These pictures are little "touristy" but it's the only time I thought to snap some shots w/ Tim's iphone.
This is overlooking an Armenian city that was hopping just 80 years ago- now is desolate. I thought of my friends, the Hartounian brothers. God bless you and your Armenian brothers.
An ancient minnerette on top of the castle. Great place to pray over the whole city.
The Grand Bizarre in Istanbul, where you could get lost so easily. It's basically a 400 year old mall.
Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) church and center of Christianity for 1,000 years. It was overtaken and converted into a mosque. Otto Turk declared it a neutral historical sight about 70 years ago.
The Blue Mosque just a couple hundred years from the Hagia Sophia. They tried to make the Mosque bigger, but couldn't succeed- they fell about 15 feet short. Legend has it the architect was killed b/c of it.
This is one of the few mosaics left in the church. Christians tore them all down during the iconoclast controversy in the 10th century. Some were covered by plaster by the Muslims, and ironically the ones they covered are the few that survived.
This is one of the entrance doors to the church. You can see how the Muslims busted the sides off the cross and put them in the shape of an arrow.
This was where the guards stood in the church. You can't see it very well, but this marble is literally worn down where the guards stood. This marble is about 1500 years old. Apparently, if you stand in one place for 1500 years, you'll make a groove in solid marble. Amazing.
Inside the Hagia Sophia. Where my elbow is on the ledge, there is Viking graffiti.
Everyday we crossed the Bosphorus straight, which separates Istanbul and Europe and Asia. So everyday we crossed continents.
Tim snapped this while I was daydreaming on the train. The ride made us both sick, and Tim encouraged me, "Don't think of this as an unnecessarily long Metro ride, think of it as a cheap tour of Istanbul." Perspective is everything.
Highlights of the trip-
- seeing the Cornerstoners who are all doing an incredible job. I'm so proud of you guys!
- a vivid dream that I will never forget. Perhaps I'll share it when I speak on Daniel 10 at Cornerstone.
- sharing the good news with a Turk on the plane ride back. I've never shared with a more hungry person. It was a divine appointment for sure.
- praying over a city in Eastern Tky, a city of 500,000 with a handful of believers.
- hearing the testimonies of 3 Turks, which confirms that any time someone is saved, it's the greatest of all miracles.
- Hanging with Tim Lubinus, a great brother in the Lord. He is one of the sharpest m's I've ever talked to.
- Being reminded that reaching the nations should be a top priority of every church. Why? Because it's at the top of God's list.