FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF APOSTLE PAUL (5)- THESSALONIKI

‘After Paul and his friends had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they went on to Thessalonica. A Jewish meeting place was in that city. So as usual, Paul went there to worship, and on three Sabbaths he spoke to the people. He used the Scriptures to show them that the Messiah had to suffer, but that he would rise from death. Paul also told them that Jesus is the Messiah he was preaching about. Some of them believed what Paul had said, and they became followers with Paul and Silas. Some Gentiles and many important women also believed the message’ (Ac 27:1-4)

My husband and I continued to walk in the footsteps of Apostle Paul. We left Neapolis (Kavala) and are now in Thessalonki. This is the second largest city in Greece, after Athens. It was founded in 300 BC and named after the sister of Alexander the Great. It was an important Roman trading post and an early centre of Christianity. Apostle Paul himself preached here. He was persecuted because of his message. Some of the citizens believed the Word, among them some women of high social status (again, as a woman of God, I feel proud and happy). The Jews living here caused trouble to Paul’s host, Brother Jason. They forced him to drive Paul away accusing him to be a traitor to Caesar. From here, Paul went to the city of Berea.

The believers left behind became very strong. They spread the Word to the whole region of Macedonia. They suffered persecution but they remained faithful (1 Thess 2:14). Later, Paul sent his spiritual son Timothy to encourage them. He gave Paul a very good report about the believers here in Thessalonki. Later, Paul writes two letters to them (1st and 2nd Thessalonians), encouraging them in the faith. Paul’s stay here was short and painful but not a failure.

What is the lesson? A little ministry cannot be destroyed by a great persecution. A little love cannot be drawn by the flood of hatred and envy! The anointing of the Holy Spirit cannot be neutralized by empty religion! Jesus is Lord! Let’s continue to plant the seeds of the Word any place in this world and leave the rest to God. Another great and useful lesson is that we cannot do it all! Some plant the seed, some water it and others reap the harvest. In ministry you cannot be selfish, proud or impatient. Often, things seem unfair. That can be painful! But for as long as your spiritual labor is done to the glory of God, all is well! God rewards His servants! Praise the Lord!

This morning, we took an open roof bus and went round the city. It was very interesting. Most of the city was burnt in a major fire in 1917. Only few ancient buildings were preserved. The city was later rebuild and it is now very nice. There are many markets, shops and restaurants. We saw very few police men. You feel free… The city has many students in the university. The people are friendly and helpful to foreigners. That is good! The general feel is that of an old city with a youthful zeal. Like a man who had suffered a lot, almost died, but survived to tell the story. The journey continues…

In the pictures you see some of the Roman ruins and ancient churches we saw in Thesssloniki. My husband took me a picture on the roof of our hotel as we were eating breakfast. This is from me to you, greetings from Thessalonki… Let me add this … The best cake and ice cream we have ever eating is here… The temptation is great… Vacation is an excuse for me to eat this very good cake!!! But later, I had to ‘manage’ a Greek chicken salad to ‘balance’ the calories… Smile with me…Lastly, the trash cans in the hotel where we stay are transparent… I have to be careful… Let the trash be ‘clean’ a little if not it is seen by everybody… Smile again…

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