Over the last two weeks we had the opportunity to share our hearts for Cache County with 5 separate churches. The Lord opened the way for us to be part of a round-robin missions conference in south-central Utah, visiting 4 churches in as many days, as well as be with our friends the Sondergaards in Nyssa, OR, and meet up with a few other pastors regarding future meetings at their churches.
It was exhausting and joyful at the same time. We enjoyed many hours of fellowship and worship with each church family, and appreciated the generosity and hospitality offered in each location. Yet the many miles, constant location changes, and daily presenting required a lot of energy! But as the Lord opened the door to minister, He also supplied the strength we needed for each day. We were encouraged both by others who prayed for us faithfully as we went out, and also by the constant reminder that God will provide the strength we need to minister in Cache County.
It is these small lessons (that the Lord strengthens for what He calls us to do) that are at times almost imperceptible, and we miss all too often. We are reminded of Paul on his various journeys and the difficulties he faced . . . and yet how willingly he went out, even after he was shown what "great things" he would suffer for the sake of Christ (cf. Acts 9). Our road ahead may be long and hard, with many miles and many stops along the way, but as we reflect on the great cost of our salvation and Paul’s words, we are more ready to spend and be spent for the sake of Christ. We eagerly look forward to the ministry in Cache County which God has called us to by His grace!
We are looking forward to having some time closer to home over the next two months! But we won't be in Kemmerer the whole time. In accordance with some wise advice from a fellow church-planting pastor in the West, we are making plans to spend about a week in Logan in early December for some dedicated "boots on the ground" time in the area.
Several people have recently shared contact information with us for people in Cache County who might be interested in meeting with us, and want to connect with them as soon as possible. We also want to start making inquiries about starting a Bible study at Utah State, beginning a regular radio broadcast, and other possible outreach opportunities across the county. It would also be helpful to spend more time surveying the northern part of the county in more detail.
We are looking at staying in Logan the first week of December, and are estimating that it will cost around $500 for lodging, plus meals. If you feel led to send a special gift for this particular need, please mail either to us directly or to our mission board.
We would love your continued prayers for more churches and individuals to commit to supporting us financially! We are confident that God will provide what we need in His perfect timing . . . but the wait sometimes feels long, and we are eager to get to the field as soon as possible!!
We would also appreciate prayers for more work and/or increased financial support. James has been in between computer jobs for a while now - yet as we consider our future deputation schedule, there's not much time to fit in regular full-time work. We know that God will provide what we need, when we need it, but we'd appreciate your prayers as he seeks to find more contract jobs and spends time working on some long-term projects that could hopefully generate some passive income.
And prayers for good health and energy are always a must! Elizabeth continues to adjust her medication levels, and taper down on the prednisone. She has been doing well so far, but we would certainly love continued prayers for good results so that she can continue to work and minister faithfully.
Finally, dedicated prayers for a profitable week in Logan next month would be greatly appreciated. Please pray that God would provide a few more contacts before that week, enable us to meet with each one of them, and provide clear direction for doing preliminary work for specific outreach opportunities.
Thank you for your faithful prayers and generous support! We look forward to sharing more with you as God continues to lead us toward the field!
For the Sake of His Name,
James & Elizabeth Johnson