Saturday, July 02, 2005

A birthday to remember

I watched the sunset as I rode in a taxi, across the border into Syria- it was my birthday. Actually the day began in Antioch, Turkey. Antioch is the place where the followers of Christ were first called Christians and itis mentioned in the book of Acts in the Bible. We decided to venture out to find a church service to see what the church is like today- we were amazed at how our morning unfolded. We knocked on the doors of a catholic church and met Dominco, a priest originally from Rome but living and working at the catholic church. We learned that the Catholics, Jews, Orthodox and Protestants have a special sense of community- often worshiping together. Later, we discoved an Orthodox church and before we knew what was happening we had met Joseph. A 45-year old Turkish man with a kind heart who invited us in to the service. After the hour long Orthodox service Joseph took us to a Protestant service- another hour service but beautiful. We learned that the small group of people worshipping were all former Muslims who had incredible stories of coming to faith as Christians.
Joseph and his wife then invited us to their home for a wonderful meal, we ate and talked into the last afternoon and then headed to our taxi to begin our journey to Syria.
It was about a 3-4 hour ride to Aleppo, Syria. As soon as we arrived and checked into our inexpensive hotel, we ventured out to find a famous fallel stand we had read about. Fallels are some of my favorite food and I can say that I had the best fallel ever in Syria!! We also met the owner and before we knew it we were getting a tour of the fallel restaurant, sitting and chatting and being served drinks. ( we went back the next day to the fallel stand- that's another story). We ended the night with a big ice cream cone of some intersting flavors, strolling through a park and watching all the activites happening in the town square. I fell asleep that night, content and happy to be turning 35 in Syria.