The trip to the ancient city of Ephesus in 2009 was wonderful. The day was sunny and warm but dry. We walked for as much as two hours, stopped for photos and for historical information on display. The apostle Paul preached the gospel for over two years in Ephesus and the message spread around the whole province by word of mouth. In this city, God did extraordinary miracles through Paul the missionary “so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them”(Acts 19:12). Large parts of the city’s ruins remain well-preserved. As I walked the streets of stones, tested the natural acoustics in the auditoriums, and peered into halls, homes, libraries and gyms and toilets, I imagined Paul and his work in that thriving city. This was my second visit but found it astounding and eye-opeing.
A group of us went to visit our friend, Stephen Tay, who had lived in Turkey for 15 years. He was homeward bound. We were there to visit him and carry some of his barang-barang back.
Wow! What an awesome opportunity! Have always wanted to visit biblical lands, especially Israel and surrounding (Jesus’ areas) and Asia Minor/Europe (Paul’s areas). One of my pastor colleagues recently was given a free trip (his parents wanted to bless him and his wife for their wedding anniversary) to Israel with them, but he turned it down due to clash and busyness in ministry and work schedule. A once in a lifetime opportunity! My dad got to go when he was serving National Service, as he was an engineer trained by the Israelis. I remember a photo of him reading a newspaper floating on the Dead Sea. What a feeling to actually be where Paul and Jesus actually lived, walked and ministered.
Yep, Timothy, you are right. Visiting these lands give us a feel for it that watching videos or studying books and pictures just doesn’t.
Pray that your colleague will get another chance. Hope its not Kenny Fam.