我的“半個”土耳其之旅 My “Half” Turkiye Trip

我的“半個”土耳其之旅

2022年3月24日,我和我的妻子在得到醫生對我計劃去土耳其的堅定批准後,抵達了伊斯坦布爾(Istanbul)。第二天一早終於開始了我們期待已久的“啟示錄七教會”之旅!我們很享受與其他23名旅行團成員的陪伴,很快就彼此熟悉。每一天都給我們帶來了令人驚嘆的景色和美妙的體驗……

直到第五天(3月29日),“突然的驚恐”又回來了(請參閱我3月17日的發文)。當我們在以弗所時,我去“WC”(洗手間),血塊再次出現,但這次我離家很遠很遠。我告知了我們的領隊,為我的病情好轉祈禱。雖然我能夠完成當天剩餘的行程,但在返回酒店的路上,情況似乎變得更糟了。好在路上直接有醫院,步行五分鐘就到了酒店,所以我們的土耳其導遊陪我和師母去了醫院急診室。我感覺自己就像在做夢一樣;在這裡,我在一個外國的急診室,而我根本不懂那裡的語言!

急診室的工作人員能為我做的很有限,所以我們的領隊建議我們去士每拿(Izmir),這個國家的第三大城市,那裡可以提供更好的醫療服務,也有他在當地的同工能照顧我們。突然,我和我的妻子需要收拾行李離開我們的旅行團。

我們的領隊特意地和我們一起乘一個小時的出租車去士每拿,當地的同工幫我預約了隔天一早去看專科醫生。在我看來,這是我一生中最長的旅程之一,但感謝主,在路上血奇蹟般的止住了。我們到了同工的公寓,他們為我們準備了一間溫馨的客房。經過了戲劇性 的一天我們終於能因善意和關懷的接待,好好的休息。

第二天早上(3月30日),我們決定盡快返回紐約(因為血已經止住了)。我們需要預訂從士每拿到伊斯坦布爾的機票,更改我們原來從伊斯坦布爾到紐約的航班日期,還需要作PCR檢測以重新進入美國 。回家的路似乎非常遙遠,且有許多的挑戰。

然而,一切都順利搞定:第二天早上(3月31日),同工們乘出租車把我們帶到了伊茲密爾機場,並陪同我們落實了返回紐約所需的機票。 我第一次得到輪椅服務,確實很有幫助。3月31日晚上,我和妻子終於安全回到了我們在紐約的家中。過去的三天感覺仍然像是一場夢,但現在我們真的到家了!感謝上帝的恩典。

如果我提前知道會發生這種情況,那我當然不會出國了,但出於多種原因,我感到很平安,最重要的是醫生鼓勵我去。對我來說是個大綠燈。然而,如果在我們的生活中,“突然的驚恐”仍然臨到我們,我們總能在我們的困難中找到上帝恩典的證據!

我親身經歷了神話語的應許:“我們知道,萬事都互相效力,叫愛神的人得益處(good),就是按他旨意被召的人。”(羅馬書8:28)以下我想分享我從這次“半個”旅行中獲得的具體“益處”:

● 我們仍然能夠踏上並看到土耳其的一些土地,它確實值得飛到那裡。當我們身在一個地方時才能深入的理解和欣賞。

● 土耳其的聖經意義不僅僅在於“啟示的七個教會”;事實上,三分之二的新約聖經不是寫於就是寫給小亞細亞。而小亞細亞現在構成了現代土耳其的大部分地區!亞伯拉罕生活在​​這片土地上,根據一些學者的說法,他也出生在那裡。

● 我們的旅行團是COVID-19後第一批訪問該國的華人團體之一!我們去的每一個地方,人們都帶著燦爛的笑容歡迎我們,顯然很高興見到我們。從這個意義上說,我們是上帝使用祝福土耳其的先鋒。

● 由於我的病,我們有幸住在土耳其的同工家中,並有機會深入認識他們並了解他們的工作。他們不僅是上帝的天使來照顧我們,而且是上帝的代理人來執行祂的使命!

● 我們有機會結識了許多來自美國不同州甚至不同國家的親愛的兄弟姐妹——新西蘭、台灣、以色列,當然還有土耳其!他們每一個人的故事都讓我們深受鼓舞和激勵。

● 我們能夠瞥見上帝在土耳其和其他國家的工作。 歷史仍然是“祂的故事”,即上帝的故事。

● 最後,如果沒有我的妻子在任何情況下繼續照顧我,我就無法到達土耳其並返回。我真的很蒙恩。 原本她很猶豫要不要去土耳其,但回來後她滿懷激動,現在甚至對做土耳其菜產生了興趣!

感謝主恩旅遊,安排了如此出色的旅行,並且在我身體軟弱的時候,細心的照顧了我。“……我們知道,萬事[確實]都互相效力,叫愛神的人得益[good]”!

