Greetings from Idaho!
Thank you for praying for us, supporting the work, and rooting us on as we finally made it to the west coast! We appreciate you all very much and thank God for you. Stacy and the kids are in Oregon, while Bella, Gabriel and I are visiting Buhl, Idaho where I am preaching for a mission conference. We hope to be back by Monday and are getting a little home sick.
Busy doesn’t quite describe it; our schedule has been very full and our travels have been eventful. We enjoyed spending the Christmas season in Clark Fork Idaho. Josiah’s car made it the entire way, but driving in 3 feet of snow is difficult for a new driver. Josiah and several of the kids were on their way to pastor Carr’s house, driving on a snowy road with an icy creek below. The car left the road and very nearly flipped over into the creek. The Lord was certainly watching as the car rested on a tree, preventing our kids from going into the icy water. May I please remind you to keep us in your prayers as we travel? Poor Josiah! the car made it all the way to Oregon after that, but sadly; the vehicle is totaled and cannot be repaired. At least it was paid for. 🙂
House hunting in Astoria has been a major focus over the past several months. We are blessed to have housing through February with Ocean Breeze Baptist Church in Tillamook. We were under contract to purchase a 3 bedroom house, but it was discovered that the roof had been leaking. There was dry rot, mold, and water damage in the attic along with several other problems so we were forced to withdraw our offer on the house. Please keep praying the Lord will provide a place in Astoria for us. The cost is astronomical for housing in Clatsop County and the cost of rent is absurd. We have driven from Tillamook to Astoria many times to view housing and make preparation. The drive is an hour and a half (one way). Each day that we search, it become more clear that solid support is needed to begin a work in that area.
Bella’s condition has improved since our arrival, and her rescue inhaler lasted an extra month before a refill was needed. With all the medication Bella takes, we welcome any reduction in drugs, and we remain hopeful that she will improve as time goes on.
We have been in contact with churches that are closest to Astoria. Each church and pastor has expressed their desire to see a church planted. They have also pledged their help in some way, to see an independent, fundamental, soul-winning, Baptist church thriving at the mouth of the Columbia River. We have also begun to receive contacts from those who have family or friends in that area. One family has contacted me already and is interested in attending our services once we begin. I trust this is only the beginning!
We will be knocking on doors and holding bible studies once we have a home in the area. This will allow me to continue making meetings with churches, presenting the burden, and raising the additional $3,000.00 per month that we need. Once we have the necessary support, I am trusting the Lord to allow us to begin regular church services. Just as we did in Germany with our military, the contacts we make will become the start of the church.
Please be in prayer for a couple to come and work with us. I believe the Lord will answer this prayer if we diligently bring our request to him. Thank you again for reading, praying, and supporting.
-The Byers Family