It has been just over a week since Paul and I arrived in Palo Alto, California to begin our year here in mission. Since we drove and had to stop off in Kansas City for some training on the way out, it took us 8 days to get from Cincinnati to here. Even though the journey was long, we got to spend time with some wonderful people along the way. From several old friends who hosted us in various forms to new friends who hosted us without ever having met us, we were given much. The bonds that were formed and the ones that grew along the way are priceless and will be treasured forever.
We also got to experience pieces of creation that we had not previously gotten to encounter. We got to look through a window to the past when we visited the Painted Desert, with its Petrified Forest and petroglyphs, and wondered how people from that era saw God and the world.
On Sunday morning during our travels, we watched the sun rise over the Grand Canyon. The experience was just as powerful as a worship service at any church. If you’ve never been to the Canyon during winter and watched the sun come up, here is an idea of what I mean:
It’s February. You wake up at 5am and put on four or five layers of clothes, then trek out to one of the overlooks in the Grand Canyon National Park. Your first glimpse of the majesty that lies before you is in the pre-dawn light, as your misty breath curls upward.
What you see brings an involuntary “whoa” from your lips, and you can hardly even see anything yet. With your hands in your pockets and your arms drawn in close to your body, you watch the sky as it lightens. The few people around you who have braved the cold morning are talking amongst themselves, until a sudden hush falls without prompting. The sun is moments from peeking out on the edge of the horizon. As the first rays burst forth, the great fissures and peaks that lay beneath your feet are painted in colors indescribable and unphotographable. Every few seconds, as the sun rises higher and higher, the world around you changes in color and grows, until you can see for miles in either direction. The only thing you can do, after a few failed attempts at capturing the moment on camera, is to watch in silent awe and wonder at the One who made it all. Oh, what worship we got to participate in on that Sunday.
When we hit the ground in Palo Alto, we were greeted with many open arms and friendly smiles. We have felt incredibly welcomed by the people here, and for that we are thankful. Now that we have our feet under us and have had some time to adjust to our new home, we have begun searching for part-time jobs and opportunities for ministry. We had ideas going in as to what we might be doing ministry-wise, but the actual execution of these things takes some time of prayer and searching.
This week, if you would feel so led, these are the things that you can be thinking and praying for:
-that we find good part-time jobs that allow us opportunities to speak into the lives of others
-that we figure out what it is God would like for us to do during our time here, and
-that we would continue to adjust to our new culture and place smoothly.
Thank you for all of your ongoing love and support. It has been felt already, and we are more grateful than words can express. We love you all!