有一天“我會回來”……完成另“一半”的旅程!

My “Half” Turkiye* Trip

After receiving my doctor’s firm approval regarding my planned travel abroad to Turkiye, my wife and I arrived in Istanbul on March 24th. Our long awaited “Seven Churches of Revelation” tour began early the next morning! We enjoyed the company of 23 other tour members and very quickly warmed up to one another. Every day brought us amazing sights and wonderful experiences…

Every day, that is, until Day 5 (3/29) when the “sudden terror” returned (See my posting dated March 17th). While we were in the city of Ephesus, blood clots again appeared when I went to the “WC” (restroom), but this time I was far away from home. I informed our tour leader and we prayed for the improvement of my condition. I was able to make it through the remainder of the day’s tour, but on the way back to the hotel, the condition seemed to be getting worse. Fortunately, there was a hospital directly on the way, and only a five-minute walk, to the hotel, so the local Turkish tour guide accompanied my wife and me to the hospital ER. I felt like I was in a dream; here I was in the ER of a foreign country, the language of which I did not know at all!

What the ER staff could do for me was limited, so our tour leader suggested that we go to Izmir, the country’s 3rd largest city, which could provide better medical care and also which was the home of dear co-workers who were fluent in the language and who could take care of us. Suddenly my wife and I needed to pack up and leave our tour group.

With great kindness, our tour leader went with us an hour’s drive away by taxi to Izmir, and the co-workers made an appointment for me to see a medical specialist first thing in the morning. In my mind it was one of the longest rides I had ever taken in my life, but thankfully on the way the bleeding stopped.  We went to the co-workers’ apartment where a lovely guest room had been prepared for us. Due to the kindness and care we received, I was able to get much needed rest after the drama of the day.

The next morning (3/30) we decided it would be best to return to NY as soon as possible. (Since the bleeding had stopped, I would wait to be checked by my doctor at home.) We needed to book an airline ticket from Izmir to Istanbul, change the date of our original flight from Istanbul to NYC, and also take a required PCR test to re-enter the U.S. Home seemed so sweet and so precious, and at the same time, so very far away, with many obstacles blocking our return to it.

Yet all came together: the following morning, the co-workers took us to Izmir Airport by taxi and accompanied us to secure the tickets needed to return to NYC. For the very first time I was given wheelchair service and found it so helpful. On the evening of March 31 my wife and I finally arrived safely back at our home in NY. The last three days still felt like they had been a dream but now we were actually home! Thanks be to God for His grace.

If I had known ahead of time that this would happen, then of course I wouldn’t have gone abroad, but for a number of reasons I had felt the peace to go, most importantly due to the doctor’s encouragement to me to go which was a BIG green light to me. However, if and when a “sudden terror” still does come upon us in the course of our lives, we can always find evidence of God’s grace in the midst of our difficulties!

I personally experienced the truth of God’s promise that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans8:28)  I would like to share the following specific “good” things that I have gained from this “half” trip:

● We were still able to step foot on and see some of the land of Turkiye, making it worthwhile to have flown there. I have found that physically being in a place makes all the difference in one’s understanding and appreciation of it.

● The biblical significance of Turkiye is not simply due to the “Seven Churches of Revelation”; in actuality, an amazing two-thirds of the New Testament were either written to or from Asia Minor, the western peninsula of Asia that now makes up most of modern Turkiye! Abraham lived in this land, and according to some scholars (and in alignment with tradition), he was born there as well.

● Our tour group was among the first of the Chinese-speaking groups to visit the country after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic! Every place we went, people welcomed us with big smiles and were clearly very excited to see us. In this sense, we were frontrunners that God used to bless the nation of Turkiye.

● Due to my illness, we had the privilege of staying in the home of co-workers living in Turkiye and had the opportunity to get to know them and to learn about their work. They are not just God’s angels to have taken care of us but are also God’s agents to carry out His mission!

● We had the chance to get to know many dear brothers and sisters from different states of America and even from different countries – New Zealand, Taiwan, Israel, and, of course, Turkiye! We were encouraged and inspired by each of their life stories.

● We were able to get a glance into God’s work in Turkiye and in other nations. History is still “His Story”, i.e., God’s Story.

● Finally, I wouldn’t have been able to make it to Turkiye and back without my wife who continues to care for me in all situations. I am truly blessed. Originally she was very hesitant to go abroad to Turkiye, but she came back full of excitement and has now even taken an interest in making Turkish food!

Unending thanks to Grace Tours which arranges such excellent tours and whose staff cared for me in my time of physical weakness. “…for those who love God, ALL things [do] work together for good”! 

One day “I shall return”…to finish the other “half” of the tour!

* Turkiye is the official name of the country of Turkey

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