Joy and I traveled to Phoenix last Saturday and will be here until Monday speaking at churches and visiting individuals in the area. One of our supporting churches is here in Phoenix; they took us on as missionaries without even hearing our presentation, so we thought it would be nice for them to put a face with the names they have! We've been pretty busy ever since we got here. Joy's sister and brother-in-law live here so it's been nice to visit with them as well. They just retired as career missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators, spending 18 years helping to translate the Bible in Mali, West Africa. They lived on the edge of the Sahara Desert, so it's quite a bit different from where we are going, but it's still fun to talk about going to Africa and hearing their stories of what it's like there. Yesterday we spent some time with one of our supporting couples who lives here as well. He is an airline pilot, and also loves to hike. And before Joy and I left California, I said to her, "Oh, wait, I have to pack my hiking shoes; can't go to Phoenix without hiking some trails!" Little did I know that we would be going on a hike up to the top of Squaw Peak. Here are a couple pictures of our hike:
It was nice to get a little exercise while getting to know some of our supporters. It was also really nice to feel the warm sunshine on my skin again. We didn't get much sun in Portland, and when we drove down to southern California, a huge storm followed us the whole way, so a lot of the time we were there it rained. Then when we got to Phoenix, it rained too! Yesterday was the first really nice day, and we took full advantage of the sun's rays!
Now, a word on cacti...when I was finishing up my flight training at Moody, our senior flight project was to fly from Spokane to Phoenix and back. Just north of Phoenix, we stopped to practice takeoffs and landings at a small gravel airstrip surrounded by cacti. Now, imagine if you will, a few pocket knives, a little boredom, and 5 young men with an insatiable curiosity...the phrase, "watch out! they jump up and bite you!" comes to mind. Let me just say it takes a LONG time to get all those little needles out!
Pray for us as we have several presentations and meetings in the next 5 days before we head back to California. Our monthly support has gone up some and we're now at 35%, with our outgoing at 32%. For now, goodnight from Phoenix, and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers!