When fear began sweeping our nation in mid-March, we were experiencing our own test of faith as James went into the hospital for intensive physical therapy. Though we have often experienced separation, it always brings challenges in life and ministry. This time was no different, as we had to become even more careful with Elizabeth's health and the possibility of any exposure to the coronavirus, as she falls into the high risk category. Additionally, James being in the hospital added difficulties to the ministry in Cokeville. Yet with all those challenges, God was faithful to us and changed these challenges into learning experiences.
During the hospitalization, James began doing livestream services for Cokeville and learning how the church can continue even when physical separation is necessary. Then God worked in James to help him recover most of his walking ability, so he was released a week earlier than originally expected (though he is still dealing with the constant dizziness). Elizabeth was also able shift her medical appointments to virtual visits, so she was able to stay home most of that time. So, in this time of fear and uncertainty, we would like to encourage you that God is good, faithful, and knows what you need!
Since getting home, James has continued to do livestream services and we have both been enjoying some much needed rest time together, as well as continuing to work online and pursue longer-term projects. It has been a blessing to be off the road for a short time, although we certainly miss the fellowship of our local church bodies in both Kemmerer and Cokeville. On Easter Sunday, we had the privilege of helping the Hartmans and Grace Baptist Church do a special livestream service. We broadcast the service on Facebook for both Grace Baptist in Kemmerer and Cokeville Community, and rebroadcast it on A Steadfast Faith's Facebook page (here).
Looking ahead . . . we are praying that God would allow us to resume house-hunting in earnest once the "social distancing" regulations are lifted. It would be wonderful to get settled in Cache County in time for some summer and back-to-school ministry opportunities! We are also praying earnestly that James would continue to get better, and that both the constant dizziness and mental fatigue would diminish.
On the ministry front, one of the mission teams we were hoping to have this summer has postponed their trip until at least next year. However, God has worked out for the MTT team to arrive earlier than expected, which will be such a great help in the Cache Valley. Also, several people from Friendship Baptist Church in Thayne, WY, have volunteered to help us once again with VBS in Cokeville. We are praying that God would calm the virus and lift the government restrictions in time for us to be able to minister to these communities this summer.
We also want to praise the Lord for providing several new supporting churches and individuals over the past month or two! We are now receiving around 40% of our support, which is a great help and encouragement. Thank you to all who have been faithfully giving and praying for us! Your support is a blessing to us!