Monthly Archives: January 2013

Sabbatical Trip – Days 17 and 18

Wednesday morning we hit the road bright and early (9is, which was pretty early for us on this trip!), and headed north to Fallon, Nevada, where my Aunt Shirley, Uncle Jack, and cousins live.  We got there just after 5 p.m., and had a very pleasant visit with everyone, a wonderful dinner (Shrimp enchiladas!  Yum!), and a pleasant night’s sleep.

Yesterday morning, we were served a wonderful breakfast before we hit the road for the last leg on our journey.  After our good-byes, we hit the road at about 10.  All of the reports along the way indicated good weather (at least no active snow), so we didn’t anticipate any problems.  We crossed the Sierras with 4-6″ of snow along the road, but none on the road. We came out in Mt. Shasta – the mountain was gorgeous! – and got on I-5 for the final stretch.  About Medford we hit rain, which stayed with us all the way home.  (Ahh, good old Oregon rain!)  We hit our driveway at about 10:05 and, after quickly unloading the car, went straight to bed.  We slept in this morning, and are safely at home, getting ready to go out for a brisk walk.

God is good, and He kept watch over us this whole 4200+ mile trip.  We had a lot of wonderful adventures, saw some stunning sights, met some interesting people, and experienced His blessings in many ways.  We have about 12 days left of Sabbatical, and are planning to use that time to get our schedules planned and implemented.

Thank you to all of you who have been praying for us.  Your prayers were effective!


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Sabbatical Trip – Day 16

A very interesting day!

Sharla and I started out by going over to Yavapai Point at 7:15 to watch the sun rise over the Grand Canyon.  It was impressive.  You could see “first light” on the cliffs opposite us before you can see the sun itself!

After the sun was well up, we had breakfast at the Bright Angel Restaurant.  (It was very good!)  We then took off to the viewpoints to the west, starting at the farthest one from the hotel, and working our way back.  We got about 2/3 of the viewpoints visited before we ran short on time.  While we were going from viewpoint to viewpoint, we kept running across a group of three men. Eventually, when we had ended up at the third viewpoint together, we struck up a conversation.  They turned out to be 2 brothers, Gary and Dennis Ericson, from Iowa, and their dad, who had all come to the Canyon as a kind of family outing.  Gary and Dennis are both Christians, so Sharla and I had a good visit, and even discussed some theology with them.

After seeing a lot of the Canyon, Sharla and I went to a food court at one of the hotels for a late lunch, and then went back to Yavapai Point to the geology museum there; it was touted as one of the “must sees” for anyone visiting the Canyon.  It turned out not to be so much a museum as a propaganda piece for the “billions of years” theory of the creation of the Canyon.  All of the conjectures about origins were presented as absolute scientific fact, which is disturbing from several different standpoints.  We both still believe that the Bible’s teachings on the origin of the universe, the earth, and even the Grand Canyon (a product of the flood and the events after it) is the most compelling in its simplicity, as well as its scientifically supported accuracy.

At about 4:30, we left the Canyon and started the long trek homeward.  For today we made it as far as Henderson, Nevada (a suburb of Las Vegas).  Tomorrow we plant to make it to Fallon, just outside of Reno, to visit my Aunt and Uncle and cousins.

Well, our bodies are saying that it’s an hour later than the clocks here (due to the time change when we crossed into Nevada), so we are headed to bed.  Please keep praying for safe travels.  Love to all!ImageImageImageImageImage

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Sabbatical Trip – Day 15 (Catching Up!)

it has been a few days.  At Nazlini we had no internet, and last night in Flagstaff, I simply forgot to make a post!

We returned to Nazlini on Friday, after spending Thursday night at Sun Valley Indian School.  After breakfast with the Stolbergs, Fred, the Work and Witness coordinator, gave us all a very informative tour of the whole facility.  The Stolbergs then left to head south, and we got ready and headed north to the Church at Nazlini.  We found the heaters all still available, and spent a comfortable night.

On Saturday, Sharla worked on her school paper, and in the afternoon we went to Billie’s Acres, an animal farm between Nazlini and Chinle, and run by the brother of two of attenders at the Nazlini Church.  Jasci, the brother, raises miniature horses and donkeys, as well as pot bellied pigs and peacocks!  It was quite a menagerie.  I have to admit that horses and me don’t get along, but the newest arrival, a 5-month-old pony named Sequoia, was just about my speed.  (He’s about the size of my Black Lab, Grace!)  After we visited the farm, we continued on down the dirt road to Chinle, where Burger King had wifi (but no electrical outlets!).  Sharla worked on her paper over dinner until her computer ran out of power, and then we returned to Nazlini for the night.

