Greetings from Thessaloniki!
Today, Team Greece got to explore Philippi! What an awesome time this was. We had a spectacular tour guide, our very own Mr. Dirrim. Our day started in Athens, but we got on a plane and flew north so we could visit Philippi and Thessaloniki. We landed in Thessaloniki around 11:00 am and drove straight to Philippi. The scenery was very beautiful. North of Athens is very lush countryside. Everything was so green, I almost felt like I was back in Hawaii again, only in Greece. The lake we drove by was so blue and looking very good. I wanted to stop by and take a dip, but we had a schedule to keep if we were going to see everything we wanted.
The cities that were right before Philippi looked like some sort of vacation resorts. We entered into the towns well above them and we had a bird’s eye view of what looked like some gorgeous homes and even more stunning beaches. We got to see where the apostle Paul came to shore at Troaz on his way to Philippi. It looked majestic. Paul probably had a different view. Ha ha. Arriving in Phillipi, we stopped at a little church with a baptistery. It was beautifully made. I will put a picture up with this post. Someone disrupted the flow of this creek to make it flow where they wanted it to go. It was cool, they built a couple walls and steps down into the water in the shape of a cross. That is where they baptize people. I got baptized in a pastor’s pool in Vancouver Washington. So, a little different than a flowing creek, in the shape of a cross, in Ancient Philippi! From here, Mr. Dirrim taught a little bit on Acts 16. Mr. Dirrim did an excellent job at opening the text and showing us some stuff that is kind of hidden within it. Learning about Lydia, Paul, and the Philippians was seen in a new light. I love how God continues to open more and more to us through His word. I hope I never think I have got all I can get out of a passage of Scripture.
Then, we journeyed down the road a bit to the ruins of Phillipi that were still intact. One site of which was the theatre. It was my first time in a theatre like this and it was eye opening. The craftsmanship of this place was truly amazing. These theatres were constructed to capture the voices that came from the bottom of theatre and project them all the way to the top which was easily 100 + feet. Below this paragraph is a picture of Tiffany standing on a white square. This square is the best spot and it is the most efficient spot for this parabolic theatre to project noise. It reaches the top without even thinking twice. We had an experiment to see just how much different the noise was in other spots. The results were shocking. Starting from 20 feet in front of Tiffany and ending at Tiffany has many different sounds. There is nothing like making noise than where Tiffany stands than all of the theatre. In that spot, your ears ring such a different tune than the rest. I am having a very difficult time trying to explain it, but I hope you are gettin it. It may appear to be difficult to hear the performers from all the way up top, but that is just not the case. I could hear Tiffany with ease from where this picture was taken. Simply incredible.
Next, we kept walking until we came upon an old part of the Via Egnatia. This is a road that was constructed by Rome to connect important cities. Ultimately, this road served Paul and early missionaries to spread the gospel! What was intended for profit and gain by Roman Empire, was used to further the Kindom of God. God knows what He is doing and how to use evil for good. It felt amazing to stand on the Via Egnatia literally where Paul walked! Again, Mr. Dirrim opened up some of Scripture to us, giving us a more full look at what it meant back in the first century. You must visit this yourself! We looked at the ruins of Philippi and were fascinated by how much still stands and the brilliance it took to construct the village. What a special day it was. The picture below the top picture is Ancient Philippi. Incredible, right. Below is the Via Egnatia.
This picture is piece of history. Paul could very well of stood where Mr. Dirrim is standing. What an amazing picture to think about in your mind.
Here is a picture of the remains of Ancient Philippi.
After this, we headed back to Thessaloniki. We walked down to the water and it was crazy packed with people. It appeared mostly local people. Thessaloniki sure knows how to enjoy the night life. There was thousands of people. We did not explore Thessaloniki. That is on our agenda for tomorrow. More to come. Below is a picture of our team at the baptistery spot. Just in front of us is the actual baptizing spot.
That is four cool cats!
Can you see the cross?
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned.