Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: In Review

The Greece and Turkey Trip in Review

After we returned, I wrote a little summary of the Study Tour for my Bible College’s magazine, Summa Supremo. I found it recently and thought I’d add here.


SummaSupremo

 

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
— 1 Peter 2:11–12

The most striking thing about being on tour in Greece and Turkey was the sense of being ‘sojourners and pilgrims’ — strangers in a strange land. It began in Greece because we were not in an English-speaking country, but in Turkey the sensation became acute. Each morning we awoke to the ‘call to prayer’ going out from the local mosque, so this 98% Muslim country felt like a strange place for a group of Christians to be.

On the other hand, in a country where we might expect both our religion and our culture to be bordering on offensive to the locals, it was striking to experience the wonderful, famous, Turkish hospitality! In this odd mixture of experiences we were on one hand confronted, and on the other disarmed.

Surrounded by so much that is foreign, it is little wonder that our group quickly formed a strong bond, forged in our shared faith in Jesus Christ. We rapidly developed rich relationships where we were sharing our stories, praying for one another, and in a beautiful expression of our unity, spontaneously bursting into song! This sense of being ‘sojourners and pilgrims’ provided a palpable link to the experience of the early church communities, which we don’t normally experience in Australia: we clung to one another, and to our identity in Christ, as a matter of cultural survival.

We visited some of the places where Paul spent substantial time, like Corinth and Ephesus, as well as many where Paul ministered. Along the way, each of us got a sense, sooner or later, of forming a connection with Paul, his journeys, his experiences and his ministry.

We went to the places that he wrote from and to; we saw the imposing temples, monuments, theatres, and impressive official buildings. We stood in the very spots where various events took place: where Paul reasoned with the philosophers on Mars Hill (Acts 17), where Gallio presided over the beating of Sosthenes (Acts 18), and where the riot occurred in Ephesus (Acts 19), just for examples.

However, God had prepared an even more important connection with Paul’s apostolic mission for us to experience: before our very eyes, a grown man came to faith in Christ precisely because the group’s authentic witness of faith, love and worship had forced him to concede that ‘surely God is among you’ (1 Cor 14:25). For the details of who, where, why and when, just ask anyone who was on the tour and they will be excited to recount the story for you. Suffice to say that St Peter’s advice (1 Peter 2:11-12), written to those living in the very areas we toured (1 Peter 1:1), was sage indeed, and truly prophetic.

 


Other posts in this series:

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 0 Anticipation

Posted on Jan 10th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Expectations These are my thoughts as I pack for a Study Tour of Greece and Turkey with my Bible College: Intellectually My thinking process…

Continue Reading

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 1-2 Brisbane – Sydney – Abu Dhabi – Athens

Posted on Jan 11th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 2 Comments

Brisbane - Sydney - Abu Dhabi - Athens Day 1 is mostly travel. In fact, it's hard to define what, precisely, is a "day" when you cross so many time…

Continue Reading

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 3 Corinth and Athens

Posted on Jan 12th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Corinth and Athens We drove down the coast to Corinth in the morning, and returned to Athens after lunch to see the Parthenon and…

Continue Reading

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 4 The Oracle of Delphi

Posted on Jan 13th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

The Oracle of Delphi We headed out from Athens, and in a two hour trip we saw an amazing landscape change from cityscape, to countryside, to…

Continue Reading

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 5 Athens – Istanbul – Cappadocia

Posted on Jan 14th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Athens - Istanbul - Cappadocia Just as we started to get used to Athens, we were off into the great unknown territory of Turkey. Unknown, that is,…

Continue Reading

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 6 Kaymakli, Sultanhani Caravanserai, Konya

Posted on Jan 15th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Kaymakli, Sultanhani Caravanserai, Konya For many in the group, the day began with a hot air balloon ride! They tell me it was amazing, and…

Continue Reading

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 7 Mevlana Museum, Pisidian Antioch

Posted on Jan 16th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Mevlana Museum, Pisidian Antioch Beforehand, I would have expected Mevlana Museum to be irrelevant, and Pisidian Antioch to be somewhat interesting.…

Continue Reading

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 8 Hierapolis, Pamukkale Pools, Colossae, Laodicea

Posted on Jan 17th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Hierapolis, Pamukkale Pools, Colossae, Laodicea Oh my goodness, what a day!   Hierapolis Hierapolis is mentioned in the Bible only…

Continue Reading

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 9 Philadelphia, Sardis, Kusadasi

Posted on Jan 18th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Philadelphia, Sardis, Kusadasi Happy birthday to me! January 18th is my birthday, and someone on tour happened to ask, just a couple of…

Continue Reading

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 10 Ephesus

Posted on Jan 19th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

  Ephesus Just when you think you've got no more "wow", there's Ephesus... The whole site is like a visual feast. It reminded me of those…

Continue Reading

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 11 Patmos

Posted on Jan 20th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 2 Comments

Patmos We had an early start, so that we had time for the four hour boat ride to Patmos from Kusadasi... and four hours back again! We passed…

Continue Reading

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 12 Smyrna, Thyateria, Pergamon

Posted on Jan 21st, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Smyrna (Izmir), Thyateria, Pergamon (Bergama) It's a big day when you visit three sites. On top of that, two out of these particular three were…

Continue Reading

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 13 Assos, Alexander Troas, Troy

Posted on Jan 22nd, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 4 Comments

Assos, Alexander Troas, Troy Today we visited three sites, and all were impressive. It was another big day for all of us. He didn't let on, but I…

Continue Reading

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 14 Gallipoli

Posted on Jan 23rd, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 4 Comments

Gallipoli Without any hesitation I can state that this was the most moving and emotional day of the tour. Gallipoli is special. Here it…

Continue Reading

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 15 (and 16) Istanbul

Posted on Jan 25th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

 Istanbul This is quite a town! It has twice the population of the largest city in Australia. The road rules seem to be taken as no more than a…

Continue Reading

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: In Review

Posted on Mar 31st, 2015 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

The Greece and Turkey Trip in Review After we returned, I wrote a little summary of the Study Tour for my Bible College's magazine, Summa Supremo. I…

Continue Reading


 

facebook comments:

Post Tagged with  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *