First things first: we know you all are wondering about our vehicle saga, and we have good news on that front! Our local body shop has graciously agreed to fix the critical damage for the same amount that our insurance company sent us, so we will be able to keep the van for a bit longer. We'll still need to do some further maintenance (brakes and tires - both exacerbated by the accident), but we are very grateful for your prayers and the way God provided in this instance!
However, we will be starting to look for a new-to-us vehicle, preferably one that can tow a decent-sized travel trailer. That would be a huge help as we travel to both sides of the country for meetings over the next few years, as it would cut costs of lodging and food, and give us a consistent place to sleep and work while we're on the road. It would also allow us to participate in more of the fellowship opportunities here in our part of the country (often held at campgrounds or very rural areas).
Along those lines, we were recently challenged by a praying friend to share our specific material needs with you all (beyond just 'financial support'). To that end, we have added a section below with a few such needs that would be helpful at this time. Any prayers or provision would be greatly appreciated!
July saw us traveling throughout western Wyoming, central Colorado, and northern Utah for deputation meetings. We had good times of worship and fellowship together with each church, and enjoyed meeting more brothers and sisters in Christ. It was especially encouraging to enjoy some deeper conversations over lunch at several of the churches!
We also took an extra day in Colorado to explore God's creation in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was exhilarating to hike the tundra at 12,000 feet! It was definitely challenging, but well-worth the view from the top of the mountains. We always enjoy seeing the great variety of features God created, and this park was no exception. Truly, the whole earth is full of His glory!
We've also continued to help out at our church in Kemmerer, weekly Bible studies, jail ministry, and other community outreaches as we are in the area. Additionally, Elizabeth was able to teach the ladies' midweek class for a few weeks, which was a beneficial experience.
James has the opportunity to spend the next 2 months in Utah, serving full-time with his senior Army chaplain. We are grateful for this provision of work and income, and praying he has many opportunities to influence others for Christ and share the gospel with those in need. Lord willing, he will be able to come home for the weekends, so prayers for safety would definitely be appreciated.
Meanwhile, we are looking forward to a few more meetings this fall. Our mission board's annual meeting is at the end of September in southern Utah, and we have another meeting already scheduled in Oregon for early October. We would like to get a few more meetings in California around that time, to consolidate some of the traveling required. Please pray that we would be able to connect with those pastors in a timely manner.
We are also praying earnestly about possibly moving to Cache County this coming spring. In order to do so, we need at least 50% support (we are currently around 30%) so James can cut back on his work hours, and at least one couple to help us make connections and lead Bible studies throughout the county. We don't want to start something and then have to leave for deputation meetings or Army trips, without having someone else there to continue the work.
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