March 02, 2013

project thessalonica: the day at philippi

For those of you who don't know, I'm in Thessaloniki, Greece on a missions trip with Tim and Karen, Dan and Brandi Jones, and Rachel. We'll be here for two weeks helping out missionary Brent Logan and his family with... whatever they need help doing! I'm supposed to be posting these updates on the official website, Project Thessalonica, but sometimes there's a delay between my posting and the website's administrator getting the posts up. Aaaand... I know we have peeps at home waiting to hear from us so I'm posting here as well. No delays. These posts are a journal. You'll be getting as much detail as I can remember. Also, we have a friend back home, Bro. Lowell, who really, really wanted to be able to come on this trip, and has been praying for this project ever since it started. But he's really sick with cancer and wasn't able to make it. So these posts are mostly for you, Bro. Lowell! I hope you enjoy reading all about Greece!

We had a day off today so Bro. Logan took us all to see the ruins in Philippi. We climbed all over the place and the other girls took approximately 992 pictures of all the ancient and sunken city ruins. I slept on the way over and on the way home, and I'm ready for bed again. So it'll just be pictures today. But lots of them!
But before the pictures, I have two things to say.
First, Bro. Logan won't be staying in Thessaloniki indefinitely. This project was supposed to be a fairly short termed one. And he was hoping that once it came time for him to leave, someone else would be able to step up to the plate and take over the project for, like, ever. The project ends in a few months and so far there's no one to take it over once Bro. Logan and Angelo leave to go back to their homes. Could you pray about someone coming over here to take their place? It would be a shame for all these guy's hard work and sacrifice to go to waste. It didn't seem too terribly important to me before I came here, but now that I've been here and have seen all the heart and sweat the Logans, Angelo, and others have put into this project, I'm like, paranoid that no one will come to see it all finished.
And second, I loved Philippi. It was probably one of the most wonderful things I've ever seen or been to. I had a lump in my throat all day, walking around in the places Paul walked. Seeing the stuff the early Christians saw. Sure they've been dead for pretty much forever, but back in the day they walked where I walked today, and they talked God to each other, and they stood faithful. I loved it. I was touched by it. Moved. I could've sat there and touched those stone walls all day. And cried while I was at it.

Anyway! On to the pictures.

 Tim cleaned house before we left this morning. 
We aren't sure why, but figured it was definitely something to document. 

  Brent Logan, the Best Tour Guide Ever!

 You actually have to buy toilet paper in the public restrooms. One euro for like, a teeny little swatch! I couldn't believe it. And trust me, you never want to use the bathrooms here. Grody. There was a random dog in the bathroom too, that's what I'm eyeballing down there.

 Everyone said I looked just like this guy. I don't see it. He has blue eyes. And a 5 o'clock shadow.
I don't have either of those things.

 We think of you every day, Bro. Lowell! Brandi made this sign for you:)

Bro. Logan and Tim in the amphitheater. Our voices really echoed in this place. And if you stand on the square to Bro Logan's right, your voice will really boom. And even cooler, they say Paul preached in this amphitheater. Just imagine!

Karen, looking pretty.

 This is supposedly the prison cell Paul was kept in. Whether it was or not, in my mind he was there, and I can't stop imagining what it must've been like.

 I decided the other day that I wanted a rock from all the places we go so I can take them home and write on them and keep them. (Because I'm even sentimental about rocks) And we found this purple marble inlay floor with loose pieces. (They were especially loose once you jabbed them with a pocket knife.) So I took one. It's my new prized possession. I love my little rock. Update: I found out later that taking rocks from old ruins is actually illegal. Sorry. Sorry about the one I dug out with a pocket knife...
Gorgeous archways. Just gorgeous.


 Tim being a nerd in the museum.

 Picking his nose...

 Karen, walking in her better half's footsteps.

 A really cool lion's head. With me in it.

 Brandi was like, Look! I'm Samson! But her arms were too short, like a T-Rex...

 So me n' Rachel came to help her.

 In the end, we decided we kinda liked the columns and would let them stand. 
Also, because we couldn't budge them.



 Rachel was in heaven. She told me fifty billion times today, Best. Day. Ever!
 Those double arches behind Rachel were my favorite part of the ruins. So beautiful!

 I take it back, the toilets were actually my favorite part. There was an entire toilet house! Like everybody just sat around and went together or something.

 We couldn't stop laughing. And I love this picture.

 Karen: But Tim... how do you KNOW they're actually toilets??? I don't get it.
 Tim: Babe... seriously? Watch. You sit here. There's a hole.
 Karen: I'm not sitting on that without a toilet seat cover. You don't know who's gone on there.
 Just keeping it real. Tim had several jokes about this one. A} Paul might've GONE here. B} "I... do count them but dung. And C} I'm sorry for my POTTY mouth.
 He thought he was pretty hilarious. So did we for that matter.


 


 I found a flowerpot. I wanted to bring it home, but for one, I didn't want to get arrested, and two, it was really heavy. So I just sat in it instead.


 Dan and Brandi waltzing. They're so sweet.

When we finally left the ruins, Bro Logan took us downtown to eat lunch. And beggers are allowed to come right into the restaurants and ask you to buy stuff. Or just flat out ask you for money. So strange to be sitting in a nice restaurant and have a little begger come up behind you, and no one does anything about it. Anyway, this little gypsy girl came in selling flowers. I tried not to look at her, but she just stood there next to my chair, looking pathetic. In the end, I bought three roses from her. And then she totally hammed it up for the camera. And then some grody looking guy came in right after her trying to sell everyone little tissue packets. But I didn't buy from him. He wasn't a sad looking little girl with a big purple flower in her hair! Brandi wanted to take all the begger kids home and feed them. Their big, sad eyes tug at your heart.

That's all folks.
We have 9 million happy memories of today, and 9 million pictures to go along with them.
We love you all!

Love,
All Us