As we write this update, we hope all of you are having a blessed Christmas season. Reflecting upon this time, let us remember that Christ came to save sinners, to repair the gulf that separates man from God, to be Emmanuel.
In this vein, we spent a week in Cache County, Utah, meeting with people and gathering specifics on starting outreach ministries in the local communities. Thank you to all who prayed and gave financially towards that time! It was very profitable on many fronts. If you missed our video update on Facebook, find it here!
We did get to meet with a few people in the area, although not quite the number we had hoped. But we know God is in control of that, and we're at peace with His timing for making further connections. We were also able to get a lot of information during our time there, which would have been very difficult to accomplish in single day trips. We got details for starting Bible studies on the Utah State campus, holding services at the county jail, and other area events that we might be able to participate in for the purpose of meeting people and sharing Christ. Elizabeth also spent time looking into local art groups - of which Logan has several - as a way for her to better integrate in the community and get to know more people.
And we also spent time simply getting to know more of the area . . . eating at some (delicious) local restaurants, meeting local residents at some of the downtown establishments, and surveying some possible areas for a future home and church building. We continue to see God opening the way before us, but we are in need of both additional support and team members before we can move ahead!
We are thankful to have a few "normal" weeks this month, now that we're home, and are looking forward to a quiet Christmas in Kemmerer . . . then the traveling starts all over again. James will be preaching at a teen retreat in Kalispell, Montana, from Dec 26-28. Please be praying for the services, safe traveling (it's about 8 hours in wintry conditions), and potential deputation meetings that may come from this ministry opportunity.
Beginning in January, one or both of us will most likely be traveling every month until at least September of 2019. James starts off the new year with a trip to Florida for a church-planting conference. He also has several Army-related trips in those first six months, and we have several longer deputation trips lined up. A few of those meetings are still "tentative," however, so please be praying that we can get those can get nailed down soon, as we need to make arrangements for lodging, etc, in those areas.
Please be praying with us for the strength to accomplish what God has lined up for us with preaching opportunities and deputation meetings. Also, please pray that we would gain both full support and several additional team members this coming year. We hope to be living in Cache County by 2020! In fact, we already have potential ministry teams lined up to come help us with VBS and evangelism efforts in the summer of 2020, so we are praying earnestly that God would lead us in moving there within the next 12 months.
On the personal side of things, we are still praying about work opportunities for James and physical health for Elizabeth. Tapering off prednisone has been going well so far, but very slow as she struggles with low energy each time she drops to a lower dose. We are both also trying to work on some long-term projects that could hopefully generate some passive income, to help supplement our ministry support.
We wish you all a blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior! Just as Christ came to bridge the gap between man and God, so we are also called to do the same by sharing the gospel with those around us, as we considered in our latest #faithfriday segment from Acts 17. He is Emmanuel, God with us, who provides us with a relationship with God!
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