Hey guys! I bring to greetings from Greece! So much has happened here already, and I could tell you a thousand stories, but tonight I will focus on the events of yesterday and today. Yesterday we did some sight seeing and viewed the ruins of the temple of Athena. Later that afternoon after a few needed catnaps we gathered ourselves and drove to the airport for our next adventure in Thessaloniki. Once our one hour flight landed in Thessaloniki that evening it had already been a long day, and we were all tired and hungry (a theme that you will find at the end of most of our days). We dropped off our bags at the hotel and explored the city in hopes some good food. Our search was successful and we filled our bellies with pork, chicken, pita and Greek salad. Every one of us was happy to lay down for the night. So that brings us to today! We ate a welcomed breakfast at the hotel and immediately began our two hour drive to see ancient Philippi. The ruins that were there were not crowded with tourists for a change, which was very nice. As we walked past preserved pillars and ancient works of Greek stonework, I tried to imagine the city through the apostle Paul’s eyes as he walked the city streets. We sat among the ruins and read from the book of Acts Paul’s experience in Philippi. It started to sink into me where we were sitting. We were in the midst of a piece of Church history! This was our spiritual lineage, a part of where we started. I thought about Paul rejoices with his brothers in a Philippian jail. I thought about what the Greeks must have thought about the Gospel that Paul preached. Probably the most surreal part was Standing on the road where Paul walked, still preserved standing the test of time. One of my favorite parts of the day was when we stopped by the sight believed to be the house of Lydia, a woman mentioned in Acts. There was a beautiful stream running through the area, and next to it was a small Greek Orthodox church building. Inside were intricate paintings that covered the walls, and told stories of the apostles and of Jesus. I was amazed at the designs and the careful detail put into each panel, and yet I had a thought prodding me as a left. We can create beautiful things to represent God and all His wonder, but even in it’s splendor, it cannot even compare to the vast Glory and majesty of almighty God.
After this we broke for lunch at a small restaurant. I decided to be courageous and try anchovies, not knowing that anchovies come fried tail, bone and all. They were not terrible, but ultimately I was not a fan, and shared what was left freely with my comrades. We then hit a gorgeous white sand beach where us guys dove in and embraced the perfect water of the Aegean Sea while the girls sat on the beach soaking up the sun. As the laughs, puns and merriment faded into exhaustion on the drive to the airport and the flight back to Athens we all reflected on our journey. Tiffany unfortunately became ill on the flight back, and could use everyone’s prayer! In the end, it was a great day, and I am looking forward to even more during these next few weeks.
Thank you for your support and all your prayers!
God Bless you! -Ben Skinner