September 22, 2017

Snapshots from Our Adventures in Wyoming

If one picture is truly worth a thousand words, then twenty-two pictures ought to be worth a lot more that that… right? But since everybody likes photos, and it’s a lot easier to show you the area than to explain it in words, here’s a 2200-word glimpse (in photos) of what I’ve been up to since arriving in Wyoming.

Welcome to Wyoming

It’s hard to believe we’ve already been here for two months… One of the biggest answers to prayer has been finding a comfortable (and affordable!) place to live. We actually stayed in a local motel for over 3 weeks while we searched for something, and God provided a place that fit the exact specifics we’d been praying for: something with enough insulation to be warm in the windy winters, with room enough to have people over, and cozy enough to enjoy for the next year. We’re finally nearing the end of unpacking too, although many of our boxes are sitting in storage until we move to a more permanent place.

Kemmerer, Wyoming

A shot of Kemmerer, our hometown for this next year. There’s about 3000 people in the Kemmerer-Diamondville area, and the average elevation is just under 7000 feet — more than twice the population! It took us about 2 weeks to acclimate to the thinner air, but now we’re thoroughly enjoying both the altitude and the mostly-arid climate!

Sunset in Kemmerer

And nothing compares to the big western sky. Truly, the heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims His handiwork! (Psalm 19)

Grace Baptist Church in Kemmerer

Grace Baptist, our church in Kemmerer. We have been quite busy with ministry ever since we arrived! My husband is involved in visitation, Bible studies, jail ministries, and preaching and teaching on Sundays. I’ve been helping with children’s church, and playing either the piano or organ on Sundays. We’ve also enjoyed getting to know the church people, and look forward to many months of fellowship and service together with the pastor and his wife.

VBS at Grace Baptist Church in Kemmerer

Our church held a week-long Vacation Bible School just a few weeks after we arrived! I helped with decorating the church beforehand, and we were both heavily involved throughout the week of VBS. It was a good week, with about 25 kids from the community most days (plus a handful of church kids).

Fossil Butte National Monument

The weather is beautiful here during the summer — warm but dry — and so we’re spending as much time outdoors as possible. Thankfully there are plenty of places to explore! One of the closest sites is the Fossil Butte National Monument, where you can still find some fish fossils laying alongside mountain trails. There’s a museum there, which has some interesting fossils although their descriptions are heavily weighted towards evolution, and a couple hiking trails. One of those trails includes sites from the historic fossil quarry, including this old quarry worker’s cabin.

Sheep and Ranchland in Kemmerer

Kemmerer is also home to plenty of ranches and free-ranging wildlife! We went exploring down a county road one day, and discovered this beautiful panorama.

Cattle and Western Sky

And it’s beef country — which means delicious steak at amazing prices. It also means we’ve been stopped a few times by cattle standing in the middle of the road! (And check out that gorgeous western sky!)

Antelope at Twilight

We must be “home on the range” because the deer and the antelope really do play out here — although it’s notoriously hard to get a good picture of them. Here’s a few pronghorn antelope we passed at twilight one night.

Buffalo in Evanston

There’s even a small herd of buffalo at the Wyoming welcome center, about 50 miles south of Kemmerer. They are fenced off from the public area, so you can’t get too close (which is a good thing, since they can charge rather suddenly)! Other animals we’ve sighted include moose, wild horses, birds of prey, gophers and prairie dogs, geese and swans, river otters, jackrabbits, ground squirrels (which are only a few inches long), pelicans and seagulls, and a plethora of songbirds and butterflies.

Sagebrush

Besides the wild animals, there’s also plenty of flora and fauna to enjoy! One of the most ubiquitous is sagebrush — in fact, this area is sometimes considered the “sagebrush sea” because there’s just so much of it. It lends a unique but refreshing smell to the area, and ranges in color from blue-green to purplish.

Wild Geranium

Summertime welcomes a vast and beautiful array of wildflowers, and I’ve been enjoying the opportunity to learn many of their names. This one is wild geranium.

Yellow Wildflowers and Butterfly

This one is called Lamb’s Tongue, and I think the butterfly is a Chalcedon Checkerspot.

Northern Utah

About an hour west of us — and halfway between Kemmerer and Logan (where we hope to eventually plant a church) — is Bear Lake, Utah.

Bear Lake, Utah

Bear Lake is set like a turquoise gem in the midst of the mountains. And contrary to popular belief, the water is actually WARM! It’s a popular place to camp, hike, swim, and simply enjoy the beautiful summer weather.

Sunset over Bear Lake

We’ve seen some pretty amazing sunsets out here, but one of the best was near the visitor’s center above Bear Lake. You can’t quite tell in this photo, but the mountains really did turn purple in the twilight!

Logan, Utah

It’s also been wonderful to return to Logan a few times since we’ve been here. So far, we’ve mostly spent that time catching up on some household shopping (and returning to some favorite restaurants), but we hope to continue making regular trips over there to develop contacts and really get to know the area better. God continues to strengthen our burden for that area of Utah!

Red Cliff Bible Camp

About 2-3 hours north of us is Red Cliff Bible Camp in Pinedale. We were able to spend a day there recently with our pastor and his wife, fellowshipping together and exploring the intricate beauty of God’s creation.

Rock Springs, WY

Rock Springs is about 90 minutes east of us. We’ve only been there once since moving out, but there’s some pretty cool terrain that will be fun to explore in the future!

Bear River Trail in Evanston, WY

Evanston is about an hour south of us, and is the closest town for good grocery shopping, so we make pretty frequent trips down. Thankfully there’s hardly ever any traffic along the way (until the last 10 minutes on I-80). It also has a pleasant walking trail along Bear River where you can see ice ponds, freight trains, and plenty of wildlife.

Mountains at Dusk

I still can’t believe we get to live and serve in the middle of all this beauty! God is truly a Master Artist, and every new sight draws us to worship Him anew.

Selfie at 8500 feet

Plus, not everyone can say they’ve taken a selfie at 8500 feet elevation! Can you??? 🙂

You can read more about our burden for reaching the West with the Gospel here and here. Also, if you’d like to stay updated on how we’re doing, send me an email or Facebook message with your best email address, and I will add you to our missions update list! {This is different than the DFD newsletter.}

 


Comments

  1. RB Johnson says:

    The one of you and James! We love and miss you.

  2. Beautiful pictures. I especially like the one with the antelope. The Walsh’s said it is a very dark place spiritually. Glad you all are there to shine God’s light.

    • Yes, very dark. Few Bible-believing churches to shine the light on the true Gospel and many, many spiritually deceived people… it is a hard field in desperate need of the truth.

  3. Elizabeth Mercer says:

    Wonderful pictures I never knew it was o beautiful out there. Please keep me in your prayers I am having heel surgery to remove some bone spurs on August 12th. God Bless you for all of the wonderful work that you are doing in His name blessings Cousin Liz and the boys