POTW

Photo of the Week — 5 December 2016

This week’s photo is from the sunrise on Friday. We had a couple of days of rain and cold. Serious rain. Flooding rains. Temperatures dropped considerably as well. But, Friday dawned with freshness and newness.

We’ve often shown you photos looking out of our front windows toward the sea, but this is our view looking north from our patio. Such an amazingly beautiful area where we live.

 

Caleb and Elizabeth working together

Photo of the Week – 28 November 2017

This week was a pretty quiet week. No real adventures out of the house. Just a week of school and admin work and living life in the beautiful place.

This week’s photo is Caleb and Elizabeth doing Caleb’s handwriting together.

Several years ago, we found this great handwriting curriculum called A Reason for Handwriting. Each workbook is a different Bible theme, but the work pattern is basically the same. Each day is different words or letters, and the last day is a coloring page where the student writes out the Bible verse they learned that week and colors a border around it. The kids really enjoy these books.

Caleb and Elizabeth working together

Caleb and Elizabeth working together

Photo of the Week – 24 November 2016

Last week we had to make a trip up to Izmir to the US Consulate to renew some of our family’s passports. This journey involved a dolmus (a minibus), a train, and a few kilometers of walking. Thankfully, a dear friend of ours was also in Izmir for the day, and meet us at the train station walked through the process with us and drove us home when it was all said and done.

After our appointment with the Consular Agent, we met back up with our friend at a coffee shop. As we left the coffee shop to head back to his car, we passed a building that looked like a church. There was a wall with a gate around the building, but the gate was open. We noticed a security guard standing there, and asked if we might be able to go in and take a look around. We were told we could.

We learned that we had stumbled upon the Cathedral of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist. This beautiful cathedral is the seat of the Archdiocese of Izmir. It was an amazingly beautiful building and an oasis of peace in the midst of a loud and busy city.

On a day of meeting with ambassadors of a government, entering this chuch reminded me of Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth. It reminded me of how we are ambassadors of the King of Kings. How the church is called to be outposts of the Kingdom in the midst of foreign territory. How we are to proclaim the Gospel (Good News) of the Kingdom in every place and time.

Cathedral of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist, Izmir, Turkey

Cathedral of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist, Izmir, Turkey

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (ESV)

 

Photo of the Week – 16 May

We've been remiss for the past several months as we've travelled around the US at keeping up with the Photo of the Week. So, throughout the month of October, we will be catching up with a post each day. Enjoy the look into our lives!

This week was the Turkish Süper Lig (the primary soccer league) championship game. The game ended about 930pm and it would seem that most of the town flooded into the streets afterwards. People were cheering and driving around honking their horns. The kids woke up, and struggled to get back to sleep.

The good news is that Caleb and my team, Beşiktaş, won! We picked this team in the winter of 2014, when some friends gave Caleb a Beşiktaş scarf.

When I took my walk the next morning, this huge banner had been hung from one of the buildings on the main road.

Beşiktaş banner

Beşiktaş!

 

Photo of the Week – 9 May

We’ve been remiss for the past several months as we’ve travelled around the US at keeping up with the Photo of the Week. So, throughout the month of October, we will be catching up with a post each day. Enjoy the look into our lives!

On Sunday, 8 May, we joined the local church in Kuşadası for “Church at the Beach.” This event happens a few times throughout the summer, and includes worship, teaching, lunch, swimming, and Baptisms!

This particular Sunday seven individuals were baptized! It was an amazing day of welcoming new brothers and sisters into the Kingdom. And, God, had a special welcome for them as well.

Even though there had been no rain and there were no clouds in the sky, when the first new believer went under the water a rainbow appeared as a perfect ring around the sun. It remained in place until the last of those being baptized came up out of the water!!

Rainbow around the Sun

A baptism rainbow around the sun.

 

 

Photo of the Week – 2 May

We’ve been remiss for the past several months as we’ve travelled around the US at keeping up with the Photo of the Week. So, throughout the month of October, we will be catching up with a post each day. Enjoy the look into our lives!

This first photo is of a fun vending machine in a park in Kuşadası where the kids like to play, and I like to grab a cup of çay.

Popcorn Vending Machine

A popcorn vending machine!

 

Sailboat Race

Photo of the Week – 25 April

At the beach below our home this week, there was a sailboat race. These were small single man boats. It was fun watching them head out to sea and return again. One day, the race was on the sea in front of our house so we were able to watch them most all day.

We don’t know who won the race, or even who was competing. But, it was fun to watch.

While living cross-culturally is difficult, it’s things like sailboat races that help make it all a little bit easier.

Sailboat Race

Sailboat Race

Our Residency Cards

Photo of the Week – 11 April

In Lent of 2011, when we began to dream and scheme about what God was asking us to do for the Kingdom, He gave us a single scripture verse:

“Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out.” – Numbers 9:21b

The idea for us being that God was simply asking us to follow Him wherever He would lead, and stay for however long He asked us to stay. The passage continues:

“Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. At the LORD’s command they encamped, and at the LORD’s command they set out.” – Numbers 9:22-23a

Up until this point, the “Cloud” has stayed for short periods of time over specific places (or people):

  • Azerbaijan for three months
  • Belize for one week
  • Estonia for ten days
  • Memphis for one week
  • Mexico for ten days
  • Turkey for two months, three months, three months, and one week (in that order)

So, when we began to plan for this trip, we were expecting a similar type of trip. Yet, as we dug further into the planning, and then arrived back in Turkey, we knew that the cloud was going to be here much longer.

Our heart is for the workers across Central Asia. In many of these countries, Turkish (or a related language) is spoken or understood. Airfare from Turkey to these nations is quite reasonable, and airfare for roundtrip tickets from here to the USA is about half the price as paying for roundtrip tickets from the USA to Turkey. Living in the land, speaking the language, and understanding the struggles and stresses of cross-cultural life are important to things for us to be accepted by other workers. And, until we’re accepted and trusted, our desire to serve them will not be as welcomed.

So, our photo of the week illustrates our commitment to setting up the camp for a longer period of time. After several weeks of gathering documents, having them translated and notarized, buying insurance, meeting with residency officials, and a visit from the immigration police, we are officially residents of this amazing country!

Our Residency Cards

Our Residency Cards

 

At the Park

Photo of the Week – 4 April

Our photo this week takes us to the park that is near our house. We are blessed to have a nice park about a block away from us. It’s heavily shaded, and has been a great spot for Emily and Caleb to play and meet new friends.

In addition to our formal language lessons, both kids are learning playground Turkish as only one of their friends speaks any English.

Stephanie has also benefited in her Turkish by watching the kids at the park. Just last Saturday they were invited by a mother of a young girl (not in the photo) to come to their home for tea. Stephanie was able to spend about an hour with her carrying the conversation completely in Turkish. She was also able to pray for healing for the lady’s back.

Please pray that as Emily and Caleb play with their friends they will have opportunities to share in both word and deed how much Jesus loves them.

At the Park

POTWEmily, Caleb, and their friends at the park.

Photo of the Week – 28 March

This week, we introduce a new weekly feature on the blog–the photo of the week. We will be taking one picture from the previous week, and using it to tell a bit of our story.

We didn't take very many photos this week, but the one we selected for this week is one in a series of photos that Stephanie took of Caleb and Elizabeth goofing around after dinner. This little girl LOVES her big brother!

Caleb and Elizabeth goofing around after dinner.

Caleb and Elizabeth goofing around after dinner.

In Turkish culture, younger siblings don't call their older siblings by their names. Instead, they call their older sisters Abla and their older bothers Ağabey (pronounced abi). Incidentally, we use these same terms for fellow believers as well.