Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Words cannot describe how good it was to be back in Portugal. That place has captured my heart, but even more so, the people. I was welcomed by Otto & Marjorie at the airport with the biggest hugs and it felt like I had come home. 

I am often asked what it is about Portugal that has captured me. I love the culture of the Portuguese - I love that life happens in coffee shops. But I also love that people there truly know how to do life with each other, specifically within the church. The relationships and the friendships that have developed and grown over the last 5 years have added richness to my life. I can't imagine life without any of these people! 

These days in Portugal were ones of rest. After a busy 11 days in Turkey, my body and heart and head were in need of some rest. Rest didn't mean sitting and doing nothing, but rather it involved exploring new sites, enjoying good company over coffee and pastries and just being present with some of my favourite people. My bucket was filled.

My first morning in Portugal I got to wake up and head to coffee/breakfast with the Saturday morning coffee group. 
 It's hard to believe that this Manitoba girl paid to go ice skating in Portugal in the mall.


No trip to Lisbon is complete without a stop in Belém for pastries at the famous Pasteis de Belém and a walk down to the discovery monuments and the river.

 Downtown Lisbon

Nothing beats this view. This is where I would sit on many a day offs in the train station Starbucks with my journal and just write and process.

This view gets me every time!

It was sooooo good to spend a day with these 2 people. They are a joy to be with and I am honoured to call them dear friends.

Debora and I

 The Pena Palace

I am so blessed by this friend.

It was fun to be able to celebrate Marjorie's birthday with her. Kiri and I took her to a tea and cafe for breakfast in the city. It was the perfect way to start the day and celebrate the beauty that is Marjorie.

Saying goodbye to these 3 kiddos was hard

Istanbul: Round 2

After exploring Cappadocia and Ephesus, we spent the last 2 days in Istanbul where we had the opportunity to meet up with some co-workers of ours - see Istanbul away from the tourists. 

Flying back into Istanbul

The cats of Istanbul continue :)

Taksim Square

The view when we walked out of our apartment.

We were able to experience a true Istanbul market with our co-workers. 

Olives. Olives. Olives.

Last moments in the Sultanahmet square before heading to the airport. 

Next up...Portugal


This was definitely another highlight for both Heidi and myself. To read through the book of Ephesians in the place where Paul sent that letter and to stand in the Great Theatre where Paul preached, felt like we were treading on Holy Ground. Scripture and the historical context in which it was written came alive in a new way!

The view from our hotel room.

It appears that I attract cats. Crazy cat lady? The verdict is still out.

The marble road.

The Census Library

The Great Theatre - seats 24,000. This is where Paul preached and where the Gladiators would have fought. A stark contrast from each other.

The town of Selçuk

Do I spend almost 2 months worth of groceries on beautiful silk scarves and cloths? It was a tough call.

I found it an honour and a privilege to sit down with a couple shop owners over tea and to hear a bit of their story. 

On the train back to the airport to head back to Istanbul.