Church of the Cave
May 27, 2010
Greetings from Clearwater! Even though our water is not nearly as clear as that of the Aegean Sea, it is a delight to be home. The Lord gave a safe return
from Turkey. Our arrival in Tampa was at 10:18 p.m. on Tuesday evening. All of our baggage arrived safely with us. We gathered for prayer once more at the
airport to give thanks. We were grateful to see Mr. Squires approaching in the college minibus. We arrived on campus after 11:00 p.m. weary but grateful.
As we were bidding farewell to one another, Andrew Lawson called our attention to the fact that Matthew Leahy had a flat tire on his car. Fortunately he
had a spare tire that we changed so they could be on their way. I even made it home just a little after midnight. Yesterday was consumed with sorting
photos and refocusing on the next chapter of the summer - Summer School Session II. But before delving into that chapter, a few observations on the trip.
Dr. Ralph Hayes, during one of our stops on the trip, mentioned that a trip involves three major features: 1. Planning the trip. (I can assure you that
there was plenty of that!) 2. Taking the trip. (Eleven courageous brothers and sisters joined in the unique experience of studying the Scriptures on the
sites written of in Scripture.) 3. Spending the rest of your life reliving and reflecting on the lessons and experiences of the trip. (That will require a
lifetime for this trip.)
Repeatedly we saw the hand of the Lord's providence in caring for us. But just one item was the weather. On Saturday May 22 just at the end of our
time in Aphrodisias there were many clouds and the imminent threat of rain. Yet we safely boarded our bus and made our way toward our next stop in
Kusadasi. After unloading our luggage at the hotel a major storm struck. Mr. Carver observed a funnel cloud (water spout) over the Aegean Sea.
Many concerns were expressed over our safety for the trip to the Island of Patmos the following day. We committed the matters to our Father and
rested for the night. Early the next morning the sky was blue and the water was calm. We boarded our boat (a ferry boat with only our group in
addition to the five man crew on board) and rode for four hours to the Island. No storms arose and no one became ill. Once we were in the cave
on the island where it is believed that John wrote the book of Revelation, our tour guide noted that we were alone in the cave. If we desired to
read there we could. How precious it was to listen to Mr. Carver lead us in reading Revelation 1 at the very place where heaven met earth as the
resurrected Jesus, the Messiah, visited the Apostle John with the message of the book of Revelation. Moments after we concluded our time of reading
and prayer other tourists arrived. Yet our Father had granted those moments uniquely for us to share. As we returned to Kusadasi I awaited the
arrival of storms and rough seas, but we were blessed with smooth traveling. To be sure, there is much more to share, but as I said above, that
would take a lifetime....
Again, thank you one and all for your prayers. Please pray for the students as they complete their reading and research for concluding the course.
They were a great group. Pray for each of us as we embrace the challenges that lie ahead. Last of all, pray for me that I would faithfully invest
my life in ways that will bring the greatest glory to our Heavenly Father.
May 26, 2010
Greetings from New York,
We are safely back in the USA. With limited internet access and cell phone coverage, I am very sorry that we were not able to communicate more effectively.
The weather has been excellent and the sights and study times have been even better than I had anticipated - and I had high hopes.
Thank you one and all for your prayers. We trust that the Lord will give us safety in our return to Tampa.
May 20, 2010
Greetings from Parmakkle, Turkey
We had a delightful day of more discoveries in the seven churches. After a rousing wake up call by the many mosques in Ismir, many of us had an early
start to our day. We had a great breakfast then departed for Thyatira. We learned many new details of that unique place. From there we traveled
to Sardis then to Philadelphia before making our way this way.
Our place of lodging tonight and tomorrow night is home to a hot mineral spring. It was most refreshing to spend time in the waters this evening
before a wonderful dinner.
Tomorrow we make our way to Hieropolis, Colossae, and Laodicea before returning here for the night.
Thank you for your prayer support. We are doing well and the passenger who was not feeling so well is feeling better today.
May 19, 2010
Greetings from Turkey!
As reported on the phone message yesterday, we arrived safely Tuesday morning local time. We traveled from Istanbul to Canukkle where we had dinner.
Reflecting on 2 Corinthians 2:8 and following we had a debrief time as the sun set over the Aegean Sea.
This morning we left early and traveled to the ancient city of Troy. No we did not meet Helen in our visit. From there we made our way to Pergamum
where we were able to see the steepest theater in the world and read from the passage in Revelation 2 on site. From there we came to Izmir which was
formerly known as Smyrna. We visited the church of Polycarp. We took time to reflect on those in distant and more recent history who have paid the
ultimate price to advance the good news.
Please pray for one of our members who was not feeling well earlier this evening. Latest report is that the traveler is feeling better.
May 18, 2010
The group arrived safely, and they are at their hotel for the first night.