(This week's devotional is provided by Imagine Church's Pam Davis who is spending several weeks of her current sabbatical from GCTS training counselors in Turkey.)
Greetings from Antalya, Turkey!
Thank you so much for standing with me in prayer while I am here in Turkey. I spent the first few days "getting my bearings" -- learning to use the bus system, buying a local SIM card for my phone, figuring out how to buy groceries (and of course ice cream!), and learning how to lock and unlock the massive doors to the apartment that I am staying in. (This may sound silly -- but dealing with the locking and unlocking of doors was my first super frustrating moment where I said out loud, "Dorothy, you're not in Kansas anymore"). I can proudly announce that I have indeed mastered the door locks!
I have been here for two weeks, and I can honestly say that it is a true joy to be here! The work I am doing in Turkey is very similar to the work that I did in Thailand for 22 years, and I had forgotten how rewarding and meaningful this kind of work can be. I was surprised at how easy it is to slip back into this part of me, as if cross-cultural service will always be part of my identity.
I began seeing clients at the counseling center ten days ago -- and my daily schedule includes meeting with and providing counseling to cross-cultural servants who are originally from the U.S. but who are now serving in Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, and Kyrgyzstan. They have all intentionally traveled here to Anyalya for several weeks of rest, reflection, and counseling. These courageous men and women astound me! They have been through so much more than I can fathom, and yet they are still standing! Daily, I am hearing stories of surviving bombings, persecution, emergency surgeries in a foreign hospital, enduring weeks -- months -- without running water or electricity or access to gas for cooking. The level of resilience God has given to His servants is truly remarkable.
I have also had plenty of opportunities to enjoy my beautiful surroundings -- swimming in the sea, long walks along the coast, climbing among ancient ruins from 7 B.C., and enjoying delicious Mediterranean food. The Mediterranean Sea is as gorgeous as all of the stories you have heard about it! Antalya is simply a beautiful place, and I am grateful to God every day that He is allowing me to be here for these five weeks. Imagine Church is such a big part of my thanks, too -- your support simply blew me away and has carried me ever since I arrived here.
Thank you for your heart for me and your heart for God's people. I value your prayers so much.
Pam Davis, to my Imagine Church family