Saturday, March 28, 2009

Part 2 - The Grand Canyon & Beyond!


Here is part 2 of our trip to Arizona! In our last post, we shared pictures and stories from our first week in Phoenix. Now, here are the pictures from our second week in Sedona and the Grand Canyon.


These saguaro cacti are all over the place in Arizona!

And here's a prickly pear cactus (a.k.a. man eating :)) that is found along the hiking trails of Bell's Rock in Sedona! :)

There were a ton of beautiful hiking trails in Sedona, but we finally decided on one that wound around a mountain called Bell's Rock. Halfway through, we decided to abandon the trail and blaze our own! It was some serious hiking, but we had the time of our lives, and made it almost all the way up the mountain!
We were on hands and knees in many places...

Sometimes, you just need a helping hand...:)

Here, we are almost at the top of the mountain on an overhanging rock! We found one other lone hiker to take this picture for us! :)

Here is a view of the whole mountain after we hiked it. Just for the record, it was a lot harder than it looks! :)We took a "cool off" ride after the hike in the back of the truck that some dear friends from Phoenix loaned us! Boy, were we tired! :)

After spending one night in Sedona, we reluctantly left that beautiful area, and headed on for some more serious hiking on the Grand Canyon trails!


The interesting thing about this part of our trip was that it was actually Christa's and my second time to "hike" the Grand Canyon. You see, the first time was over seventeen and a half years ago but we didn't get to see anything, because we were still developing at three and a half months in my mom's womb! :) So this second trip was a long awaited gift for our seventeenth birthday!

The view was breathtaking!

We had a fun game that we played on our way down into the canyon. (on our way back up, we were too out of breath to play any kind of game! :) ) We tried to talk to as many people as we could to find out where they were from. Since the Grand Canyon is one of the seven wonders of the world, people come from all over the world to hike it. We met people from Canada, Finland, New Zealand, Poland, the Ukraine, and a bunch of other countries! And we loved hearing all the different accents too! :)

Taking a break from the steep trails! Hiking the Grand Canyon was beautiful, but it was much, much harder work than I ever expected, especially coming back up! :)

After we hiked 1.4 miles down, we took a break to eat a snack and relax on a huge overhanging rock called Canyon Ridge. We were the only people there, and the weather was beautiful, so we stayed for a while! :) We even sang some worship songs together before we left!

Yes, there was actually some snow on the ground in places! But it wasn't too cold; in fact, we had beautiful weather both in Sedona and the Grand Canyon! Thank you Lord!

The hard road up the canyon! :)

The Lord was so good to us to give us such a wonderful trip! These are memories that we'll never forget!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Back Home!

Hello friends,

We are back from Arizona! It was a wonderful trip for all of us, and we so enjoyed it! Here is an update about what we did, and some pictures of our activities. We took about 300 pictures, but don't worry, we didn't include them all here! :)

The first week we spent in Phoenix, where Dad lived for 11 years, and we were born! Since Dad was the speaker for our church's mission conference there, we attended several church activities, and in between times visited with ministry partners and friends.

Here is the house of Sandra Fontaine - the girl with whom we stayed. Let us just tell you: Sandra was such a gracious hostess, and it was such a blessing to stay with her. Isn't her house cute? Below is a picture of Sandra...
Such a sweet friend!

And, here is Sandra's Toyota Tacoma truck that we got to ride in a couple times! We love trucks! :)

We had the privilege of meeting with so many dear partners and friends while in Phoenix. Though we weren't able to get pictures of them all, our time spent with each one was such a blessing!

Here are our dear friends, Louie and Linda Lopez. They are sooo much fun to be with! Their enthusiasm and fun-loving spirits are an encouragement to us!

Some other dear friends, the Hensiek's, are pictured here with their adorable little grandchildren, Ben and Faith. It was fun to visit them and play with the children - not to mention the delicious lemons that they allowed us to pick off their abundant backyard lemon tree! :) And below is a picture of the lemon meringue pie that we made with those yummy lemons! :)

These next several pictures are of the church children's programs that we visited on Wednesday night. We had a wonderful time talking to the 4 to 6 year olds first, where I (Christa) gave my testimony, and then heading over to the 7 to 12 year olds, where we shared the Gospel using drama and other fun visuals! There were about sixty of the older children in the meeting that night. Kate also talked a little while to the older children about the Lord's work in her life since she has become a Christian. At the end of the meeting, several children indicated decisions made for Christ, and we were thrilled!! This was definitely one of the highlights of our trip!

The 4 to 6 year olds - aren't they darling??!

Dad giving a demonstration of trust...

Doing the"trust fall" with a brave volunteer...:)

The Gospel skit...(Me as "God," the boy in the black shirt as rebellious sinful man, and Dad as narrator)

And Kate giving her testimony!

One of our best friends, Libby Cox, lives in Phoenix, and we were so thrilled to be able to spend a couple evenings with her!

Taking a ride in her darling "slug bug" car! :)

To be the next post, we will post more pictures of the next week's adventures in the Grand Canyon and beyond!! :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thank you!

Just wanted to thank you all for the sweet comments you have left for us on our blog!! Please forgive us if we haven't responded to each one of you. It has been fun writing up our posts, but even more fun to read the comments you've sent! :) We love hearing from y'all!
We love you!
The Lord's blessings on each one of you,
The Bridges

Greetings from Arizona!

Hello from the sunny state of Arizona!
The picture above is of Christa on North Mountain here in Phoenix! (you can click on the photo to make it larger.) One of our sending churches here flew our family out for Dad to be the speaker at their missions conference. We have had a wonderful time blowing and going, catching up with friends and ministry partners, and getting reacquainted with the city of Phoenix! (where Dad lived for 11 years, and Christa and I were born!)
We have had several exciting ministry opportunities too, so we plan to post a detailed update and pictures from our trip once we get back, but for now, I thought I would post a couple pictures of my surprise birthday present that I received on Sunday (we had a family b-day celebration the day before we left, since it would be too hard to lug our presents with us on the plane! :))
Now, this b-day present was very special, b/c I've been dreaming about it for maybe 2 years now! I was not expecting to get this present at all, b/c all of my family members were so good at keeping the secret, (yes, even my dad, who has accidentally blown many a surprise in the past! lol :))
Drum roll please...........................

That's right! I am going to learn to play the cello!!!!!!!!! I was so excited, I started crying like a baby when I realized what in the world was going on! :)
Probably most of you got the e-mail my parents sent out asking if anyone happened to have a cello that they weren't using anymore and that they would want to loan us. They knew it was going to be a long shot, but our awesome God provided. Well, a woman that we had not seen for several years ended up responding to their e-mail, saying that she played the cello, and she had her old high school cello that she would be happy to loan us until I am able to get my own! She was so sweet - she even wrote me a note telling me the story of this cello! Apparently, it was found in an attic in Minnesota in the 1970's, and was lovingly reconstructed before she bought it!
At any rate, I am quite the happy camper, and can't wait to start the lessons my parents have set up for me shortly after we get back!
So the moral of this story is: number one: God is awesome, and number two: ask and you shall receive! :)