“If you hear something on the roof, it’s most likely the bobcat that lives next door,” Dottie said during a conversation explaining the various wildlife that lived around the house, “It’s pretty wild out here.” When the neighbors let me into the house on Saturday afternoon, they advised me to use the back entrance due to the javelina (rodents that look like pigs) that often roam the front yard.

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And so I find myself in a little desert sanctuary in the form of my friend Dottie’s house, with incredible views of the mountains and large front windows that frame 12 ft tall cactus plants and wandering quail, birds, rabbits, and the occasional chipmunk. We’re still in the town of Tucson, but conveniently tucked up on a hill next to a riverbed that has kept this neighborhood on the wild side. I adore it.

My last trip to Tucson happened so incredibly fast, five days of jam packed exposure to border issues. We sat in courtrooms, a medical examiner’s office, and met with the sheriff’s department. We met Francisco and Rosa who were living in Sanctuary in different churches, and drove down to Nogales to see the border. We watched documentaries and took a trip with Humane Borders to refill water stations in the desert. And we shared music with Pastors, joined in worship with St Francis in the Foothills UMC, and met Pablo, a local singer-songwriter…we were fully immersed.

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But this trip is different. There’s more time to pause, be still and fully see the beauty of the desert. As I jumped in the pool last night and watched the sun set over the distant mountains, I felt a peace about the schedule of this week, being a bit slower and focused on reconnecting with the relationships made two years ago.

I’m not sure how blogging this week will go, there’s still adventures to share from last week’s road trip across the country, and upcoming posts may come a bit out of order. Today is all about prepping to spend the day tomorrow out in the desert with the Samaritans. Still need to get a hat! Tomorrow’s trip will be focused on placing crosses out where people have died. I’m hoping to get some footage to use with Desert Bones (main goal of this week!). Wednesday afternoon I’ll head down to Nogales to spend the night with Maritza and her family and to cross the border into Nogales Sonora. And then Friday night I’ll be playing a concert with St Francis in the Foothills UMC… a beautiful chance to combine everything God has been doing these past couple of years!

Then mom flies in on Saturday and we head for the Grand Canyon on our way to Colorado Springs to play a house concert before heading back to my sweet friends in Indiana for a few days…. Tucson or Bust continues on!!!