussing internship locations with our mission board director, and he connected us with a missionary pastor in Kemmerer, Wyoming. It's a small town but they have the basic necessities - including the most critical medical care for me, a few grocery stores, local pharmacy, library, and 2 pizza places. :) The church is small (about 20 core members, plus another 20-30 sporadic attenders) but has been around for over a dozen years - in fact, James visited there on his missions trip in 2003 - and there's plenty of opportunities for both of us to be involved in serving on Sundays and throughout the week, both in the church and in the community. It's also close enough to Logan (about 2 hours) that we can make day trips over there every few weeks to familiarize ourselves with the area and hopefully start establishing contacts there. I'll also be establish most of my more specialized doctors there, to have continuity once our internship is finished and we can (hopefully) settle in Logan.
Kemmerer seems like it may be a good fit overall and we are hoping to confirm it officially by the end of this week! The plan is to intern there for a year, both to grow in our ministry capacity as well as acclimate to the Mormon culture, then transition to Logan and begin whatever deputation is necessary. So for those of you along the east coast, we should be back (briefly) sometime next spring or summer. :)
Based on how everything is coming together, we are looking at moving West the last week of April - just over a month from now! We would certainly appreciate your prayers for all the details that need to come together between now and then. If you've ever moved across state lines, you know some of the challenges we're facing. Here's some of the specific prayer requests we have right now:
We are so excited to see how God will continue writing our story! Every detail that has come together has been completely in His perfect way and time - and often before we even tried to figure it out ourselves! We've received confirmation over and over again that this is the path God wants us to walk right now.
We appreciate your support too - the love and prayers you all so freely offer - and can't wait to share how God continues to direct!
For the Sake of His Name,
James & Elizabeth Johnson