Back in Phoenix

Two months almost to the day after leaving Phoenix for the Pacific Northwest, we’re back in Phoenix through the end of December.

We made the roughly 1600 mile trek over the course of a week. In Santa Barbara we were able to connect with friends from our nearly 11 years living in the area, as well as have our dental needs tended to. In Phoenix we had been told dentists were scheduling months out since people were coming back to have dental work done after a year away because of Covid. God provided the opportunity for our family dentist, Dr. Wipf, to see how our teeth were doing after bypassing several years of routine maintenance. Even as we took turns in the dentist chair Wednesday afternoon, cancellations continued to allow for great flexibility, and before noon on Thursday we had all been cleaned and a few cavities had been filled. We can head overseas knowing we don’t have pressing dental issues needing to be dealt with before an anticipated home visit two years from now.

We’re now set up in a short-term rental in Gilbert, AZ. We’re closer to family than we were over the summer, and we pray that by the time we have to leave this place on January 4, we’ll have plane tickets in hand for Indonesia!

In the meantime, now that we have reliable wi-fi again we’ve resumed our low-level Bahasa coursework online through a program called Mango Languages. After two months away we’re starting over, reviewing the material we learned over the summer. At least some of it looks (and sounds) familiar, which I suppose is a good sign, though of course I’d prefer that it all looked and sounded familiar! We’ll also be finalizing the submission of visa materials to the language school in Indonesia, and hopefully getting our newsletter out (belatedly!).

Making another transition comes with some stress, but it’s clear we’re also getting better at these changes. If you consider our pre-move home in Santa Barbara as well as our moving/moved home in Santa Barbara, this place we’re in now is the sixth place we’ve called home in roughly the last six months. Tomorrow we’ll head out to our storage unit and see if we can reach any of the Advent and Christmas things we might have saved, as well as retrieve a few other niceties for the next few weeks.

I suppose it’s tempting to draw parallels between our nomadic life of the moment and Joseph and Mary en route to Bethlehem. Of course they didn’t know all that was in store for them any more than we do. But I have to think that we’re far more comfortable than they were, traveling on a donkey for days at a time – and while Mary was very pregnant! Whether we stay at home or are up and moving about, the Holy Spirit guides us day-by-day, in trust in God’s promises of our Christ-child’s return in glory and power, and in his assurance here and now of forgiveness and grace as we wait faithfully for that day.

We pray God’s blessings for you, our partners, that this Advent season might be full of blessings both familiar and new, and reminders every day of the great love we share in Christ and the great future we look forward to in his kingdom together!

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