Greetings from the beautiful state of Tennessee. Our travels last month brought us to churches in New Jersey, and New York. We have several more churches to visit before we can head out west.
I trust you have received the packet of letters we sent last month concerning our change of field from Europe to church planting in the Northwest. It would be a blessing to us if you would update any bulletin, display board, website list, or map that you might use to remind people to pray for us. If you need a more recent family picture, we will have one posted to our website at www.thebyersfamily.net. We have also printed new prayer cards with the updated picture shown on this letterhead. As you can see by the picture, I am the fifth tallest person in our family now. Even Bella stands taller than her old dad.
The response from our last letter has been most encouraging and exciting. Well over 20 supporting churches have contacted me to express their approval, excitement, and support of our church planting endeavor in Astoria, Oregon. We are evaluating our needed support to determine how much additional support we may need in order to begin the church planting work in Astoria. At present, it seems that we are at 75% of our needed support, but it may be that we just had a low month in July. Please pray with us that our support can be raised in a very short time and that we can begin the work quickly. We trust the Lord will help us to find like-minded churches who will help us!
Just last week, Bella suffered from another severe and sudden asthma attack. She was taken to the hospital via Ambulance where she stayed the night. The doctors believe she suffered from an anaphylactic shock that was brought about by her allergies. Bella is recovering but certainly needs prayer. The pollen count has been dangerously high on the east coast. Unfortunately, we have continued in this area because we do not have the support for housing in the northwest as of yet. There are many expenses involved in getting settled in Astoria and we are trusting the Lord to help us with these as well as the many decisions that need to be made. The housing market is very difficult for buyers at the moment and renting is not easy or inexpensive for a family of our size. Traveling has also been much more costly than expected.
People seem to enjoy seeing our children and how they have grown. As our kids sing and pass out prayer cards, answer questions and talk with church members; a bond seems to grow between them and with our supporting churches. Therefore, it has been important to me that our family stay together during our reporting. We have two tents and have been relying on them to provide affordable housing as we travel. Camping is far cheaper than staying in a hotel. The entire family can spend the night with electric, water, and showers for around fifty dollars per night. In spite of this, the cost of fuel, tolls, eating out of a cooler, and other travel expenses has limited our saving for the move to Oregon.
In closing, I would like to remind each one that we are praying for the Lord to send a couple to work with us for a few years when we plant the church. Experience and Ecclesiastes have taught us that two are better than one. I believe the Lord is able to send a like-minded couple to help us to begin the work on the Oregon coast.
-The Byers Family