Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Anniversary Cruise - Part III

With the recent holidays and Jared having some time off that we could spend together, I have virtually neglected my blog lately. But I wanted to jump back into it and finish sharing stories from our cruise as I've had many people asking about it. In Part II I shared about our first port in Italy...from there we went to Ephesus, Turkey.

Turkey shoreline from our bedroom balcony on the cruise

We both really enjoyed our time in Turkey. There is so much biblical history there. I am glad we ended up taking an excursion tour with a knowledgeable guide because they were able to share some incredible historic facts along the way.

We first went to the house of Virgin Mary which there is overwhelming agreement by historians that this was in fact where Mary spent her final days here on earth. It was incredible to walk where she walked and see where and how she lived. True to her character, it was a very humble home she lived in located on the hillside of Selcuk, Turkey.

front view of Mary's house

You couldn't take photos inside so this is a postcard of what it looked like inside. 
It's more of a shrine now as you can see.

Statue of Virgin Mary near the entrance of her home

Prayer wall outside of Mary's home with thousands of prayers written on tissue paper.

Close up of the prayer wall.

From there we took the bus to Ephesus and saw the Ancient Ampitheater where Apostle Paul spoke to over 25,000 people about Jesus Christ and was subsequently arrested and persecuted for His faith. Were it not for his boldness, courage and conviction, you and I may not know the Good News of Jesus' saving grace today. For us, this was the most memorable part of the entire trip.

Apostle Paul Theater

Jared standing inside Apostle Paul's theater

We also saw where St. John the Apostle was buried along with other historic sites.
Tomb of St. John

Jared and I Standing in front of the Christian symbol which was used as code to inform fellow Christians on where to meet. Violent persecution did not allow them to openly speak or practice their faith so they had to meet in secret.

The symbol's meaning broken down....

The pinwheel symbol actually contains hidden letters which spells out the Greek word for "fish" which is: Icythys.
 Ichthys consists of five letters from the Greek alphabet: I-ch-th-y-s. When these five letters are used as initials for five words, we obtain this Christian Declaration: Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter. This is an acrostic for 'Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior.' Commonly today we see the symbol of a fish representing Christianity. 

Ancient library in Ephesus, Turkey

After our historic tour we did some shopping and sightseeing on our own.
Me and a local camel in Ephesus, Turkey

Fancy head gear :o)

Shop with pretty hanging lanterns

Pomegranate Turkish Delight was delightful! :)

I hope you enjoyed visiting Turkey with us! :) You can check out the rest of our cruise experiences HERE.

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