Last week was absolutely fantastic, one of the best weeks overseas I've ever experienced. Some college students I talked to described Turkey as a "magical world," and I like that description. There's just too much that I loved to mention here; Istanbul is easily one of my favorite cities in the world. Thanks to all those who prayed for our journey, it was 90% very smooth. A few highlights:
First, Turkish Air was awesome. Easily the best trans-atlantic flight I've ever had. We had about a hundred movies to choose from and about as many music stations and full albums of every genre. Welcome to the 21st century, right? Wish we had that service here in the States. Of course the food was great, too.
Imagine taking a trans-continental cruise every time you went to work. Well, that's what thousands of Turks do every day. Istanbul sits on two continents and most people ferry across.Here's a view from the boat at sunset.
Ephesus was neat. Seeing where John ministered and was buried, seeing where Acts 19 took place. Here's a picture of me next to some ruins.
I really knew God had his hand on the trip when we were sitting in an important meeting and I saw this car pull up outside. I immediately rushed out to meet the driver. He and his wife are Turks that used to live in Lexington, he's an EKU alum. They came back to Turkey because they were homesick. Seriously, in a city of 18 million this is the only guy that has this on his car. How awesome is that?
This is the Hagia Sofia museum/mosque/church in Istanbul, used to be the largest building of the world when it was Constantinople and the center of the Western world. We toured it, it's possibly more impressive outside I think.
This is just a tiny sample. Hopefully we have built some bridges for SBU students to go over and do business internships as well as for faculty to go to assist. Endless opportunities.
The only other thing I will say is that my Nokia e63 is one of the best investments I've ever made. Plugged a Turkish sim card in and it worked great as a phone, the wi-fi capability worked well in downtown Istanbul (where the city offers free wi-fi) as well as the hotel, and the camera worked well as a backup when I forgot my real camera.