Saturday, November 8, 2008

day 5

OK today was by far the coolest as far as archeological sites go. I got up early for a run through the streets of Thessalonica and then hit an early breakfast (what is breakfast you say? - pretty much typical Greek fare is yogurts, fruits, nuts, honey, bread, coffee, cheese, olives, some bacon somtimes and scrambled eggs). We then made our way north to Philippi. Acts 16 tells you the story about this town. So we saw some amazing biblical stuff.

First, the River where they best conjecture that Paul met the women at prayer and baptized Lydia and her household. So here we were taking pictures on the river where our Christian sister from 2,000 years ago came to Christ. Then we made our way into the city proper.

There we walked on the Egnatian way (a 700 mile Roman road that Paul and his companions traveled a lot on his missionary journeys) and imagined Paul being followed by a demon possessed girl whom he cast the demon out of. We stood in the market place where the apostle (with Silas) was dragged before the Roman magistrates (and stripped and beaten). The place of judgement is there, we stood on it! And we thought about Paul paying a price for his faith.

We went to the jail cell where Paul and Silas spent the night. Again, remember the oral history would have been kept in detail by the Christians in that place, so the sites are believed to be accurate. So we did the jail thing - very wild.

Then we walked through the ruins of three different churches built in the 4th and 5th centuries. It was obviously a very strong church (as you can tell by reading Philippians). Very cool to spend time inside what remains of churches over 1600 years old. I stood in one of the pulpit areas in one of them.

finally we headed to the arena that was originally an ampitheatre in Greek times, but by the first and second century became an arena where Christians were thrown to the lions for sport. We actually saw the place where fences were put in place to keep the lions out of the stands. It is sobering to think of our Christian brothers and sisters dying because they believed in Jesus.

After we left Philippi we went to the city Kavala (a port city) where we had octopus and squid for lunch! Interesting about this city is that in the New Testament times it was Neopolis (literally new city) and was a place Paul came into port on one missionary journey to see the Philippians.

the trip is winding down and we are heading back to Athens tomorrow for some more educating stuff, but my heart will be 6,000 miles away with my family at Eastview.

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