by Todd Wood
On March 19, 2007, in New York City, I met some Turks for the first time. These people were neat. Why the initial acquaintance? Turkish Air had just given me, an American Christian pastor, a big-time discount on the flight price to visit. It was a rare deal—$777 for 10 days (included the overseas flight, accommodations in five-star resort motels, and food—absent the pork—fit for a king). For Turkey’s administration of tourism, it is an investment, and they hope I won’t disappoint them in the days ahead. Well, I don’t plan to.
In meeting some of the Turkish passengers heading back to their homeland, one of them, a mountaineer, told me he had recently climbed 16,945-foot Mount Ararat with a few buddies. And as a begging Idahoan, I shared, “Next time, take me.” With my fluffy pink pillow and soft, light-blue, fleece blanket, compliments of Turkish Air, I dozed off, dreaming of Noah’s Ark on the trip across the Atlantic Ocean.
That night, my wife and I stepped onto Turkish soil. If you think skiing in deep virgin powder in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is exciting, the experience pales in comparison to the adventure in the land of Turkey, an archaeological and church history paradise. The amount of ancient sites to explore is staggering. I have only begun to investigate all the vast treasure in this land where the bones of Christianity took shape. In contrast, now the country currently swims in the colors of green (color of Islam, garden of Eden), blue (the turquoise water), and red (the blood of the martyrs fighting the crusaders). But with this trip to Turkey (who needs more trips to Israel?), I am hooked on the land. It is very easy to fall in love with the land and its people. Read more about Tears for the Beloved Turks