This summer four students and I took a two and a half week trip to Greece. Our itinerary included Thessaloniki, Corinth, Athens, Patmos, Kavala (Neapolis), and many more stops along the way. We learned about ancient and Modern Greek culture, visited many of the sites that we see in Acts and the Epistles, and had our love for Scripture increased as we saw firsthand the places we read about in the Bible. We also saw what life is like for some Syrian refugees and had the opportunity to share Christ’s love with them.
The trip was a wonderful experience for all involved. It would be impossible to recount all of our experiences here. This trip was offered to Calvary undergraduate students for credit. Below are a few of the highlights from the trip. Plans are already underway for another trip to Greece the summer of 2018. Future trip locations are being considered as well and could include: Israel, England, Germany, Spain and more!
One of the highlights of the trip were the Monasteries at Meteora. Here the monks built impressive monasteries on top of these sheer cliffs. If you are a James Bond fan you will recognize this particular one as being from the movie “For your Eyes Only”.
One of our very first stops was to the river where Paul met Lydia in Acts 16:13, 14.
Phillipi was certainly a highlight of the trip, we learned a lot about the town, Greek civil government and even the development of the early church. Here we are in the office of the military governor, Acts 16:20.
Here you see the ancient agora in Thessaloniki. It is surrounded by modern buildings and roads. We learned that the agora is often mistranslated as ‘marketplace’. While that is not inaccurate it was also much more. The agora was the center of city life, ‘town square’ would be a more accurate translation.
The particular monastery that we visited had 300 steps, many of the monasteries the only way in still today is by being pulled up in a basket with a winch! This monastery was founded by Athanasius and the King of Serbia who climbed up halfway and then spent 14 years in a cave before moving on to found the monastery.
This is the Erastus inscription in Corinth where Erastus the city-treasurer dedicates a road to the citizens of Corinth. Romans 16:23 (Paul is writing from Corinth) “Gaius, who is host to me and the whole church, greets you. Erastus the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you.”
This is our whole group standing in front of the Bema in Corinth. The Bema was located along one side of the agora and was a place for city officials to hear from citizens. It was not a court, however, they did judge people accused of treason here or reward those who had done good service for the Emperor. The stone pillar you see is where the individual to be rewarded or punished would stand. If punished they would be chained to that pillar and whipped in front the whole city. Acts 18:12-17 happened on this spot.
Areopagus in Athens (Mars Hill) – Acts 17:22-34.
We were not allowed to take pictures inside but behind this door is the cave were tradition says the Apostle John wrote Revelation on Patmos
We spent two days at a refugee camp near Athens. This was a smaller camp of around 90 people. Some of the camps have 2000, 3000 people. The students did various activities with the kids, we also handed out some goody bags and did a couple different projects. It was very eye opening to see what these refugees are faced with. We met doctors and government officials, one man told us of how ISIS beheaded 300 women in his town because they were not wearing headscarves! All of them had spent $2000-$3000 per person for a boat ride to Greece and they literally have nothing here and nothing to go home to.