Saturday, December 19, 2009

Izmir and the 7 Churches of Revelation

Today is Saturday, December 19th.  On Thursday, we went to the sites of two of the 7 churches - the sites of the cities, that is.  In the early days of the church,there weren't any church buildings. In fact, there were only home churches.  It wasn't until around the 3rd century that the Christians began to use a building to meet in.  They actually bought old basilicas - which were used for worship of Greek or Roman gods, and converted them to places where they met.  Cool info, huh?  Anyway, we went to Pergamum and Thyatira.  It was pretty incredible.  Even though there was false idol worship in these cities, they are the very same cities where Paul walked, and where Christianity spread to the GentilesTomorrow, we go to Smyrna and Ephesus.  Even as I am writing this, I am hearing the Muslim call to prayer.  It's really loud, but it still can't drown out Jesus in my heart, and in my spirit!  We are having an incredible time.
     This morning, we had an opportunity to worship, during a 24 hour prayer time, with some of the frontline workers here.  We also prayed for them, and shared words of the Lord that we felt for them.  It seemed to really bless and encourage them.  We go to three more cities of the 7 churches on Tuesday, ending in Laodicea, and then going on to Antalya where we will spend Christmas at a retreat house.  We have been so blessed in all we have put our hands to here.  Thank you for your continuing prayers!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thoughts to consider

Here are a few thoughts to consider:
   We are in Izmir, which has a beautiful coastline and is very close to Smyrna.  A hundred years ago, 80% of the people were Christian.  Why should it be so difficult for them to believe in Jesus now?  Well, it seems that the ruler a hundred years ago, Attaturk, sent all the Christians away to Greece and other places, and traded them for Muslims.  There was a massive move of people after the first World War.  Of course, there's more to it, but we are walking on true Holy Ground, only the people here don't know it.  It seems surreal on many levels, and I am still trying to wrap my brain around all of it. I can picture Paul traveling through here and being stuck by its beauty.  We certainly are.  Anyway, just something for you to look up when you have time - - Attaturk, Turkey ruler, Christian exchange.  ???  Hopefully, we will have an update in a few days.  All here are doing well, and in His hands.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Izmir

We took a bus last night from Istanbul to IzmirWe left around 10:30 in the evening and arrived this morning around 7:30.  It was a very nice bus, but the seats were terribly uncomfortable.  We crossed the sea by ferry on the bus - a new experience!  This is a really beautiful city.  About 100 years ago, it was 80% Christian, even though now the entire country is less than 1% Christian.  We met with our contact here, and then arrived at our hotel just in time for a typical breakfast.  Tomatoes, cucumbers, olives - oh, the olives are so good! - bread, honey and butter, with tea.  Everyone took a short nap, and then met in time to leave and go to a house of prayer and pray for several hours.  It was an incredible experience, but we are tired.  Tomorrow is orientation, lunch and then church.  Monday, we will have our first day off.  Please pray that the Lord will bring revival to this nation.  The people and the country are so beautiful!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We made it!

We are here!  What a beautiful country, and gracious people!  Not much time to fill you in, but we arrived with all luggage and no missed connections, despite many delays.  Thank you for staying in with us!  Pls reply and encourage when you can...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

We made it to the airport!

Well, we made it to the airport.  I know that sounds like no big deal, but it began to snow last night and it's about 14 degrees outside.  At least two cars spun out in front of us, and ended up coming towards us on the interstate.  With 19 people, two vans and a trailer, it was treacherous.  But, we are sitting in the airport waiting to go now.  Woohoo!  Adventure, here we come!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Wow! Here we go!

We leave tomorrow on this adventure, and we are so excited!  We will be in Istanbul for the first 4 days, and then will head to Izmir!  Thank you for your prayers, and for following us as we go!