Today we drove to Ephesus. It was an incredible experience to be in the location where Paul spoke to (and argued with) the Ephesians. There was a silversmith named Demetrius who became irate with Paul diminishing his business. Paul was preaching about the one true God and Demetrius made silver idols of the goddess Artemis. […]
Meteora is a place that is hard to describe because of the geological formations but even more special to see when you realize that it’s the location of several monasteries (and more recently, two nunneries). The monasteries were built in the 16th century by monks and placed on the top of the rock formations for the seclusion and security. Monks had originally used the caves in the rock structures starting in the 11th century, and when the monasteries were finally built they could be reached by lowering a basket to the ground and using a pulley to pull the person or supplies to the top. Our bus driver drove to the top of one of the formations so that we could visit a nunnery located there. Although we weren’t able to take pictures of the chapel, we were impressed with the beautiful artwork inside.
The next morning we stopped at the Lion of Amphipolis. It is a tomb sculpture in honor of a general who served under Alexander the Great. Amphipolis was visited by Paul during his missionary journeys and he probably passed by the sculpture when it was “only” a few hundred years old.
From there we drove to Philippi. We stopped at the Zygakti river at a place dedicated to the baptism of the first European convert to Christianity, a woman by the name of Lydia. There was a chapel located at the site and inside it was covered with beautiful paintings and mosaics that told the story of Acts 16:1-15 where Paul received a vision of a man from Macedonia pleading with him to come and help them; the story of Paul preaching at place of prayer by the riverside and Lydia’s subsequent conversion were also highlighted.
Coming off the heels of an incredible second full day in DC, we awoke enthusiastic to plunge into the last full day we would spend here. As luck would have it, the weather was absolutely ideal—sunny and 68 degrees with a cool spring breeze. A short jaunt brought the crew to a relatively new addition […]
I began the second day of our DC experience with a moment of solitude. On each trip I take, I pick a place to watch one sunrise, typically over a body of water. In Israel it was at the Sea of Galilee, in France it was along the River Seine, and this morning I enjoyed […]
Hello from Washington, D.C.! A group of 14 of us from St. Luke’s is here enjoying a chance to tour the Museum of the Bible and a few other sites in our nation’s capital over the next few days. We arrived yesterday to crisp and sunny weather and were welcomed by cherry blossoms in full […]
Today we woke up in a wonderful hotel near Petra, Jordan. After breakfast we boarded the bus and made our way to the ancient site. Once there, several made arrangements for a horse-drawn carriage to take them to and from the archaeological site. It was a smart move for a 4 km summer walk in […]
After an early wake up call and breakfast, we left the hotel at 7:00 a.m. to head to the border with Jordan. We crossed the Allenby bridge, named in honor of British General Edmund Allenby, and began our time in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Today we headed into the Old City of Jerusalem. We began at a place just past St. Stephens Gate – St. Anne’s Church. The church is located beside the excavation of the pools of Bethesda which is featured in an important story of the New Testament: