Flashback Friday -- TURKIYE!

Turkey_410That's me in the front row, middle!

I haven't done a Flashback Friday in awhile, so today I thought I would! Actually, I started this post last week to post last Friday, but then I didn't finish until like 2 days ago, so anyway, here it is!

Today's Flashback Friday post takes us all the way back to the spring of 2007. WOW! It's already been 5 years... hard to believe!

Anyway... in college, my University had what was called GO TRIPS. Basically you could apply/sign up to take a trip and where ever you went you served with a ministry... whether it was taking care of orphans, building houses, teaching people.. whatever. You could list your top 3 picks but you couldn't necessarily choose where you wanted to go. My friend Ashley (far left) and I really wanted to go on the same trip, so we both picked the same top 3 locations but weren't guaranteed anything.

After a few weeks they have this big reveal party and make it into this huge game to find out where you're going. And I got TURKEY!!! As in "CENTRAL ASIA," as our trip was called.  I remember being absolutely SHOCKED. I think my other choices were Guatemala (which I think I put as #1 because you got to work with babies!) and somewhere else NOT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD. And to make it even cooler, Ashley was going too!!! And it wasn't her first pick either, so to have both of us going together was awesome!

Turkey was not my first choice, mostly because I didn't think I'd get chosen for it but I thought it'd be crazy amazing if I did. The work we did in Turkey was teaching at a camp for English speaking children (mostly Americans) who were kids of missionaries that lived all over Asia and Europe. Now, for those of you that don't really know me -- I am NOT a teacher. Speaking in front of people and trying to explain things is not my forte. But I was ready and excited for the challenge!

So a few months later we were off to Turkey! (well.. first Denver, then Munich, then finally Izmir)

We spent a week with hundreds of missionary kids leading a "camp." I never even went to camp as a kid, how was I supposed to lead one?! I felt incredibly inadequate but the cool thing I learned is that God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called. And honestly, I think I learned more from those kids than they ever learned from me ;) It was a very refreshing, humbling, and eye-opening week.

The camp was over on Friday so we had the weekend to do some touristy stuff. We went to the market in Izmir, ate Turkish food on the floor... but my absolute FAVORITE??

We went to freakin' EPHESUS!!!!!!!!

You guys, this was seriously one of the coolest things I have ever done in my life. Ephesians is my favorite book of the Bible... and I was THERE?! I could not even believe it. How did that happen?! I walked on the streets that Paul walked. We saw the ruins, the court, we climbed the mountain (and got lost on the way down!)...

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 Oh man.

Definitely a life-changing trip. There's a million things I could say about it, but I just don't know how I can even really accurately describe the experience with words. It was incredible -- one I will never forget.