Monday, June 23, 2008

Day 16. 20th June

We arrived in Phoenix at 7am after about an hours sleep & already the mist sprayers were spraying & the temperature was around 90 degrees.

We got a free bus, because the meter was broken, down town, where an English police officer & a teenager who knew more about monks than wickapedia, greeted us & told us the places to go & see.

We caught the free shuttle bus & were just crossing the road to the park when we were assailed by singing. We looked across to see a man, both arms out his open jeep window, singing to us about Jesus.

We waved & carried on, but moments later, as we were setting up a tripod to take this picture,

we were again accosted by singing.

Steven, a powerful prophet from the past in modern day clothes, finished his song, came & embraced us warmly & offered to take the photo for us.

Then he scooped us up & took us to his office, introducing us to his work mates, giving us muffins, sandwiches & gallons of iced tea & let us use his internet?!

It turns out, Steven used to be in the Arian Botherhood, a notoriously brutal organised crime syndicate. He’d done all kinds of crimes, including killing people, & was known & feared by many. But then one day, he’d found Jesus & everything changed. Now he works for Prison Living, a magazine published in every state of America, which inspires, motivates & informs prisoners, helps the public understand who prisoners are & encourages families of prisoners & victims. (www.prisonlivingmagazing.org)

St Stephen (He’ll die if he reads that) took us out to lunch, introducing us to more people & waited on us all hand & foot. Never before have I met such a strong leader, who is so humble & so gladly & appropriately practices servant leadership.

We were dropped off by Mary & Linda to swim in the lake. However, despite it being a zillion degrees, no one was swimming?! Then we noticed the signs & saw the murkiness of the water & all but the water became clear.

So now, at least a mile from any safe air conditioning, we stood, hiding in the shade of the underpass.

I’m not sure I’d trust this overheated monk.

We managed to make it to a CafĂ©, using our wet hoods as air conditioning & not long later, one of Paul’s contacts, Ryan, came by & picked us up, taking us to a ‘Cyber geek Friday social time’. (They called themselves cyber geeks proudly. That’s not a name I’m plastering them with.)

We sat back & were well entertained by this witty crew, before progressing to the pub, where they fed & beered us too.

I have to admit, there was something about that pub that made me feel kind of small though.

Ryan took us out to his favourite cigar shop & shouted us (paid for) each a cigar of our choice. (We had no clue, but he pointed out, with his expert insight, those he thought we could appreciate.) Neither Paul or myself are smokers, so needless to say, the cigars got us quite light headed.

Stephen came whirling back into our lives & whisked us off to his friend Patrick’s house, where we could rest our heads…while he slept in his car, as is the norm.

Patrick regaled us with all kinds of quotes & entertaining stories, before we finally retreated to the depths of much needed sleep.

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