May is here and many miles have come, and many more are yet to come. It has been a very full spring already, starting with services for Easter in both Kemmerer and Cokeville, increased time ministering in Cokeville, and a whirlwind trip to MA for the funeral for Elizabeth’s grandfather. Thank you so much to all who sent sweet cards, helped us financially, and prayed specifically for us during that time. It was very helpful and much appreciated!
We left Kemmerer on Tuesday evening the 23rd and made it to Plymouth, MA, around midnight on the 25th – and we now know that it is possible to cross the US, from western WY to eastern MA, in 2½ days (though we wouldn’t recommend it!). We are understandably not eager to ever repeat such a trip, but the Lord was good in providing safety and speed so we could be with the family for several days before heading back. James also had the honor of performing the internment service at the National Cemetery in his capacity as a military chaplain. We mourn our loss as a family, but glorify God that as our Savior has risen, so shall our loved ones who have trusted in Him!
We made it back from that trip last Sunday, and we will be leaving this coming week for deputation meetings in California. This means that within one month, we will have traveled from sea to shining sea. We enjoy seeing God’s creation across this land but get a little weary from the driving! We do ask for continued prayers in our travel, especially that we would gain more support from our two upcoming trips – because the Lord is directing and we are making plans to move to Cache County this fall! We are still around 33%, and need that to increase so we can set aside the necessary time for ministry once we move over there.
One of the big answers to prayer that has opened the door to moving is the addition of team members! We are overjoyed to announce that Andy and Becky Adank have agreed to partner with us in Cache County! The Adanks have been serving in the West since the 1980’s, and most recently pastoring in Randolph, Utah. We’ve had the privilege of getting to know them over the past few years, and look forward to many years of working together with these dear friends and fellow servants. They are planning to move to Cache County this summer, and will also be helping to cover the teaching and preaching responsibilities while we are on deputation.
With that said, we are still desiring another couple to come alongside and labor with us. If you know anyone who is looking for employment or ministry opportunities, we would love to talk with them. Additionally, with the pending move and the increasing ministry responsibilities that church planting in Cache County and Cokeville brings, we ask that you pray earnestly for God to supply the support we need. We have every expectation that He will, as He has already provided for us every step of this journey. We look expectantly to see the marvelous and unexpected ways in which He will provide and bring Himself more glory!
Meanwhile, the Lord is also answering big prayers in Cokeville! We have had visitors at our Sunday services ever since the second week, with a high of 16 people attending last week! This includes several LDS individuals who are confused or questioning, as well as several children from an LDS family who are coming and learning the Bible. We praise God for what He is doing, and we also appreciate the Hartmans stepping in to while we were away, so the group could continue meeting on those two Sunday evenings. Please continue to pray for this church plant, that those attending and visiting will be saved and that we will persevere against the opposition from the LDS church.
We are heading out for meetings in Hollister and Vacaville, California, this coming week. We then have another deputation trip to Idaho planned for June, outreach ministries and VBS in Cokeville planned for July, and an Army trip for James in August. It is shaping up to be a very full summer! As always, we would appreciate your prayers for our safety as we travel, and also that our support level will increase within the next few months so that we can move to the field this fall.
Thank you for your faithful prayers! We look forward to sharing more with you as God continues to lead us towards Cache County, Utah!
For the Sake of His Name,
James & Elizabeth Johnson