‘From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days’ (Ac 16:12)
Today, is a Sabbath day. We are in Kavala, Greece. This afternoon, my husband and I visited the ruins of the ancient city of Philippi, Greece. The area is filled with massive stones, columns and broken walls. We saw the amphitheater where people came to be entertained with the famous Greek dramas. We saw streets with houses, market places and public baths. We imagined Apostle Paul walking there. But what impressed us the most where the ruins of three churches and the prison where Paul and Silas were detained. It was Sunday afternoon. Before going out we worshipped God watching the church service from our church, Father’s House in Warri, on the Internet. The sound and the pictures were so clear that for a moment we thought we went back to Nigeria. Later, as we sat down on the stony ‘pews’ in the ancient church at Philipi, we tried to feel what the Apostle Paul felt when he came to this town. Many of the stones that littered the grounds had the sign of the Cross on them.
We went to the museum and saw the sculptures of men and women from that era. They placed them on their tombs. Many of them had the sign of the Cross on their foreheads. This was because they wanted to be sure that anybody who saw them, even after thousands of years, they will know that they lived and died as Christians. Very interesting…
We then went to the prison cell where Paul and Silas were thrown into. This was because they delivered a slave girl from an evil spirit of fortune telling. As you know, Paul and Silas sang praises to God until the gates scattered. To me, this was a reminder that in every situation as praises go us to God, deliverance, freedom and breakthrough comes down. Praise the Lord! It was here that the jailer and his family got converted.
We left the ruins and went to the nearby village now called Lydia. We went to the river bank where Paul sat down to pray. It is now called Zigaktis River. It was here that he met some women willing to listen to the Gospel. One of the women, Lydia, got saved there. Even today, the river flows fast and happily. Out of many Biblical sites we have visited all over the world, this was one of the most anointed. The Holy Spirit is clearly here as a witness to this wonderful story of salvation to the Gentiles. As your remember, Paul had a vision. He saw a man pleading with him to come to Macedonia (Greece) to preach the Gospel to the people here. Paul obeyed. Led by the Spirit he came to this spot and he preached the Gospel to this woman, Lydia. The Holy Spirit ‘opened’ her heart and she believed! She was the very first convert in Europe!!! I like this! A man interceded and a woman answered the call! Glory!
The grounds around this very spot are very clean and beautiful. There is a little ‘grotto’ in the memory of Sister Lydia. There is a little church, still functioning, built to the glory of God and to the memory of Lydia’s conversion. This beautiful church garden is the Spirit’s gate to Europe!!! The grass is green. The flowers are bright in color. There are many butterflies and birds singing. (Let me add this… It is a private matter… The public toilets are very, very clean). The walnut trees, the olive trees and the fig trees are heavy with fruit on their branches. To tell you the truth, I was very proud to be a small woman of God visiting the memory park of another great woman of God. The cleanness of the garden, the beauty of the flowers, the fruitfulness, the peace, the palpable anointing and spirituality of this place, is a wonderful memorial to the blessings women (and men) have found in Christ. There is peace and joy here on earth. This was also a hope glimpse of glory we shall have in heaven. Wonderful God I praise You!
Coming back to the hotel in Kavala, I saw the smallest church built by the side of the road. They said it was the place where a Christian man died. They said that it was his dream to build a sanctuary for God before he dies. He died an untimely death and his family built this little church in his memory. It is a reminder that a small dream fulfilled is better than none. It is also a reminder to be humble and trust God to the end. Today is a good day for us! We increased our store of Biblical memories and marriage wine joy. Thank You Lord Jesus!