Sunday was a lot of fun.  We got up early and loaded the car, and were all ready for company when folks started to show up at the church at 8:00.  Sunday School was at 10 (bilingual, mostly in Navajo, but they were good enough to translate for those of us who speak mostly English!), and worship at 11.  I agreed to preach, and Pastor Justin translated into Navajo!  I preached on Entire Sanctification, and had a lot of good feedback, and a few serious seekers at the altar.

After the service, we all gathered for a lunch of Navajo Tacos, made with fry bread instead of tortillas.  They were delicious.  We visited for a while, helped get a card unstuck that had high-centered trying to go up over a rise instead of down the driveway, said our good-byes, and headed for Flagstaff.  The day was beautiful for travel, and got all the way up to 47!

This morning we left Flagstaff at 9:00 headed for the Grand Canyon.  We made several stops along the way to see some Anasazi ruins (very impressive, and you could go right into the rooms!).  We made it to the East Entrance at about 3:30, which gave us 2 hours until sunset to take in several of the viewpoints.  By the way, entry into the park today was free, for Martin Luther King Day!  Sharla and I are staying the night at the Bright Angel Lodge, which is very nice.  We are planning on getting up early and watching sunrise over the canyon in the morning.  We will then look at all of the viewpoints to the west, and then start heading north.  We plan on making it to Boulder City, Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas to spend the night.

God bless to all of you.  Please keep praying for safety!ImageImageImageImageImage

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Sabbatical Trip – Days 10 & 11

Hey, everybody!

Sorry about the missing blog yesterday, but the day got very long and I got very tired!

We were up and at it pretty early in Chinle, and spent the next several hours touring the north rim of Canyon de Chelly.  There are only 3 viewpoints on the north rim (7 on the south), but it is a longer route, with longer hikes to the viewpoints, and there is still a lot to see.  Very informative, and a lot of historical information at each viewpoint.

After seeing the canyon, we were headed south when we got a call from Gene & Dee Stolberg, letting us know that they would be in the area the next day (today), and they wanted to see Sun Valley Indian School.  That helped us to set our agenda.  We headed east to Window Rock, the capital city of the Navajo Nation.  We got there after dark, so we did some laundry, and then settled into our motel room (which was very nice).  Sharla worked on her school work, and I also did a bit of work on the computer.  Before we knew it, it was 1 am!  So to bed, without posting a blog!

This morning we headed to the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, which had some very interesting and unique displays.  We both came away with a deeper knowledge of some facets of Navajo history.  We then went up to Window Rock itself, not just to see the Rock, actually an arch, but also the Code Talker Memorial at its base.  Both were well worth the trip.  We headed back at about 3 p.m., and were about 35 miles form the School when we got a call from the Stolbergs letting us know that they were 70 miles out.  We made arrangements to meet up, and ended up having dinner at the School.  Most of the students were away at a basketball game, but the 2nd graders and all the staff were there.  We were able to hook up with some of the folks who were here when we did the W&W trip.  (Dinner was pizza with cake or cupcakes for dessert.)

After dinner we talked to the staff, and made arrangements to spend the night (it was too dark to see much by the time we all got here, so we will show the Stolbergs around tomorrow).  They are in one of the RV sites so that they can plug in and not use battery power, and we are back in apartment 12.  We will hook up again at breakfast, and then take the tour.  The plan is then to head back to Nazlini before nightfall.ImageImageImageImage

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Sabbatical Trip – Days 7-9

We were in Nazlini and out of internet coverage for the last couple of days.  Church at Nazlini was good.  We went up there on Sunday morning from Sun Valley Indian School, and actually arrived in time for part of Sunday School.  They have recently had a TON of new kids show up for church, and are rejoicing at this new growth.  This last Sunday they had 22 kids!

As usual, after service, everyone met in the fellowship hall for lunch.  On Sunday it was frybread with beans.  Quite tasty.  After lunch we were shown the guest room, which is right off the kitchen.  It is quite spacious, a good sized bedroom and attached bathroom.  There were only two problems:  there was no heat, and no hot water (their hot water tank recently broke).  We fired up our little space heater, which worked valiantly, but wasn’t able to keep the temperature in the room much above 50.  On Monday, Sharla and I went to Ganado (about 30 minutes away) to do some laundry, and while we were gone, they brought us in two big heaters from the sanctuary.  Those worked much better.  We put our little heater in the bathroom, one big heater in the bedroom, and the other in the kitchen.  It kept the bedroom at about 65 degrees, cool but doable.

This morning we left Nazlini for a sightseeing tour.  When we got up, it was 12 below zero; by the time we were packing the car it had warmed up to only 4 below!  We started off driving the 25 miles or so to Chinli.  The most direct route is via Indian Route 27, which runs right by the Church.  It is paved for the first 8 1/2 miles from the church; the rest is washboard dirt road.  But it was clear of ice and snow for the most part, and wasn’t any rougher than some of the streets back home (like Ogle).  We did come up on an older couple walking along the road in our direction.  We stopped and asked them where they were going (it was still below zero!), and they said to the grocery store in Chinle (still 8 or 10 miles away!).  We cleared out some space and gave them a lift.

