(Above) The main purpose of this 2001 visit was to see Michael's sister
and family, who had been working in Turkey for many years. Michael's
parents also flew to join us (and footed the bill!). (Left) Andrew
freezes in front of a famous church on our unexpected visit to Istanbul (see
After flying to visit friends in Israel, we had a one-day snow-bound layover in Istanbul, the only city that
straddles two continents. This was our view from a ferry on the Bosporus.
We also visited the Aya Sophia (see above), a Byzantine church that was earth’s
largest enclosed space for 1000 years!
(Right) Michael & Vivian stand in Perga’s Coliseum, once likely used for
great chariot races.
Paul landed here at Antalya’s quaint harbor (called Attalia in
Acts 14:25). We hope his
companions were as gracious as Michael’s sister and her family, who
showed us a wonderful time!
Antalya’s beautiful Mediterranean beaches and snow-capped mountains
attract a lot of European tourists annually, and it is easy to see why!
The food is also wonderful—so what are YOU waiting for?
must have been an awesome city when Paul wrote one of our favorite Bible
verses to the Ephesians. It says that Earth’s great mystery is “that
now the manifold wisdom of God” is being made known by the church to
supernatural powers, “according to the eternal purpose which He
accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and
access with confidence through faith in Him.” (Eph 3:10-12 NKJV)
Like Ephesus, the ruins of Hieropolis (here), Perga and other sites gave
testimony to Turkey’s great past. The region claims a 7000-year
history under a vastly different host of rulers. The obvious absence of
Christianity, once centered here (in part), reminds us that Christianity
is not a race or culture that is effortlessly passed down to each
generation. Christianity springs from forgiveness via a faith-based
relationship with Jesus Christ.
Much of the Bible was written to people living in
what we now call Turkey. We found our hearts refreshed there as we shared
Christmas with family (Michael’s parents were also over from the USA)
and visited sites from Biblical times. For more vacation photos click
over to our next stop: Israel. You can also
click here to read an article
about this trip.