There are so many reasons I’m falling in love with Eastern Europe. I’m learning that from country to country there is so much variety and beauty. There is so much rich ancient Christian history; there is so much growth and development of Jesus’ kingdom here from way back in the early 500s (A.D.) or even earlier to when Paul and the other apostles went through parts of Europe.
I’m loving the farmer’s markets that have aisles and aisles of fruit; something that’s a bit more of a rarity in Colorado. I’m treasuring the ocean views, because although I LOVE mountains we just don’t have beaches in Colorado so I’m loving it while we’re here. The Greek food? 3 Euros for a gyro is totally worth the price and the experience.
The chocolate? Every bar that you buy here, whether it’s the cheaper kind or more expensive is just creamier and more ‘melt in your mouth’ than chocolate I’m used to at home. The Bulgarian breakfasts? My sister found two cute little Bulgarian B&B’s that served amazing breakfasts for just about $50.00 a night for 4 people and a huge breakfast.
In other words, Eastern Europe is not an expensive trip.
My favorite parts of this last week have been so many, and it I thought it would be fun to tag along with Meghan for the Week In Review party to share them.
One of the songs that has been running through my head almost every morning that we’ve been traveling has been this one:
‘Great Is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father!
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Though changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
Great Is Thy faithfulness,
Great Is Thy faithfulness,
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord unto me!
It’s amazing how you wake up day to day and realize all the dire circumstances, hard situations, and tough places God has brought you out of, and you feel washed by new mercies. I wouldn’t have survived had it not been for His mercy.
The Highlights of this past week were many but I’ll share a few so I can hear some of yours too:
#1) Overlooking the city of Thessaloniki Greece from a monastery above the city. –The legend is that the Apostle Paul preached at this monastery long ago when he was at the city back in the early A.Ds. Here’s the passage in the Bible where it talks about Paul preaching here.
Acts 17:1-4 ‘Paul and Silas then traveled through the towns of Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row he used the Scriptures to reason with the people. 3 He explained the prophecies and proved that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead. He said, “This Jesus I’m telling you about is the Messiah.” 4 Some of the Jews who listened were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many God-fearing Greek men and quite a few prominent women.a]’
However the passage does say that he preached at the Jewish synagogue so I’m not sure about him preaching at the monastery. However they also said that the site of the monastery may have been where Paul and Silas escaped Thessalonica by night after they were ill received by some of the Jews.
#2) Seeing the sunset in Greece on Saturday. – Many of the places we’ve gone have had really cloudy days at sunset, so we haven’t seen the sunset. I love the rain and the green too, but it was pretty epic to get to Greece which is a bit drier and sunnier and see the sunset on one of the first nights we were here.
#3) Getting to eat some authentic Greek food. – I can not lie and say that this huge piece of spanakopita (AKA: Spinach pie) from a bakery on Sunday morning was not a challenge for me to eat. I wanted to try some, but the piece was so big. I was afraid of eating something so big, but it really seemed like God wanted me to conquer that fear, and He enabled me to conquer that fear and eat it.
Needless to say it was delicious, and it was so fun having a day of Greek eats. Later in the day we ate ‘souvlaki’ which is chunks of chicken with a tomato sauce, onions, mustard, and ‘fries’ all stuffed into pita bread.
Their baked goods here are delicious too; and I wish I could bring doughnuts back for all my readers.
#5) Seeing the ancient ruins of the city Phillipi where Paul preached the gospel of Jesus back in A.D. 49-50. – It was incredible to think that even though this city lies in ruins, the kingdom of Jesus continues to go on and on and on and give hope and eternal life to so many people even centuries after the Apostle Paul went to be with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!
Philippians 1:1-2, ‘This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus. I am writing to all of God’s holy people in Philippi who belong to Christ Jesus, including the church leadersa] and deacons. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.’
#6) Bulgarian Breakfasts on Thursday and Friday morning. – It was so amazing to have eggs and cucumbers and cheese and bread and fresh fig jam for breakfast. I normally almost always eat just a simple bowl of yogurt or oatmeal or some toast for breakfast at home, so this was a true treat.
#7) Seeing the mighty ocean and being reminded of how awesome of a God I serve. – It’s insanely amazing to me to think that God controls every single wind and wave on that ocean. Looking at the ocean makes me feel so small, and yet it reminds me that God is INFINITELY big.
Psalm 145:5, ‘I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.’
And that’s a wrap.
One of the best parts of the week was going to church on Sunday. There were so many different nationalities represented. They had the Greek nationality, people from the Middle East, Egypt, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and other places in a small congregation. It was wonderful to hear all of the voices lifted up to praise the Lord in many different languages.
Now I want to hear about your week!
What was one really memorable thing you did this week?
Have you ever wanted to visit Greece? Do you like beaches and Mediterranean food?
If you could pick up and travel anywhere where would you go?
Also, how do you overcome a fear of eating a certain food?
Did you miss any of these posts from last week?
The Temptation to Restrict on Vacation (Digging in Deeper to My Struggles)