Fall has arrived, and the aspens are a brilliant yellow against the drab landscape, and the temperature is finally cooling off - for which we are very thankful! The relief of cooler temperatures coincides with the rest we are (finally) getting after a busy season of ministry.
After our Vacation Bible School in July, we started preparing for our mission family's annual conference, which we hosted in Kemmerer this year at the end of September. It was a lot of work, and we are thankful that it's not here every year! James was very busy with coordinating the music, AV, and livestreams both before and during the conference. Elizabeth did a bit of work helping get information to the missionaries for lodging, area activities, and other behind-the-scenes tasks. The Hartmans handled the hardest parts with coordinating food, facilities, and gift bags for all attending. But it all came together and the Lord provided a good few days of fellowship, preaching, and time for our fellow missionaries to recharge. One of the highlights of this yearly conference is seeing our fellow laborers and friends, such as the Adanks and Sondergaards, and though we were going into the week already tired from preparations, it was still a blessing to our hearts to have that time together.
Right after the conference, we were able to have Elizabeth's Mom out for a week-long visit. Along with enjoying some relaxing time around Kemmerer, we were able to show her the beauty of the Grand Tetons and the unique tourist town of Jackson, Wyoming. It was good for her to get a break from all the estate affairs. Please continue to pray for her as she is still working through the grieving process.
Additionally, with the coming of fall and the final hay harvest, we are reminded of the great harvest of souls that is all around us. Several sessions during our conference centered around this theme, that the harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few. This has been especially evident to us lately as we have had several members of the community in Cokeville ask about children's Sunday school. We have been praying earnestly for some co-laborers to come alongside us and help us to begin regular children's ministry in Cokeville. Would you please pray with us that the Lord will send us some help?
Also, continue to pray for those who have attended the services and Bible study in Cokeville. They need to be saved! They have heard the Gospel repeatedly, but still have not trusted Christ. Pray especially for R & R, J & C, and the R's. Please also begin praying with us for the special services we will have for the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Over the last two years we have had several visitors come for these services - pray that they might return, that others would come for the first time, and that we would begin to see fruit for our labor.
On the health front, James continues to be about the same. The week of the fellowship really tested his management of his health needs, but the Lord gave strength as it was needed. Elizabeth continues to decrease the dosage of some of her medications, but that process can be as bad or worse as being on them. Pray for her strength and that she will be in full remission soon.
Lastly, on the housing front, we are waiting to hear about some additional benefits James has applied for. These benefits would give us a little more cushion as we look for a house and apply for a mortgage. We have been pre-approved for a VA based loan, but would like a little more room in our budget for the inevitable house maintenance that is currently covered by our rental agreement. Pray that we would be able to find a property with enough room to host visitors and church activities. We desire for our home to be a place of rest for us and those who stop by, as well as a basis for more ministry opportunities.
We are looking forward to the coming winter months and to see what God will do in Kemmerer and Cokeville as He answers our prayers. We are trusting Him for the strength to be faithful and in His promise to build His church!