Yesterday’s post is coming a day late because of spotty wifi in our last hotel. Thanks for your interest and your prayers!
We really feel like we’re in the home stretch of our journey now. We got up an hour early and were on the bus and traveling by 6 am. We have moved out of the ancient province of Asia and into the province of Galatia. It was a beautiful drive through rich, fertile farmland in wide valleys between mountain ranges. The weather is cool but sunny, and we were thankful for the extra layers we’d packed.
Our teaching began around the excavated site of Antioch of Psidia, where followers of Jesus were first called Christians. We learned about the culture and history of this interesting city, which served as a colony of the Roman Empire. Everything here was modeled on the city of Rome–a “mini-Rome” if you will. Complete with the same laws and customs. And it was here that Paul came several times, bringing the news of a King who has won HIs own Kingdom and who calls His followers to establish a new colony that models heaven. “May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” RVL walked us through all the ways that the gospel of Mark spoke into the Roman culture. Whoever Caesar thought he was, Jesus is stronger yet!
And we ended the day with our longest hike yet, steadily climbing up to about 5000ft to the site of an ancient worship centre to the god Mythra, popular with Roman soldiers. Mark also spoke directly into this pagan worship – again and again…Text into Context and Criticism by Creating, Not Condemning. Powerful reminders again today of how awesome our God is and our mission to put Him on display in all we say and do. It was a stunningly beautiful setting with the sun going down over the mountain peaks. We walked home as darkness fell, enjoyed a good meal and settled into our third to last hotel amid lots of laughter and conversation – our Canadian/US team is becoming a real family.