As many of you know, February was a bit chaotic with car issues and lots of travel for James. Our Chevy Uplander began having more problems, as we described in our previous emails. But praise be to God for His provision of a free, new-to-us Toyota Sienna! We are still working on getting the title (being held up by insurance) and need to do some minor work to it for functionality's sake, but the vehicle is in good condition. In the meantime, God has kept the Uplander running well enough for all the travel James has been doing.
Our travels started with a trip to Salt Lake City for Elizabeth to have a regular doctor's appointment at the University of Utah medical center. The Lord has shown His care for us as she continues to receive good reports and appear to be doing well in the western climate. She is adjusting some of her medications, due to improved lab results, so prayers would be appreciated for all of that to continue going well.
A few days later, James traveled on Army orders back to South Carolina for his Chaplain Endorser's (Associated Gospel Churches) Annual Training. He spent a week attending the conference and also had a chance to meet up with our home pastor, Doug Payne from Faith Baptist of Reidville, SC, and others to introduce and share updates on our church planting ministry.
After returning home, James had two back-to-back drill weekends with the National Guard. On the first weekend, he met his new Battalion and Chaplain Assistant in Springville, UT. On the second, during training for the entire Utah Army National Guard Chaplain Corps, he had the opportunity to preach the Gospel to the entire Corps, which is predominately LDS.
James has also made several "quick trips" to National Guard headquarters in Utah, to continue what's necessary for moving his chaplain packet along. It is finally complete (as far as we know) and under review in Washington, D.C., and will hopefully be with the Utah National Guard review board sometime in April. He should know by the end of next month whether he's been accepted as a National Guard Chaplain and recommended for promotion to the rank of Captain.
Meanwhile, we have continued serving with the Hartman's at Grace Baptist, and James has continued helping with the weekly Bible studies and jail ministry as he's been in town. He will also be helping Pator Hartman provide interim care for another small church a few hours away, while they are between pastors.
We continue to enjoy the climate and culture of the area, although we are eager for spring to come and stay a while! Much of the snow has melted, thanks to a few weeks of beautiful 50-degree weather, but we've had quite a few one-day snow squalls recently . . . creating lots of mud and slush, and a heightened flood-risk for the first time in several decades. The western part of Wyoming received above-normal amounts of snow this year, along with warmer temperatures in March, so there has been a lot of rapid melting from the peaks and slopes, all draining down into a few rivers. Please be in prayer for peace and safety for our region as we deal with the increased risks.
We are also starting to set up meetings for deputation! It looks like we'll be heading east around late August - let us know if you, or a pastor you know, would be interested in having us present our ministry. And of course, prayers for wisdom and provision for all of that would be greatly appreciated!
In short, here's how you can pray for us:
We so very much appreciate your support!
For the Sake of His Name,
James & Elizabeth Johnson