The late morning and early afternoon were spent touring the south rim of Canyon de Chelly (pronounced canyon day shay).  It is very picturesque, and a lot of Navajos still live and farm in the canyon itself, like their ancestors have for hundreds of years.  Most of the roads were clear, but there were several that were covered with ice and snow, and most of the walkways to the overlooks were icy.  But we got some beautiful pictures (some of which are attached).

Tonight we are holed up in the Best Western in Chinle.  Tomorrow morning we hope to hit the northern rim of the canyon to see the 3 overlooks there, and then head northwest.  Our goal is Page, in the extreme northwest part of the Reservation, to see if we can get in to see Vermillion Cliffs.  I don’t know if we will be able to make it in one shot – I want to be off the road by dark.

Keep praying for safety, and for wisdom.  We have met a lot of interesting people on this trip, and we want to make sure that we are a blessing to them.

We are praying for all of you back home as well!ImageImageImageImage

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Sabbatical Trip – Day 6

Today started off very cold – 7 BELOW Zero in Flagstaff!  Sharla and I woke up, read the weather report, and gasped…we had left liquid stuff in the car overnight, including some water-based liquids in the box for the Indian School!  We instantly had pictures of cough syrup in broken bottles leaked all over the rest of the stuff in the box, as well as broken pop bottles from frozen soda pop, and soda all over everything else in the car.  I didn’t have the guts to check it out until after breakfast!  Then Sharla and I went out, and we couldn’t believe what we found:  The soda bottles were solidly frozen, but none of them had leaked. A case of water on the floorboard was still totally liquid (cold, but liquid).  And none of the stuff in the box for the Indian School had frozen at all!  We count this as a mighty miracle!  It really was seven below zero, but all of this stuff, left outside for 12 hours or more, hadn’t frozen!

We were still praising God several miles down the road to Sun Valley.  We stopped at Winslow at the WalMart, and got a few supplies, and then arrived at the School at about 1:30 p.m.  We took the stuff to the nurse’s office, and she gave us the key to our apartment for the night.  (It’s a cute little thing – a kitchen/living room, a bathroom, and a bedroom.  But it’s dry and warm!)  We then discovered that we left Sharla’s coat at home, leaving her with only a sweatshirt to brave the next week of below freezing temperatures.  So we went back to Winslow, and found a great sale on a very nice coat that will keep her nice and toasty.

Before we left for Winslow, we found out that there were a couple of lambs born over Christmas.  (Photo attached.)  Cute little black lambs – we could barely see them, because they were quite a ways from the fence, and they were laying down.  We also took a picture of the “storefront sign” that our Work and Witness Team painted before we left in June.  True to his word, Fred put it up in the Frontier City.

Tomorrow morning we will be hitting the road bright and early for the Church at Nazlini.  It’s a 2-hour trip, and we want to be there before service starts at 11, so we’ll be leaving here between 8 and 8:30.

Praying for everyone back home that tomorrow will be a wonderful day with the Lord.  Keep praying for us, safety, and the Lord’s continued blessings!ImageImageImage

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Sabbatical Trip – Day 5

What a day!  It actually followed what a night!  Our motel in Mesa, Arizona was comfortable, but the folks next door started arguing and apparently throwing things around at about 3 this morning, and continuing sporadically until it was time to get up.  So we groggily went downstairs to have some breakfast (which was good), and to get everything loaded into the car.

We made it to Apache Junction, where Sharla’s dad and stepmom live, at about 10 this morning.  We had a very pleasant lunch at the cantina in the gated community where they live, and then they took us around and introduced us to some of their friends, some of whom also happen to be Nazarene.  We shared some stories, and generally had a good time.

By about 2:30 we decided that we needed to head out to avoid the rush hour in Phoenix, so we left and headed north to Flagstaff.  Flagstaff is really high (6900 feet!), and by the time we hit the 5000 foot mark, we had scattered areas of snow on the ground (none on the road).  By 6000 feet, there were several inches, maybe a foot or so, all over the ground (still none on the road).  We hit Flagstaff just after dark, and found that some of the parking lots have quite a bit of snow and ice on them.  It’s currently in the low 20s, and will not be above freezing tomorrow.

In the morning, we are headed to Sun Valley Indian School for the night.  We have brought along a care package with quite a few supplies for the school.  It will help a lot!  They are going to put us up in one of the on-campus apartments, and we will go from there to the Nazarene Church in Nazlini on Sunday morning.

Good night, and God bless to all!

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