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Phoenix: Brave New World

February 5, 2010

So admittedly it has been awhile since my last post.  Its totally not my fault for lack of things to write, and I will catching up with a deluge of blogging.  Nikki and I have been on the road this past week, heading out west in our tour of churches as we raise our support to go to the Philippines.  We spent a night in Oklahoma City; I preached in Gallup, New Mexico; we stayed two nights in Phoenix; and arrived in Hemet, California for a Missions Sunday.  We just missed the wintery weather that has blasted the midwest; if we would have left a day later, I’m not sure we would have made it out here.  Its been a great trip so far.  We now have a youth group in Oklahoma City supporting us, preaching at the church in Gallup went great, and our time in Hemet was one of my favorite church visits yet.  The people there were so incredibly friendly and made us feel so comfortable with them.  I had a blast preaching, it is amazing how enjoyable it can be to open up God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to bring a message to the people and to see Him connect it to their hearts.  Though it is a smaller church, they are growing rapidly, having seen incredible fruit over the past year and they are passionate in their missions giving.  They are going to take us on, and I am excited to build our partnership with them.  What a great trip so far.

Backing up a bit, I was fascinated by my time in Phoenix.  What a unique culture that has developed there.  I had never truly seen cacti growing up like you see in the movies or in art.  I was blown away by the size that they would reach and just how many of them filled the desert and even the communities there.

I was also amazed at all of the fruit trees.  We stayed with Matt Adrian’s grandparents, and their retirement community had been built in and around an orchard.  So in their backyard alone, they had orange, tangerine, grapefruit, and lemon trees.  It was a delicious payoff, as we enjoyed fresh squeezed juice everyday.

Being so far from the ocean, I was not expecting so many palm trees either.  It was interesting to me to see all the different varieties just growing up around the city.  It certainly added to the whole exotic culture there.

Probably my favorite thing about living in Phoenix is the lack of yard work.  They have really come up with a great system, with some of the houses having rock yards.  There were even a few that had astro-turf down.  Now that’s the kind of lawn care I want to deal with.

All in all, it was a fun city to visit for the first time.  Hopefully our travels will take us back through there in the future.

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