Different Kinds of Deserts

Bonus feature of deputation travel: getting to see amazing places.  Since the end of September, we’ve traveled over quite a variety of terrain. Some of the most barren, yet at the same time most fascinating, is the desert southwest. Growing up reading western novels, I always pictured the west – particularly the southwest – as all very much the same. You know: cacti, dry gulches, rocks, and Sahara-like sand dunes. But there’s an incredible variety of desert out there. It makes me think of the musical technique of variations on a theme.

[Of course, our pictures never quite do justice to what we’ve seen in person.]

Monument Valley, on the border of Arizona and Utah, has some amazing rock towers in an otherwise flat area.

entering monument valley from the south

heading north out of monument valley

Without trees, the hills in the desert show the stratification layers really well. We saw lots of places like this where sets of layers were different colors.

colorful hills in northern arizona

We were driving from Phoenix up to western Colorado.  At one point we realized we were going to be passing as close to the Grand Canyon as you can without intending to go there. So we went. For an extra 2 hours, it was definitely worth it.

looking over the grand canyon

In between changing diapers, we get to enjoy the incredible creation of God all over this country.  The variety is amazing!

We also get to see an incredible variety in God’s work in people’s lives and in different churches. Everyone who’s a Christian became so through the same gospel, but God uses different ways to bring people to that point. And every local church has a local context in which to carry out their commission: making and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ. So we get to see churches with different programs and different ministries and different looks and feels. Amazing!