You may or may not know that Dana and I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Turkey together as part of my seminary education. We visited Istanbul (Constantinople) as well as the seven cities of the churches of Revelation and the island of Patmos, where John received the vision. I was asked by Biblical Seminary to write a blurb about the trip for them to use (for promotional purposes). I'm not sure if I gave them what they were looking for, but in the process of writing a short blurb for the trip I felt like I summarized what the trip meant for me in a way that was worth sharing here as well.
"Turkey was a transformational experience. Interacting with ancient human history, Old Testament biblical history, early church history, and the recent transition from Muslim to secular society all within the same space was sobering, enlightening, and challenging. Two things that stick with me from the trip are 1) sitting in a theater built in 450 B.C. thinking about the number of generations that had passed since that theater had been built and 2) hearing a Polish Franciscan priest tell stories of Muslims converting to Christianity (Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox). I came back from the trip more convinced than ever that Jesus, God incarnate, rose from the dead and inaugurated a monumental shift in history which we now participate in. The trip encouraged me to listen to the Spirit more and seek Christian community both within my cohort at Biblical as well as in my church and community."
Dana and I could not have gone without the support of many friends and family (we raised $7000 in order to go together) and we truly appreciate having had this opportunity. We saw the hand of God as we prepared for the trip and throughout our travels. I'm sure it is not something we will quickly forget.