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Veria and Kalambaka- Day Three

Today we started at the walls of Thessaloniki where we held our daily worship. Our scriptures were Acts 17:1-9 and 1 Thessalonians 3. Dr. Bob did our remarks and shared about the relief that Paul must have felt when he heard from Timothy that the Thessalonians still maintained their faith. What a joy it must have brought him due to the distance that Timothy had to travel to verify and the knowledge that their environmental influences put them at great risk. He shared a personal moving story that each of us, parents and non parents could relate to waiting to hear results of a medical procedure for his daughter.

When we arrived in Veria, we held a service in what is believed to be the synagogue where Paul preached when he arrived and was accepted by Jews and local Greeks. We held a small service where we read Psalm 46, Acts 17:10-15 and where Rob Price reminded us that Paul did not travel alone. He shared who Paul learned the scriptures as well as Barnabas who traveled with him and gave him encouragement. Candy and I then walked down the road to a nice little coffee shop where we had a cappuccino medium hot (like the one we had yesterday) and it was delicious!!! On to Kalambaka.

We continued on to Kalambaka and visited two of the many monasteries that are built along the cliffs and mountains. What a sight to behold! The mountains and cliffs would have been breathtaking alone, but when we entered one of them after going over 160 steps, we were surrounded by some of the mos amazing frescos. In the transition from the Narthex to the Church, there was one with the scales identifying who would go to heaven and who would be condemned to hell. The second monastery was similar. We arrived at both just in time to walk around before they closed them down to celebrate their Easter Orhtodox service (forget to mentions its Easter here!)

I felt the most homesick today. Today is my mother in law, Nancy’s first birthday in heaven. I missed holding my girls and comforting each other. I felt for Rob on the trail as he faced her first birthday where he couldn’t pick up the phone and sing happy birthday. Although far apart, we all processed in our own way. Her favorite verse is Psalm 23-I know she was looking down from heaven, I felt her with each of us. She will forever be missed.

Tonight, after dinner, is a much needed rest! I think many of us are feeling a bit of the jet lag. On to Athens tomorrow.

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