Photo Journal

Kuş14 – Photo Journal 4 (Food)

One of questions that we're most frequently asked in the States is: “What do you eat when you travel?” Over the course of this trip, we've taken quite a few photos of food. So, we thought for this edition of the Kuş14 Photo Journal it would be fun to talk about food.

Since (on this trip) we have our own kitchen, we don't eat out very often. This means that every Tuesday we head to the local street market (Salı Pazar) and stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables. We average 16.4 kilos (36.1 pounds) of fruits and vegetables each week at a cost of about $14.50!

Our Kitchen

Our Kitchen

A typical Salı Pazar haul

A typical Salı Pazar haul

All these fruits and vegetables are supplemented by a steady supply of rice, lentils (green and red), olives (Michael and the kids have eaten over 7 kilos (15 pounds) worth), and bread.

Kırmızı Mercimek

Kırmızı Mercim

Steph has learned to make all our favorite Turkish dishes: Mercımek Çorba (Red Lentil Soup), Gözleme (thin flat bread (Lavaş) stuffed with potatoes and cheese and grilled), İmam Bayıldı (“Fainting” Imam — eggplant covered with tomato), Ezo Gelin (a red lentil soup with bulgur and mint), Fakes (a Greek green lentil soup), Kuru Fasulye (white beans boiled in a tomato base and served over rice), and Pilav (rice cooked with small pasta).

İmam Bayıldı

İmam Bayıldı

Every meal that we eat at home is served with a side of red pepper, tomato, and cucumber. Caleb would eat his weight in tomato and cucumber if we'd let him, and Emily loves the peppers.

Side dish

Side dish

We've also discovered an unique fruit called Dağ Çilek. The literal translation is Mountain Strawberry. They taste a bit like a super soft peach, but have a spiky texture that pokes your mouth as you eat them.

Dağ Çilek

Dağ Çilek

We eat out on most Sunday's. There is a great restaurant near the hotel where the church meets called Saray (pronounced Suh-rye and means Palace). They have great Pide (think boat shaped pizza without red sauce), and Adana Kebap (lamb). They also serve a great Turkish dessert called Künefe. It's cheese rolled in wheat and then baked and covered with honey water and ground pistachio.



Finally, Caleb discovered the Köfte Ekmek. Köfte is a flattened and grilled meatball that is one of my favorite dishes in Turkey.

Caleb and his Köfte

Caleb and his Köfte



Kuş14 – Photo Journal 3

A couple of weeks ago, we took a day to visit some friends who are staying up in İzmir. While it was a very long day, it was a very fun day.

We began the day early with a train ride from Selçuk to İzmir. The train wound through villages and valleys and olive groves and mandarin orchards. We saw villagers huddled around a fire drinking çay before heading into the orchards to pick mandarins. The train was quite crowded, and we stood for most of the hour journey. Well, all of us stood except Caleb who ended up on the lap of a Turkish grandmother.

The Train Station at Selçuk

After spending the morning in prayer and worship and then having lunch with a group of friends, we took the Metro to Ancient Smyrna. Ancient Smyrna is the location of one of the seven churches to which John addresses a letter in the Revelation (Revelation 2:8-11). While excavations are ongoing, most of the city is not yet uncovered. In fact, most of the ancient city lies beneath the bustling modern city of İzmir. Nevertheless, what is uncovered is fun to walk through. Here are a couple of photos from our time exploring.

Emily and Caleb with an ancient lion.
Emily in Smyrna
The family at Smyrna


Kuş14 – Photo Journal 2

Well, it's been a couple of weeks since our last photo journal. We've explored more of our city. We've walked an average of 1.8 miles each day (with some days as much as 5 miles). We've ridden in dolmuş (a public transportation method) and autos–some even driven by me.

As we work our way through our days and through our city, we find ourselves looking for places where we can see the Kingdom of a God already present in the culture as well as the landscape. So, many places we look and see evidence that imbedded within the DNA of everyone–even those who don't yet walk out life in the Kingdom–is parts of the Kingdom. All mankind is created in the image (mirrors of His character and nature) of God.

So, here are some of the images we've captured in the past couple of weeks. Let them spark you in prayer and celebration of the beauty of God's creation. Join us in prayer as we seek to live out our lives incarnationally.

This is the Mosque at the top of the hill about two blocks from our Villa. Five times each day, we hear the Call to Prayer from this minaret. While it is intended to call our Muslim neighbors to prayer, it reminds us to pray for them.

When we packed for this trip, we forgot to pack Hot Wheels cars for Caleb. Fortunately, his friend here loaned him a few.

Sometimes, you just need a touch of home. I'm grateful for the ability to stream a little Arkansas Razorback football to Turkey.

The majority of the food that we eat comes from the local Pazar (weekly street market). While walking through the Pazar it is not unusual to see the merchants cutting fresh fruit and offering it to you as you walk by. The other day as we walked through I was struck with the thought that the Kingdom of God is like the merchant in the Pazar who sells you 1.1 kilograms of fruit for the price of 1 kilogram.

The sunsets here on the Aegean Coast never cease to amaze me. The Psalmist writes (and Eugene Peterson interprets), “That's how God's Word vaults across the skies from sunrise to sunset, melting ice, scorching deserts, warming hearts to faith.” (Psalm 19:6, The Message)

One day last week, I went out for coffee with a friend here in Kuşadası. What a blessing it was to sit for a couple of hours with him and hear the dreams that God has placed within him. Our view from the table on the deck at Starbucks was a phenomenal view of the island in the harbor.

Finally, yesterday evening we were at our friends house here watching their kids as they went out of town to celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary. As I walked out of their Sitesi (housing complex) to run to the store, I snapped this photo of their common area. What a beautiful reminder that God in His creativity loves us so much that He provided such detail and color for us to be inspired–and reminded of His faithfulness–by.



Kuş14 – Photo Journal 1

On Sunday, 13 October, we flew out of Oklahoma City headed for Kuşadası. We had an hour-and-a-half delay in Oklahoma City due to the recent Air Traffic Control issues in Chicago. This basically ate up our entire layover in Chicago. So, we ran like we were being chased by bulls through O'Hare and made it to our connecting flight to Munich in the nick-of-time. We arrived in İzmir about 21 hours after leaving Oklahoma City unscathed and with all our luggage. Both of which were nothing less than miracles.

We spent the past few days getting used to our new neighborhood and establishing a new normal. We have a fantastic Villa about a 3 minute walk from the water in an area of town called Kandılar Denizi.

We've explored our neighborhood both on foot and on the Dolmuş (which is a form of public transportation). One day, Emily and I rode the Dolmuş that stops outside of our Villa. Our goal was to ride it throughout it's entire route making notes as to where it stopped and how far (timewise) that was from our Villa. We got kicked off twice–once at the end of the line and the second time because the guy didn't understand what we were trying to accomplish.

We attended church on Sunday at New Covenant (the church that is Pastored by the family which we are here to serve). Had a great time there. Afterwards, we walked through the neighborhood where we stayed when we were in this city 2 years ago, and ate lunch at a great place called Saray (same menu as they had when we ate there back then).

We ended our Sunday with a walk along the Kandılar Denizi. It was about 70° with a breeze coming off the sea. But, there was a remarkable sunset.