Through the wonder of air transport I was able to join the Briarwood Retreat Center/Briarwood Leadership Center leadership journey group in time for dinner on Sunday night. That meant I was ready for our full day in Istanbul today. We began at the stunning Chora Church with its gorgeous mosaics and frescos. A reminder of the vibrancy of Byzantine art and the conflicting leadership stories of presenting Jesus running from the power of empire and then blessing the empire that built this church.
Then we went to Topkapi Palace where we engaged Ottoman Turkey and the results of the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453. How this changed life not just for Christians in the Greek speaking world but also led to direct threats to Western Europe that impacted the Reformation.
We saw the beautiful Bosphorus, Blue Mosque, and the Hippodrome before heading to the grand bazaar. An amazing opportunity of people watching and cultural engagement. Lots of learning and grateful to be with the group now. My checked bag has yet to join us. And may not be able to catch up. But that is a minor challenge. Tomorrow we tour the Hagia Sophia. #NTNL #BWTX #InMissionTogether